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.


Sunday, 23 December 2012

Festive Greetings

 
Thank you to everyone who has visited the Tidy Garden blog this year.
Thank you also to all of my clients for the opportunity to work alongside you in your gardens and to those who have taken the trouble to leave such wonderful testimonial comments.
 
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013
*********** 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

 
NOT!
This is the warning being issued by the RSPB following the unusual rise in bird obesity in the Hertfordshire area over the past 2 years. It appears that 'someone' (their identity is not being disclosed) has being putting out 'failed Christmas' cakes, that had been rejected by the building industry as house-bricks, to the birds in the North Herts area.
It seems birds arrive in gardens in peak condition...
 
(Norman the pigeon)

...and then find themselves unable to take off, with chronic indigestion and requiring the assistance of the emergency services to air-lift them to the gym for a work-out having indulged in said festive offering.
Officials have been reassured that the cake offender, who is believed to be a cateringly-challenged female, about 21 years old (ahem!), lacking in height and with a thing for George Clooney has in fact given up entirely in her attempt to bake a Christmas cake and has been caught on CCTV this year purchasing a rather natty one from a Tesco supermarket. Despite this assurance, the public are still advised that she may be armed with a dibber or trowel so approach with caution...and if you're offered cake...RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Decorations

 
Woke up this morning to find Mother Nature had put up the Christmas decorations in the Tidy Garden.
 
 
Not a bauble in sight....love it!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I'm Back!

 
Ahoy Lovers of all things Leafy n' Floral!
I'm back...albeit briefly.
 
 
Just a few snaps from the Tidy Garden of the seasons colours.
Thank goodness I caught the Acer in its prime before this mornings first frost of the autumn
.
 
The Antirrhinums may have stopped flowering but their foliage is now putting on a show alongside the lime ferns.
 
 
Our Hydrangeas have taken on their vintage look.
 
 
And the strawberry leaves are almost as lush as their summer fruits.
 
 
Will be back soon...one the leaves stop falling.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Gardener-A-Holic

 
When not gardening I can be found indulging in my other passion...card making, and in particular cards for fellow gardeners.
By day you will find me knee deep in foliage, by night waist deep in crafting materials.
On this note I'd like to say the Tidy Garden Blog will be taking a short break but will return asap.
Work is really busy at the moment as the autumn clear-ups increase and preparations for the New Year in the gardens begin.
With about 60 Christmas cards to make, my evenings up until the big day are taken up creating so finding time to post on my blog is limited. 
I will try & visit you all but apologies if I don't for a short while.
So for now, I'll leave you with some of the cards I've made with a gardening theme and if you need a hobby to while away the cold winter nights...well...here's an idea.
 
 
 

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Several Shades of Pink

 
By 'eck there's been a nip in the air this week.
No need for my embarrassing pink hat anymore or layers of sun-screen...the pink fleece has now been dusted off and is poised ready for action.
Hot baths are on the menu at the end of a busy day and if I can get away with it, (when Mr TG's not looking) the heating on too.
 
.
 
After our 7 hour 'potter' in the garden last weekend the Tidy Garden is looking quite fresh again and looks particularly special early in the morning when the sun does shine. What we do need though is some rain just to loosen up the soil and looking at the forecast for next week that may just happen. Guess I ought to dig out the raincoat & wellies too.
Have a great weekend everyone!


Saturday, 15 September 2012

A Tiny Revamp...AGAIN!

 
Just a quick posting this week from the Tidy Garden which today has undergone a 'mini' revamp (I know...AGAIN...I couldn't help myself). The disposal of a few tired looking shrublets, a bunch of newly-planted lavenders moved to avoid the blades of the lawnmower that keeps decapitating them and the discovery of a huge clump of Nigrescen hiding under the skirt of Mr TG's beloved Mrs Bradshaw Geum (Strumpet!!)
 
 
What started off as a 'I'm just gonna potter for an hour in the garden' turned into an epic 7 hour marathon but the satisfaction at the end of the day was well worth it.
 
