In my last pond update, I showed you the shape of our wildlife pond after it was dug out and explained my thinking behind the design for the contours of my new wildlife pond. With the pond now all ready to set up, the next phase of our wildlife pond project is to prepare and install the equipment needed to make it all work!
November is a wonderful time to head outdoors in search of seed heads, pine cones, interesting stems and fallen branches to create stunning indoor decorations for Christmas.
Honesty (Lunaria annua) seed heads are called silicules. As a whole they may appear a little drab, but gently flex Honesty seed capsules between your fingers and the outer casing will peel off and reveal the elegant beauty of Lunaria annua.
Back in June I shared the first stage of my project to build a wildlife pond in our new garden. We hoped to have our pond up and running this summer, but due to the cost of buying the liner, plants, and other equipment, plus the sheer monumental task of shifting so much concrete and the need to repeatedly dig up reappearing bamboo suckers, it has taken us longer to get everything in place.
Bring positivity to a dreary autumn day by forgetting the outside world and focussing on creating your own miniature plant world! My step-by-step terrarium planting guide will help you plant your own long-lasting indoor centrepiece to enhance your home this autumn and winter. Get ready to make the most of the longer evenings getting busy designing your own plant paradise!Terrarium plants
A terrarium creates a perfect environment for small plants that thrive in low light levels and high humidity.
I adore mint and relish this herb’s energy. Freshly harvested mint leaves can be used to make enticing cocktails, herbal teas, and an array of delicious savoury and dessert recipes. Most people are familiar with peppermint or spearmint, but have you tried any other varieties?
A whole world of different flavoured mints is available to those who grow their own 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.
I love growing herbs. I get such pleasure from growing plants with tantalising flavours to enhance our meals and drinks. Just a small pot of mint can enhance cocktails, herbal teas, savoury dishes, fruit salads, and more decadent desserts. With autumn‘s arrival, I’m mindful that I don’t want to waste the lovely fresh leaves that will soon wither when the weather changes and frosts arrive.
Houseplants are almost magical; they can make a dull room look and feel inviting and transform a dreary room into a luxurious and relaxing space. In this article, I’ll reveal some of the secrets that will ensure your houseplants retain their magic!
First of all, always grow houseplants in containers with holes at their base that allow water to run through the pot and enable air to reach the plant’s roots.
Hello and welcome to my wildlife pond – it’s lovely to be able to share my pond with you and show you around! Since my last update, my wildlife pond is now looking more autumnal; the plants in this area of my garden are draining the energetic green tones from their foliage and starting to display a few yellow leaves as they gently let us know that autumn has arrived.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hello, and welcome to my wildlife pond in winter! It feels funny saying ‘winter’, as the weather has been so mild this season that it already feels like spring. Many of my aquatic plants are now coming into growth. Last weekend, whilst I was observing all the new leafy growth on our aquatic plants and marvelling at the abundance of duckweed, I spotted a frog!
Happy new year! I want to help you create a positive and uplifting garden where you can relax, grow your favourite plants, and make real connections with nature.
Do you have a compost heap in your garden? How about in your college or office garden? Composting is such a wonderful thing to do; it’s great for the environment, good for wildlife, produces amazing compost, and saves money!
I’ve taken pictures of a few of my miniature orchids to show you the plants that I’ve been focusing my attention on this week. Currently, my main preoccupation has been to be poised and ready to pollinate my Aerangis macrocentra plants, in the hope that the last remaining flower of my first plant to bloom survived long enough for my second plant’s first flower to open.
Winter provides us with a wonderful opportunity to plant trees. What could be a better Christmas gift than planting a tree with your family? I’m a particular fan of planting bare-root trees: trees that are grown in the ground (not containers) and then lifted, dispatched, and planted while they’re dormant. Bare-root trees are grown in the soil, they’re naturally peat-free, require less watering at the nursery, and can be grown plastic-free – as there’s no need for containers.
I attended the ‘Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods’ conference, hosted by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. I fully support the Kew Declaration on Reforestation for Biodiversity, Carbon Capture and Livelihoods. I am just one of the 3000 global experts and concerned citizens from 114 countries that signed this declaration which aims to promote the long-term protection and restoration of natural forest ecosystems worldwide.
I hold two National Collections of orchids – a National Collection of Miniature Aerangis and Angraecum Species and a National Collection of Miniature Phalaenopsis Species. I set up these collections to raise awareness of the dangers that these miniature orchid species (and other plants) are facing in the wild and to help conserve these fascinating plants.
One of the many joys of growing our own food is that this wonderful process allows us a marvellous opportunity to eat freshly harvested fruit, vegetables, and herbs, which usually have a dramatically improved flavour and freshness compared to the equivalent alternatives we can purchase in our local supermarket. Usually, when we imagine growing our own produce, we think of a process that takes anywhere from between a number of months to a number of years to produce vegetables, fruit, or herbs.