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. 

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. 

Orchids at Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew hold a special place in my heart.  These accessible gardens have so much to offer visitors, whatever the season or time of year.

I thought you might like to see some of the orchids on display at Kew’s 2019 Orchid Festival.  If you’d like to visit this festival, make your arrangements now, as you don’t have long – Kew’s Colombian themed Orchid Festival closes on Sunday 10th March 2019.

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. 

Daffodil Shows and Competitions 2019

There are so many lovely daffodil shows and competition held by horticultural societies, plant societies, and gardening clubs in springtime.  I want to help you to find your local show, so I’ve compiled this calendar of daffodil shows and competitions.

To head to my 2020 Daffodil Shows and Competitions Calendar, please click here.

NB. To quickly find all of the events held on a particular date, click on the red text at this top of the page, to see all the events held on a particular month. 

Disabled Access Day 2019

I believe in equality.  I am a huge supporter of Disabled Access Day.  I believe in the importance of ensuring good quality and safe disabled access to gardens, parks, and outdoor and indoor attractions, and in creating safe and welcoming environments that are open to all visitors, whatever their disability or restriction.  Disabled Access Day 2019 allows disabled visitors the chance to experience a garden, attraction, or another place that’s open to the public, without charge.  

Kew Gardens, Celebrating the Colour of Colombia!

This weekend the annual Orchid Festival opened at Kew Gardens.  This is the 24th Orchid Festival to be held inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory, at Kew.  Each year the Orchid Festival has a different theme, this year, Kew’s Orchid Festival celebrates the colour and vibrancy of Colombia!  Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. 

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. 

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. 

To head straight to my 2020 Calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales and Swaps, please click here.

2019 Calendar of Specialist Plant Fairs, Festivals, Sales, and Swaps

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!  

Snowdrop Events Calendar 2019

To visit my 2020 Snowdrop Events Calendar, please click here.

Welcome to my 2019 Snowdrop Gardens, Talks, Events, and Open Days Calendar!  Here are the dates, and all the details of the openings of some of the most beautiful and magnificent snowdrop gardens across the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, and Germany; these gardens are all opening especially, to allow visitors to experience the joy of seeing their snowdrop collections.  

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. 

Heritage Open Days 2018

I have some wonderful news to share with you, the Heritage Open Days have been extended for 2018!  This event will now create eight, very special days during September 2018, where you can experience local history, culture, and architecture.  The Heritage Open Days provide a rather wonderful opportunity to both open, and visit interesting, historic, beautiful and important places, which are normally closed to the public; as well as giving you an opportunity to enjoy free entry to some lovely places that usually charge an admission fee.

The Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count runs from the 20th July 2018, until the 12th August 2018.  During this time, Butterfly Conservation – a registered charity who work to protect British butterflies and moths, are asking members of the public to take 15 minutes out of their day, to take note of the butterfly and moth species they see around them.

The Temperate House is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse!  This substantial glasshouse is sited at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, which itself is a National Treasure and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Temperate House is a Grade I Listed Building.  When this glasshouse’s refurbishment programme commenced work in 2013, the Temperate House was in a dilapidated condition, at this time the Temperate House was on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.

I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in August 2013, just before the planned Temperate House refurbishment programme began and this Victorian glasshouse, with its shabby chic but regal splendour was closed to the public.  I watched nervously as Kew staff wheeled containers and decorative, heavy looking display items out of the glasshouse.  Back in 2013, the planned reopening date seemed so far into the future, 2018 sounded somewhat space age then, but now, here I am delivered safely to this date, with the good fortune to be here at Kew to see the Temperate House on the day of its reopening! 

This year, Father’s Day will be held on Sunday 17th June 2018.  I hope that this list of special garden events and activities held over the Father’s Day 2018 weekend will help you to enjoy a memorable, happy, and very special weekend with your family and friends.  Here are the gardens and venues that are celebrating Father’s Day 2018 by offering discounts or free entry to fathers. 

Super gardens to visit in Surrey this spring!

April is such a magical time of year!  It’s quite simply awe inspiring to see the landscape being painted by mother nature in every beautiful shade of green, as more leaves unfurl and the view becomes ever greener each day.  I love to be outside, surrounded by the birds singing and bees buzzing. 

Remembering loved ones

When you’ve lost someone you love, it’s natural to want to arrange a fitting memorial and to plan a meaningful tribute in their memory.  Memorials of any kind are such a personal choice, but I want to help you by sharing some information and ideas of ways that you could leave a lasting legacy, one that will beautifully celebrate the life of someone close to your heart, whilst being kind to the environment.