Bare walls, fencing and obelisks are just waiting for a climber or two. Or maybe three. This little lot will clothe your naked vertical surfaces in no time at all. And that can only be good news.
Sure, a stuffed-out, summer-flowering hanging basket in full flow is a joy when hanging from a secure bracket on a well-maintained fence. But once autumn arrives, the plants fade and are consigned to the compost bin, what happens then? Of course, you can replace it with a winter basket. And that will last until spring, then begin to look a little tatty before summer bursts back on the scene. Or...you can plant up one basket to last the whole year round.
A good-sized basket is best. The compost doesn’t dry out as quickly and you can get more in there! Then a little bit of planning and planting and a 12-month-of-the-year display is possible:
Everyone likes the idea of a bit of GIY (grow it yourself) but some are put off by lack of space. And a shortage of time. After all, allotment waiting lists can be long and a dedicated two days a week to keeping a plot ship-shape unfeasible. Never fear - if you have a fence panel you can be a top GIY-er. Honest.
A sturdy fence panel is the perfect support for runner beans. Planted in the ground or into large pots, plants will scramble and twirl in and out of slats and sections of a fence panel. Same thing goes for climbing French beans. Oh, and cucumbers, pumpkins and indeed anything that either climbs or usually flops on the floor.
You’ve done it, I’ve done it - everyone’s done it. I’m on about buying a plant when you know that your garden is full. The plant is delivered and then you have to find a home for it. Or you may have a patio garden. All concrete and paving slabs. No greenery to be seen within the confines of your brick enclosure. Someone buys you a plant as a gift. Help! The answer to both these scenarios is, of course, containers. Any plant will grow in a container given a few principles.
- Match the size of the container to your plant. Not the size it is when you plant it but research (read the label!) the eventual size. Plan acco
A short while ago, we caught up with Luke Jones, Project Manager of Energy Garden, to talk about the Energy Garden project, what it is, and how it is helping bring colour and life to some of London's busiest areas. Check out our interview below!
Our interview with Energy Garden
1. What would you say the main aim of the Energy Garden project is?
Energy Garden aims to bring communities together using the power of community gardening and community energy. We install environmental infrastructure and small renewable energy systems on the platforms of the London Overground and hand them to the local community. By doing this we are re-invigorating the civic pride that used to be commonplace in the communities around these public spaces.
2. The focus of the Energy Garden project is to provide on-site renewable energy for small scale station amenities. How do you work towards this?
Last month, we caught up with Neil Wilcox, Information Officer at Thrive, about how gardening can help people from all walks of life build confidence, skills, and relationships. We look at some of the work that Thrive does, how you can get involved, and how social and therapeutic horticulture can benefit everyone.
Learning about Thrive
1. What is Thrive?
Thrive is the leading charity in the UK that uses gardening to bring about positive changes in the lives of people who are living with disabilities or ill health, or are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. This is known as social and therapeutic horticulture (STH).
2. Why was Thrive set up? What was the driving force behind it?
Thrive was initially set up by Chris Underhill MBE in 1978 as the Society for Horticultural Therapy and Rural Training. Chris was inspired after seeing the benefits that working with plants and land brought to people who had b
Featured image: Darren Ema and Nicky planting some purple sprouting broccoli in the greenhouse
We caught up with Ken over at People and Gardens to find out more about their work and some of the projects they are involved with, how gardening can provide substantial health benefits, and who they work with within the community for their projects and wider aims. Take a look at our interview below.
Our interview with People and Gardens
1. People and Gardens was set up to help people with learning disabilities and mental health issues to develop work and social skills. How does your work benefit them?
The work enables them to achieve participation, presence, competence, choice and respect, which leads to the participants taking control over their own lives, and to feeling that they are valued members of society.
Featured image: Perennial 9 Star Broccoli
Recently, we caught up with Mandy Barber from Incredible Vegetables to find out all about how she started growing, how she has become one of the main growers of Ulluco in the UK, and some beginners tips to help us all become expert vegetable growers. Take a look at our interview below.
Our interview with Incredible Vegetables
1. You and your partner set up Incredible Vegetables as an experimental vegetable growing project and now sell perennial vegetable plants and seeds in your online shop. When you started your growing project did you ever expect to be selling as well?
It all started back in 2010 when we were lucky enough to buy a share in a piece of land which gave us a lot of space – not just to grow our own food and be self-sufficient in vegetables, but space to research, experiment and grow unusual and
Last month we spoke to Stephanie Hafferty to find out all about no dig gardening, and how you can turn homegrown food into favourite dishes and even natural products for the home. Find out all about what Stephanie does in our interview below.
Our interview with Stephanie Hafferty
1. You are a no-dig kitchen gardener, teacher, writer and chef. How do you tie all of your occupations together?
The different aspects of my work have naturally formed, so they tie together harmoniously.
After leaving university (where I studied English Literature and Art History), I trained as a secondary school teacher but after two years’ teaching in a school in Cambridgeshire realised that it wasn’t the career for me. Whilst exploring other options, I became pregnant with my first child - I have three children (all young adults now) so parenting has been a major theme of the past 23 years.
I’ve always had an interest
Last month, we caught up with SweetTree Farming for All to find out more about their Care Farm project and some of the other work they do with the community. Check out our interview with them below.
Our interview with SweetTree Farming for All
1. SweetTree Farming For All runs a range of activities and training for adults and young people. What sort of activities and training do you provide?
We run a few different projects, some at our own Care Farm in Mill Hill, SweetTree Fields Farm, and some are outreach projects around Watford and Hertfordshire. At our Care Farm, our ‘Let it Grow’ project for adults with a wide range of health/social support needs offers animal husbandry, horticulture, outdoor cooking, natural arts and crafts, shelter building and other bushcraft. It’s our own farm so we can do almost anything, and have our own sheep, donkeys, chickens, ducks and rabbits, with wooded areas, a warm and cosy yurt and an