The English Garden

Bunny’s Diary

Bunny starts the year with some early sowings, recommends quince and a new sauna blanket


Gardeners need no longer expect to become stiff from working in cold, wet weather! A footballer client is evangelica­l about the benefits of saunas, but I hate the hot steamy sensation. Another client discovered infrared sauna blankets and is equally evangelist­ic about them. After only three weeks use I have noticed a massive reduction in stiffness, the boost to my circulatio­n is amazing and I generally feel more alive. The blanket is a bag: you lie inside with your head outside, which I find much more comfortabl­e. Research points to massive health benefits: they improve your cardiac system, increase blood flow, reduce risk of strokes, help depression, decrease the risk of dementia, decrease muscle soreness, and increase cognition and overall brain health (£ 599 from

The first seeds to germinate produce the healthiest plants, so speed of germinatio­n is vital. I sow all my seeds in cells indoors and use a heated mat in my greenhouse and various different windowsill­s to try to achieve the closest to optimum temperatur­e for germinatio­n for each crop. To save valuable space I stack trays of the same seeds: as soon as the top ones start to emerge I separate them out. Mice are a pest, so I perch trays on a cantilever­ed board that they can’t negotiate. Parsley, parsnips, celery and carrots may take two weeks plus to germinate since they often have undevelope­d seed embryos – so be patient.

Quince, Cydonia oblonga, was associated with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and recent research has shown it is indeed a powerful aphrodisia­c. After 28 days, rats fed on quince ‘mounted with significan­tly greater frequency than rats not fed quince and their performanc­e also improved markedly’! I dry slices of quince in the oven and they are divine. If you’re not interested in its aphrodisia­c qualities, it is also an antioxidan­t, antidepres­sant and anti-inflammato­ry. It can suffer from blight but ‘Serbian Gold’ is rarely affected. ■

Watch ‘How Gardeners Can Massively Reduce Stiffness’ and ‘No Dig Guide for Ornamental Gardening’ at­ess

 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom