How can we serve our plants better?

OK folks, now I get pretty excited when I come across a scene like this!
At Say it with Wood a good part of the year rotates around the shows we attend.

I took this picture at the Malvern Autumn Show last year. I can sum it up simply with the word ‘inspirational’. That’s what we hope to achieve when we present a show stand to you with a selection of our natural, sustainable, hand cleft fencing too.

We love to get out and about with our products. We know if you’re thinking of choosing Say it with Wood to renew your fencing, treat yourself to a garden bench or replace your old trellis, there’s nothing like seeing it in the flesh and feeling the dense smooth grain of the Sweet Chestnut on your fingertips.
Now, although our shows have been postponed, we hope to still provide lots of inspiration with the pictures on our gallery pages at We have pictures of all our products installed in different situations so you can see how they fit into your garden, gateway, or farm landscape.

At home during lockdown, and from a gardeners point of view, I am taking the opportunity to think about how I can raise my game. Maybe not to produce a spread like in the above picture; but to understand what’s going on in the garden better, and to produce more connected, more nourishing food.

Earlier in the spring, I spotted this puckered rosy red discolouration on the leaves of one of our red currant bushes.

Although the flowering potential clearly isn’t being affected, it made me wonder ‘what’s going on?’

You might spot this on your currants in spring and early summer. It’s caused by the red currant blister aphid, Cryptomyzus ribis. Across Britain and Northern Europe, currants are commonly home to at least 7 different species of aphid. These little chaps form colonies on the undersides of the leaves. They are pale yellow with long siphunculi. When the aphid is attacked these long tubular organs excrete a waxy fluid for protection. It’s literally like having your own glue gun attached to your body, and that’s a super power I wouldn’t say no to!

We have 3 red currants, and it’s only this one that’s affected. Now unlike the carefully planned growing schedules that are employed to produce that wonderful show produce, my garden is a bit more reactive.
I use far fewer inputs that are longer lasting, generally relying on grass clippings as a mulch, blood fish and bone as a fertiliser, home made compost and Biochar. Ooh and I love muck when I can get it!

Having picked these infested leaves off and disposed of them, this plant is telling me that I should pay attention and give it a bit more love. I will treat it to some home made compost and Biochar mixed in to support its overall health and vigour. Just like ourselves, if a plant is healthy and happy, it can withstand any stresses placed on it all the better.

Don’t forget we’ll still be going ahead with our Biochar Information Day when it’s safe to do so. Look out for updates on our social media or let us know you’re interested and we’ll let you know when we have a new date.

So until we get to see you at the shows again, take the time to understand, look for the signs, and see how you can help your plants to serve you better!


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