• 29 September 2021

    RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021

    Caption: Jane on the COP26 garden
    Caption: Arcadia
    Caption: John McPherson on the Pop Street Garden
    Caption: The Stolen Soul Garden

    The highly prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show was held for the first time ever in September this year and we were delighted to be both exhibiting and supporting six of the fabulous show gardens with our peat-free composts.


    With sustainability at the heart of everything we do, we feel privileged to offer our support to the 

    ‘RHS COP26 Garden’ designed by Balston Agius:

    ‘In recognition of the UK hosting the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow in October and November, The RHS COP26 Garden demonstrates how gardens, plants and green spaces can play an integral part in protecting our planet and people and ensure a greener, more resilient future for us all.’ Read more here 

     

    ‘Balcony of Blooms’ by Alexandra Noble:
    ‘The Balcony of Blooms demonstrates that small spaces can be practical, productive and enchanting. Two trees provide a sense of enclosure, while a continuous green edge is planted with herbs for culinary and medicinal use, as well as with pollinator-friendly flowers.’ Read more here 

     

    ‘Arcadia’ by Martha Krempel:
    ‘Arcadia offers pure escape. The aged door becomes a portal between reality and fantasy and the notion of the infinite is played out with the painted backdrop, an idealised English landscape, which hints at the exotic with its red earth and boulders.’ Read more here 

     

    ‘Pop Street Garden’ by John McPherson:
    ‘Pop Street Garden is a space to jump-start the transition from ‘lockdown to on-the-town’. Taking inspiration from pop culture references including contemporary Pop Art and Street Art, this garden is bright, bold and playful.’ Read more here 

     

    ‘A Tranquil Space in the City’ by Mika Misawa
    ‘This garden for a city dweller seeking tranquillity is arranged with plants in pots and with fragments of nature, such as a boulder and gravel….Small details about this space are inspired by Japanese traditions, autumn seasonal celebration and a way of contemplating life.’ Read more here 

     

    Finally ‘The Stolen Soul Garden’ by Anna Dabrowska-Jaudi
    ‘Human emotions are given form in this garden, which seeks to draw attention to ‘invisible’ mental health issues.

    The living wall at the rear represents the dark scope of emotions such as fear, emptiness and despair, while the planting within the containers symbolises empathy, joy and light. The black water pool is a symbol of life and connects all the elements in the garden by reflecting them in the water.’ Read more here 

     

    For more information about these wonderful gardens please click on the following link Show gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021 / RHS Gardening

  • Caption: Picture credit John Williams. Kim with crystal lemon - cucumber in her free plant gardens - another resilient recommendation for next year
    Caption: Herbaceous bed and Sally

    Co-author of Dalefoot sponsored, The Climate Change Garden Book, Kim Stoddart explains how to help provide protection inside and out...

    This year more than any other awareness around the on-the-ground impact of climate change has been brought to widespread attention. With COP 26 in November and the COP 26 garden at Chelsea this week, combined with a year that has been extremely challenging for gardeners, it’s time to embrace the fact that it is no longer gardening as usual.

    Current so-called gold standard practices are no longer fit for purpose in our changing climate, as greater extremes of weather and unreliable seasons become the new norm. What this means is that exacting planting calendars and many varieties of currently grown produce may no longer be fit for purpose in the very near future.

    The good news however is that working with the natural world and building more of an innate free-spirited resilience in the gardener, does. This form of gardening is much more akin to the medieval peasant gardens of yore, massively low maintenance, biodiverse and rich for person, plate and planet.

    It’s time to stop trying to so meticulously control the natural world and keep it in order and instead tune in to our inner hunter gather instincts, for greater resilience and wellbeing overall for the future ahead. Here’s how to get started:

    Get free planting
    Nature doesn’t work in straight lines. I’ve been mixed planting for nearly ten years now and I would never go back. This much more free-spirited method has so much going for it. Different types of produce grow together with lots of space between crops of the same variety so the soil isn’t drained of nutrients and the plants can co-exist in a more biodiverse setting. As well as being much easier to manage and effective, I’ve also found this method of growing is much less likely to experience a build up of pest or disease. This is common sense when you think about it because it’s much harder for a so-called pest to find what it is looking for when it’s mixed in with other produce.

