Gardening: Cuttings - News From The Gardener's World

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The Independent Culture
WHO GARDENS, where and how? These were the questions asked by the researchers NOP. Of the target group 82 per cent had a garden, or use of one. Dividing the country by television regions, Carlton/ LWT viewers come off worst. Only 71 per cent have gardens. The Anglia region is the most fertile, with 94 per cent.

The peak age for gardening is 35-44. Three-quarters of the NOP sample in this age range are active gardeners. A quarter of 15-24-year-olds garden. Willingly, I wonder?

Only 37 per cent of those questioned compost garden waste. This seems poor to me, but it is apparently an increase on the early Nineties. The target set by government is 40 per cent. The most avid composters are in the Meridian/ South region (53 per cent); the least interested are in Tyne Tees (14 per cent). Why?

HERITAGE VEGETABLES from the heart of France feature in a new English- language edition of the Ferme de Sainte Marthe seed catalogue. This organic farm is owned by Philippe Desbrosses, who writes and broadcasts on ecological issues and advises the French government on organic farming and gardening.

The seeds in his catalogue are raised in fields that have been cultivated organically since his grandfather took over the Loire farm 75 years ago. His unusual tomatoes include pale cream, sweet `Olirose', bulbous `Purple Calabash' and `Pineapple', with fruits weighing up to a kilo. Pumpkins and squashes feature, too. The catalogue is free from PO Box 358, Walton, Surrey KT12 4YX (01932 266630).

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