Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2019

Time seems to pass so quickly in the summertime.  I have written this post, simply to remind you, that you have just a few days left to take a Butterfly Count, for the Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2019.

Taking a Butterfly Count is one of my favourite summer activities.  Butterfly counts are free and they’re great fun to do, too! 

Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count 2019

Butterfly Conservation are a registered charity, who work to protect British butterflies and moths.  Over the next few weeks, Butterfly Conservation are hoping that members of the public will take 15 minutes out of their day, to take note of the butterfly and moth species they see around them.  The charity hope that Butterfly Count participants will send them the details of their observations, as Butterfly Conservation use this valuable data to help them gauge the numbers of UK butterflies. 

How to Control Red Spider Mites on Orchids and Indoor Plants

Spider mites are a serious pest of orchids, indeed they are a pest of a great many other plants too, but with the warm weather we’re experiencing in the UK, today I wanted to remind you about the importance of controlling spider mites on orchids and other indoor plants.

Spider mites thrive in hot, dry conditions. 

More ways to use less plastic in the garden

Over the past few years, we’ve all become more aware of the dangers of our over use of plastic and the damage that this material can do to us, our environment, and to creatures of all shapes and sizes who live in the rivers, oceans, and in the landscape around us.  For the most part, the horticultural sector has taken their time to address the horticultural industry’s use of plastic. 

RHS Back to Nature Garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

Last year, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge began a collaboration with Chartered Landscape Architects and Designers, Andrée Davies and Adam White, (from Davies White Ltd), to work on a design for the RHS Back to Nature Garden; a Feature Garden, that was especially designed, for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

Armed Forces Day 2019

Armed Forces Day is a special day, it was created to show appreciation and recognition for those serving in the Armed Forces, as well as Veterans, and Service Families.  Events of all kinds will be held up and down the country to celebrate Armed Forces Day 2019.  In this article, I’ve focused on the gardens with special offers for Armed Forces Day 2019.

Ideas for Celebrating Father’s Day 2019

This year, Father’s Day will be held on Sunday 16th June 2019.  I hope that this list of special garden events and activities held over the Father’s Day 2019 weekend will help you to enjoy a memorable, happy, and very special weekend with your family and friends. 

Gardens offering free entry to Fathers on Father’s Day 2019:

Here are the gardens and venues that are celebrating Father’s Day 2019 by offering discounts or free entry to fathers. 

Lovely gardening jobs to do from April to mid-May

Sowing seeds is a wonderfully cost-effective way to garden.  Many hardy annual plants can be grown from seed this month, providing us with a quick and easy way to fill our gardens with beautiful flowers, in a wide range of colours and forms.

Many annual plants provide a valuable source of nectar, pollen, and food for insects.  

April Gardening Opportunities

April is a magical time in the garden.  This month offers us so many wonderful opportunities.  There are so many seeds you can sow now, so whether you favour growing vegetables, herbs, fruit, or flowers, don’t miss this chance to grow the plants that hold a special place in your heart.

Viola tricolor

Viola tricolor, often known as ‘Heart’s Ease’ is a dainty, yet easy to grow plant, which produces edible and very pretty, purple, yellow, and white flowers that have an attractive painterly quality. 

Controlling sciarid flies around houseplants and inside terrariums, on plants grown inside our homes, conservatories, and glasshouses What are sciarid flies?

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. 

Bluebell Woods and Bluebell Gardens

Bluebell woods and spring gardens full of bluebells are such wonderfully uplifting places to visit.  I hope you can enjoy time in amongst the bluebells this season, so you can envelop yourself with the scent and beauty of these awe-inspiring flowers.  I hope that you’ll enjoy this truly magical time of year!

I am a huge fan of our native bluebells – also known by their latin name of Hyacinthoides non-scripta – with their dainty, nodding, scented blue flowers. 

Treat yourself to a new asparagus bed!

An asparagus bed is one of life’s luxuries; an area of ground dedicated solely to the production of one glorious vegetable!  It may seem an extravagance, but I can assure you that an asparagus bed is 100% worth the investment, as freshly harvested asparagus is a true delicacy.  Home-grown asparagus, cooked a short while after harvesting, is a vastly superior vegetable to shop-bought stuff, its sweet flavour is utterly delectable!

Mother’s Day 2019

Mothering Sunday, also known as Mother’s Day, will be held on Sunday 31st March 2019, in the UK.  If you’re looking for a special family day out, you might be interested in discovering more about the following gardens and attractions, which are offering free entry to Mothers, or other special offers on Mother’s Day 2019.  Some of these Mother’s Day offers differ, so I’ve listed the details of each event for Mother’s Day 2019 offer separately for every venue. 

Growing tomatoes

I just adore growing fruit and vegetables!  Any form of edible gardening is a soul enriching experience, which I would encourage you to try.

When to sow tomato seeds and plant tomato plants outside?

Last year, I ran a Tomato Trial, to discover delicious, productive, and reliable tomato varieties.  My tomato seeds were sown inside my Access Garden Products Glasshouse in the middle of March. 

The BiOrbAir Terrarium

Have you seen my BiOrbAir terrariums?  I love this specialised, automated terrarium, so much so that I often write about it!

A BiOrbAir makes a fabulous indoor feature.  The LED lights inside this terrarium enable you to grow plants in dark rooms or basements, where there’s no natural light.

These are some of my BiOrbAir Terrariums…

I’ve grown a wide range of plants inside my BiOrbAir terrariums. 

Tomato Trial

I love growing fruit, vegetables, and herbs.  We’ve all got our favourite heritage tomatoes, but have you tried any new tomato varieties?  Last year, I grew lots of new tomato varieties, as part of my quest to discover the most delicious and productive tomato cultivars available to gardeners!

The objectives of this Tomato Trial were to identify delicious, productive, disease resistant tomato varieties, and to discover whether any of the trialled tomato cultivars perform differently when planted in the ground or grown in a container. 

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019

If you’re in need of some time out, a delightful and quite simply enchanting activity that you can take part in this weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2019 – spending a restful, restorative hour watching and counting birds.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is a marvellous activity to share.  You could snuggle up by the fire and count the birds that you see from your window, or you could wrap up warmly to count birds in the park, at your allotment, or why not join a birdwatch at your school or college, or during your lunch break at your place of work.  

2019 Daffodil Gardens and Events

Daffodils are such cheerful flowers, heralding the start of springtime, they are a joy to behold.  As daffodils are such a popular flower, they’ve been bred and selected over a great many years, which has resulted in the creation of many different varieties of daffodils.  Consequently, you can find daffodils flowering from as early as December, until late May, and beyond, in cooler areas of the country. 

I relish the opportunities that each season offers us.  January provides the chance to pause and rest, take stock of our plants and introduce new plants to delight us over the years ahead!

This is the perfect time to plant trees, hedging plants, roses, and soft fruit: plants that are lifted during the dormant season and sold bare root; the plants’ roots are coated in wax or wrapped, to prevent desiccation. 

Christmas Gifts for Gardeners

In this column I share my favourite gift ideas with you, these are the best products that I have personally tried and tested this year, as part of my quest to help you find quality presents for your loved ones this Christmas!

Vegepod

Vegepod is an award-winning container gardening system that is really quite marvellous!  This raised bed system has universal appeal, you don’t need access to the soil, so if you’re gardening on concrete but ache to grow vegetables, this is for you.