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Fabulous Florence Fennel!

What a joyful month June is!  June’s warm sunshine seems to infuse every fibre of our beings, imbuing our souls with a feeling of uplifting bliss that can only be found outdoors.  June also brings us the gift of sweet summer rain to refresh our plants, and with it the excitement of a great many wonderful growing opportunities in the garden; it’s hard to beat this time of year!

Dr Catherine MacDonald and the Seedlip Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Left to right: Seedlip’s Head of Horticulture Tom Harfleet, Rod Lamborn (the son of Dr Calvin Lamborn), Garden Designer Dr Catherine MacDonald, and Seedlip founder Ben Branson. The Seedlip Garden was designed by Dr Catherine MacDonald and built by Landform Consultants.  This Space to Grow Garden was sponsored by Seedlip.

Garden designer Dr Catherine MacDonald devised the Seedlip Garden as a celebration of the pea – Pisum sativum

Mark Gregory and Welcome to Yorkshire, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden I honestly couldn’t fault the Welcome to Yorkshire garden.  I would have moved into the delightful stone cottage in this garden if I could have got away with it! The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 was designed by Mark Gregory and built by Landform Consultants.

At this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show I couldn’t wait to visit the Welcome to Yorkshire show garden, which was designed by Mark Gregory and built by Mark and Landform Consultants

Sustainable Gardening Ideas

I love our planet, I love plants and nature.  I want to protect our environment.  I want to live more sustainably.  Sustainability is not a new desire for me, it is something that I have always aspired to.  Firstly though I must tell you that I am far from perfect, I make mistakes and I am always learning.  I want to improve, I want to make changes to live more sustainably and to live ethically. 

Peat Free Compost Trial 2017, Growing Carrots

Why Use Peat Free Compost?

Peatlands are extraordinary environments, which cover just 2-3% of the planet’s surface.  These scarce ecosystems are also very fragile, they are dependent on sufficient moisture levels being available, and they require a slightly cooler temperature range to allow the necessary sphagnum moss, which slowly forms peat, to grow, flourish, and reproduce.  Peat bogs can increase at a rate of one millimetre per year if the desired conditions are present. 

Peat Free Compost Trial 2017, Growing Broad Beans

I have found that peat free composts can vary enormously: from bags of compost filled with bark chips, which could be used as a mulch, but can’t be used as intended – as a compost to grow container plants or seedlings, right through to the other extreme – the finest quality composts, which are capable of producing prize and award winning plants, and of course, every compost in between these two polar opposites! 

Book Review – The Chinese Kitchen Garden

The Chinese Kitchen Garden: growing techniques and family recipes from a classic cuisine
By Wendy Kiang-Spray
Published by Timber Press
ISBN: 978-1-60469-677-6

The Chinese Kitchen Garden by Wendy Kiang-Spray is published by Timber Press.

If you’re making a list and checking it twice…..of all the interesting and exciting vegetables and crops that you hope to grow next year, then you might be interested to read The Chinese Kitchen Garden, a charming book, written by Wendy Kiang-Spray.

Access Garden Products Classic Growhouses

I used to have a large glasshouse.  I felt so fortunate to be able to enjoy the use of my glasshouse, every day I appreciated the exciting range of crops I could grow inside, and the extended growing season and bountiful harvest that my glasshouse helped to provide me with.  I was so grateful, excited, and so inspired by the vast array of glorious fruit and vegetables that I grew inside the glasshouse. 

Juliet Sargeant and the RHS Kitchen Garden

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.

Straw Bale Gardening was a feature of the RHS Kitchen Garden, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.  Cavolo Nero Kale, pretty pink Dianthus and thyme, pictured in the RHS Kitchen Garden, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.

The Chris Evans Taste Garden

The Chris Evans Taste Garden, one of five Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens, at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017.

The Chris Evans Taste Garden is one of five Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens created for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Radio 2.  The Chris Evans Taste Garden has been designed by Jon Wheatley.