Grow Your Own
The majority of plants are lovely, friendly additions to your garden. All fluffy, colourful and pretty. Even sweet smelling.
Others are laced with danger. A little bit of research into potential newcomers, and existing incumbents, may reveal a darker side lurking in your beds, borders and containers.
Wisteria is the doyenne of many cottage gardens, clothing walls, arbours and fences in long racemes of delightfully perfumed blooms. I, for one, admire and deligh
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
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.
Whether you’re a city dweller and don’t have room for an entire garden or prefer to stay indoors, starting a container garden can be the perfect solution for those looking for a convenient way to grow beautiful plants and fresh vegetables within their own homes.
However, before you make that trip to your local garden centre or start growing plants in containers, it’s important to spend some time observing and learning about your growing space.
Starting a container garden
Good morning, sunshine!
One of the most important elements a garden needs to grow is sunlight, so be sure to observe how much natural sunlight your growing space gets at certain times throughout the day and during different seasons. Depending on what you’re planning to grow, you will want to identify the spots with the least and most amount of sunlight. Because the position and height of the sun continuously changes with the seasons, the amount of sun
Earlier this month, we spoke with Lisa Fearn from The Pumpkin Patch to talk about the importance of getting children into gardening and the valuable skills they can learn from doing so. Lisa spoke to us about the classes The Pumpkin Patch run, favourite recipes for homegrown food, and seasonal cooking.
Our interview with The Pumpkin Patch
1. You have five children of your own who all love gardening. How did you get them into it to start with?
It wasn’t a matter of getting them into it, they just started helping in the garden. When they were very little they used to play in a sand pit just next to me in the garden. I’d dig the soil and they would dig in the sand! They soon started joining me in the garden and would help to plant up
Need to know what to do in your garden but don't know where to start? We've looked at 4 key areas for gardening and provided 5 top tips for each to help you make a start on your garden. Our 4 key areas of focus are:
- Seasonal Gardening - we've covered tips for the whole year, not just the current season, so if you want to know more check out our gardening advice section
- Eco-Friendly Gardening - eco-friendly gardening is a huge part of making sure that you are doing your bit to help the environment while you enjoy your garden! Find out more about eco-friendly gardening here
- Growing Your Own - growing your own food is becoming more and more important, and popular! We look at some great ways to get started here but for
We spoke with Mark from Mark's Veg Plot about the space you need to have your own veg plot, the difference between top and potting soil, and how to choose vegetables suitable for your garden and climate. Check out our interview below.
Our interview with Mark's Veg Plot
1. Living in a "typical" English suburban property, the word ‘space’ must leave you feeling anxious where gardening is concerned. What are your 5 best tips for readers looking to optimise their garden space and make the most out of their home growing?
Most modern properties have very small gardens and are often overshadowed by neighbouring houses which block out the sunlight.
Tip No.1: Don’t do anything permanent to your garden until you have lived in your property for at least a year, so you can see how much sunlight each area gets in each season.
Growing your own food can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you are growing in small spaces. But the guys over at VegTrug have created a fantastic range of products that are perfect for just this! Designed to easily slot against walls or into corners/any unused space you have, they are perfect for anyone looking to start gardening with minimal space. Take a look at what we learned about VegTrugs below, as well as what they can be used for and some excellent tips on growing your own food.
Our interview with VegTrug
1. You make a variety of different products, from Planters in a range of styles to raised beds. How does each different product provide a different space for a small garden?
It all comes down to how much space you can set aside for growing your own. We have the iconic VegTrug which comes in 3 sizes (from 1.8m width down to 75cm) and some cus
Earlier this month, we were fortunate enough to speak to Emma over at The Unconventional Gardener about growing unusual edible crops and any advice she could give people looking to start growing their own weird and wonderful foods. Emma also spoke about composting and sustainable gardening, giving us plenty of fantastic information to put to work in our own gardens. Check out her interview below.
Our interview with The Unconventional Gardener
1. We can see how much you’re interested in unusual edible crops. What made you decide to go down that route of gardening?
When I bought my first house I was interested in the environment and food miles, but the garden was in a dire state. Whilst we dealt with that I started to grow a few edible plants in pots on the patio. To begin with it was all familiar things - potatoes, herbs and garlic. Then I bought some leaf be