    Once your start with this naturalistic method of growing, it’s unlikely you’ll look back. Start small if you are unsure and then you can gradually build up your confidence over time. Letting go in this way enables you to create a veg patch the way you like it. Rather than mono crops, you can create patterns and colours that work with you. I personally like lots of bright-coloured flowers such as nasturtium, calendula, feverfew and poppies mixed in to the benefit of all. Gardening in this way is highly empowering.

    Make your soil the best it can be
    Don’t dig it, apply peat-free compost, and allow plants to grow on longer, letting stems die down in the soil naturally and you will allow the natural resilience within to proposer and thrive to the benefit of plants growing within. We are at the tip of the iceberg in our knowledge and understanding about the importance of soil health but suffice to say, there’s a whole world below ground packed full of earthworms, microbial activity, and fungi such as mycorrhizal , and the more you encourage it in, the more robust your growing efforts will be.

    Making your own compost, getting close up and personal with your soil, to look, touch, feel all provide greater understanding and help build confidence and innate ability to make decisions outside of the conventional plot.

    Make best use of free resources
    Why not make your own leaf mould, by leaving piles around your garden (which rot down more quickly than dedicated bins and bags), this is great for wildlife over winter and a fantastic natural soil improver and mulch for you. It can also be used as a 100% seed compost for extra feel good growing points all round.

    Repair the tools you have before storing away over winter and they could last you a lifetime. Use wire wool and oil secateurs before storing away. Plastic pots can be used for many seasons to come so turn this idea of single use on its head entirely and it will make you feel incredibly good.

    Make, mend and do where you can, turning old items like windows into instant cold frames for use on raised beds outside and transform your winter salad growing efforts instantly.

    Let plants self seed
    Even if you aren’t seed saving, allowing extra plants to flower and seed is great for pollinators and biodiversity on your plot so embrace it with gusto and see how your outside space comes truly alive.

     

    About the Climate Change Garden Book
    Kim Stoddart has been writing about climate change gardening in publications such as the Guardian since 2013. She writes columns on the subject for Grow Your Own and Country Smallholding magazines, as well as editing The Organic Way magazine for Garden Organic. Kim is the co-author of The Climate Change Garden book and teaches regular on this subject.

    See www.greenrocketcourses.com for more information on courses or The Climate Change Garden book.

  • The world’s most famous flower show RHS Chelsea is back this week and we’re marking the event with an exciting competition, on our social media channels, with the chance to win some brilliant gardening goodies.


    We’re also exhibiting at the event itself and supporting six show gardens with our peat-free compost including the RHS COP26 Feature Garden that highlights the role gardens can play in mitigating the impact of climate change ahead of the climate talks in Glasgow this November.


    We’ve teamed up with fellow RHS Chelsea exhibitor Franchi Seeds, and authors Kim Stoddart and Sally Morgan to offer these amazing prizes for three lucky Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers (one winner on each channel).
    • Peat-free Wool Compost – you’re going to need the best sustainable compost to grow veggies in, so we are giving each lucky winner three bags of Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads and one bag of Wool Compost for Seeds worth over £50 plus free delivery
    • A copy of The Climate Change Garden by Sally Morgan and Kim Stoddart worth £15 – a practical gardening guide showing how you can work towards a climate-change resilient garden. Over 200 pages packed with colour photographs and useful tips on water-saving, soil improvement, garden design and plant ideas.
    • Franchi Seeds Roman Collection - 6 Roman GYO varieties: Courgette Romanesco, Artichoke Violetto, Cauliflower Romanesco, Roma Bean Supermarconi, Tomato Roma and Romaine Lettuce - worth £14.99

