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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June 17, 2019

'There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.'

                                              Mirabel Osler...

April 23, 2019

That people around the world find flowers beautiful is unquestionable, but we understand surprisingly little about why this is so. Scientists remain puzzled by phytophilia - the human love of flowers. 

The habitat selection theory prop...

April 12, 2019

'I think it is this that draws me to the pond on a night in April, bearing witness. Tadpoles and spores, mosses and peepers - we are all connected by our common understanding of the calls filling the night at the start of spring. It is the wordless voice of longing tha...

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...

January 16, 2019

'There is a privacy about it which no other season gives you... In spring, summer and fall people sort of have an open season on each other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches when you can savor belonging to yourself.'

Ruth Stout 

Ph...

December 21, 2018

 Photograph kind courtesy of Alan Buckingham © All rights reserved.

'I love the crackle of winter. The snap of dry twigs underfoot, boots crunching on frozen grass, a fire spitting in the hearth, ice thawing on a pond. The innate crispness of the season appeals to me, l...

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