Many ornamental grasses hold onto their foliage overwinter; this provides a delightful structural softness, texture, and delicacy for our winter gardens. Grasses will be producing new growth soon; therefore, this is the ideal moment to pop on some gardening gloves and use your fingers to comb through deciduous grasses, removing all the old stems ready for the arrival of fresh new growth.
Category: Urban Outdoors
Over the past ten years, we’ve experienced an increasing number of droughts in spring and summertime. Applying a mulch now, while the ground is still moist from the autumn and winter rains will protect and enhance your soil, adding nutrients that will support soil microorganisims and feed your plants. Mulching will suppress weeds, and help the soil retain moisture. Early spring is the perfect time to apply an organic mulch of homemade garden compost, Strulch®, woodchip, well-rotted manure, or peat-free compost.
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.
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in winter. We’ve had a light sprinkling of snow here in Surrey just a few moments ago, which was very exciting!
Since my last update, my wildlife pond has changed considerably as the plants’ foliage has died back and retreated. What once was a lush, leafy sanctuary is still just as important a refuge for wildlife, but this area is now resting until springtime.
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!
Raspberries are one of our most delicious but expensive fruits. The good news is that raspberries are also incredibly productive, easy to grow, and they don’t take up much room. We can make huge savings by growing raspberries in our gardens and allotments.
I adore growing raspberries! For over 25 years, I’ve grown a vast selection of raspberry cultivars in various sized gardens and allotments; I’m excited to share my knowledge and help you grow an abundance of raspberries.
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in September! Since my last update, we’ve gone from one extreme to the other – from drought – to a stormy week of thunder, lightening, and heavy rain; followed by more rain over the last two weeks. My pond (and water butts and water tanks) are all full to the brim!
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.
Over 430,000 acres of the UK is segregated into gardens; precious sanctuaries where we indulge our horticultural desires and celebrate nature. We are our gardens’ curators, creating personal oases, but have we included the essential habitats that wildlife need to survive?
After the punishing drought and intense temperatures this summer, many trees are dropping their leaves early. Standard gardening advice recommends removing aquatic plants’ foliage in autumn, to prevent decaying leaves enriching the water.
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.
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.
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.
Sunflowers bring such positive energy and welcome cheer to our gardens! If you want to brighten up your garden with pollinator-friendly flowers in summertime, April is the ideal time to sow sunflower seeds. There’s no need for any special equipment; sunflowers are hardy annuals that can be sown outdoors now. Seeds can be started off in containers of peat-free compost and planted out after they have developed their first true leaves.
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.
To celebrate Compost Week, I’m sharing tips to help you make top-quality compost in your garden, allotment, or neighbourhood.Why Compost?
Making a compost heap or setting up a compost bin is such a positive thing to do. Even if you don’t really care about getting fabulous (free) compost delivered straight to your garden, or you’re not interested in improving your garden soil, if you compost your grass cuttings, prunings, and vegetable peelings, you’ll save yourself time and energy, and spare yourself the need to make trips to the tip to get rid of your garden or kitchen waste at weekends.
Spring is such an uplifting time in the garden. As the days lengthen and spring flowers come into bloom, the anticipation of the wealth of flowers we’ll admire in our countryside and gardens over the coming seasons provides me with an abundance of reasons to be thankful. If your garden is looking a little lacklustre at the moment, don’t worry – there are some delightful spring-flowering perennial plants available at nurseries and garden centres, which will brighten up our gardens this spring and in the years that follow.
For decades, we’ve heard hundreds of empty promises to protect and restore our peatlands, but the sad fact is that our peatlands are still in danger and these precious areas are still being damaged today. Humans have been relentlessly draining these rare habitats and ripping out the life and soul – the mosses, plants, life, and peat – from our peatlands for an unthinkable amount of time.