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Tips on growing cabbages and making elderflower cordial

I’ve been delaying planting out my brassicas because I’m sure the pigeons sit watching and waiting for me to do it so they can strip them bare.

Well I’m delighted to say my whole veg patch has now been enclosed with netting.

It’s going to be brassica city around here now…cabbages; broccoli; brussels sprouts and kale will adorn the Hewett table this winter!

The netting holes are still big enough for the cabbage whites so I will still need to keep an eye out to remove the egg clusters that appear on the undersides of the leaves. Or if I’m too late for that I’ll remove the caterpillars as long as I catch them before the cabbages start developing hearts, I should be ok.


As all the juicy sweetness of corn is lost within minutes of harvesting the cobs growing your own is the only way you can really experience this first hand.

Now’s the time to plant them out and they are pretty low maintenance. Just remember they need to be planted in a block rather than in a long row, as they are wind pollinated. Y

You could also try growing them in your borders decoratively as they are quite exotic looking.


This weekend I would recommend stretching your legs on a nice long walk and using the opportunity to pick a carrier bag full of fragrant elderflower heads from the hedgerow to make some elderflower cordial.

If you’ve never tried I’d highly recommend giving it a go as its so easy and only needs a few ingredients: sugar, lemons and citric acid (available from chemists) and is delicious with soda water or perhaps a little prosecco.


If you’ve walked around outside over the last week or so you may have been stopped in your tracks by the amazingly overwhelming scent of Philadephus (mock orange).

This deciduous shrub is fully hardy, part of the Hydrangeaceae family it definitely deserves a place in the garden, preferably in a full sun or partial shady position where it can grow to its ultimate height of 1.5m and spread to 2.5m in 10 years.

Cut back immediately after flowering to strong young shoots lower down.

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