Archives

Pumpkins (and other vegetables) to sow in May

The weather in May can take us by surprise – we might be basking in the heat of the sun, or we are equally as likely to be jolted, shocked, and stopped in our tracks, as we turn to grab our coats to protect us during periods of rather bleak, chilly weather.  It’s the same for our plants – they won’t enjoy a check in their growth if inclement weather strikes, so take care to protect any tender plants in your care this month.

Beautiful, Easy to Grow Cut Flowers to Sow in April

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite cut flowers; these beautiful, easy to grow flowers, don’t require any cosseting.  You can sow these flowers from seed this month, directly where they are to flower, so there’s no messing about with potting seedlings on, and no need for a greenhouse or any special kit or equipment.

There are so many fabulous varieties of Nigella available.  

Protecting your Plants from Slugs and Snails

For many gardeners, the slug and snail population seemed to explode in 2016, with many fraught and distressed gardeners asking for my advice on the best way to protect their plants from slugs and snails.  I am strongly opposed to slug pellets.  I wouldn’t wish to kill any of the slugs or snails in my garden as I believe a healthy eco system is important.

Peat Free Compost and Winter Flowers

Peat Free Compost

Last summer, I ran a Peat Free Compost Trial to compare the different peat free composts available, and find out how well each of the composts performed growing dwarf French beans under the same conditions.  In my trial, Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Vegetables and Salads, and Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost were the clear winners producing healthy plants with a great harvest.

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

Life can be busy and stressful, it’s not always easy to make time to stop, relax, and appreciate the beauty of nature.  If you’re looking for some time out, a lovely and relaxing activity that you can take part in this month is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017 – spending a restful hour watching and counting birds.

Hedges often provide food, shelter, and a nest site for garden birds.

Christmas at Kew 2016

With the shorter daylight hours that winter brings, every moment outdoors feels like a gift. Spending your time outside in beautiful surroundings, with friends or family, can make the moment even more precious.

At the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, you can walk through avenues of beautiful, rare, and ancient trees, which will inspire and uplift you at any time of year.

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners 2016

I feel such an uplifting, happy sensation when I find the perfect gift.  I have been busy testing out products, searching for special gifts for gardeners.  Here are my recommendations:

Membership of a horticultural society would make a super present.  There are many local gardening societies who meet regularly across Surrey, where you can learn about gardening and make new friends.  

Book Review – Botanicum

Botanicum
Curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis
ISBN: 978-1-78370-394-4
Published by Big Picture Press/Bonnier Publishing

Botanicum is curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis, and Published by Big Picture Press/Bonnier Publishing.

Please note – I make no apology for the frequency, or the extent of my gushing over Katie Scott and Kathy Willis’s book – Botanicum – I love this book, I hope you will love it too.

Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’.

I received this beautiful holly as a gift from a group of very special friends this autumn.  This Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ specimen was purchased from Squire’s Garden Centre in Milford, Surrey, where it was described as an ‘Instant Impact’ plant.  This standard holly cost £99.99, the plant is guaranteed by Squire’s for three years from the date of purchase.  

Deep Rootrainers and the Rootrainers Racking Station

Sweet Peas can be grown as cordons, or for a less labour intensive option, they can be grown naturally as wigwam grown plants. These beautiful flowers are very easy to grow.

I love growing Sweet Peas!  Every year I look forward to sowing my Sweet Pea seeds and picking the beautifully scented, frilly flowers that my Sweet Pea plants produce.  I use Deep Rootrainers to sow my Sweet Pea seeds.