One of the many joys of growing our own food is that this wonderful process allows us a marvellous opportunity to eat freshly harvested fruit, vegetables, and herbs, which usually have a dramatically improved flavour and freshness compared to the equivalent alternatives we can purchase in our local supermarket. Usually, when we imagine growing our own produce, we think of a process that takes anywhere from between a number of months to a number of years to produce vegetables, fruit, or herbs.
Do you have enough houseplants? I don’t know about you, but I’m always willing to make room for more indoor plants. If you’re considering purchasing a new houseplant and you’re keen to make a lasting purchase, hoping for the long-term, leafy love affair we all dream of, then I have some fabulous ideas for you…
Ceropegia linearis subsp. woodii is also known as String of Hearts or Hearts Entangled.
Pieter and Ben, from Dutch Grown, have very kindly sent me a range of their bulbs to try out.
When these bulbs arrived, all of my containers were already allocated to specific trials, so I am incredibly grateful to my wonderful friends, Terry and Nicky, who were absolute superstars and saved the day by lending me a number of their pots.
October offers us many opportunities in the garden. The soil is still warm, so it’s a great time for planting or moving plants that aren’t yet in their ideal position. It’s worth taking time out to consider how your garden works for you. Did you sustain any losses over the dry spring and summer? Has this opened up any new planting opportunities?
November is an exciting month, full of opportunities in the garden. Take time out to enjoy the fleetingly beautiful glory of the moment, as leaves of burnished gold and crimson light up the landscape. At this time of year, it’s important to plan ahead and to plant trees and bee friendly flowers, for future generations to enjoy.
Autumn is such a magical season. Each year, I’m utterly enchanted by autumn; I watch in delight, as the leaves on trees and shrubs turn from green to gold, burnished amber, and a stunning array of fiery autumnal hues. Autumn leaves twirl and dance, as they make their descent, gliding and tumbling through the air, whispering softly as they flutter, before gently landing on the ground below.
Sciarid flies are teeny, tiny flies, from the family Sciaridae, they’re also known as fungus gnats, or by their genera’s scientific names of Bradysia or Lycoriella. Although sciarid flies live outdoors, as the flies are so minute in size, you’re unlikely to notice these insignificant little flies outside.
I love terrariums and bottle gardens! I so enjoy designing tiny plant worlds and creating miniature gardens. This is the ideal time to build a terrarium or bottle garden, these Lilliputian microcosms are fun to make! Terrariums will enhance your home and provide the perfect gardening therapy through the autumn and winter months.
The photograph above shows some of the ingredients that I use to formulate my own compost mixes for terrariums and bottle gardens.
Now that the Christmas decorations have been taken down, if you find yourself wondering how to add a renewed freshness to your home, if you dream of an energising, yet relaxing sanctuary, then you might wish to consider growing some new houseplants and bringing some living greenery to your home.
It’s best to work with the conditions that your home can provide.
As autumn turns to winter, days shorten and the prospect of warming ourselves by the fire may be more enticing than being outdoors, take time to warm your heart with thoughts of elegantly perfumed roses. This is the perfect opportunity to order roses as bare root plants to plant during the winter time, while the plants are dormant, to deliver charming, beautiful rose blooms and delectable fragrance to your garden or allotment next summer.
For many gardeners, the slug and snail population seemed to explode last year, 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.
I love hedgehogs! Hedgehogs are so endearing and entertaining. Every time I have encountered a hedgehog has been such a special and uplifting moment; each hedgehog I have seen shuffling along or snuffling about has touched my heart, lifted my spirits and brightened my day.
Sadly, nowadays there are many threats to hedgehogs – hedgehogs are in danger as they try to cross our busy roads, but even away from the roads, hedgehogs face many dangers in our own gardens, because of these dangers, hedgehogs are becoming more scarce.
Fungi are part of almost all of our terrestrial ecosystems, for much of the year we aren’t aware of their presence, they exist as mycelium, a mass of tiny thread like filaments, hyphae, that live entwined in the soil and undergrowth. We see their fruiting bodies – mushrooms or toadstools – for a short time while they are in season.
I love this time of year! I look forward to seeing the beautiful, diamond like sparkle of the first frosts glistening in the morning sunlight. There are lots of lovely things you can do now, both indoors and out, to ensure that your garden is in tip-top condition, with lots of wonderful new plants that you can look forward to growing next year!
I love autumn, the colourful falling leaves, shiny berries, and burnished tones add to the romance and beauty of the garden. Make the most of the autumn planting opportunities available now, order seed catalogues and create a beautiful garden to enjoy all year round. There’s still lots to do in the garden, or at your allotment now!
Mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial fungi species that occur naturally in the soil.