The Tea Break Gardener

A blog for the laid-back gardener

Gardening tips, nature-inspired interiors and easy floristry.

Are you a Dahlia debutante? – a beginner’s guide

2018-12-11T09:17:19+00:00March 5th, 2018|Cut Flowers, Floristry and Decorating with Flowers, Garden Plants and Trees|

Most of my novice gardener friends assume dahlias are beyond their skill. Maybe the mesmerising petal formations and dazzling colour variations confuse dahlia debutantes into thinking that they are hard to grow.  They are not. Coming in a variety of colours wider than Jackson Pollock's palette, there is a dahlia out there for everyone.   There is nothing more stunning in the garden than a dahlia laden with flowers and buds and nothing more beautiful in the autumn home than a tastefully combined or even a brash clash in a mixed arrangement.

My gardening week – in the cold – Six on saturday

2018-09-20T10:12:29+00:00March 2nd, 2018|Cut Flowers, Floristry and Decorating with Flowers, Garden Plants and Trees, Greenhouse and indoor plants, My Gardening Week - Six pictures on a Saturday|

A week in the cold - Six on saturday. This week I have been admiring Cyclamen cuom, hellebores, flowering quince and the new leaf on my Monstera deliciosa, whilst tracking animals in the snow and planting my show bench sweet peas (again).

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, My Gardening Week - Six pictures 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+00:00February 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.