This month I am celebrating some of our succulent, soft fruit superstars: plums, damsons, and greengages! This closely related group of fruits require less pruning than apples and pears and offer a contrasting range of flavours: from deliciously sharp and tart damsons, sweet-tasting plums, and syrupy, honey-flavoured gages. Greengages, damsons, and plums all have different flavours, but tastes also vary from one named variety to another.
Peatlands are a unique type of wetland. These ancient, wet, and boggy areas of our countryside bestow many blessings and privileges on us, yet peatlands are the unsung heroes of our landscape. So many of us are unaware of the priceless ways that peatlands enrich our lives and protect us.Peatlands benefit us by:
• Peatlands filter water to help provide us with good quality, clean drinking water.
Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count runs from Friday the 15th July 2022 until Sunday 7th August 2022. I’d really like to encourage you to join in and take your own Butterfly Count – they’re great fun! A Butterfly Count only lasts for 15 minutes – this activity won’t take up much of your time – you could take a Butterfly Count in your lunch break.
When midsummer passes us by, rhubarb production naturally slows down. Unless you’re growing a late summer and autumn cropping rhubarb (like ‘Livingstone’), stop picking rhubarb now to allow your plants to build up their strength for next year’s harvests. Rhubarb thrives in wet summers. After heavy rain (or a thorough watering), spread a mulch of well-rotted manure or homemade garden compost over the soil around your plants.
Last year, Roses UK and Dickson Roses kindly sent me a ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ rose; I was particularly excited to receive this plant, as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ was the winner of the Rose of the Year Competition 2022. A year has passed since my plant arrived and I can now tell you just how wonderful this rose really is!
One of the things I look forward to most at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show is the opportunity to meet the new rose introductions face to face and discover their fragrances. I was sorry to miss visiting the Chelsea this year. David Austin Roses launched two brand-new roses at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022.
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.
I adore orchids and houseplants. I get so much enjoyment from being surrounded by foliage and flowers and I simply love growing orchids and houseplants. Since Brexit, the range of orchid nurseries open to UK customers has dramatically reduced. Thankfully, we still have a number of UK nurseries who are growing orchids in Britain. Love Orchids are a small family-run, British company, based in Southern England.
Wow! I am thankful for the weather being good overnight for Moth Night 2022 and I’m immensely relieved for the soft refreshing rain that we enjoyed for much of the morning. I took my Moth Night Moth Count last night. My favourite moth that I found this morning was the Privet Hawk Moth.The Results of My Moth Night 2022 Moth Count
I’ve taken my Moth Night 2022 Moth Count in my garden.
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.
When we think of summertime we often think of roses. I adore scented roses! I love growing roses and visiting rose gardens. Here are some lovely gardens where you can celebrate and immerse yourself in the rose’s beauty and fragrance.
How to use this calendar:
The events are grouped by geographical area, use the filter hierarchy below to select events near you – e.g.,
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond in springtime. Over the past few weeks, our weather has been so very summery; my Marsh Marigold flowers have simply sparkled in the sunshine! I’m having an amazing time by my wildlife pond. I’ve got some really exciting news to share with you about the wildlife I’ve seen by my pond; I’ve even got a homemade video for you – so you can share in the excitement, but first of all, let me tell you about the water in my pond and show you how my aquatic plants have developed since my last update…Water Levels
I took this picture not long after my last pond update.
Welcome to my calendar of orchid plant sales, orchid auctions, orchid shows, orchid talks, orchid garden openings, and orchid events!How to Use this Calendar
NB: This calendar is dynamic and will update as I add new events. Please don’t waste paper or resources printing this calendar and remember to check back for new events as I add them!
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.
Bluebell woods are such relaxing and uplifting places to visit. I hope you can enjoy time walking in amongst the bluebells this spring, so you can envelop yourself with the scent and beauty of these awe-inspiring flowers. This is truly magical time of year!
I am a huge fan of our native British bluebells, which are also known by their latin name of Hyacinthoides non-scripta.
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.