Endless rain and grey skies had me scurrying outside a few days ago during a rare lull in the storms to see if I even had a garden left or if it had all washed away! As it turned out I discovered far more than just flowers. Not only were the hellebores in full bloom…

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While the large island border is always a reliable kaleidoscope of color and texture at this time of year (see photo above), I have a smaller planting bed next to our main patio that is rather more fickle. It receives blazing sun all day, has terrible, sticky, clay soil, is a magnet for rabbits and…

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Heirloom seeds

The most creative chefs aren't afraid to try new flavors or to give familiar recipes a fresh twist. "When you experiment, you learn," commented University of Washington chef Dustin Selner; except he is taking about growing food not just developing new recipes. Dustin met Colby Crouch at culinary school in Seattle many years ago, where…

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It's still a bit early to start sowing seeds here in Seattle – but it's not too early to order them! Looking out of my office at the still snow-covered garden, I need a promise of spring, and poring over seed catalogs with tempting images of juicy vegetables and a rainbow of flowers gives me…

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Little girl tasting her first iced lolly in her nana's garden

Born in Ballymena, 30 miles north of Belfast, my Nana never lost her Irish brogue, even after moving to England as a young woman. By today's standards she didn't have much. She left school at 11 to look after her siblings "just as we were starting to learn long-division", married the boy next door, lived…

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