Saturday, 18 November 2017

Attract hedgehogs to your garden: Make a hedgehog house from recycled garden waste

Make a hedgehog house Recycled Green Fingered Blog
Attract hedgehogs to your garden or allotment and they'll help you control slugs and other pests. Build them a cosy home and they're more likely to hang around your plot. Here's how to make a low-cost home for hedgehogs from an old water butt and a planter... 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Friday, 3 November 2017

How to grow new plants from runners - A Beginner's Guide

How to grow plants from runners Beginner's Guide Green Fingered Blog
Getting new plants from runners costs nothing, and nature does most of the work for you - it's really simple! 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

8 Stunning gardens to visit this autumn

Stourhead garden Wiltshire Autumn colour Green Fingered Blog
Which gardens are worth visiting this autumn? Whether you're looking for intense colour, stunning borders or dramatic views, I've got some fabulous recommendations for you.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Six things that shouldn't be happening in my garden (but are)

Pelargonium quercifolium Green Fingered Blog
Pelargonium quercifolium - leaves smell of cedarwood
Stormy weather is expected here this weekend, but it's still very mild, and the unseasonably warm weather has got lots of plants in my garden very confused about what time of year it is...

Sunday, 15 October 2017

How to plant bulbs - A Beginner's Guide

Bulbs do nearly all the work for you, it's the simplest way to grow plants of all!
If you only have room for one pot, you have room to grow bulbs, and if you want a low maintenance garden, this could be the answer.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday, 15 September 2017

6 ways to reduce your garden's impact on the environment


How do you make your garden more sustainable? How can your garden help you lead a low carbon lifestyle? Is my garden as environmentally friendly as it could be? I've been trying to find out...

Saturday, 9 September 2017

What's eating my viburnum and what can I do?

Viburnum beetle Green Fingered Blog
If you have a viburnum with leaves full of holes, this is the most likely culprit! The viburnum beetle. But what can you do about it? Well I may have identified their weakness...

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The vines they are a changing - #mygardenrightnow

Go on, show us your garden! Join the #mygardenrightnow project by taking a picture of yourself in your garden this weekend and sharing it on twitter using the hashtag.

Friday, 25 August 2017

6 Clever Garden Design Tips from a Visit to Kingston Maurward

Red Garden Kingston Maurward Green Fingered BlogHave you ever visited a large garden and thought there was nothing there that you could copy in your garden? You were wrong! Here are 6 clever garden design tricks you can use in your garden. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

5 Mediterranean plants you can grow (easily) in UK gardens

Why not create a bit of the Mediterranean atmosphere in your garden by growing some of the plants that you might have seen on your travels. It's easier than you think...

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Planting ideas for your garden from Tredegar House

Poppy seed heads Tredegar House Green Fingered BlogVisiting other people's gardens, large or small, is a great source of ideas to bring home and try out in your own garden. I've been to Tredegar House in Newport looking for inspiration, and I've come back with several planting ideas that could enhance my garden, and yours.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Six things to do in your garden during August

There is plenty to do in my garden right now. The weather is still warm, but here in South Wales we've had plenty of rain as well as some sunshine, and that combination means everything is growing strongly.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Line your garden paths with scent - all year round!


How lovely it is to walk through the garden after work on a summer  evening and absorb the fragrance of flowers as you pass them. With a bit of planning, you can enjoy scent on every journey through your garden

Friday, 28 July 2017

Create a magical fairy garden for children of all ages

Fairy garden swing, a simple DIY project, Green Fingered BlogDo you believe in fairies? If you or your children do, then over the summer holidays a great thing to do is invite the fairies to visit you by creating a magical garden for them. There are some simple things you can build that will make them want to take up residence in your garden, and the kids will love them too! 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Is your garden holiday proof?

Are you going away on holiday this summer? Have you thought about how your garden will cope without you? Of course your plants can keep on growing by themselves but what if there is a really hot dry spell and there's nobody at home to water anything?

