Tuesday, 16 July 2013


We drove to Kilcot on a garden visit this evening by the scenic route - Tirley, Hartpury, Kent's Green, Clifford's Mesne. It all looked very beautiful in the very warm late afternoon sunshine: you wouldn't want to rush. (Even on our way home much later, it was 22 degrees outside.)

We ate our picnic above Aston Ingham, just North of May Hill: our host at the nearby garden to which GOGG were invited had today received a load of wood from the trees being felled on its top. "What they should replace them with," he reflected, "is 100 wind turbines: it would become the most famous windfarm in the world."

Ken ran a successful garden centre business for many years: on selling it, like many in the same position, his emphasis switched from commerce to the environment. Besides making their own garden into a model of resilience, he and Ann, his wife, are powers behind Transition Newent. They are in the process of building an outside bread/pizza oven, intended to become a focus for weekly local community gatherings.

The pond is a bit small for a boat, but Ann recently made a coracle: it's covered with cowhide (and the cow's tail is preserved intact - like a bendy rudder).

Though he confessed to a sinful greenhouse full of non-organically grown tomatoes, Ken more than balances  things out with his composting, coppicing and comfrey: there's water harvesting, a willow temple and a meditation garden (with suitably restrained colour pallet). The wildflower meadow contains 57 species to the square metre. Onions and potatoes are on a four-year rotation - "no dig" in the larger section of the vegetable garden.

The last, Ken shares with the lovely Clare, a biodiversity expert with Natural England: her house lies adjacent.

An inspiring evening.

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