April 2020 Special!

Just a larger than usual 'Top Tip' as so many of us are growing our own vegetables this year!

Here's some ideas for companion planting, so that you can avoid nasty chemicals...

Companion Plants

Alliums - grow with carrots, chards, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries

                  avoid  beans, brassicas, sage

Beetroot - grow with alliums, brassicas and lettuce

                   avoid runner beans

Brassicas - grow with all herbs except rue, celery, rhubarb, calendula and tagetes

                     avoid allium, radish, strawberry, potato, rue, tomato

Carrots - grow with legumes, alliums, lettuce, parsley, sage, tomatoes

                 avoid dill

Cucumber - grow with dill, nasturtium, radish, tomato

                       avoid rue and sage

Parsnip = grow with alliums, radish

Peas and Beans - grow with anything other than alliums!

Potatoes - grow with beans, strawberries, coriander, calendula, tagetes

                    avoid other herbs, tomatoes

Tomatoes - mint, oregano, parsley, nasturtium, tagetes, peppers

                     avoid sweetcorn, brassicas, potatoes, dill

Plants for pest control

Ants - alliums, mint, tansy, artemesia (wormwood)

Aphids - alliums, calendula, tagetes, coriander, chervil, fennel, mint, nasturtium, rue, poppy, thyme

Cabbage moth - hyssop, mint, rosemary, sage

(Cabbage root fly - brassica collars, covering ground around base of plant which prevents eggs being laid)

Carrot fly - alliums, leeks, rosemary, sage

Caterpillars - oregano, thyme

Eelworm - tagetes

Flea beetle - alliums, artemesia, mint, rhubarb, rue, sage, tansy

Mice! - mint, tansy, artemesia

Nematodes - calendula, tagetes patula

Slugs and snails - allium, artemesia, fennel, rosemary, rue, sage

Spider mite - coriander, elder

Thrips - basil

Weevils and moths - bay

Whitefly - artemesia, peppermint, basil, calendula, nasturtium, oregano, tagetes, thyme

Wireworm - tagetes

As you can see, all the herbs, alliums, calendula and tagetes are particularly useful!

But also note that in some cases the control plant is sacrificial - in other words it collects all the pests. Remove this plant and you're controlling the pests!

Notes on different squashes and courgettes!


A blue-grey winter squash – tough

skin, which means it will keep, and

firm orange flesh.

It has particularly large seeds -

which are delicious!






Butternut squash – the most

familiar winter squash.

Softer skin and flesh, more flesh

than seeds!








A yellow/ green striped squash            

paler orange flesh, less dense

than other squashes.








A bright orange squash, hard skin,

firm flesh, keeps well.





Patty pan blanc

These are harvested small – perhaps

3” diameter, when they are seedless,

and utterly delicious raw or cooked.

Used just like courgettes, they have

slightly firmer flesh with more

flavour – and you can scoop out the

centre and stuff them too!

Very prolific in fertile soil.




'Black' courgettes; as you can see,

they're not really black, just dark


Just the same as other courgettes

in all other respects….





Burgess buttercup squash

My favourite as it keeps very well, until

the following spring usually, and has

firm, nutty flesh.








Visitors wishing to buy plants can also get help, advice and ideas for their garden. You are welcome to the  nursery at any time by prior arrangement  - I am often out and about or simply in the far field, so please try and text, e-mail or phone first!

This year, 2017, the garden is under construction but in due course I hope to open the garden again for various events.

2018 - still under construction!! but already quite a transformation!

2019 - still digging.... am hoping that the construction phase will be finished this year...

2020 - oh dear, coronavirus..... My paths look nice - but it's a poor consolation!

There is ample parking and easy walking access from the village of Llangadfan near Welshpool, Powys.



Plants are sold from the house, local markets and plant fairs, and most can be seen growing in situ. The plants are grown outside and organically in mostly home-made composts with no artificial fertilisers. It is worth noting that many plants sold in garden centres up and down the country, although the species may be hardy, these particular plants have been cultivated with artificial feed and heat or simply in a warmer climate! - and will curl up their toes at the slightest excuse. Beware a plant with luxuriant top growth, early in the season...


I grow a huge range of plants, from familar hardy perennials to rare or unusual species, but generally in limited numbers. As a self-confessed 'plantaholic', the range changes every year, so the plant list  is indicative only. 

Water plants; I am now growing many native water plants for ponds and bog gardens.

The Welsh weather can be somewhat unpredictable and winters are frequently long and hard. The growing season can therefore be late starting; pond and bog garden plants are not usually in full growth before May.

Feb 2020 - the floods threatened to wash them away! All the containers were floating - just managed to retrieve them as they headed downstream!

I also source plants for the landscape design planting schemes, through a few excellent wholesale nurseries who grow in realistic conditions, and can therefore obtain specific plants to order.

Traditional moss-lined hanging baskets and flowers for the cutting garden are available by pre-order.


Willow; I grow several basket willow varieties for sale and cutting. Apart from baskets, there are so many items to be made; planters, trellis, arches, tripods - a most versatile material. 


To encourage the use of peat-free composts, and reduce plastic waste, I tried supplying 'Sylvamix Natural' (the commercial name for  Sylvagrow Organic Growing Medium produced by Melcourt) . I ordered 2 huge bulk bags, filling one side of the large garage to the ceiling, and then laboriously bagged and weighed the compost in recycled feed bags. 

Whilst some were delighted and very happy with their compost, it seems most people prefer to buy non-organic compost from the supermarket, despite the extremely favourable price!

As I make large amounts of compost on site for my own use, I do not need to buy in compost - nor give myself yet more hard work!

If there is ever a demand however, I will happily repeat this offer...

Sylvagrow is a blend of;

- fine bark, from sustainably managed British forests

-  green compost, a carefully-sourced, single source, certified ingredient

-  coir, from a single, known source.

Contains balanced organic fertilizers, lime and seaweed meal for excellent vigour and disease resistance, with sufficient nutrients for 4 -6 weeks.

Used by professional organic growers throughout the UK, including royalty at Highgrove House!

Soil Association approved           RHS Endorsed

Suitable for; seeds/cuttings - sand or grit may be added if appropriate, bedding plants/ hanging baskets, potting on - add organic fertiliser after a month or two if needed.


The village cafe and shop very kindly sells my plants and surplus organically grown vegetables in season. They also do brilliant snacks, take-away food and drink,  lunches, all possible beverages - and lots of yummy cake!

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