News from www.compostlover.com

Just some news on the vine – Elspeth Thompson chose my book The Organic Garden as one of her books of the year in the Telegraph on Sunday. An amazing thrill for me, especially with so many great gardening books published ever year. Garden Answers magazine also chose it as one of their Books of the Year. The Little Book of Compost got good mentions in The Observer, Garden News and Organic Gardening Magazine. I’m going to be signing books at Much Ado Bookshop in Alfriston in Sussex this coming sunday so come along if you’re in the area. Its not often I venture out of my valley to see what’s happening in the rest of the world so I always feel like Bilbo Baggins when I do. Last week I went to Edinburgh and Yorkshire. Today I’m heading down to the South East. My friends and family seem to be usefully clustered.On my way to Edinburgh I had a really amazing conversation. Sometimes train journeys can drag and sometimes you just happen to connect with someone and the hours just fly by in great conversation. Stupidly I never asked your name so I can’t say a personal thank you for the great couple of hours I had but I’m thinking about your two gardening problems and will post my answer up here some time. I hope the advent house went down well (for those of you who don’t know each day the child puts their hand in through the chimney to search for a gift).I’ve been thinking a lot since then of making my own christmas presents. It seems a much nicer and more sustainable thing to do. Anyone got any ideas feel free to post them here and pass them on.A few years back I saved the adverts from the colour supplements and used them as wrapping paper. They always made more personal, interesting and vibrant surrounds for the presents, so long as you ignored the things they were advertising. I tried to pick out nice things and left the car ads on the cutting room floor. I’m not going to say what I’m going to do this year, in case anyone I know is watching – but you can.While I remember – although you probably don’t need reminding of this – save all your wrapping paper, christmas crackers and other compostable stuff and get it in your compost bin. So long as you mix it with twice as much green stuff – vegetable waste, grass clippings, annual weeds, dead stems and flowers – it will make great compost. Crunch it up into small balls and toss in randomly with the green stuff. Of course if you’ve really got too much, recycle it or turn it into logs for burning on the fire. CAT sells log makers – http://www.cat.org.uk/shopping – all my books and lots of other great Christmas presents.I’m hoping to go to Kew gardens whilst in London – for the winter fun. Anyone got any other great gardening things to do over the christmas season please post them up.Next week I hope to have some exciting news about what’s going to be happening next in my life but I’m just going to hold that back for one more week.Best wishesAllan  

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