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, please give me a call.
Tel: 07963 291504
Email: jane@tidygardensbyjane.co.uk


Monday, 2 May 2016

Oh, Such A Perfect Day....

...I'm glad I spent it with you.

Bank Holiday Monday, spent digging out Vine Weevil grubs for a Robin.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Introducing Apple Paradis 'Elegance' from Lubera (Guest Post)

Apple 'Elegance

'A new autumn apple has become the belle of the debutante apple ball. Elegance is wowing her public with her excellent texture and good storability.  

Beautifully formed and scab-resistant, this variety is part of the Paradis Apple  range. This new addition to the school of apple heaven is simply a model pupil because she is disease resistant and beautifully coloured with a tall habit.  The flavour is tangy and juicy when picked off the tree, and yet very durable. An autumn apple, which is simultaneously also a winter apple!

Form /Appearance: Medium to large, tall built, streaky coloured; extensively blurred red colour when harvested late; very beautiful apple, just like a two-coloured apple should be!
Texture / Firmness: Very firm, a modern texture that macerates immediately and must not be chewed laboriously.
Flavour: Sweet refreshing, fully aromatic, with a hint of cinnamon; reliable and very good every year, even when the yields are very high
Harvest /Maturity / Storage: The harvest takes place in one or two passages in mid to late September; the apple can be enjoyed directly off the tree in its full quality – like an autumn variety but it can still be stored easily, very long, until spring.  In addition to the sour 'Paradis 'New Year', this is the best apple in our range for storing.'

For more details click here.

Guest Post written by Francijn Suermondt for Lubera

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Cabbages n' Kale Update

Back in early October last year I wrote about growing cabbages, to be eaten as spring greens, in the greenhouse....click here.
They were a 'Spring Duchy' variety that could be eaten early as a spring greens or left to develop into hearty cabbages. I put 3 pluglets into each of these planters and popped them in the greenhouse once the colder weather arrived. I have a client who is doing the same experiment with me and while her cabbages romped away in her greenhouse, mine didn't really do much so I decided to pop them into one of the raised veg beds (as it was such a mild winter) to see if they'd perform better, which they have...phew! 

Darned pigeons have spotted them so I have installed fencing, a moat, armed guards and a rottweiler to keep 'em off!

As well as cabbages, I've also been having a go with Kale. The image above was also taken back in October of last year when I planted up a starter pack consisting of Curly Kale 'Midnight Sun', Black Kale, Curly Kale 'Emerald Ice' & Curly Kale 'Redbor'.

Here they are now...they're not huge but boy do they taste good!!!

Nothing beats growing it yourself!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Heavenly Hellebores

Finally, after 2 years of nurturing, my wee collection (Ahem!) of hellebore babies are all grow'd up and ready for their new homes.
They're  mainly Double  Ellen's....enjoy!

Definitely worth the wait.

Friday, 22 January 2016

Gardening Availability Update 2016

Just a quick update on my gardening availability in 2016.
I am desperately trying to find a way to 'squeeeeeeeze' in some new clients for the coming year and will post above if a slot becomes free. 

Friday, 18 December 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Is it me or has this year flown by?
As always I have a lot of people to thank, from my clients who have fed my gardening addiction, to my family who put up with my addiction.... Thank You!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

Monday, 16 November 2015

It Must Be Love...

Residents of Blighty may recall a recent episode of Countryfile where Matt Baker ooohed n' arrrrrred over a delicious, sweet tasting Redlove apple.

Well... I decided that 2 rather ugly conifers could be scarificed for something a tad tastier (alas I'm not talking about Mr Baker) and my apple tree order was placed.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce the Redlove 'Odysso' from Lubera UK, as swooned over by the equally swoon-overable Matt Baker.
Regular Tidy Garden stalkers may recall my introduction to Lubera UK earlier this year (see link here).

(Images courtesy of Lubera)

Markus Kobelt, founder of Lubera in Switzerland, bred the Redlove 'Odysso' and if you get the chance to watch any of his videos, you will see he simply ooooozes passion for his work. I love the way he promotes his plants, all footage is in a 'home-video' style, sometimes windswept, which although I'm not sure is deliberate, I find honest, refreshing with no 'faff' nonsense.  Take a look here ... you'll see what I mean. 

