Enjoy a Traditional Autumn Daisy in May with Alpine Asters

I’ve gotta say, I love alpine asters. When you think of asters, your mind probably leaps forward to late summer and autumn borders filled with those bluish, purple and pink daisy flowers. They’re a great late-season plant, though mine have always tended to get mildew. HOWEVER, if you want to enjoy t…

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Carnivorous Plants | Gorgeous Sarracenia Flowers

 
I’ve always loved carnivorous plants, but I never expected to see these stunning sarracenia flowers. When I was a boy, I remember keeping a couple of venus fly traps. I poked and prodded and killed the poor things eventually. I mean, there’s only so many times a plant can tolerate a rough ch…

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The Joy of Geraniums

Perennial geraniums are a fabulous plant. I mentioned ‘perennial’ because the misnomer that pelagoniums are geraniums continues, led by garden centres and nurseries around the country. In fact, both of these plants are perennial. Pelagoniums, though not frost hardy, will quite happily develop into a…

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A 'Blooming' Good Reason for Growing Houseleeks

Succulents have, by and large, passed me by for most of my green-fingered life. It was only when I began planning my wedding and looking at more masculine table settings and bouquets, that I began to realise just how wonderful Sempervivum (houseleeks) are. Until then I knew them only for nostalgic r…

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Making a Case for Violas

There’s no love lost between Pansies and I. I’m not really a big fan of gaudy flowers, and I’m afraid I normally put pansies in this category. Add the fact there’s a vast amount of deadheading to do throughout the season, not to mention these plants tend to be short-lived and get very straggly, and …

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Plant Pick - Growing Hollyhocks

I’m the first to admit I’m not a fan of short-lived plants. I like to plop a plant in and leave it, allowing its perennial nature to keep it growing year after year. All this annual and biennial sowing nonsense; no, I can’t be doing with that. Aside from a few plants, however. And one of these is th…

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Plant Pick - Growing Dahlias

‘Tis very much the season for dahlias. I’m a huge fan of these blooms, though I admit, I have a slight love/hate relationship. There are a vast array of varieties in the dahlia collection, from sinewy, single-petalled bloomers to small, clump forming plants with huge, gaudy flowers. It’s the latter …

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© Geoff Wakeling

Plant Pick - Growing Tulips

If you hadn’t heard, it’s September already. That means it’s time to plant bulbs for a spring show in 2015. And, if you’re stocking up, then it’s definitely time to be thinking about tulips.

I often think that tulips are one of the more overlooked bulbs. We all fill our gardens with daffs, crocus…

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Plant Pick - Growing Osteospermum (Cape Daisy)

I always feel as if some plants are vastly overlooked for tropical looking species and varieties that are new on the scene. Osteospermum (African Daisy), for example, seems to have a new colour shade coming out every years. However, I still have an extremely strong affection for Osteospermum jucundu…

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Plant Pick - Growing Sedum (Herbsfreude)

Okay, hear me out; Yes, Sedum Herbstfreude is an extremely common plant that may seem rather dull to you. BUT, I feel this plant is often overlooked. It has a huge number of positives; it’s wildlife friendly, it’s easy to grow, it has fantastic cover during late summer/early autumn AND it provides s…

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Shade-Loving Veggies and Herbs | Infographic

So, we all have issues with shady parts of our garden, right? And many of us – including me – struggle with what to plant there, especially if it’s shady and dry. The folks over at eReplacementParts have made this great infographic showing that, actually, there’s a lot we CAN grow in these areas. In fact, plants like chervil, ginger and rosemary will thrive!

   

Enjoy a Traditional Autumn Daisy in May with Alpine Asters

I’ve gotta say, I love alpine asters. When you think of asters, your mind probably leaps forward to late summer and autumn borders filled with those bluish, purple and pink daisy flowers. They’re a great late-season plant, though mine have always tended to get mildew. HOWEVER, if you want to enjoy this flower in spring, head out and get some alpine asters because these little gems are flowering NOW.

Check… Continue reading

Book Review – The Thoughtful Gardener

If there’s one book that’s come into my life in recent times that I’m inspired by it’s ‘The Thoughtful Gardener‘. Jinny Blom, quite honestly, has packed everything into a ‘style’ book here that I’ve ever wanted. I mean – seriously – the cover reflects the garden design ideas I aspire to in a nutshell.

