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

Fully booked for 2020.

Friday, 30 September 2011

It's the Weekend ... WOO HOO ...

What a scorcher of a week it's been here in Blighty.
I had to resort to wearing my embarrassing pink sun-hat whilst gardening ... don't hold yer breath ... photo's will NOT follow. Trust me ... I would look far sexier wearing a bin-bag on my head than my sun-hat. Mind you, with temperatures as crazily hot as they've been (high 20's), without my hat I could easily have ended up looking like 'The Head' that we have on top of an old tree stump in the garden.
Have a Groovy Weekend Everyone ...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

It's Never Too Late ...

Yes ... that IS a Velociraptor ...

It's only taken me 40 several years to appreciate Marigolds and what fantastic summer bedding plants they are. There's something about them that made me avoid them like the plague every year ... not quite sure if it's the smell, the way they don't move in the garden centre (they just just sit there all stiff, they don't wave n' holler to be bought, they just wait). This year I read that they're good for keeping aphids off yer lettuces what with their unusual pong (yeah right ...) and so I made my first ever purchase. The aphids remained on the lettuce ... but...I have to confess I'm impressed. They've done nothing but flower there heads off, nip off the dead ones & they repay you with more, but it's their colours, fiery oranges & hot yellows that have been focal points around the garden that will make sure I def' buy them next year

Monday, 26 September 2011

Dangly Bits

I now have a special Spider Stick by the back door, it's beginning to look a bit like a stick of candyfloss as I use it to fight my way Zorro-like thru' the webs that the autumn spiders choose to spin across my path down to the garden each day. Me thinks they're spun to catch me, & make me squeal like a girl as they stick on my face and get caught up in my barnet, rather than to catch unspecting flies as they pass.
Good job my camera has macro & a decent zoom lens in order to get a close up of this critter, one false move & I'd have been running for the hills.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Psst! Don't Tell ...

It's been a funny ol' week gardening ... I've saved a frog, cleared up two dead ones (complete with entrails which almost made me hurl), watched a short, fat, orange slug stretch itself to 5 inches long and then 'leg' it across the lawn, been 'yelled' at by an angry robin and gnarled at and slobbered on ... and those were just my clients ... JOKING
Although what I do in each garden is much the same, everyone views their garden in a different way. Some don't view it at all, it's just another place to maintain, for some it's their escape or a never ending changeable space and for others it's the opportunity to fulfil a vision.
For me ... it's an indulgence, a guilty pleasure.
Don't tell anyone I'm having the time of my life. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Forgive me ...
it has been several 'minutes' since my last confession. 
I couldn't stand it anymore ... 30 odd tomato plants outside the front door sagging with fruit was getting boring. It's like being stuck at traffic lights ... Red, Orange, Green, Red, Orange, Green. The little blighters were practically throwing themselves off the plants in a desperate tomato-suicidal leap to get my attention as I went by. Everytime I walked out the front door, there would be a handful on the floor waiting to trip me up or worse, be squidged under foot.
Enough was enough ... out came the scythe.
These are some of the good 'uns, there was a tray-load of 'dodgy' looking dudes that I chucked out &  I've picked another tray of 'greenies' since these snaps were taken. They're now sunning themselves indoors but there are still another half dozen plants out the back banging on the windows to come in ... Ignore them.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Rampant in the Garden

The Japanese Anemone in our garden has become a rampant beauty. If I had a small field I'd plant a couple of these & let them fill the fields to there hearts content. The flowers have the silkiest, pink petals with a pearlescent glimmer - 'ark at me sounding all 'arty' - that sit like ballerina tutus on stems that are about 1m tall. They don't need support & at the end of its season will get the ol' chop back.
It sends shoots off underground but if you're careful enough, you can tease the shoots back to some fresh roots, yank it out & plant it elsewhere. I've got it dotted in all areas of the garden where the soils great & rubbish, sunny and dappled. If it gets a bit too much & tries to take over I just rips those bits out which does sound harsh so next year I may start potting them up to give to my clients.

Friday, 16 September 2011


We bought 3 blueberry plants last year, with the rather catchy names of July, August & September. 
Year one & 3 plants produced a small egg-cup full to the brim of 'hmmm' fruit. I say 'hmmm' fruit as this was the only word my teenage daughter could be bothered to string together whilst I waited with baited breath for a verdict after months of slaving away with rainwater, the right soil, weekly leaf stroking and plant bedtime tales. I 'googled' for a translation and this meant 'good'. I personally don't like them, so had to wait for her verdict.
Year 2 saw the demise of one of the plants, no idea which month perished as the labels were removed as apparently, according to my source, 'labels are naff'.
Mid-September (I know...already) and fruits have at last started to ripen. I shan't bother waiting for a verdict this time, I'll just bung 'em in our kids breakfast bowl & assume all's good unless I hear otherwise.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Culinarily Challenged ...

