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. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

Cheap and easy ways to help pollinating insects in your garden: ideas from the RHS Cardiff Show

RHS Cardiff Show 2017 -Betsy the Bee
Betsy the Bee
What can you do to attract pollinating insects and other wildlife into your garden?
 
The desire of the RHS to encourage gardeners to help halt the decline of British wildlife was clearly demonstrated at their Cardiff Show in the form of giant willow sculptures like Betsy the Bee here. There were numerous exhibits highlighting the important role us gardeners can play in providing a variety of suitable habitats for a range of creatures. I found several great ideas for simple and inexpensive ways to attract pollinators to your garden.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Make a fun water play garden feature for children

Easy to make garden water play feature
Looking for a way for the children to have fun in the garden during the Easter holidays? If it's not yet hot enough for swimming costumes, paddling pools or hosepipes, why not try this simple but fun water play feature using guttering. You can make it for only a few quid, and in less than an hour. It can be fixed to any wall or fence, and they'll love pouring the water on and watching it flow down to the bottom. Read on to see how its done...

Friday, 14 April 2017

A Garden Easter Egg Hunt - with ready made clues

Garden Easter Egg Hunt
Here's a fabulous way to get the kids running around the garden this Easter weekend. Children of all ages love chocolate eggs, and most are prepared to search the garden high and low if necessary, to find them! An Easter Egg Hunt in the garden is great fun whether you are taking part, or following them around with the video camera. It's really easy to do. All you need is some chocolate eggs and a pen and paper. I've even written some ready made clues you can use...

Saturday, 8 April 2017

A Guest Blog for Tongwynlais.com

Tulip waiting to open
I'm delighted to announce that I have been asked to contribute a guest blog for Tongwynlais.com. It's about how I got into gardening and why I created this blog. You can read it by clicking here.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Dead head daffodils in your garden (and other spring bulbs)

Daffodil Close Up Narcissus
We're used to snipping off spent flower heads in summer and autumn. It's usually because they look dreadful, all brown and crispy or wilted, detracting from the bright colourful blooms filling the rest of the garden. But do you do the same to the spent flowers of daffodils, tulips and alliums? Well if you don't, you should.