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July 28, 2011

Gardening in England

I just came back from a few weeks in England visiting family and friends and wanted to report back on what I found gardening wise.

For a start, the English have festooned their pubs and sometimes private houses, with hanging baskets of the most beautiful colored flowers. This makes buildings look very pretty and enhances the overall looks of towns and villages as you pass by.

Below is a photo of a house in the small village of Donnington, Lincs, who went all out with flower festooning! I love it.

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Same village, surrounding a statue of Matthew Flinders who lived in Donnington in the 18th century sometime and who was supposed to have "discovered" Australia - although I imagine there were some native Australians who may have some fault with that statement! It just shows how any opportunity to brighten up a small available area with flowers is taken.

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I discovered many allotments full of plots of vegetables around England - way more than I have ever discovered in USA. Here is one large community allotment where different people come to garden. Check out the red runner beans. I saw these favorite beans of the English in many gardens

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I saw many private backyard gardens from the top of buses, but the one below I was just walking along a small country lane and there it was. A lot of the backyard vegetable patches are very close to ornamental flower beds, so one part of the yard is saved for the veggies and in this way is integrated into the whole look of the yard.

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As a whole I think that the British are just more into gardening than in the US - whether it is ornamental or culinary and they do both with taste and a flare for attractive arrangements.