Eat yer heart out Tesco (other supermarkets are available) ... we're drowning in tomatoes and I think we could keep your shelves piled high for a few weeks to come.
It's a shame however that my catering skills match only those of a 3 day old kitten. I can do tomatoes in salad ... and ...  that's about the end of it. I'm also running out of people to 'donate' them to.
Please don't go to the trouble of sending me SIMPLE recipe ideas ... trust me ... I really am rubbish at cooking. The smoke-alarm going off in our house is the signal that dinner is ready. So if you're passing, bring your empty punnet & feel free to stock up.
Ooh...by the way, I took the advice of a couple of commenters who suggested I thin my beetroots and wait a bit longer and result. The little beauties are beginning to plump up. Hoorah!!!

Saturday, 10 September 2011


These blue balls of nectar filled spikiness are coming to the end of their season now.
They're Echinops (Globe Thistle) which are gonna be hugely missed by the bees n' hoverflies that have spent the summer drunkenly feeding from each tiny blue trumpet. These hardy perennials that we have growing in full sun are about 3' tall and apart from their annual chop-back, need as much care as a dead broom handle.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Missed Opportunity

Cranesbill - Herb Robert
I've noticed just recently that gardens centres have started to sell Cranesbill-Herb Robert in the Wild Flowers section. If only I'd known there was money to be made from these Cat Wee smelling critters,  I'd have potted up all those that had taken refuge in my garden and all the gardens where I'm employed to get rid of them & retired with the procedes to the Bahamas.
I have no idea where they came from, never had them up until a year ago, I thought they were weeds and now I could kick myself at the fortune that's gone up the local recycling centre ... DOH
So now I've been leaving them if they appear, the leaves are quite dainty with pinky/ mauve geranium flowers. Ours have all appeared on the 'shadey side' of the garden so I guess that's where they're happiest.
Apparently they're used in herbalism for toothache & nosebleeds, so with that in mind ... next time I stand on a rake I shall use Herb Robert to mend my wounds.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Flippin' 'Eck

A couple of weeks back I wrote about a freaky Sunflower growing in our garden that my son Oliver had planted that has 9 flowers growing on a single stem. Well knock me down with a cabbage leaf & call me a burnt omelette ... I've been to check up on it today & it's got a further 5 buds appearing ... yes ... 5 buds. That'll be 14 flower heads ... that's if the gale-force wind forecast for tomorrow doesn't send it hurtling down the street.
Off to seek out the World Record for number of flowers on a single sunflower plant ... we could have a winner.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Budding Photographers ...

I know ... there's nothing worse than somebody elses holiday snaps to induce a coma, but please bear with me.
Some of these photo's were taken by my kids on a recent trip to Dunster Castle near Minehead. At 11 & 14 years old, I think their photography is quite stunning & deserves a public airing ... Enjoy.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Should Have Gone To Specsavers

Always read the label ...
Earlier in the year we decided to add some plants to our slate pathways to soften the edges and add some 'little' focal points around the garden. I bought Aubretia, Dianthus & Lupins for varying heights & seasonal colour and my crazy husband bought Hollyhocks ... yes Hollyhocks ... he thought the label said 8" (inches) tall, when in fact it read 8' (feet) tall. Now that would have been a focal point along a narrow, meandering path where footballs flying across the garden & swingball games are a frequent occurrance ... more like flowering goal-posts.
So these beauties ... and beauties they sure are, were planted in a dappled, sheltered spot out of harms way and have produced the most dainty of puff-ball blooms, although you do need a stilts or a step ladder to fully appreciate them.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

To Bin or Not To Bin?

Pinch ...  Punch ... First day of September.
This is my Beetroot 'crop', it looks lush, has healthy looking leaves but that's where it ends. There are no beetroots, nothing's happened. A neighbour suggested that I planted them too late (not according to the seed packet) and that I should give up & bin them now. I did read somewhere that it can take 3 months before harvesting but not sure at what stage they will start to look slightly beetroot-shaped. Mine aren't 3 months old yet, so I'm tempted to leave them & wait...they do look pretty with their maroon-streaked leaves and they've made an effort...what do you think?
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