Andrew Fereday's Blog (22)

Free again and with a whole world of opportunities stretching out ahead of me

Well as usual, it's been a long time since I've blogged.


What an incredibly awful week it has been. I turned up at work on Monday. It had been a windy weekend and a lot of stock had fallen over, so I started the routine of standing up some of the stock and beginning to water. There were some leylandii which had blown over at the back of the nursery, so that was where I started. As I lifted up the first tree that I came to, I felt a sharp pain in my head. Out of the corner of…


Added by Andrew Fereday on May 6, 2011 at 8:30 — 2 Comments

Volunteers, RHS Medals and a New Career...

It's been a busy week in the Fereday Household.

Having been a featured member last week, I thought it would be a good time to write a blog and update everyone on what's been happening since Cat and I moved down to London. Ideally I would have liked to blog while I was still a featured member, but it's just been such a busy week that I haven't managed it until this morning.

So, enough of the introduction and apologies and on with the story... I've managed to find gainful… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 19, 2010 at 8:52 — 4 Comments

Watch out London, Cat and Fereday have landed.....

It's been a quiet week in the Fereday household.

Well, we finally made it. Cat and I are now settled properly in Coulsdon. That's just south of Croydon and about 5 miles away from Caterham (where they make the sports cars) if you don't know the area. We found a gorgeous flat, then lost it, then got it back again just after Christmas. It's a long story which is probably best told by Cat. She has the writing talent in the family. We're hoping we'll be able to keep the…


Added by Andrew Fereday on February 18, 2010 at 16:26 — 2 Comments

Autumn has well and truly set in and we're still no closer to London...

A lot of you will know that Cat and I are planning a move down south after Cat got a promotion earlier in the year. That was in July and we still don't seem to be any further down the road to relocating than we were back then. September has been a month full of distractions - every weekend has been taken up with doing something for someone and we've hardly had a moment's rest. Cat's now travelling down to London on a weekly basis, just two days / one night a week but it seems to really tire… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on October 2, 2009 at 21:51 — No Comments

Some interesting statistics from a day in the garden.

Not strictly speaking mathematically significant but anecdotally insightful for anyone who has the idea that gardening is a very romantic and easy career:

* Dimensions & type of hedge cut: 60m length x 10' height - Hawthorn / Beech / Snowberry / Holly / Rose / Nettle

* Weight of petrol hedge trimmers: 6kg

* Time to cut hedge: 5 hours

* Number of cigarettes smoked: 8

* Estimated calorie usage: 2000

* Calories consumed: 1000

* Number of hawthorn… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on August 12, 2009 at 21:30 — 6 Comments

Propagating plants by green and semi-ripe cuttings

Well, today I posted on my facebook page that I was really pleased how well my salvia and lavender cuttings are doing. I only took them about 3 weeks ago and have already started potting some of them on. Phil asked if there was any chance I could cobble a blog together on how to take cuttings, so in my best Blue-Peter style, here we go...

I should explain first that I'm by no means up to scratch when it comes to professional nursery standards, but taking cuttings is a really basic… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on July 22, 2009 at 21:09 — 4 Comments

Managing a business by Zen - cross your fingers and hope for the best...

So, it's good news on Cat's job. She has been offered a post at a higher grade. She'll be doing the sort of work that she loves and you can see the difference the news has made - she's full of enthusiasm and energy. I've not seen her this happy in ages. She'll be doing a lot of work with the banking associations and although they said there wouldn't be any prejudice about location in handing out the jobs, the reality is that we will need to be down in London or within commuting distance at… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on July 11, 2009 at 10:00 — 8 Comments

What is a Gardener?

What is a Gardener?

While listening to GQT a couple of weeks ago, a question popped into my head which I couldn't answer: What is a gardener? We all think that we know what a gardener is but at that moment I couldn't give a good enough definition. Is a gardener a nurseryman? Sometimes. Is a gardener a landscaper? Sometimes. Is a gardener a designer? Sometimes. Is a gardener a labourer? Sometimes. Is a gardener a greenkeeper? Again, the answer is sometimes. None of this helps so I'd like to… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on May 18, 2009 at 20:35 — 1 Comment

Anticipating the coming season...

It's been a quiet couple of months in Halifax and I can't wait to get back out of the house into the fresh air and do some gardening. I've had my usual six week break over the winter and now I'm practically climbing the walls. With almost no work coming in, except for a little bit of tidying up after some builders ruined the front garden of one of my clients, I'm getting impatient to pick up my regular clients once again. I'm still ambivalent about builders; while I should loathe them for their… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on February 9, 2009 at 15:30 — 1 Comment

Gardening Excellence goes Digital

Well, it's about time that I got up to date with technology so I went out and got myself an inexpensive (OK, cheap) little digital compact camera at the weekend. I've been struggling with some beautiful but very awkward old fashioned film cameras for a while which just don't quite work as well for this sort of thing. Now don't get me wrong, I still love my film cameras (I'm still buying Olympus OM cameras and lenses but have given up on the Canon FD system after buying a duff A-1) and I still… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on September 15, 2008 at 20:37 — 3 Comments

Vegetable Trials in a Small Garden: August Update

It has been quite a while since I have blogged anything at all so I'm going to grab a little time and write an update on how things are going with the vegetable & herb growing. My thanks to Bella for enquiring how things were growing and spurring me into blogging again! So where to begin?

