The unexpected arrival just after lunch of the Dobies 2013 catalogue has taken me unawares and out-performed my scheduled topic for this week. Indeed, as I removed it from the postal wrapper, I realised just how clever the package is. For it is so much more than a catalogue – it is a Wallet, into which slot TWO main ‘annual’ brochures incorporating seeds, plants and equipment for 2013: one focusing on fruit and vegetables, and the second on flowers. Then additionally, there are three special leaflets covering ‘bedding, basket and container plants’, special offers, and ‘easy steps to grow ‘potatoes, onions, garlic and shallots’. The latter is packed with recipes produced especially for Dobies by Michelin-starred chef, Simon Hulstone.
The aim of the Wallet is that it is – and will be – the perfect receptacle for these and future mini-catalogues and leaflets. And how appropriate is the front cover image, for it perfectly encapsulates the importance of bio-diversity, where the garden merges into the landscape, and there are wildlife corridors between the two. OK, so we don’t all live in glorious Devon, or even with rural surroundings, but it is perfectly possible to provide suitable wildlife havens within urban gardens – even in the midst of bustling cities (a topic we will return to at a later date.
|From my sketchbook (2001)|
|The shy Jay (copyright|
Ben Andrew, RSPB)
|A perfect garden habitat for birds (copyright Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)|
|Spot the nuthatch on the middle feeder (copyright Ray Quinton)|