I bought the neck collar and arm protectors for my wife and she’s over the moon.
Genus founder Sue began gardening in miniature in her London flat using planters and window boxes as a route to releasing her gardening passion. There’s lots that can be done container gardening in a small space. Window boxes are one great way to green the grey in urban and village areas, bringing colour, homes for wildlife and a sense of wellbeing right into a place. The planting design should aim for something central and taller, with shorter plants to the side, with curtains of trailing plants all along. The planting scheme can change through the year ringing the passing seasons. We have just been preparing spring window boxes planting them up with favourite flowering bulbs, snowdrops and miniature daffodils and trailing ivy. Up and running already are the late autumn boxes which have cyclamen, Senecio and winter pansies. The art of container gardening and window box planting is said by some to have begun with the Romans, but there has been something of a resurgence in gardeners' interest for hanging baskets and window boxes more recently with the current trend for upcycling seeing all kinds of containers appearing ..... even old gardening clothes!
The autumn this year is turning into a long and colourful affair. The flowering season in the Genus garden still continues into October and some of the fruit trees, particularly the pears, are pretty heavily laden and looking ready to harvest at last. This natural bounty happens in urban gardens just as much as in more rural settings such as the Genus plot. A gorgeous autumn walk through Bristol last week brought home just how much fruit there is, as we crunched our way across fallen crab apples and damsons. We felt that somehow it was a bit of a waste? However, it seems that volunteer groups have, over the last 5 years or so, recognised the potential for this urban harvest. There are groups in a number of cities including, Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, London and York who get out and about collecting this surplus fruit then distributing it to people in need, or turning it into juice, jams and chutneys for local use. A national charity called Abundance was set up to help get new volunteers in touch with existing groups and to encourage the collection of urban fruit. Gardeners who have more fruit than they know what to do with can get in touch with Abundance and find ways of putting that fallen food to good use. It’s great to know that there are ways of spreading the wellbeing benefits of gardens beyond the garden fence.
Avid readers of the Genus blog will be familiar with the story of our founder Sue and the boundless passion she has poured into transforming a once rambling and overgrown Cotswold garden into the showpiece it is today. It was through this labour of love that Sue recognised the screaming need for better gear to keep serious gardeners cosy and presentable through all seasons, and the seed of Genus was planted.
Leading regional lifestyle magazine Cotswold Life got wind of Sue’s story and were so interested in the woman behind both the Genus brand and her extraordinary garden they sent along reporter Mandy Bradshaw to find out more.
Sue picks up the story; “having only taken up gardening seriously with my move from London to the Cotswolds in 2009, I’m just incredibly thrilled to be featured in Cotswold Life. It’s a real honour. Although we gardeners tend to be a modest bunch, secretly we all thrive on getting compliments about our gardens, especially from people like Mandy who really know their stuff.”
As well as detailing many of the varieties in the Genus garden the story also covers Sue’s thrill in developing her pond which now boasts lots of wildlife, with the newts being a favourite; “you just put water in and you get life. It’s fantastic.”
We recommend you all rush to the newsstands now and pick up the October edition of Cotswold Life to find out more.