Friday, 14 July 2017

8 great ideas for your garden inspired by a visit to Compton Acres

Compton Acres Japanese Garden Reflective Pond Green Fingered Blog
Visiting gardens is a great way to get ideas and be inspired to get the best out of your own garden. Compton Acres, between Poole and Bournemouth in Dorset, is always a pleasure to explore, but there are plenty of ideas you can take home with you. So here are 8 ways of adding some magic to your garden.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Garden Update - 6 things happening in the garden in July

Pimms in the garden Green Fingered Blog
Here is my latest update on what's happening in my own garden at the moment. I'm following on from The Propagator, who shared his Six on Saturday. Here are my six...
             

Friday, 7 July 2017

Find extra plants for nothing - in your own garden!

Wide range of seedlings potted up and growing on
All these were free - I just helped myself!
If you hate weeding, but like getting extra plants for nothing, look carefully around your garden this weekend and you might find you can turn a bit of weeding into something far more productive.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

7 easy ways to attract wildlife into your garden - A Guest Blog for The Handy Mano

I'm delighted to share with you a guest post I have written for The Handy Mano blog. The Handy Mano has a collection of ideas and tips for inside and outside the home. You can read my tips for helping wildlife thrive in your garden here.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Tulips - To Lift Or Not To Lift?

Rainbow bed with tulips of purple, red, orange and yellow
A "Rainbow Bed" of Tulips in April
Tulips bring a welcome burst of colour to the garden in spring before everything else really gets going. They are a great low maintenance option too because you can just plant them in autumn, leave them and wait for the show to start the following spring. But they do tend to flower less each year which means you have a choice - buy new ones each autumn to add to the existing show, or lift them and store them until it's time to replant them again in October. So is it worth the effort?

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 simplest 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 weekend, 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? If it's not warm 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

How I got into gardening - 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.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Paths for the allotment - Hello yellow(ish) brick road

Allotment path made of bricks
My yellow brick road, straight down the middle!
The plan for your allotment or veg patch needs to include some paths, so that you can get around the plot to tend your crops. There are several options, but which is best? Here are some ideas:

Friday, 31 March 2017

Gardens to Visit - Abbotsbury - Five ways to make your garden look tropical

Rope Bridge at Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in Dorset
Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens - The Rope Bridge
If you long to create a tropical paradise in your garden then Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens in Dorset has lots of examples of what to plant and how. There are plenty of plants that look exotic but that are hardy enough to be grown in most places in the UK, so whether you're in urban Birmingham, suburban Surrey or rural North Yorkshire, read on to find out how you can turn your garden into a jungle - or a post-apocalyptic vision!

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Green Fingers Tip - What's happened to your garden mint and what to do about it

Garden mint spreads to the rim of the potHaving fresh herbs outside the back door is easy and convenient. Mint dies down in winter but is now growing strongly again. But if you grew some in a pot last year you will almost certainly see that it is now growing mainly around the rim of the pot, not in the middle where you planted it. This seems strange but gives you the chance to propagate extra plants, and it only takes a few minutes.

Friday, 24 March 2017

A simple garden project for a fun children's play feature - build a boardwalk!

Garden boardwalk for Children at Picton Castle
A boardwalk is great fun for small children
You can give your children an unusual and fun feature to use when playing in the garden by building a boardwalk. It's fun to play on, easy to build and will give your garden a real sense of adventure. You can make it whatever size suits your space, and it doesn't have to cost a lot either. Now is the perfect time to add this fantastic home made play area to your garden. 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Getting your allotment or vegetable patch started

Allotment prepared
If you've just decided to create a veg garden, taken on a new allotment plot, or are just getting your existing plot started again after winter, the better your preparation the better the results will be. So what do you need to do to get your vegetable garden or allotment going?

Friday, 10 March 2017

How to choose which sweet peas to grow for your garden

Sweet pea varieties, lathyrus odoratus
There are hundreds of varieties of sweet pea 
Sweet peas are a must for your garden. Easy to grow, they bring colour and fragrance to the garden in summer, and make great cut flowers, so you can enjoy that fragrance indoors too. In fact the more you cut them, the more flowers they produce. But there are so many varieties, how do you choose which ones to grow?