Every year I wait in anticipation to discover the newest winner of The Rose of the Year Competition. I adore growing roses and I particularly enjoy trialling plants and finding new, naturally healthy roses I can recommend. In February 2023, Roses UK sent me a new bare root rose to trial – the winner of the Rose of the Year 2023 Competition – Rosa ‘Peach Melba®’ (KORmelpea).
I never purchase supermarket watermelons; I dislike their lack of flavour and irritating hard seeds. However, after years of growing melons for Melon Trials, I hope I always spend spring and summertime growing watermelons! The best watermelon I’ve grown so far is ‘Little Darling’. I adore this watermelon’s sensationally sweet flavour and refreshingly crisp texture. ‘Little Darling’ produces hardly any seeds, the few seeds that do materialise are soft and not noticeable.
Whether you garden in sunshine or shade, there are plants that will be perfectly suited to growing in your garden – it’s just a case of finding them! In 2019, my Vegepod was moved from a sunny spot, to a new enclosed, deeply shaded area of my garden. I am not exaggerating when I say that in its new position my Vegepod truly was shaded – my Vegepod was sandwiched in a tight space, wedged between a tall conifer hedge, a two storey high wall, a tall fence, and an 8ft tall pergola that was smothered with climbing plants – the plants growing in my Vegepod did not receive any direct sunshine whatsoever.
This year, Mother’s Day, will be held on Sunday 19th March 2023 (in the UK). If you’re looking for a special family day out, the following gardens and attractions are all offering special offers to celebrate Mother’s Day 2023. The offers differ, so I’ve listed the details of each event for Mother’s Day 2023 offer separately for every venue.
This year, Mothers Day is on Sunday 19th March 2023. The best things in life are free – spending time together is a priceless gift that means more than anything. If you’re looking for gift ideas for Mother’s Day 2023, I have some fantastic ideas!Make the Promise of a Day Out Together and Visit a Beautiful Garden
Love and friendship are priceless gifts.
In case you missed it, last week I posted my latest Compost Trial Report. The top-performing composts in this trial were Heart of Eden All Purpose Natural Compost, Harmony Gardens Multipurpose Compost, and Bathgate Horticulture Peat-free Multi-Purpose Compost; these are all peat-free growing medias. I’d urge everyone to use peat-free compost. Peatlands are unique wetland nature reserves and habitats for rare plants and wildlife.
Going peat-free is a positive action that each of us can take to protect our peatlands, safeguard nature, and protect our planet. When you are buying plants, before you make a purchase ask if the plants were raised in peat-free compost. When buying compost, check the packaging to see whether the growing media contains any peat – look to buy growing media and composts that are 100% peat-free.
Chilli pepper and sweet pepper plants grow slowly and can take longer than we expect to reach maturity and produce peppers. January is my favourite time to sow chilli and sweet pepper seeds, as it gives the plants a longer growing season with extra time for fruit to develop and ripen, compared to the standard spring-sown plants.
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.
June blesses us with the truly wonderful convenience of being able to sow seeds outside without any risk of frost culling seedlings or dashing our hopes. Make the most of this wonderful moment: summer can feel endless, but speed is of the essence if you are to provide your courgettes, pumpkins, French beans, and runner bean plants with sufficient time to grow, mature, and produce a decent harvest.
I adore orchids and houseplants. I get so much enjoyment from being surrounded by foliage and flowers and I simply love growing orchids and houseplants. Since Brexit, the range of orchid nurseries open to UK customers has dramatically reduced. Thankfully, we still have a number of UK nurseries who are growing orchids in Britain. Love Orchids are a small family-run, British company, based in Southern England.
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.
When we think of summertime we often think of roses. I adore scented roses! I love growing roses and visiting rose gardens. Here are some lovely gardens where you can celebrate and immerse yourself in the rose’s beauty and fragrance.
How to use this calendar:
The events are grouped by geographical area, use the filter hierarchy below to select events near you – e.g.,
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.
Clematis are divided into three groups. We assign each clematis to a group based upon the time of year the plant flowers, and when the growth that holds their flowers develops. By evaluating our clematis and assigning our plants to a specific group, we can establish the optimum time to prune our clematis.