Markus has one simple top tip with his apple tree...DO NOTHING!
If you prune them they will just grow more and more growth means less energy into producing apples. Horizontal growth is slower than upright so if you want to grow them in an espalier fashion, then go for it.
I plan to just let it grow and do the 'do nothing' option.

The Redlove 'Odysso' is perfect for the smaller garden & can also be grown in a pot.
It has the deepest pink blossom in April / May and the fruits ripen in late September & October. You can see the apples are red inside too. I have the tree labelled as '2yr old bush in a 10L pot'. It arrived perfectly packaged and is about 4.5ft tall.
I really encourage you to watch the video links to the Redlove 'Odysso' and you'll see why I love the Lubera range. 
Honest, simple gardening passion.

I'm delighted to say that Lubera have a special offer for Tidy Gardens by Jane readers.
Get 20% off your order by entering the code tgbj-X-15-11 at the checkout.
Offer ends on the 30th November 2015 and applies to all plants at Lubera.
Happy shopping!!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Cosmic Sassyness

 There's heaps of sassyness going on at Tidy Gardens HQ. 
Last year's Streptocarpus cuttings are rocking it in the ol' greenhouse, while outside...

... the Cosmos are continuing to give a late autumn cosmic display.
It doesn't get much better than this.
Have a groovy weekend everyone!!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Cabbages n' Kale

One word ... Blight!
Nuff said.
The veg beds have been stripped and a decision made... give up growing tomatoes. 
I've grown them successfully for years, enjoying a daily supply throughout summer, but for the past few years summer weather has been rubbish for toms, they've taken forever to ripen, there's been a glut of semi-ripe fruit in autumn followed by blight...Ugh!!!

So let's not mention the 'T' word again...ay?
This autumn I'm going to have a go at growing cabbages in the greenhouse, but eating them as greens. The variety I've bought is 'Spring Duchy', which can be eaten earlier as greens or left to develop longer into hearty cabbages. I got a pack of 9 plantlets for £3.99 from Wyevale.

It's still too warm in the ol' greenhouse during the day so I've planted 3 plants into each of these veg' growing bags (reduced last week in The Range from £3.99 to £1.99 for 2) and will leave them growing outside for a while longer. I've put them up on this bench so hopefully the pigeons & slugs won't see them.

I'll eventually move them into the greenhouse and leave them them to grow on in these bags.
 I'm super excited about this experiment.

Something else I've not grown before is Kale.
This is a mixed variety 'starter pack', again from Wyevale, they were £5.99 for 20 plants (4 x 5 varieties).

Excuse the mud.
These have gone straight into one of the raised veg beds that has been beefed up with some fresh compost, well rotted manure and a sprinkle of fertiliser.

My anti'-kitty/pigeon sticks in place, job done.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Posing Penstemons

An uber-quick post from moi today. I'm super busy but I wanted to share some images of the fabulous Penstemons doing their 'thang' in the Tidy Garden at the mo'.
This is a picture heavy post & I apologise that I don't have the names of all the varieties but enjoy anyway.

Strawberries & Cream

Amelia Jane ?

Before I go, I thought I'd also share my method for propogating these beauties. I've tried the method of taking cuttings and popping into compost but I've had greater success simply taking a cutting and popping it into water. I find they root far quicker, the roots are stronger and almost every cutting 'takes'. I reckon my success rate is 90% with this method, compared to 50% popping them into compost first.

These are just a 'few' (cough!) of my 1yr old cuttings.
Why not give it a go... it's dead easy!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Streptocarpus Propogating Update

Regular stalkers may recall my earlier post here where I attempted to propogate Streptocarpus plants.
I'd used the method of slicing 1 leaf into 1 inch chunks, popping the cutting into soil, watering, covering and praying.

Fast-forward 1 year and here they are in all their flowering glory.

I love love love propogating but it comes at a price.....

...our humble abode only has so many window sills so this lot lives in the greenhouse, in a slightly shaded spot, waiting to be adopted.

The only 'problem' (and it is a teeny one) is watering them. They hate being overwatered and will reward you for this sin by dying. They do droop when they're too dry but quickly perk up when watered but don't give them too much.

As I'm banned from further Strepto' propogating I'm now having a go at Succulents. Here's a sneaky peek...

Happy gardening....and propogating!!

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