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October was busy as ever - the main growing season just coming to an end and our end of season sale in full swing.
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This month, autumn is in full swing, and gardeners must don their gloves and wooly hats. And Georgie's been talking to Rhino owners all over the UK!
MONTHLY GARDEN JOBS
It's been wet and windy here in Norfolk, so far this November. Time to layer up and brave the chilly outdoors gardeners, because there is always work to be done!
- Lifting, replanting and fleecing your perennials.
- Preparing your greenhouse for colder temperatures - maybe installing a greenhouse heater or insulating the walls with bubblewrap.
- Harvesting your parsnips, carrots, leeks and potatoes.
- Giving support to top-heavy winter vegetables like kale.
- Clearing fallen leaves from around vulnerable plants like roses.
What is happening in your garden?
I'm on the lookout for Rhino owners with interesting stories to tell, and this month I've been talking to the historical society of Alderney. Over in the Channel Islands, one of our Rhino greenhouses is now home to a Victorian fire engine. The canny inhabitants of the island came up with the idea to use a greenhouse and they thought our Rhino was the perfect fit, with its attractive finish and renowned strength (it's windy over there!). To find out more about this story, click here.
In other news, I've been in touch with Sam Marshall - print maker, mini dachshund owner and Rhino customer - in Northamptonshire and I'm very excited to be joining her for a workshop in the new year, to learn how to make lino prints ... and pet the gorgeous Miss Marple. You can find Sam (@sammarshallart) and Miss Marple (@missmarpledoxie) on Instagram, and find out why I fell in love with this duo.
I've also been speaking to Flowers from the Farm members, Kate Hurst (Camomile Cornflowers) and Francesca Phillips (La-Di Dardy Flowers) who will be featuring in our blogs in January, sharing their knowledge and love of seasonal flower growing.
This month, I've been reading The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.
Since reading The Overstory last month, I became fascinated with trees and eager to learn more about them. I have been aware of Wohlleben's title for some time, and had heard good things about it, so thought now was the perfect time to delve in. Afer the magical storytelling that Richard Powers employs, the drier, factual style of non-fiction did somewhat dampen the wonder that Powers enstilled with the freedom of fiction. However, that is no fault in the writing of Wohlleben, and has in no way reduced my amazement at all the things I didn't know about trees and their capabilities. Wohlleben was a forester and learnt what he knows from firsthand experience and has himself had to change his methods after years of observation showed him how little he really knew before. I am constantly reminded, as I read, that we humans do not do enough to protect our trees, and our planet as a whole. National Tree Week is coming up at the end of this month (23rd - 30th November), so I'm sure I'll be banging on about trees even more in the not too distant future!
Talking beyond nature for a moment, if you'll indulge me, my other reading urges this month have taken me into the alternative bookish paths of fantasy, dystopia, women's fiction and comedy.
Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell is that brand of classic adventure fantasy. The first of four in the Rigante series, it tells tales of Highland Celtic tribes. Epic battles - with spilled blood and shining steel - and druidic culture - where nature melds with magic and spirituality. The gods of nature are feared and revered and to enter their woods could mean glory or death - or both at once.
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood was the joint winner of this year's Man Booker prize and is the long awaited sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. I absolutely devoured The Handmaid's Tale when I first read it as a 17-year-old and still hold it as one of my all time favourite books, so when The Testaments hit the bookshops, I wasn't far behind. I've only just started reading, but can already feel the buzz that means reading late into the night is surely imminent.
Lastly comes Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. This is my bedtime book. A real collection of letters from the guileless, happy-go-lucky life of Nina - a nanny who has never cared for children and doesn't know how to cook. This down-to-earth book is gloriously uncomplicated and without pretention - like Nina herself - and I giggle every couple of pages.
It's the perfect weather for reading and I'm really enjoying my books at the moment. What are you reading this month?
If you're a Rhino Owner with an interesting story to tell, we'd love to hear from you.
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