Saturday, 24 June 2017

What food can I grow in containers?

Different troughs with vegetables growingDon't let a lack of space stop you growing your own fruit and veg, There are plenty of edibles you can grow in containers. Even if all you have is a few pots then you can grow something to eat, and it will be the freshest and tastiest that you've ever eaten! So what food can you grow in containers?

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Garden Update - Six things I'm doing in my garden in June

Poppy flowerI'm linking up with The Propagator again to share what's going on in the garden right now. Heavy rain has been followed by really hot sun here in Cardiff in the last fortnight so things are really growing well. I've been enjoying the poppies but at this time of year things in the garden tend to move fairly quickly, and they have already been surpassed by the roses. There's plenty to do. Here's what's been keeping me busy...

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Sniff out your ideal rose by visiting a garden

Close up of flower Rosa "Lady Emma Hamilton"If you want to add colour, scent, and a touch of glamour to your garden, then all you need to do is plant some roses. A traditional component of British gardens, there are now hundreds of varieties available with a wide range of colours and fragrance. The best time to buy one is right now, because the best way to buy one is to go out and smell them!

Friday, 9 June 2017

Grow Your Own Watercress - On Your Fence!

Watercress growing in a recycled gutter attached to a fence
Watercress is a peppery and nutritious addition to summer salads and other recipes, and really easy to grow. However you use it, you wont get a better taste than if you've grown it yourself and just picked it moments before eating, so have a go at growing your own this summer. You can sow it right now. I thought I'd share with you how I'm growing mine this year, in recycled guttering on my garden fence!  

Friday, 2 June 2017

Can a vegetable garden or allotment be beautiful?

For many years I've thought that growing your own fruit and veg was more or less incompatible with having a stylish and beautiful garden. Vegetables just aren't that pretty to look at. But after seeing vegetable gardens at Westbury Court Garden in Gloucestershire and at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show recently, I think I might be starting to change my mind.  

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Garden Update - Six things I've been doing in my garden today

This extra post was inspired by The Propagator, who is sharing six things going on in his garden every Saturday. It seems like a good idea, so I thought I would respond by sharing six of my own. Here they are:
 
1) Pyracantha is now in full bloom on the North facing wall outside the back door. It covers the whole height of the wall, and is a mass of tiny white flowers which smell great and attract so many bees it is absolutely humming. Today I have been training the straggly stems by putting screws in the wall and tying them in. 

Friday, 26 May 2017

The cheapest and easiest way to make a bug hotel for your garden


Green Fingered Blog
Bug Hotel - cheap and easy to make
Gardeners have an important role to play in helping bees and other insects survive. There are lots of ways to help them. This half term, why not get your kids to help you make a bug hotel, using whatever is lying around. You don't need to spend any money, and you don't even need to use a hammer, or a single nail. And you'll be helping to protect all sorts of species of bee and other insects by giving them somewhere to live.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Is gardening a battle against nature - and who is winning?


Green Fingered Blog
The lavender is dead - long live the lavender
I wrote recently about one battle I had with nature - the unusually late frost that threatened to ruin the developing display of flowers on our wisteria and other plants. Well, (spoiler alert) the wisteria survived, and in fact thrived, but I have another casualty to report, which set me thinking about whether we gardeners can ever truly claim to have nature under control.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Recycle to Protect Your Allotment Crops or Garden Fruit and Veg

Green Fingered BlogIf you are growing your own on a budget, either in a vegetable patch in your garden, or on an allotment, then here is an example of how to support and protect your crops without spending too much, by recycling whatever you have lying around.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Why you don't need to worry about box blight in your garden

Green fingered blogGardeners, especially anyone with a classical or formal garden or planting scheme, have become steadily more disheartened in recent years by the spread of box blight. Box is growing strongly at the moment, and from June onwards is the time to clip it back into shape, so if there are problems, you are likely to notice them soon, if you haven't already. Box blight can do tremendous damage, but you don't need to worry, because there are things you can do, and if all else fails there are alternatives to box which you can use to give your garden the same look.  

Friday, 28 April 2017

Wisteria hysteria as late frost causes panic in the garden

It's been a nervous week for gardeners in the southern half of the UK. Weather forecasters predicted unseasonably frosty mornings as a blast of cold air spread across the country from the Arctic. Although late April can often be rather chilly here and can slow plants' development considerably, it is rare to get a seriously cold spell with the potential to cause significant damage.

There is nothing in my garden which isn't hardy to at least -5C, so a bit of frost is unlikely to kill anything, but it can still ruin my day! It's all about timing.