The Plot Thickens

Hi, I’m Karen Meadows. Thank you for visiting The Plot Thickens.

I’m lucky enough to be the tenant of one of fifty large allotment gardens in the middle of the small and beautiful stone town of Stamford in England’s East Midlands. The gardens were first created by Brownlow Cecil, 4th Marquess of Exeter in the mid 1800s and their layout has remained virtually unchanged. Between the plots we have some 200 old apple trees, many of them rare varieties, and in 2017 Natural England awarded the gardens heritage orchard status.

On reaching the garden gate, it is tantalising to wonder who was opening it 50 years ago, 150 years ago, possibly even 250 years ago ... Who planted the old apple trees? Who trimmed the hedges and dug the vegetable patch? Who drank lemonade in the summerhouse and played on the swing? 


Follow our quest to discover our gardening forebears, what they grew, and what shenanigans they got up to. Be prepared for numerous diversions and musings along the way about gardening life here in our quiet (and occasionally not so quiet) little corner of Stamford.

If you haven’t discovered our website yet, do head over to Waterfurlong Orchard Gardens, where you will find a wealth of information about our gardens and gardeners, past and present.

And now for the small print...

The Plot Thickens is a non-commercial blog. All recommendations are based on personal preference and my own or our other gardeners’ own experience. Payments or free goods are not accepted in return for reviews of products and services. If an exception is made this will be clearly stated.

All words and images, unless otherwise credited, are my own. If you would like to copy text or images, I’d kindly ask that The Plot Thickens gets a positive mention and a link back to this blog.

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February 12, 2019

"You know why trees smell the way they do?" Murphy asked, looking up from her hammering. 

"Sap?" Logan guessed. "Chlorophyll?"

Murphy shook her head. "Stars. Trees breathe in starlight year after year, and it goes deep into their bones. So when you cut a tree open, you s...

October 8, 2018

Tonight or any autumn evening look for the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen lighting up the northeast sky. As night deepens Cassiopeia swings above Polaris, the North Star, and by dawn she is found in the northwest.

Cassiopeia has the distinctive s...

September 21, 2018

                      Photograph of the Moon, Venus and Jupiter by Sally J Smith © Copyright.

Today on the autumnal equinox we have a special sight in the night sky if the clouds clear - Venus at her most brilliant. Look for...

August 10, 2018

Image courtesy of Pixabay

A dark moon provides the perfect opportunity for spotting our best and brightest meteor shower of the year - the Perseids. Shooting stars have been darting across the heavens in small numbers for four weeks (I saw five of them in the space of f...

July 30, 2018

                                                                 Photograph © Copyright Jenney Disimon

This we...

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