Garden


malvern spring festival

Milk bottle hanging planters

This weekend I went to Malvern flower show with my pal. I had never been before, but it reminded me of Royal Cornwall show I used to go to with my grandparents as a small child – except there were no cattle or sheep shows. In one of the school gardens I saw a great idea I had to try. They had pint milk bottles with strawberries growing in them, all suspended on a horizontal bamboo cane. It inspired me to try something similar myself. A school garden based on Shakespeare’s Tempest. I knew that this wouldn’t last long term. A pint bottle is too small for decent root growth, and bamboo is strong until it gets waterlogged then it rots. I would likely give way at around fruiting time for the berries.


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Red mites – a poultry nightmare 6

Last week Freya Woof attacked Tikka. I was in the front garden with her on a lead as I was gardening. Freya saw a cat and broke our front door as she ran at it so fast her lead bent the door past the right-angle its set to open up at. Anyway in that split second I put her in the front hallway and shut door for that cats sake. I immediately realise the back door is unlocked. Too late, Freya is hunting chickens. I run outside shouting at the dog to stop it, let go, drop. Anything. Nothing worked. Tikka was hanging out of Freya’s mouth, teeth wedged around her, I shout gentle at Freya as I pull Tikka towards me. Freya didn’t let go easily, and I thought Tikka was toast. Both kids came outside whilst this was going on. D was angry I had made a mistake […]


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Play.com want to know about your #ReasonsToShop (competition ended) 166

I was a happy bunny when the folk at Play.com contacted me to ask if I wanted a gift from their gardening category. Yes, yes please was my reply. What I picked out might seem dull or boring, but I was about to go and buy similar in town. As I’ve mentioned more than once, pet chickens are organised and efficient garden destroyers. They dig, scratch and peck at things obsessively. The chickens pecked and scratched so much that my lawn edging was shredded, as is most of my garden. We had a cheaper lawn edging like this product on Play. The cheper option is £10 for my bed, or £30 for the better fake stone option I chose.


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To Turf Or Not To Turf

Our garden is shocking, the soil quality in our area is pretty poor, but ours has building rubble mixed in. Not great for growing anything (except for those pesky weeds unfortunately) but I do keep trying. Over the years we have dug away some of our soil and binned it in “gardening green bins” so we could replace with better soil, mud, compost or whatever you want to call it. But it is still pretty poor. So poor most of the neighbours have given in and paved, patio’d or decked their gardens over. Not me, I like nature! As we keep chickens, rabbits and a guinea pig we do at least have free manure to add to our compost bins to make it richer, but the biggest issue is the clay that this area is built on. After years of attempting to grow veggies in the flower bed and getting […]


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Decking Dream – Creating the Ultimate Entertaining Space in your Garden

When we moved in to out house several years ago it had a patio the previous owners had installed themselves, which we were not very taken with. It looks ok, but it goes a nasty, dirty, mossy green and has no style. It’s so last century, and not in a good way! I want decking instead.   Ok, you’re looking at the first photo thinking that’s not so bad aren’t you? You’d be wrong I’m afraid, so were we as that is what we said when viewing the house. It is a bodge job! Not good at all is the fact they covered the air bricks in the outside walls, reducing ventilation in to the house, and so increasing the damp problem we do have. If we could afford it, I would phone a professional gardener handy man type from the yellow pages. I would like the nasty concrete slabs […]


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Planting in Unusual Places, Crazy Containers

As it is Spring now, I’ve been outside planting containers. Now for most gardeners that would mean flower pots or rectangular tubs, but today I did something a teeny bit more quirky. As I didn’t have an old toilet bowl, or a non-seaworthy wooden boat I decided on mugs, shoes and tin cans. I have previously used a toy box as a planting tub, I kept the lid so in winter I pop the lid back on to protect the bulbs inside, clever huh? I wanted to plant some handbags and wellies but the charity shops had nothing I liked the look of today. Everyone has seen planted willies but I liked the idea of hanging handbags like bizarre little hanging basket dangling from my cherry tree… that would have been cool, but no such luck today. Ready to get going… I have here some mixed seeds, some cute mugs […]


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Snowdrops and rain. Is it Spring now?

This morning on my way to take lads to school I noticed the flowers have opened. It’s a bit early for Spring isn’t it as was extremely cold over the last fortnight. I am amazed they’ve sprouted up but here it is… My muddy water logged garden is showing life. These aren’t just any old flowers they were bulbs taken from my grand parents garden after my Gramps died. Every year they come out I remember him. It’s years since he died, but he is still so much to me, my “Dad figure” as my real Dad didn’t want me. I’m so glad I said to Nan that I wanted to take some of Gramps’s bulbs. He was a keen gardener you see, so to me taking home some Snowdrops and Crocuses seemed right. My Nan had the garden ripped out and covered in gravel. She couldn’t bare to look […]