I enjoy running horticultural trials; I spend much of my time searching for the most gorgeous plants that will produce a profusion of flowers and attract bees and pollinating insects. I love to share the most successful plants from my trials with you to help you find top quality plants to enhance your garden. The plants I recommend in this column need to be grown in a bright and sunny location, in well-drained soil or containers filled with peat-free compost.
Whether you garden in sunshine or shade, there are plants that will be perfectly suited to growing in your garden – it’s just a case of finding them! In 2019, my Vegepod was moved from a sunny spot, to a new enclosed, deeply shaded area of my garden. I am not exaggerating when I say that in its new position my Vegepod truly was shaded – my Vegepod was sandwiched in a tight space, wedged between a tall conifer hedge, a two storey high wall, a tall fence, and an 8ft tall pergola that was smothered with climbing plants – the plants growing in my Vegepod did not receive any direct sunshine whatsoever.
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.
I’m a peat-free gardener; I am a passionate advocate for peat-free composts. I know from experience, that it’s not always easy to find a good quality peat-free growing media. I understand that gardeners who have used peat-based composts all their lives might be hesitant to switch to a peat-free compost; while gardeners who have purchased a poor performing peat-free compost could naturally be reluctant to try peat-free growing media again.
In times of stress, our gardens and allotments become our refuge and remind us of the true value of plants and outside spaces. For me, time in my garden is priceless; it lifts my spirits, leaving me feeling revitalised. One of my favourite things to do is to grow my own food.
You don’t need a large garden to grow your own vegetables.
Since I first told you about my Vegepod much has changed. Back in 2018, my Vegepod was set up in an area of my garden that enjoyed partial shade, but after trialling the Vegepod in this fairly beneficial position (vegetables thrive when they’re grown in sunny and partially shaded sites), I decided to move my Vegepod to a more shaded area of my garden, to see what I could grow successfully inside my Vegepod with more challenging growing conditions.
I love growing vegetables, it’s a truly wonderful, soul enriching experience to grow your own food! Sadly an increasing number of us are without the luxury of a garden or allotment and have nowhere to grow vegetables, herbs, fruit, or flowers; while a great many others struggle to garden in small, often paved spaces, without any access to the soil.
One of the gardens that I was most excited to visit at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017, was the RHS Kitchen Garden.
The Royal Horticultural Society commissioned Garden Designer Juliet Sargeant to design this special Feature Garden, to demonstrate the many interesting methods that gardeners can use to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers. The RHS Kitchen Garden has been designed to showcase the extensive variety of beautiful, edible plants that are available for us to grow and eat.
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year Award was first presented in 2010 to promote the continuing work of breeders and nurseries in producing improved new plants. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show Plant Of The Year Award celebrates and recognises the exciting and diverse range of new plants which are launched at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show each year.
If you’re looking for something fun and tasty, that’s quick and easy to grow, I think you’ll enjoy growing Suttons Seeds F1 Bodacious Sweet Corn Shoots. I sowed my Bodacious Sweet Corn Shoots on 1st December 2015, and I have been enjoying eating them today, on 9th December 2015, just 8 days later! Sowing these Sweet Corn seeds would be a fun and very easy activity to include your children in – I am certain that most children will love the sweet flavour of the Sweet Corn shoots, which are also rich in vitamins and nutrients!