Back to the runner beans I suppose. They have been very good and well worth growing with lots of beans, mostly healthy. I must say that the mangetout and sugar snaps have been less generous. The… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on August 2, 2008 at 9:00 — No Comments

Busiest July for Gardening Excellence.

Well, I've not had much of a chance to write an awful lot recently as I'm finding myself in the middle of the busiest July yet. Usually by this time of year I'm on top of all my gardens and can afford to step back, take a breath and look at the ways my gardens are growing. Not this year. Having taken on one more large garden about six weeks ago, I'm finding myself busier than ever. I'm beginning to think I may need to take on some help at short notice in case I have any more… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on July 14, 2008 at 22:27 — 1 Comment

Starting work on a new garden: The Sock of Doom

Following on from last week's blog, I thought I would write a quick update. I'm going to leave mentioning the lawns from now on, unless there is something specific which I think may be of interest.

So today, I got to working on one of the shrub borders. The shrubs themselves don't seem to be in too bad a shape but the spaces around and inbetween them are a bit of a mess. This (I assume) is partly a result of the burgeoning squirrel population which insist on burying all sorts of… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on July 5, 2008 at 0:30 — 1 Comment

Starting work on a new garden: First Full Day

Well, I have finished my first full day in the new garden so I thought I would add another blog post.

The main lawn in front of the house is in a terrible condition. It is full of moss, really spongy to walk on. It has quite a mature weeping willow in the lawn down at one end. I have trimmed some of the overhanging branches to lift them up off the lawn. I'm not sure whether they would layer themselves into the lawn! Either way, it looks much tidier now. I'm going to recommend that… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 28, 2008 at 10:23 — 1 Comment

How to prepare a herbaceous / mixed border in Spring.

Now, many of you will think that this is an odd time to be talking about Spring border preparation and to a certain extent it is. I've had a question from Chris about how I go about border preparation though and it's always good to be planning ahead and thinking about what changes you'll need to be making next year.

In a way, some of the things that you notice now will dictate what you will do next Spring so it might be useful to take a notebook with you when you're going round the… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 25, 2008 at 23:00 — 4 Comments

Vegetable growing in a small garden: June Update

Well, it has been a little while since I've given an update on the vegetable growing, so I thought it was time to update the blog.

We have had a couple of good results so far - mostly the salad leaves. The Mizuna has been a runaway success so far and is very easy to grow. We've been thinning out the plants for some time and the more mature ones are now providing leaves on a daily basis. The rocket seems to have been a little slower to reach a decent size for picking by comparison. I… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 23, 2008 at 23:18 — 2 Comments

Starting work on a new garden: Good News!

As the title suggests, there is good news on the new garden.

Picking up from the last update, I didn't think there was much to write about in the new garden. It looked like the owner would only be engaging me to mow the lawn and not much else. I was feeling very disheartened after the first visit but things are looking up...

I met the owner this morning very briefly. We had a chat and she asked me how the garden was coming along. After only one visit I didn't have an awful… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 20, 2008 at 13:58 — 1 Comment

Starting work on a new garden - first update

OK, so I have now seen the garden in question and have taken a few photos which I will upload just as soon as I have finished off my roll of film (luckily the roses in my own garden are just about in flower so I'll have a good chance to finish it reasonably quickly).

The garden is quite an irregular shape - more or less stretching all the way round the house - and has two lawns, which I mentioned in my last post. There's not much to say about the lawns other than one is in a really… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 5, 2008 at 22:31 — 2 Comments

Starting work on a new garden

I've been trying to figure out how I can start blogging about the work that I'm doing on domestic gardens without awkwardly crow-barring something into the blog which seems clunky and forced. I think I may have the solution; I am about to take on a new garden and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start a new blog which will hopefully develop quite naturally and not seem too contrived. The owners have previously had a gardener / handiman but he has proved to be a little too… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 3, 2008 at 10:00 — 3 Comments

Vegetable growing in a small garden: Update 1

It seems to have been a little while since I have posted on the vegetable growing so I thought an update might be useful.

Most of the vegetables & herbs have germinated very well and are growing on quite nicely. The runner beans have the first flower buds on them which have yet to open. The mangetout meanwhile have their first one or two flowers. The blueberries have flowered and fruit are beginning to set. Some of the strawberries have flowered and are also beginning to set one… Continue

Added by Andrew Fereday on June 2, 2008 at 20:11 — 5 Comments

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