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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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!

Monday Magic – Cordon Tree Flowers!

Spring. Isn’t it marvellous? A hint of warmth and some rain, and the garden comes rushing back to life. It seems as if there’s something new to discover every day. Over the past few weeks, buds and leaves have begun to open and then, today, I discovered cordon tree flowers!

 

When it comes to fruit trees, I’m a total amateur. I know how to prune only through managing my… Continue reading

Book Review – Good Soil

There’s only so much you can say about soil, right?! Wrong! ‘Good Soil‘ is PACKED with delightful surprises, from a little science on soil biology through to guides on how to best use all that chicken manure (a topic close to my heart). And then there are the stunning photos and drawings included. This might be about soil, but it’s about beautiful soil.

‘Good Soil’ is… Continue reading

Time for Transplanting Tomatoes

It feels great that the growing season has already reached a stage where I’m transplanting tomatoes. There’s nothing quite like that smell of tomato leaf; I think I even prefer it to the actual taste of the eventual fruit! I soaked the tray of young plants in water first and gave a little tug – some aren’t quite ready, but eight popped out with great rootballs.

 

For the past… Continue reading

The Big Bramble Clearing Project

Bramble clearing is most certainly much easier done in winter, when the leaves have disappeared and you can see exactly what you’re doing. For the most thorniest of thickets, it’s still tough going and you’ve got to be prepared to be assaulted by painful barbs. However, it beats trying to bash your wash through a jungle of spiny leaves and fresh, grasping tendrils in the middle of the summer.… Continue reading

Monday Magic – Dahlia Shoots

There’s nothing quite like the sight of dahlia shoots to know that the growing season has really begun. The sun has arrived in UK, and regardless of how fleeting it might be, it looks to be staying for at least a week. I checked the dahlias (which have been wrapped in newspaper and left in a bucket in the store room all winter) and – to my amazement… Continue reading

Propagating Osteospermums – Potting up 2016’s Cuttings

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

Five Top Tips for Greenhouse Gardening Success in 2017

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

Three Seeds to Sow in March

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

Monday Magic – Pruning Cornus (Dogwood)

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

Dahlia Shoots, Pak Choi and more February Sowing

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

Book Review – Medicinal Plants

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

Monday Magic – Iris Reticulata, Peppers and Osteospermums

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

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.