Since we moved house we’ve been so busy with life, work, and fixing things. Our heating broke the day after we moved in and temperatures inside our home plummeted for a week during a particularly cold snap this winter; this wiped out a lot of my orchids and houseplants. Since then I’ve been busy trying to revive and propagate the plants that survived.
I never purchase supermarket watermelons; I dislike their lack of flavour and irritating hard seeds. However, after years of growing melons for Melon Trials, I hope I always spend spring and summertime growing watermelons! The best watermelon I’ve grown so far is ‘Little Darling’. I adore this watermelon’s sensationally sweet flavour and refreshingly crisp texture. ‘Little Darling’ produces hardly any seeds, the few seeds that do materialise are soft and not noticeable.
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.
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!
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.
One very good thing to come out of the pandemic has been the rise in online talks and events. We’ve realised that we don’t have to get in our cars and drive to meetings, we can enjoy listening to speakers, learning about plants, and connecting with groups, charities, and organisations, from the comfort of our own homes. Together we can discover more about plants and make real connections online, whilst saving money on transport and avoiding all the associated environmental costs.
Planting bulbs is rather like giving yourself a wonderful promise of future flowers and happiness. What could be lovelier? If you want to enjoy spring flowers, such as daffodils and crocus, and early summer-flowering bulbs, like alliums, then it’s time to start planting bulbs!
When purchasing bulbs, wherever possible choose top-sized bulbs, as larger bulbs are more floriferous than smaller bulbs.
When you’ve lost someone you love, it’s natural to want to arrange a fitting memorial and to plan a meaningful tribute in their memory. Memorials of any kind are such a personal choice, but I want to help you by sharing some information and ideas of ways that you could leave a lasting legacy, one that will beautifully celebrate the life of someone close to your heart, whilst being kind to the environment.
I am a sentimental old soul, I treasure so many things that most folk would not think twice of throwing away. I also keep things, just in case they become useful one day. Yes, you could describe me as a hoarder!
I love our planet. I love fields, meadows, glades, forests, hills, marshlands, bogs, mountains, streams, rivers, and oceans. I love to see wildflowers growing in the wild.