I am sure we all love to wander around proper gardens when given the chance. Even if we only have a postage stamp sized plot of our own, it’s really good to see how the professionals do it and get ideas for scaling down. There are some really fab gardens in my neck of the woods – being middle England, we have no extreme conditions. At one end of the area are chalky chiltern hills and the other is mostly chunky clay or arable. We don’t have to contend with salty windswept coastal or dry craggy hillsides. The clay can be seriously hard work at first, especially if it hasn’t been turned over and cultivated for a long time, or at all. But once it has been dug over, usually in autumn or start of winter, and left to the elements, the more frozen the better funnily enough, the clumps gradually break down and become workable. There is a compound for breaking up heavy clay, it’s sprinkled over the clumps in winter and left on to work magic. . . . And clay retains its nutrients whereas all other soil types are very low.