The Tea Break Gardener

Garden stories from a passionate, laid-back grower

Plant profiles, how-to guides and seasonal diaries

Tea break portraits – Lemon flower

2018-02-21T10:01:37+00:00February 21st, 2018|Tea Break Portraits|

Pure white lemon flower Citrus plants such as the lemon are attractive houseplant and conservatory specimens.  A lovely feature of citrus is the fact that new season's flowers are displayed alongside the ripening fruit of last season.  They also have a strong, delicious scent. Indoors, citrus plants need [...]

Rhubarb – how to plant, when to pick, and how to force

2018-02-18T12:06:52+00:00February 18th, 2018|Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg|

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.

Snowdrops in grass – give your lawn a lace frill

2018-02-09T13:47:39+00:00February 8th, 2018|Cut Flowers, Floristry and Decorating with Flowers, Garden Plants and Trees, Seasonal diaries - Six plants on a Saturday|

Snowdrops are simple tough plants yet delicately beautiful. A pure white snowdrop finds its perfect foil in the a green of a lawn. So often snowdrops are contained in flowerbeds or tucked away under hedges and trees, or the far reaches of a lawn. I wanted to bring them into the spotlight. Now, from late January, my car headlights pick out mini pricks of bright white as I come up the drive in the early evening. By day the snowdrops soften the edge of the lawn, the green sheet broken by a pretty white filigree.

Witch Hazel for flower arranging – as featured in a wedding blog

2018-09-26T08:23:36+01:00February 5th, 2018|Cut Flowers, Floristry and Decorating with Flowers, Garden Plants and Trees|

A bewitching winter arrangement - This arrangement of witch hazel (hamemelis) with multi-headed scented daffodils is a perfect representation of the winter garden, in a glazed ceramic jug.  It was used as a table decoration for a winter wedding.  The arrangement gives a citrus splash of yellow and orange, the bright colours tempered with the greys and sage of both budded and lichen-coated twigs.

Plug plants – easy flowers and vegetables for the time-pressed gardener

2018-02-09T14:08:19+00:00January 28th, 2018|Cut Flowers, Floristry and Decorating with Flowers, Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg|

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.

Not just for allotmenteers – the ideal grow your own manual

2018-02-09T14:12:09+00:00January 28th, 2018|Book Reviews, Grow Your Own Fruit and Veg|

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.

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