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Indy Lifestyle Online
Phil Rooksby, the hero of a self-sufficiency story in this column (26 October 1996), has brought out an expanded, de luxe version of his booklet "My Kind of Self Sufficiency". The introduction covers his odyssey through the perils of the "real" world to the rather more valid world he created around Midsummer Cottage, Sessay, North Yorkshire YO7 3NL. He gives a detailed and realistic list of ways that anyone can help save energy and conserve resources. He also gives a hard-won appraisal of the practicalities of organic gardening, together with a brisk rundown of some of the "isms" connected with it. The booklet, handstitched and covered with handmade paper, costs pounds 3 from Mr Rooksby at the address above.

The concept of garden as art gallery has been cleverly exploited by several organisations, including Fabrica, a Brighton art gallery whose changing exhibition, Catchcrop, explores gardens, cultivation and land use. Throughout the summer, visitors will be able to make sculptures and mosaics, and design gardens and decorations, using natural materials. Fabrica's assistants are on hand every Saturday afternoon to advise and inspire beginners. There will be a "drop-in" workshop next Saturday when adults and children are invited to make their own miniature gardens. Materials are free, but there is a 50p entrance fee. The following day, Fabrica will offer prizes for the best-made gardens. Catchcrop, at the Fabrica Gallery, Holy Trinity Church, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AG (01273 778646), continues until the end of August.

Michael Loftus of the plantsman's nursery, Woottens of Wenhaston, is offering 15 per cent off the bill if you buy more than pounds 20 worth of plants. That's not difficult here. Loftus has a superb range of plants including sumptuous dahlias such as dark `Arabian Nights' and `Nuit d'Ete' - rich red, shading to black. Special prices at the moment are offered on Rehmannia angulata, which looks like a cross between a foxglove and a salpiglossis. "Showy spikes of exotic warm mauve pink flowers all summer and autumn. Hardy in a sheltered spot. An excellent specimen in a pot," says Mr Loftus. The nursery is open daily at Blackheath, Wenhaston, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 9HD (01502 478258).

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