Spring and summer weather often leaves plants and gardeners wilting during punishing droughts and intense heatwaves. Raising plants in containers requires far more water than growing plants in the ground. If you’ve got a penchant for container gardening, I’d like to introduce you to self-watering containers: literal lifesavers for plants and gardeners!
I love growing herbs. I get such pleasure from growing plants with tantalising flavours to enhance our meals and drinks. Just a small pot of mint can enhance cocktails, herbal teas, savoury dishes, fruit salads, and more decadent desserts. With autumn‘s arrival, I’m mindful that I don’t want to waste the lovely fresh leaves that will soon wither when the weather changes and frosts arrive.
I’m feeling so grateful today. I’m grateful to the special people and plants that I share my life with. I relish sharing information about stunning houseplants that are easy to grow and will happily bloom through the autumn and winter months. This is when the nights are longer, the days are shorter, and we spend more time indoors – when flowering houseplants can brighten up our days and evenings!
I’m a peat-free gardener and a passionate advocate for peat-free gardening. I want to help you be a successful gardener, so every year I run independent Compost Trials and share the results on my website.
I’ve included organic and vegan, peat-free composts in this Compost Trial. All of the composts in this Compost Trial are 100% peat-free.
Last year, Roses UK and Dickson Roses kindly sent me a ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose; I was particularly excited to receive this plant, as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was the winner of the Rose of the Year Competition 2022. A year has passed since my plant arrived and I can now tell you just how wonderful this rose really is!
One of the things I look forward to most at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show is the opportunity to meet the new rose introductions face to face and discover their fragrances. I was sorry to miss visiting the Chelsea this year. David Austin Roses launched two brand-new roses at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022.
Runner beans are miraculous vegetables that will comfortably fulfil any gardener’s lofty ambitions to grow stunning plants that look attractive, flower freely, and produce an abundant harvest of delicious beans within a small space!
I am a self-confessed runner bean fan. For years, I’ve been running Runner Bean Trials searching for the best tasting and most productive runner bean varieties and the optimum growing methods to cultivate these vegetables.
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in springtime. Over the past few weeks, our weather has been so very summery; my Marsh Marigold flowers have simply sparkled in the sunshine! I’m having an amazing time by my wildlife pond. I’ve got some really exciting news to share with you about the wildlife I’ve seen by my pond; I’ve even got a homemade video for you – so you can share in the excitement, but first of all, let me tell you about the water in my pond and show you how my aquatic plants have developed since my last update…Water Levels
I took this picture not long after my last pond update.
The Peat Free April Campaign starts today!
This #PeatFreeApril we need your help to find the country’s #PeatFreeHeroes – and tell the #PeatVillains we’re on to them.
Any time in April you visit your local garden centre or supermarket, look out for their compost. Do they only sell peat-free compost? Then they’re a peat-free hero! Take a picture of their peat-free compost.
Hello, and welcome to my wildlife pond in winter! It feels funny saying ‘winter’, as the weather has been so mild this season that it already feels like spring. Many of my aquatic plants are now coming into growth. Last weekend, whilst I was observing all the new leafy growth on our aquatic plants and marvelling at the abundance of duckweed, I spotted a frog!
Happy new year! I want to help you create a positive and uplifting garden where you can relax, grow your favourite plants, and make real connections with nature.
Do you have a compost heap in your garden? How about in your college or office garden? Composting is such a wonderful thing to do; it’s great for the environment, good for wildlife, produces amazing compost, and saves money!
I’m such a fan of home composting; I want to encourage everyone to set up a compost bin!
Last year, the designers of Aerobin sent me one of their Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composters to try out. Over the past year, I’ve put the Aerobin 200 Litre Home Composter to the test. I decided to trial this product because it’s designed to be placed on a paved or concrete area, and this together with the product’s compact size makes it perfect for small patio gardens.
Just over four and a half years ago (back in February 2017), I decided to build an Orchidarium to house some of my miniature orchids and supply my plants with automatic lighting, misting, and air circulation. Inside my Orchidarium, the automated plant care is provided by a misting unit, a hygrometer, LED lights, and fans.
Hello, and welcome to my wildlife pond at the end of August. I find peace and solace in nature and I love spending time by our wildlife pond. Usually my visits are fleeting, lasting just a few minutes, but these short burst of connection with plants and wildlife revitalise and recharge me, instantly eliminating all the stresses of life.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for peat-free composts. I know from experience, that it’s not always easy to find a good quality peat-free growing media. I understand that gardeners who have used peat-based composts all their lives might be hesitant to switch to a peat-free compost; while gardeners who have purchased a poor performing peat-free compost could naturally be reluctant to try peat-free growing media again.
I absolutely adore roses, their flowers can be everything I want in a bloom; roses can be sumptuous, glamorous, and luxurious, yet also relaxing and comforting. I find the scents of my favourite roses feel uplifting and reviving. Every year, I look forward with great anticipation to meeting the winner of the Rose of the Year Competition.
I’ve designed and created so many terrariums, including a number of terrariums and orchidariums that I’ve written updates for (see my Orchidarium, my Rainforest Terrarium, my Tall Orchidarium, my Miniature Orchid Trial Terrarium, my White Orchid Trial Terrarium, and my Madagascar Terrarium). Each terrarium update I publish takes an inordinate amount of time and energy to put together; hence why I’ve not published a full update for this Orchidarium in an absolute age!
Summer has finally arrived! Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in summertime. It’s so lovely to be able to share my wildlife pond with you through these updates; I am looking forward to taking you on a tour of the aquatic and herbaceous plants growing in this area of my garden.
If you’re in need of some early summer cheer, I’ve got a stack of photographs I’ve taken of vibrant and flamboyant flowers that I hope will brighten up your day!
Last autumn, Dutch Grown sent me some of their bulbs to trial. I’m sharing my photographs I’ve taken of these flowers along with some info about each of the plants to help you, if you’re considering planting bulbs this autumn.
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in springtime. Spring is a fascinating time to observe a pond and watch wildlife, as the water is literally teaming with life; amphibians are mating, and new insects are emerging and appearing every day! Whenever I’m in my garden, I’m always drawn to our pond – on the look out for newts and insects, and eager to see how my plants are developing.