    To enter:
    Twitter competition- For a chance to win, retweet (RT) our post, follow & tell us your favourite sustainable gardening tip (with a photo from your own garden if possible).
    Facebook competition- Entrants must explain how they help the environment when they garden. Photos of entrants’ gardens welcomed. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!
    Instagram competition- Entrants must explain their favourite sustainable gardening tip – again photos welcomed – and tag a friend.
    All three competitions close 5pm Sunday 26th September 2021 and winners will be informed by 5pm Wednesday 29th September 2021. Full terms and conditions below.
    Terms & Conditions
    By entering Dalefoot’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram competitions you agree to be bound by the following:
    Twitter – the prize as described above. Entrants must share the post, follow and tell us their favourite sustainable gardening tip. Photos welcomed.
    Facebook – the prize as described above. Entrants must explain how they help the environment when they garden. Photos of entrants’ gardens welcomed. Then why not like our Facebook page, share the post and tag as many friends as you can!
    Instagram – the prize as described above. Entrants must explain their favourite sustainable gardening tip – again photos welcomed – and tag a friend.
    Dalefoot Composts will choose its favourite responses from the entries. A winner will be selected from each channel (three winners in total). The prizes will be sent to the winners by 1st November 2021.
    The prizes are non-transferrable and cannot be refunded for any money. Prizes may take longer to deliver/arrive, due to current delivery delays.
    Open to all UK mainland residents aged 18 and over, excluding relatives, partners and employees of Dalefoot Composts, Heltondale, Cumbria CA10 2QL
    Closing date for entries in all three competitions is Sunday 26th September 2021 at 5pm.
    Only one entry per person on each channel.
    The winners will be informed within 72 hours of the closing date and will need to respond by Monday 4th October 2021, or a new winner will be chosen.
    Dalefoot may publish the winners’ details and the winning entries on its social media channels or website. If Dalefoot does not publish the winners’ details on social media, those details may be obtained from Dalefoot privately on request.
    Personal data will be processed and shared with third parties only for the administration of the prize, and for promotional purposes as listed above.
    By participating in these competitions, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
    These competitions are in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the RHS.
    Dalefoot reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify these competitions or these official rules.

  • 28 June 2021

    Cumbria Wildlife Trust

    We are proud to announce that we are now Gold corporate members of Cumbria Wildlife Trust, the organisation that does such good work conserving the wildlife and wild places of our county. We have worked with the Trust for many years, on peatland restoration and other environmental projects, and so are delighted to have joined forces in this way. We will also be assisting the charity with peat-free compost for some of its community and growing projects, and teaming up in other innovative ways in the future.

    For more information on the Trust’s essential conservation work click here.

  • Georgie Newbery of Common Farm Flowers is based between Bruton and Wincanton in Somerset. She grows about two hundred and fifty different varieties of flowers and foliage for cutting on her smallholding throughout the year, more and more of which are used in her five star workshops and courses held both at the farm and as online sessions.

    She discovered Dalefoot Compost about two years ago. Why doesn’t she make her own compost? Because her flower farm’s ethos, ‘Look after the invertebrates and the rest of the food chain will look after itself,’ renders her own heaps of horticultural debris which lurk in every corner, out of bounds for Georgie, as they are also the corners where the grass snakes, slow worms, toads, hedgehogs, and many other friends live.

    And so she keeps dumpy bags of Dalefoot Lakeland Gold to hand, ordering four at a time so that she never runs out of stock. She uses it to mulch, to top dress, to feed, to grow in. Her dahlias, roses, sweet peas and all the other flowers she grows love it, and so does she.

    See her website, www.commonfarmflowers.com and choose a workshop or online session to enjoy yourself: her mission in life is to save the world one flower at a time, and to inspire and enable her students to do the same.

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© Barker and Bland Ltd t/a Dalefoot Composts 2014 - 2021. All rights reserved.
Barker and Bland is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Dalefoot Farm, Heltondale, Nr Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2QL. Registered number: 8312959

This project is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.

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