Since I first told you about my Vegepod much has changed. Back in 2018, my Vegepod was set up in an area of my garden that enjoyed partial shade, but after trialling the Vegepod in this fairly beneficial position (vegetables thrive when they’re grown in sunny and partially shaded sites), I decided to move my Vegepod to a more shaded area of my garden, to see what I could grow successfully inside my Vegepod with more challenging growing conditions.
Daffodils are such cheerful flowers. Full of hope and heralding the start of springtime; daffodils are a joy to behold. Being such a popular flower, daffodils have been bred, selected, and re-selected, over a great many years, which has resulted in the creation of a diverse range of daffodil flowers. We can now purchase daffodils that grow to a range of sizes and heights, choosing from bulbs that produce dramatically different coloured flowers and various sizes of daffodil blooms.
Dalefoot Composts have produced the top performing peat free composts in all of the Compost Trials that I’ve run over the past seven years. Rather than just continually highlighting every year that Dalefoot Composts are the best peat free composts to use, I designed this Compost Trial to demonstrate methods you could use to get the best results from one of their products, namely Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost.
Peatlands are extraordinary environments, which now cover just 2-3% of our planet’s surface. These scarce ecosystems are very fragile; they depend on sufficient moisture being available, together with a slightly cooler temperature range, to enable sphagnum moss (which slowly forms peat) to grow, flourish, and reproduce. If optimum conditions occur, a new layer of peat, (measuring up to one millimetre thick) can be created over the course of a year; consequently, this is not a resource that can be replaced in a hurry.
Every year I run Compost Trials to discover the best quality peat-free composts on the market. Dalefoot Composts have produced the top performing composts in all of my Trials over the past seven years.
One of my favourite products is Dalefoot’s Double Strength Wool Compost, a nutrient rich, organic compost, comprised of natural materials, including bracken and Herdwick sheep’s wool.
If you’re looking for ways to make a positive difference to the environment, why not build a pond? Ponds support a vast range of wildlife, from the bottom to the top of the food chain. Insects, invertebrates, amphibians, and birds, all need ponds. These ecologically important habitats give us the chance to see dazzling dragonflies and get closer to nature. Ponds grant us exciting opportunities to grow waterlilies and aquatic plants!
Happy new year! Happy new plants! Here are the dates and details of plant sales, plant festivals, plant swaps, seed swaps, and other super opportunities to buy wonderful, locally grown plants at fantastic prices; as well as details of events where you can swap plants or seeds for free! Great quality, rare, hard to find, special, and unusual plants can be found at the specialist plant fairs and other events that I have listed for you below, in this, my 2020 Calendar of UK Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales, and Swaps!
East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing
Author: Meera Sodha
Publisher: Fig Tree Books
I discovered Meera Sodha‘s recipe for Vegan Cauliflower Korma in Meera’s ‘The New Vegan’ column, in The Guardian, back in October 2018. I’ve been a huge fan of Meera Sodha’s recipes, right from the first moment I tasted this delicious roasted cauliflower curry.
Christmas time is such a special time of year. It’s a time for meeting up, celebrating, and showing our thanks and appreciation to those around us.Make the promise of a day out together, to visit a snowdrop or daffodil garden
Love and friendship are priceless gifts. Why not gift the promise of a day out together in a magnificent snowdrop garden, in January or February?
Welcome to my 2020 Snowdrop Gardens, Talks, Events, and Open Days Calendar! Here are the dates, and all the details of the openings of the most beautiful and magnificent snowdrop gardens across the UK, Ireland, America, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. These gardens are all opening to allow visitors the chance to experience the joy of visiting their snowdrop collections.
Welcome to the fourteenth and final instalment of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial – growing epiphytic orchids, from Madagascar, inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.
Since my last update, I’ve made the decision to empty my Madagascar BiOrbAir terrarium and re-plant this terrarium. I found that the Madagascan orchids that I chose to grow together, inside this enclosure, required too strongly opposing growing conditions to make it possible to easily grow these orchids successfully in such close proximity to one another.
I’ve always had a great interest in ponds. To me, the underwater world is fascinating; I’ve been interested in aquatic plants since I was a young child. I can still remember the feeling, when my heart leapt for joy, as I discovered a clump of Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) for the first time, whilst I was out for a walk with my Grandparents.
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.
Twine is an essential product for gardeners. This small, but vital product helps us to support, tie in, and train our plants. Garden twine assists us as we hang up bunches of herbs, garlic, and onions, for storing and drying. Twine enables us to mark out rows, and carry out all manner of garden tasks. Whether you enjoy growing vegetables, fruit, herbs, or cut flowers, if you’re fond of tending herbaceous borders, or you enjoy taking part in any other form of gardening activity; twine is a universally useful product!
Four or five years ago, two of my favourite people in the whole world gave me this lovely Thanksgiving Cactus. I love this plant because I associate it with two people that I love very much but also because this cactus is a fun, easy going, and reliable houseplant that flourishes inside my home, in less than bright conditions.
Plant Conservation: Why it Matters and How it Works
Author: Timothy Walker
Publisher: Timber Press
I felt that it would be both very timely and apt to write a review of Timothy Walker’s book, Plant Conservation: Why it Matters and How it Works, as this book presents a range of activities that we as individuals can do, to help to conserve the plants on our beautiful planet.
Home grown garlic is one of life’s joys. The best garlic is planted in autumn. So, if you’re thinking of growing your own garlic, don’t delay, this is the time to plant it!Garlic Growing Conditions
Over the years I’ve grown a lot of garlic. The best garlic I’ve grown was planted in a free draining, sandy soil, in early autumn.
Garden designer Jackie Currie, runs Euphorbia Design with her business partner, Lorraine Cooke. Together they design and revitalise gardens in the Surrey area. Jackie enjoys growing many plants, but her real passion is for Alliums. She’s utterly devoted to this genus of plants, so much so, that Jackie’s garden and allotments are packed full and beautifully planted with thousands of Alliums.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to create an Orchidarium with an automated misting unit, LED lights, and fans, to house some of my miniature orchids and provide them with automatic care. This wasn’t about creating a beautiful enclosure; I built this Orchidarium to house as many orchids from my collection as possible and to automatically administer the plants’ lighting and watering, and control their growing conditions.
In February 2017, which (as I write to you in September 2019) was over two and a half years ago, I decided to build an Orchidarium to house some of my miniature orchids, with equipment that supplied the plants with automatic lighting, misting, and air circulation. Inside my Orchidarium, this automated plant care is provided by a misting unit, a hygrometer, LED lights, and fans.