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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Clematis are divided into three groups. We assign each clematis to a group based upon the time of year the plant flowers, and when the growth that holds their flowers develops. By evaluating our clematis and assigning our plants to a specific group, we can establish the optimum time to prune our clematis.
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.