Hello. Welcome to my garden and an autumnal tour of my wildlife pond! My pond doesn’t appear as beautiful in autumn as it does in late spring and summertime. None of my aquatic plants are in flower today, so you could be forgiven for believing that as most of the plants are dying back and there aren’t any flowers around, that there’s not much life here now.
Earlier this year, Greenhouse Sensation sent me a Quadgrow Self Watering Planter to try. If you’ve not seen a Quadgrow before, it’s a plastic container growing system (made from recycled plastic) that uses capillary action to provide plants with automatic watering. This clever design alters the way we irrigate plants. Instead of watering plants in the traditional sense (watering plants from above with a watering can), with the Quadgrow we deliver the water and nutrients right where they’re needed – at the plants’ roots.
October offers us many opportunities in the garden. The soil is still warm, so it’s a great time for planting or moving plants that aren’t yet in their ideal position. It’s worth taking time out to consider how your garden works for you. Did you sustain any losses over the dry spring and summer? Has this opened up any new planting opportunities?
This year, I’ve been running more Trials with Tomatoes; I’ll share all the results from my Tomato Trials with you in due course, but today I wanted to show you my Quadgrow Self Watering Planter. Most of my tomato plants have now given up or been affected by Late Blight, but the tomatoes in my Quadgrow have (for the moment) escaped this disease.
Grasses form a fundamental part of many gardens. The seed heads of ornamental grasses take on a magical quality as they shine in September’s golden sunlight. September is a superb time to plant ornamental grasses, like: Deschampsia, Festuca, Heliotrichon, and Stipa.
Has your garden been hosting family sports tournaments this summer? If your grass is worn through in places, it’s the perfect time to fill in those bare patches.
I’ve been eagerly looking forward to Moth Night for quite sometime now. I was hoping for good weather last night and hoping to have caught one of the Red Underwing Moths, so I could show you one or more of this interesting group of moths. I wasn’t that lucky with the weather and I didn’t spot any Red Underwing Moths, but it’s lovely to be able share the results of my Moth Night Moth Count with you and show you the moths I caught in my moth trap this morning.
Moth Night is a fun event; it’s free to take part and open to everyone. Most moths are night flying insects; they’re out and about doing their thing, while we’re usually tucked up indoors. Consequently, many people miss out on seeing even a single species of moth, during the year. This is a great shame, as moths are incredibly beautiful and very interesting creatures.
I am so grateful for my little pond; this small area of water attracts many insects to our garden. As well as planting up my pond with aquatic plants that live in water, I’ve planted the narrow border around my pond with garden plants that will attract bees, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, and other insects. If you’re interested in growing plants for bees and butterflies, you won’t need a pond or a boggy area of ground to grow these garden plants – they grow in regular garden soil – my plants are growing in free draining, sandy soil; so I’ve chosen mostly drought tolerant plants.
Summer’s golden sunshine warms our gardens and gladdens our hearts, it’s sublime! Make time to sow seeds now to enjoy stunning flowers next spring and delicious vegetables over the coming months.
Cornflowers (also known by their botanical name, Centaurea cyanus) attract a wide range of bees and butterflies; these rosette shaped blooms make great cut flowers, too. If you’re not a fan of the traditional blue cornflower, take your pick from the white, pink, cerise, lilac, purple, and (almost) black flowered forms available.
Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 17th July 2020 until Sunday 9th August 2020. A butterfly Count lasts for 15 minutes, it’s a fun, relaxing and easy thing to do. You don’t need to know anything about butterflies to take part.Why count butterflies?
The information gathered from all the Butterfly Counts across the nation, will help Butterfly Conservation identify the species of butterflies and day flying moths that are becoming more scarce.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for peat-free composts. I know from my own 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 and gardeners who have purchased a poor performing peat-free compost could naturally be reluctant to try peat-free growing media again.
Would you like some free plants? If you’ve got a gloriously healthy evergreen shrub or a magnificent tree growing in your garden, then why not take semi-ripe cuttings to increase your stock and share the joy of these beautiful plants with your neighbours, friends, and family?Ivy (also known by its botanical name of Hedera)
Many plants can be propagated using semi-ripe cuttings, including ivy (Hedera).
I first grew Chinese Kale ‘Kai lan’ (also known as Gai lan or ‘Kailaan’) in about 2006; I was really impressed by this vegetable’s speedy growth and the bounteous harvest my plants produced. ‘Kai lan’ leaves, flower buds, and stems are all edible, but it’s the stems that provide the main harvest. Try it raw, stir-fried, steamed, or boiled; ‘Kai lan’ is a little like broccoli.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a much anticipated event in the horticultural calendar. It’s a week long celebration of plants that provides an opportunity to see plants face-to-face and discover nurseries’ new plant ranges.
I adore fragrant roses! Each year, I relish meeting the new rose introductions from David Austin Roses, at the Chelsea Flower Show.
The reason we created our wildlife pond was to support and encourage wildlife. I’d love to be able to tell you about every creature that has ever visited my pond, but I don’t manage to spend as much time here as I would like and I’m not the fastest mover, so I’ve only managed to capture a fraction of the wildlife that has visited this area of my garden.
I thought I’d share with you some photographs I’ve taken of my wildlife pond this spring and early summertime. I’m not sure if you’ve seen my pond before; this pond was created last year (here’s the first article I wrote about this pond). To guide you through the season, I’ve added my photographs to this article in date order.
Over the past year, I’ve watched in despair as algae has wrapped its ever extending arms around my pond; I feel like algae is threatening to suffocate my pond at any moment. The other ponds I’ve created in the past have never really suffered with algae to the same extent that my current pond has.
In times of stress, our gardens and allotments become our refuge and remind us of the true value of plants and outside spaces. For me, time in my garden is priceless; it lifts my spirits, leaving me feeling revitalised. One of my favourite things to do is to grow my own food.
You don’t need a large garden to grow your own vegetables.
Today the Royal Horticultural Society launched a competition inviting the public to vote to decide the winner of the prestigious accolade of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Decade. The nominated plants are all winners of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition. Here are the nominees……Anemone ‘Wild Swan’
Back in 2010, Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ ‘Macane001’ was the winner of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant of the Year Competition.
Growing tomatoes is so much fun! Tomato plants will grow happily in a sunny border or in large containers of peat-free compost.
There are two types of tomatoes – cordon and bush tomatoes. Cordon (also known as indeterminate) tomatoes can form tall plants, reaching 2m or more! Don’t worry – you can ‘stop’ your plants from growing any taller by simply pinching out the tip of your plant’s stem, when your plants have reached your desired height.