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Category: Clark in the Park

Survival of the fattest

"It's winter. At least, it is winter in the northern hemisphere. And I trust that those of you for whom this has no current relevance, will at least bear with me, and at best, translate this offering to your own time and your own place." It's a wee bit fresh in the Northern Hemisphere right now, and the birds are starting to feel the pinch. Mike gives some timely advice on how to help them survive the winter.

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A pine to piddle against

"In my new garden, which is in fact a piece of wasteland with a fence round it, I have no trees. I possess only a few stunted and windswept hawthorn and elder. Barely half a mile from the Pentland Firth, whence the north wind blows uninterrupted straight from the Arctic Circle, this is not exactly a horticultural paradise." Mike tells us about one of Scotland's most distinctive trees - the Scots Pine - and some of its cousins.

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Gin, whisky and juniper

"Juniper berries have long been the traditional base for flavouring gin, as you are no doubt already aware. But the connection with whisky... Patience. Let me talk about the plants first." As the Northern Hemisphere summer draws to a close, Mike mulls over the juniper - a plant with strong associations with log fires and the dram...

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How to grow chips – Part Two

"Potatoes fall into three categories as regards cropping. Early, Second Early, and Maincrop. If you want to be self sufficient, you probably want to grow all three. But for most purposes, Second Earlies can be ignored. And in a small garden, Maincrop potatoes occupy a disproportionate amount of space for a very long season. So most gardeners settle for a few Early ones. Does this begin to sound easier?" Mike Clark on which spuds to grow, when, and how!

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How to grow chips – Part One

"If I stopped a few random people in the street, and asked if they could name any varieties of potatoes, I bet I'd get a fair proportion of "Roast, Mash, Chips or (maybe) Duchesse". I doubt if I'd get many Edzell Blues or Pentland Javelins." Mike considers the humble spud - and tells you how you, too, can have fresh new potatoes at Christmas.

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