Why I Blog

I want you to read my blog because you like it. Not because of who I am. Which is probably why it’s taken so long to write this page! As a former lecturer in horticulture, deprived of the pleasure of public communication, I have turned to blogging.

I believe in education, although not necessarily what is offered today. Horticulturally speaking, I think I have something to say. People have sometimes told me that I should write a book. My old head of department used to tell me that if I wrote as I spoke, people might like it...as he read and despaired of my faltering prose! But what should I write? My interests are diverse and uncommon. No one wants to read a book about cemeteries or glyphosate or soil. I could not bear the idea of laboriously writing, editing, promoting, being rejected and then at the end of the day nobody buying the damned thing.

As I turned seventy, Cathi told me about blogs. Instant gratification! I can write about any current gardening whim and immediately send it out into the ether. I can even develop themes that would never make it into a lecture. The students would sleep!

I do think there is a need for gardening information that goes beyond the elementary stuff that is repeatedly churned out in the media. When I got the gardening bug at thirteen, a friend of my father, Bob Wall, was a keen amateur gardener. He told me to take ‘Amateur Gardening’ which I eagerly devoured. He said that after two years I would learn nothing more as it would all be recycled information. How right he was. Most things in gardening are aimed at beginners. Not least the stuff put out by the gardening great!

Why call my blog ‘No dig gardener’ when I write about other things too? I even write about digging! When we searched for a title, nothing else seemed satisfactory. Brenda suggested that if anything in gardening defines me, it is my failure to dig. Ergo, when you add my penchant for self-publicity you have ‘Roger Brook no dig gardener’. Once upon a time I feared to Google my name for fear of what I might find. I now do it all the time!


23 comments:

  1. I am ever so grateful to Cathi and Po Simpson for bringing me up to date with the new format.Cathi kindly edited my words. She accepted everything I wrote but added the mischievous third sentence and the banner at the end. Is she trying to tell me something?

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  2. I couldn't possibly comment! :-)

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  3. Blogs I can build, thats easy, content is always my issue things to write about.
    I alway find your posts interesting, no idea why
    Po

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  4. I will accept any praise Paul even if it is faint!

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  5. Faint is good for me, I've never read a single word about gardening.

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  6. Great to find your blog. I found it when looking up epiphyllums of which I am a great fan. Now I shall be doing some further browsing. Not about sprouts though, I hate them.

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    1. Welcome aboard chloris
      Ironically my epiphyllums have been the only casualty of putting a better insulated opaque roof on our conservatory! They won't flower and I am going to have to look again at where I grow them. It might be they like high light intensity to flower or it might be that that they like it to be cooler in Winter.
      I searched the net for advice and found my post!

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  7. Found you from searching about Corydalis; & very interesting you are too. Will continue to use this site as you have some interesting info on it.

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    1. Hi Sharon
      Somehow I missed your comment. Belatedly pleased to know you are reading regularly

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  8. I have just been reading about the use of glyphosate on your blog from a few years ago. I have been struggling to clear a large part of my overgrown garden for three or four years, dutifully trying to be organic and digging out massive monsters of roots from brambles. Every year it is covered in an extremely healthy bindweed. The garden is riddled with it and we seem to have been digging it out for years. A lot of effort for little reward. I am 67 and although am happy to do some digging out, after reading your blog I have succumbed and bought some Roundup. Otherwise I can see I will never get on top of it and have the garden the way I want it.
    I worried mainly about the wildlife in the garden, so after reading your very useful blog I have decided to risk it. I am hoping to dig a wildlife pond next spring to help the frogs and newts in the garden.

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    1. You will gather from my articles Pat that although many folk like yourself worry about wild life friendliness I regard glyphosate as a tool for good when used responsibly. Indeed I believe it more wildlife friendly than traditional gardening methods.
      I claim that I have more wildlife in all my gardens than most gardeners
      I have frogs all over the place and have written about our crested newts.
      Please read carefully my articles on such as convolvulus control, particularly those that emphasis spraying the well developed weed rather than zapping every new shoot on sight!

