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…
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…
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 …
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…
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 …
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…
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…
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…
Plant Pick - Growing Skimmia
Okay, I know it’s still summer, but winter will be here before you know it. I’m honestly hoping for a cold snap this year – the wet, grey winter of 2013 was horrendous; I don’t think we had even one frost in London. That’s BAD for plants – they need dormancy. And it’s BAD for gardeners – we need a r…
Plant Pick - Growing Thrift (Armeria)
I think I must’ve first come across Thrift (Armeria) when I was a lad holidaying in Scotland. Our family didn’t head abroad, but jumped in the car and journeyed to the stunning landscapes of the Lake District, Scotland and Northumberland. I distinctly remember great swathes of thrift clinging to the…
It’s mild in the UK. Beautifully so. Along with the warm weather has come some rain, and with spring well and truly on the way, it means that everything is starting to burst into life. I often forget to stick my head into the greenhouse as it’s at the bottom of the garden and I’m too busy dashing about feeding chickens. However, I took a moment to explore and found… Continue reading
I’m sat looking at the window, watching the drizzle and hoping it’ll wash all that wood pigeon poo off my greenhouse. I know it’s wishful thinking! I’ll have to get out there myself with a soaped up sponge and clean the glass. And soon, at that, for the tomatoes and aubergine seedlings are already starting to rush away and will need to be potted on soon! I’m still to crack… Continue reading
March. The month of inspiration where everything starts to grow. Also the month of anxiety as the need to sow starts to gain momentum. Where windowsills are cleared, ornaments shoved aside, light boxes made, all in a blind panic to get enough seedlings on the go for the year to come. Luckily, I’ve come up with a planting plan (well, for the vegetable garden) and I’m sticking to it.… Continue reading
The mild air over the past few days, including that brought by Storm Doris, has got the garden in a spring-like frame of mind, it seems. Bulbs are popping up everywhere, herbacious perennials are putting forth luminous new leaves and many shrubs are beginning to bud. This includes my two red dogwoods, both of which are beginning to form the first leaves of the year. This means, that pruning cornus… Continue reading
Well, Storm Doris has passed over and left beautiful blue skies; the perfect opportunity to check for fresh dahlia shoots. It’s at this time of year when those tubers that have been wrapped up all winter start to respond to growing temperatures and put out shoots. They can’t yet be planted out because the frosts will zap them, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them. When… Continue reading
One of the things I want to do this year is have a little play for marigolds (Calendula) and experiment with the flower’s medinical use. Not only are calendula fantastic for the garden – especially a vegetable plot where the bring in lots of insects to eat those ‘orrible critters – but, yes, they have healing properties too. These include antiviral and inflammatory properties! So, when I was sent The… Continue reading
Welcome to a HOT Monday Magic. Well, hot for February. In fact, right now it’s 15°C! There’s a lot to be inspired in the garden today, from beautiful iris reticulata flowers (variety Katherine Hodgkin), hellebores and crocus, to the emergence of the first pepper seedlings of 2017. Now, I’ve had GREAT difficulty with these in the past and have never managed to get more than a… Continue reading
Every week I try to find something a little inspiring from Mother Nature to help kick start the week and begin with a little positivity. Luckily, the sun is shining today and there’s quite a lot going on here at Brimwood Farm. The orchids are flowering, seedlings are growing and the next generation of my chicken experiment are being laid – time to get the incubator back on!… Continue reading
Can you believe it’s just starting snowing? And there was I thinking that spring might soon be on the way. It seems that garden centres and plant supplies think so too, for catalogues keep arriving, trying to entice me to buy. Also, many of the bargain homeware stores that sell plants seasonally are beginning to stock garden stuff, so it’s worth keeping your eyes open!
Well, despite having the lurgie, I managed to crawl from my bed this morning, drag the bag of compost to the back door and sort out my three seeds to sow in February! The seedlings from last month continue to prosper. Okay, white lie; the aubergines and achillea continue to prosper, the lettuces all died. Oops. They got too wet and became mouldy as a result so I’ve had to… Continue reading
Well, those wintry frosts have receded, giving way to milder wet weather. There’s no getting around it; when warmer climes arrive, us gardeners just have to put up with a few months of damp, wet gardening. However, with blue skies above and green shoots beginning to appear all over the place, there is time for a little optimism.
This Monday Magic was found in the chicken shed.… Continue reading
It was only in November, that I filmed a little autumn tour of the garden and menagerie, but seeing as winter’s set in and there’s not a huge amount of growing to be done, I thought I’d follow up with a peruse around the garden again. And, surprisingly, there are a few development, with January seedlings, a few available vegetables and some overwintering annuals.
Winter’s a time when… Continue reading
If you’re at a loss of what to do in these colder, quieter weeks of the year, then I’ve got Travis Wilson to inspire you. A carefully thought out deck or outdoor room can transform your garden, and as garden jobs are few and far between at the moment, you might be inspired to get building!
Spending time outside in a garden area or a well-maintained yard can be… Continue reading
For us gardeners, it can be rather easy to huddle away inside with a cup of tea and a seed catalogue whilst completely forgetting about outside. But…there is a lot of beauty in those winter frosts, and it’s the cold, crisp weather that’s taken my focus for Monday Magic this week.
There are all manner of positive things that a good spot of cold weather does. Firstly, it kills the… Continue reading
Clear, blue skies are endless today, making outside rather chilly. But, fear not, I have author Ryan Duffy here to discuss some of the gardening trends for 2017. So, prepare for vertical planting, extending your living space and trying to reduce your colour palette <- a huge difficulty for me because…PLANTS!
Without further ado; here’s Ryan.
The winter months are slowly coming to an end, and after months… Continue reading