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An organic garden with
a long circular walk in North West Devon

Bocombe Mill Cottage, Bocombe,
Near Clovelly, Devon
EX39 5PH

01237 451293

Chris Butler & David Burrows

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Blog Entries for 4/2019
Looking Good 29 April 2019posted: 29/4/2019 at 19:53:27
What a week of weather… Climate change? Bocombe’s garden anecdotes fully support the notion of changing weather patterns.
From the Easter weekend of record high temperatures over the whole of the UK to localised storms last Thursday in NW Devon. Hail. Like you’ve never seen before. For over an hour, heavy, heavy hail. Constant. The gutters overflowed with hail. The terrace disappeared under a white covering. Thunder and lightening took out everyones’ phones in the immediate area. And what did it do to the garden?
Thankfully the apple and pear blossom was still in the tight bud stage. But the hail shredded the massive leaves of Petasites japonicus giganteus, and surprisingly badly flattened the many groups of Tellima grandiflora too. As in the orchard, many flowers on our several, large, Clematis montana were in the tight bud stage too, so protected. Four weeks to our open garden days, so everything should recover!

Looking Good 22 April 2019posted: 22/4/2019 at 07:15:49
Continuing the theme of weather in the garden and climate change, last week Farming Today (that early morning radio programme) discussed at length the (calculated) 10% of UK greenhouse gases that agriculture contributes to the earth’s warming. It won’t be long before the copious amounts of artificial fertiliser that most gardener’s use attract attention too…
Now let’s not forget that in the BIG picture, the two most populous countries on this planet (China & India) are STILL BUILDING coal fired power stations by the score… And the world’s biggest economy, the USA, has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change!
However, we all can do our bit – grow a tree or two if space permits, plant a hedge, recycle your compostable waste, go Organic… At Bocombe we do all of these… but shouldn’t we be lobbying for the entire planet to join in, not just the UK?

Looking Good 15 April 2019posted: 15/4/2019 at 08:31:06
Is our weather changing? I looked back at what I wrote on our web site nine years after we started our garden at Bocombe. I came to the conclusion (History of the Garden, 2nd paragraph “…..even in the Meadow bottom the first frost is often not until late November or early December, and the frosts gone entirely by early April. Frost is less of a problem above the walled bank, though, of course, it does occur!”
After this last winter, which was hardly a winter to be recognised as such, we now have very late frosts, and up above the walled bank too! Night after night in mid April… To counter this I don’t think we had a frost at all until mid January… then only two nights!
What does it all mean? My recollections are not a statistical record. Perhaps it’s why we talk about the weather so much in the UK. The out-of-the-ordinary is just the norm….

Looking Good 8 April 2019posted: 9/4/2019 at 07:46:42
Everything at Bocombe is much earlier this year! The first bluebells have been in flower for almost a week. Broad Beans are in flower too…. Flowering is almost a month ahead of last year, (remember the snowy start in March 2018)… Blooms are lasting well too. For instance, we still have Narcissus Rapture in full flower that began over a month ago! Welcome to spring!

Looking Good 1 April 2019posted: 2/4/2019 at 12:26:02
We’ve four NEW Tree Ferns…. This may be a mistake! We lost our small collection of Tree Ferns around 7 or 8 years back in that series of long, cold winters – even with protection. RHS Rosemoor (just down the road) lost all of theirs too!
Our new plants were a gift from a good friend’s garden in Cornwall, where they had grown naturally from spores from their collection. Dicksonia antarctica – the hardiest of all Tree Ferns. The two largest are planted in the Stumpery, in the shady shelter of the house, with the two smaller plants remaining in 3 litre pots to grow on.
Our Blog will again become weekly from now. Each Monday through the summer!

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