   Flip to any page in this beautiful gardening design book and you’d be… Continue reading

Carnivorous Plants | Gorgeous Sarracenia Flowers

 

I’ve always loved carnivorous plants, but I never expected to see these stunning sarracenia flowers. When I was a boy, I remember keeping a couple of venus fly traps. I poked and prodded and killed the poor things eventually. I mean, there’s only so many times a plant can tolerate a rough child’s fingers. Now, however, my husband has grown quite a collection and we’re A LOT more careful… Continue reading

Book Review – Urban Flowers

 

Gardening seems to have become more popular and, dare I say it, even on-trend over the past few years. Certainly, people old and young are paying more attention to their health and so the vegetable side of growing has seen a spike. Ornamental gardening, meanwhile, has also piqued more interest, though I’m unsure whether that’s because it’s cooler with the younger generation, or that I’ve just hit that mid-thirties… Continue reading

Growing Oak Trees | First Signs of Life from Sown Acorns

One of my dreams is to plant a new wood. Trees are SO majestic and beautiful, never mind their essential role in oxygenating OUR world so we can actually live. One of the fields at Brimwood Farm borders a local wood, but I want to extend that woodland into the land a little so there’s some wood to call my own. The pit has trees, there are plenty of mature… Continue reading

9 Tips for Having a Bountiful Carrot Harvest

It’s a very busy time of year, and there is LOADS going on in the garden. If you’re growing carrots at home (seriously, it’s NOT as hard you think), I’ve got some great tips from Tina Martino on how to maximise your harvest.

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Many gardeners put off growing carrots, assuming that these early spring vegetables are for those with more experience. Root vegetables, including potatoes and… Continue reading

Spinach and Lettuce | Transplanting Veggie Seedlings

It’s the time of year when seedlings are taking over. Conservatory tables, windowsills, and greenhouse shelving is ALL covered in trays of germinating plants or young, tender seedlings. In an attempt to deal with this problem (or just my growing issue in general) I decided it was time to sort out my spinach and lettuce plants and spend some time transplanting veggie seedlings.

   

This year… Continue reading

Six of the Best Climbers For Your Garden

If you saw Friday’s video, you’ll know that I have a terrible fence that is in dire need of replacement. But it’s old and traditional, so I can’t simply pull out the old panels and slot new ones in; no, the entire thing needs to come out. Well, I honestly have better things to spend my money on and so I’m looking at hiding it instead. And, though I’m trying… Continue reading

3 Seeds to Sow in April | Kale, Pumpkin and Spanish Flag

Not only cannot I believe we’ve made it to April, but I’m also staggered by the temperatures today – it’s been a balmy 18/19ºC here in Essex. As a result, my thoughts have been primarily on gardening and, in particular, three seeds to sow in April. Primarily, my focus will be on kale, pumpkin and the beautiful annual Spanish Flag, though I’m sure a few extra seedlings will slip in.… Continue reading

Wooden Garages: Advantages vs Disadvantages

We’re lucky to have blazing sun at the moment, and to be honest, it feels like early summer rather than spring. When those back-doors are flung open again after the bitter, damp winter, the warm, fresh air seems to revitalise everything. Thoughts often then turn to new plants, landscaping works and possibly even the addition or replacement of sheds and garages. Done right, these garden structures can actually add… Continue reading

Monday Magic – White Narcissus

I’ve never been a huge fan of daffodils. I know they’re an icon of spring, and that many people consider them a bright, gaudy naff-off to winter but I think they’re just that – bright and gaudy. However, in the spirit of planting some spring bulbs and attempting to bring much needed colour to the March/April garden, I popped a few white narcissus into the flowerbeds last autumn. And, I… Continue reading

3 Tips on How to Speed Up Composting

Well, I’ve just been out in the garden on this wonderfully sunny day sowing seeds, transplanting veggies but also, turning the compost and manure heaps. I have A LOT of the stuff; particularly because the chickens remain in lockdown so I have all of their additional bedding to deal with. So, I was genuinely happy when I discovered some expert advice on just how to get that heap composting down… Continue reading

Meet the Passionate Gardeners among Celebrities

  The Brits have always had a knack for gardening. While it used to be a favourite pastime for the seniors, it’s quite thrilling to see that gardening is now as trending as ever. Many of our celebrities, as well as some worldwide celebs, are fierce advocates of organic living and other eco-minded practices, such as using renewable energy resources and reducing the carbon footprint.   From TV hosts to… Continue reading

Brimwood Farm Spring Tour

The weather has been beautifully the warm over the past few days, and that has made the garden burst into life. There seems to be something new to discover every day, from emerging foxtail lillies and alliums, to new life in the chicken coops.

Rather than try to take pictures of EVERYTHING, I thought a little video might suffice! Enjoy!

Hi,

I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.