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  9. Sorry I have ended up as anonymous as I'm not very computer literate. Shall visit again.
    Pat (anon)

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    1. Even computer literate people find it difficult to make comments. Two of my friends take exception to answering intrusive questions to become a follower and refuse to do so. It is easy to make comments if you have registered as a follower, other wise come in through anonymous and it is nice when you add your name at the bottom..
      I am one of those aged folk who don't understand things like twitter and all those 'social media ' ways in!.
      I myself have a google identity and make comments with ease on other peoples blogs!

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  10. A man after my own heart. Thoroughly enjoy your blog, found on a Google search for info on harvesting hardy cyclamen seeds. I am a hardy perennial lover who tries to avoid plant staking, with a wife who has totally opposite viewpoint - prompting some interesting garden conversations !!!!
    Could you please advise whether hardy cyclamen (not sure whether coum or hederifolium)seed pods can be dried off after picking from the plant ?

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  11. I clicked unknown and found…Bugsy
    Hello Bugsy
    Yes you can dry them and keep them in a packet….. but that is perhaps why when you buy a packet from a commercial source hardly any of them germinate!
    They are best sown fresh, let them have the Winter cold in their compost and watch them
    all germinate in March?April.
    It is much best to let them ripen on the plants and get there before the ants! They will be shelling themselves at that point!

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  12. Thanks Roger. The reason I asked is that I acquired 2 large seed pods from an old lady I was visiting, after expressing admiration of her cyclamen. The pods are brown and hard but not starting to split. Would I better opening them and sowing now rather than drying first. They were taken off the plant this morning

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    1. I am a little puzzled about ripe pods now as my hederifolia split its seeds in September. My coum is showing nothing yet!
      As you say the 'pod' is hard I would be inclined to split it and see what is inside. If hard seed sow them today.
      Had you said the fruit was still soft and unripe I would have advised waiting it to ripen and split!

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    2. Just a thought Bugsy perhaps the brown pods are small corms! In which case it would be fatal to split them. Just plant them! Best in a pot outside or in a greenhouse where you can keep an eye on them until they grow next September.
      The corms come right to the surface and are easily pulled out. Perhaps your old relative - probably younger than me - gave you those. I have been shifting several hundred around - still with green leaves, only yesterday

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  13. Thanks for your advice Roger. The pods were on stalks, I was with her when she broke them off so I am certain they are not corms. The plants themselves are in a rectangular container at the sheltered base of a N facing wall.
    I have just split one open and they were very squashy inside, certainly unripe. Will simply plant the remaining one and keep my fingers crossed -nothing ventured nothing gained.

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  14. Hello Roger,
    through L's blog I have found yours, and have added it to my reading list. I'm not a gardener myself, but I love gardens and some of the places you mention on your blog are on my "to visit" list for my annual Yorkshire Holiday.
    Your "Why I blog" makes an interesting read. I wrote about why I blog some years ago; if you are interested, you are welcome to read that post here.
    Anyway, I am very much looking forward to peruse your blog, finding more places to see, or maybe even some I've already been to!
    Meike

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    1. Great to see the pictures on L's blog and to visit your own where I have left a comment.
      Bolton Percy village has an open day this Saturday 2nd July and I will be on duty in the cemetery!

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  15. Hi Roger. Very entertaining and wise blog! Found you after googling that "famous Yorkshire churchyard where the gardener uses glyphosate", a distant but indelible memory from reading about your enterprise. Now we're doing the same with a steep, overgrown (lovely!) mid-Wales hillside on poorly drained acid shale. Amazing how much thrives happily in these unfriendly conditions.
    Just wanted to add to your comment about the gardening press repeating basic info after a year or two. I used to groan when asked to write the same stuff yet again until I came across a thoughtful quote to the effect that "everything that matters has already been said, but as nobody was listening it needs saying again". Can't remember who said it - possibly G K Chesterton or Terry Pratchett - but there's some truth there.
    Hope glyphosate doesn't get banned, btw: VERY useful selective aid.
    Best wishes, and keep blogging.

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    1. Great to hear from you Andi. You might have noticed that my friend and contributor Peter is from Wales and often tells me about the beautiful countryside - not to mention their superior football team and the quality of the rugby.
      As to necessary repetition of facts it is a good opportunity to infiltrate some new ones.
      My very next post is about political issues re glyphosate

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