Green-fingered entrepreneur Graham Bell has had many roles in the business world and was well known for his senior position with Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.
Now he is running his Red Shed gardening business in the Scottish Borders, with courses and advice for those interested in trees, shrubs and forest environments
Now he is offering places on a course to create abundance through Forest Gardening. The courses are scheduled for March 15 and 16.
“Forest gardens”, he tells me, “are low input / high output systems, tailored to meeting the maximum productivity from minimum work, by careful thinking, planning, design and execution.”
The environmental benefits of woodland have shot to the fore in recent weeks with phenomenal levels of rainfall and flooding. Many have been urging greater forestation of uplands in flood-prone areas. “Trees naturally resist both drought and flood”, says Graham, “and help dry out the ground quicker after inundation. They enable a very wide range of crops (and ornamentals) to be grown, give good shelter against strong winds and shade if it gets overly sunny.
“They are also magnificent wildlife havens and without artificial chemicals are naturally healthy as birds, invertebrates and soil biota tend to be prolific and balance each other out.”
You can still make a last-minute booking for Graham’s Restorative Pruning Course at Coldstream on Saturday February 15 at Kelso Road, Coldstream
Berwickshire. Full details of this and the Forest Gardening courses next month are available on his splendid website at www.grahambell.org.
by Bill Jamieson, formerly executive editor of The Scotsman. His online webpage Scot-Buzz is available at http://www.scot-buzz.co.uk/