Having a lovely cup of tea in my favourite mug whilst walking the garden is the best thing about returning from holiday. For some reason though I am always slightly nervous about what I will find in the garden. It's only when you go away for a bit, even a [...]
This week I've been weather watching as I gear up for my local Flower Show and have been monitoring the temperature fluctuations in my greenhouse. I've been missing my usual range of home grown vegetables but delighting in how advanced the dahlias are. Greenhouse temperature monitoring I'm not one for [...]
Who doesn’t love a traditional village show? As the holiday season approaches organisers air the beer tent, hammer signs into the village green and untangle the bunting. But what sort of person enters these competitions and what experiences await first timers? If you're a gardener or allotment holder you may be shy to get involved in showing or question why you even would. Here I share my story as a first time entrant and some special tips for exhibiting from a local judge.
My gardening week - six on saturday - 31.03.18 This week I planted up a Gloriosa lily, took difficult decisions regarding my veg patch and delighted in a new Elephant's Ear shoot. I also admired the succulent roof on a bird table, planted some mini iris seeds and celebrated victory over fungus gnats.
Want to grow squash and pumpkins for winter eating and Halloween decoration? -The one thing I do like about All Hallows Eve is the pumpkins. Grow your own to experiment with the more unusual shaped or coloured types - delicious to eat and lovely for decorating the doorstep and home.
Whenever I cook rhubarb in my house we can't help but sing an adapted version of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance'. "Rah rah rhu-bar-barb, ro mah ro-mah-mah". Yet my romance with rhubarb is far from a bad one and as a plant it's certainly not a prima-donna performer. Once established, rhubarb should need little primping, a useful trait for the time-pressed gardener.
Picked up at a garden centre, or better still delivered to your door, plug plants give you more time in the garden and less shopping around for the variety you desire. Many plants are available as plugs; annuals for your pots and window boxes, flowers for cutting, wildflowers and off course vegetable plants. They are great for gaining confidence if you’re a novice gardener and they allow you to try a wider range of plants than you can grow from seed especillay if space and time are limited. Only growing from seed offers you a greater range to try.
If you’re interested in starting to grow your own fruit and veg for the first time, or wish to experiment with things you’ve never tried before, I can think of no better book to recommend than this one. It gives you easy instructions on how to get going and what you'll need. Tucked away in the list of useful items is a fold up chair as “a picnic chair is great for a tea break.” The Tea Break Gardener thoroughly approves of this sentiment.
Unless you’ve been living in your shed you’ll be aware of recent media focus on the worldwide environmental impact of plastic containers. We’ve all been shocked by the images of the huge islands of floating plastic in our oceans. The profitability of the modern horticulture industry was founded on the introduction of plastic plant containers. We’ve all benefitted from the keen pricing and variety of supply that plastic has afforded gardeners. But there is an environmental cost to this. We may have beautiful gardens but the plastics are polluting land and seas. Can home gardeners reduce plastics pollution?