Tidying gardens in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Knebworth & surrounding villages.
If you would like help in the garden, whether it's for a few hours a week, a month or more, then please get in touch.
Tel: 07963 291504

I am currently fully booked for 2017.

Friday, 29 September 2017

A 'Doh!' Moment

For 18 years we have been giving away the cooking apples from our little tree, as we're not lovers of cooked fruit in our house.

Each year, since we moved here, our little tree has produced HUGE juicy, red apples.
Year in, year out, rehoming the fruits to friends and family has been a big tradition.

This year, dearest Mother-in-Law declared that after all these years she wasn't really all that keen on the apples. She claimed that they took FOREVER to cook and that after 18 years she was going to decline this year's offerings.

What we then discovered is that they are actually delicious, sweet EATERS....which we LOVE!!!
Rehoming is temporarily abandoned until further notice...lol.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Don't Speak Too Soon

Regular stalkers will be aware that for the past few years my tomato growing has been a total failure. In days of old, you'd find me skipping gaily around the garden all summer long, picking a tomato here...a tomato there. 
Alas, summertime here in my part of the world just aint the same anymore and for the past few years my crop has failed, due to blight sweeping thru' the garden and that of my neighbours, right at the last minute and I've lost everything.

Daily pickings have a been a thing of the past, the weather has made progress slow and just as the sun has appeared and signs of reddening have started, so has blight...Grrrr.
So last year I swore an end to my tomato growing days, the effort for all those months was too disappointing. No more growing tomatoes.

Well that resolution didn't last very long!
I couldn't resist one more try and as you'll see, fingers crossed, touch wood, etc, etc, etc....I have fruits. Red, plump, jucy fruits!
Ok...so they are all ripening at once...all 16 plants!
But I have tomatoes!
It's a flamin' miracle... I hope I haven't spoken too soon.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

The Summer Garden

Just popping in to share some photos from the garden this week.
I have been super busy with gardening work, hence lack of posts, so this'll be a quickish post.

It's been an eventful few weeks.
 I held my first plant sale which went really well. It's alway been my dream to have my own small nursery but parting with my precious plant babies was harder than expected..... not easy letting them go when you've grown them from seed...lol.
I'll keep dreaming of that nursery for now.

I've done my fair share of saving garden critters from an untimely fate...you know the kinda thing....shimmying struggling bees onto pollen rich flowers, placing baby newts back into ponds, feeding baby birds, rescuing moths trapped indoors.
My reward...getting stung 3 times....YES... 3 TIMES by a flamin' evil wasp and being bitten by something equally vicious in the most sensitive of bodily parts.

On a cheerier note, my 2 pots of blueberries are at their absolute best this year. We've never had so much fruit before. Hopefully Mr & Mrs Blackbird will leave some for us.

Seedpods are ready to burst....

...and some plants are putting on a dazzlingly, delightful, display of blooms.

But outshining everyone in the garden at the mo' are the Tiger Flowers. 
Stunning aren't they.

Finally, my new herb bed. This is one of our raised beds that was orininally for veg, but last year I grew wild flowers. Now it's a herb bed for us and the bees.
NOT wasps (Grrrrr).....just bees.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Auricula Theatre

I am now the proud owner of an Auricula Theatre, handmade by my genius son.
I came home from work the other day to find son 'n heir had decided to fulfil my dream of a theatre to display my 'special' Auriculas. Armed with pieces of decking, hanging basket brackets, an assortment of screws and Mr TG's drill, he set about making my dream a reality .

It took him hours to make and he even made a felt-lined sloping roof for extra protection from the rain. Bearing in mind he's training to be a plumber and he's never sawn a piece of wood in his life, this is the work of a genius. I was quite overwelmed.

Now I can display my really special Auriculas in the pots that Mr TG had made for my birthday last year.
I'm one lucky gal for sure.

Friday, 19 May 2017

The Salad Garden - Book Review

I have another book to share with you today.
The Salad Garden, by Joy Larkcom, is actually a fully revised and updated version of the book that was originally published in 1984 (blimey...over 30yrs ago....where have the years gawn??!!)
Back then it was 'heralded as a game changer by gardeners, chefs and professional growers who supplied restaurants and supermarkets'

This revised version recognises more of us 'average' mere mortals, those with small gardens or just room for a window box, a handful of pots or a raised bed. I'm all for encouraging people to just try growing your own, even if it's one tomato plant in a pot outside the back door. Home grown is definitely best.

The Salad Garden is a thorough look at kitchen gardening, from crop varieties to consider, cultivation, soil and watering through to pests and diseases (which hopefully won't happen!)

If you are just starting out on your 'grow-your-own' journey then this book will be an invaluable resourse, whether you are an allotment holder or like me, pushed for space, there is inspiration and ideas aplenty.

Whether you're an experienced gardener or a beginner, The Salad Garden will have something for everyone and it's the type of book you will dip into time and time again.

It's not all about salad crops as we normally think of them, lettuce, cucumbers, toms, etc... there's a section on Brassicas (cabbages, kale) but no mention on Cauliflower, Broccoli or Brussels Sprouts as far I could see. The Salad Garden also looks at wild flowers and weeds, herbs and edible garden flowers.

I'm not sure that this book lacks anything (except the odd brassica).

It discusses your growing site, soil, bed size shape and height, composting, sowing methods and protecting your crops.

There's also a section on greenhouses, walk-in polytunnels (we can all dream...sigh...), cloches and cold frames. 
Honestly....The Salad Garden has it all, including basic recipes for things like mayonnaise, vinaigrette and other delicious salad dressings. 

Regular followers will know I have a thing about paper and image quality in books (bit weird, I know). This is one hell of a chunky book, about an inch thick, but it is crammed full. The paper quality is excellent in a slight off white. It needs to be a good quality as this book will see you forward for many, many years to come and you'll come back to it time and time again. The plant images appear to be unfiltered, giving a real representation of crops. 
It is a VERY thorough book and one that you will grow into if your self-sufficient journey is just beginning. If you're an old-hand at this crop growing lark then this book will only add to your breadth of knowledge and interest.

The Salad Garden is written by Joy Larkcom and published by Frances Lincoln. 
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