 
The Anemones are putting on another amazing display this year and my plan to carpet the planet with these annual beauties continues, although at this rate they may be knocking on the back door as they're getting slightly too rampant and a tad too tall and leaning over, which in the Tidy Garden isn't a tidy look. They can stay for now but I may have to rein it in a bit next year.
Hope you're all having a groovy weekend...enjoy!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Edible Tidy Garden

 
The arrival of the Rudbeckias & Sedums for me, marks the end of summer.
The appearance of Cyclamen flower however, at the beginning of September, is a bit alarming.
Just a few random edible and in some cases, NOT so edible shots from the Tidy Garden over the past few months.
 
 
The tomatoes had finally got going when suddenly last weekend we were hammered with blight...GRRRRR!!! We tried to salvage the back garden fruits which looked ok, but within 24 hours of picking they were riddled. So disappointing after all the time & effort. Hoping the ones growing at the front of the house will escape the disease. We lost about 10 plants.
 
 
Mr TG's Peppers are swelling but I don't honestly think they're going to make it either.
 
 
he Cucumbers have been a huge success, definitely growing more of them next year.
 
 
Small but perfectly formed.
 
 
The Calendulas have been amazing but I couldn't bring myself to chomp on them in a side-salad. It would be like eating your favourite child. Far prettier in the garden than on my plate.
 
 
The Runner Beans provided more of a windbreak in the garden this year than a meal. Nothing beats the Tidy Garden family announcing their dislike of runner beans just as you're dishing up dinner. Maybe just before I planted the seeds would have been a good time. Still, their towering structure over the summer has provided a shady spot to sit when the sun has appeared or acted as a windbreak on the more turbulent days. At least my TG clients enjoyed them.
 
 
No edible garden would be complete without a spot of cheese, and these came in the form of Miss TG's old boots. She may have outgrown them & they may have lost their heels & a set of laces but Mr TG retrieved them from the bin & created Marigold Display units!
 
Have a groovy week everyone...play nicely!
****
LUPIN APHID UPDATE.
Thank you for all your Aphid Destruction Tips n' Tricks.
After another dousing (drowning) in organic bug killer, squishing between manly fingers, a non-organic bug killer and a damn good talking to, Mr TG has resorted to violence & chopped down our Lupins hoping that would rid us of the buggers. One week on, with new shoots appearing and like Jack Nicholson at the bathroom door with a pick-axe yelling "Heeeeeere's Johnny" they're back!!!!!!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Attack of the Aphids

 
According to the RHS website, the Lupin Aphid was first detected in the UK in 1981.
 
 
The Lupin Aphid has officially been detected in the Tidy Garden summer 2012.
Apparently it's a member of the Green / Blackfly family & has a penchant for lupins, in this case OUR lupins.
 We have tried to be organic in our approach to removing these sap-sucking menaces, using a fatty-acid based spray but they seem to enjoy this method like a cool shower on a hot day.
 
 
We've tried the removal by hand method (when I say 'hand', I mean that of Mr TG...way too ugly a job for a girl!). He's tried squishing them with a tissue up the stem, burning said tissue afterwards but within 24 hours they're back, bigger, hungrier than ever and in greater numbers.
We've tried bashing them with the bug killer spray bottle in desperation.
Ladybird luring methods haven't worked either, nothing seems even the slightest bit interested in them and in a way I can understand that. They're huge at 4mm long with juicy fat bodies.
May have to consider a less organic, garden-friendly approach in the future...Rottweiler anyone?
 
 
What is a joy to see in the Tidy Garden is this years froglets emerging from the pond. At only double the size of an aphid he has more charm already. Have only seen 2 so far, considering the amount of spawn but I guess that's natures way.
 
 
Even more beautiful are the gorgeous flowers I've managed to pick from the garden...Cosmos, Marigolds, Antirrhinums, Sweet peas & Rudbeckias, bug-free and blooming lovely! 

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Brace Yourselves....


Yes...it's a tomato.... a tomoto...singular!
It's not just any tomato, oh no...it's a red tomato.
It's the end of August, summer is plummeting into autumn and now one tomato has decided to turn red. Just another 20 odd plants need to jump on board the 'reddening-wagon' before they're zapped by the first frost.
A month ago I posted that I only had a few fruits, now I have a truckload of beautiful, green, uber-heavy trusses. What they need is sun, sun and a lot more sun. Today we've had terrific thunderstorms, stem-breaking gale force winds, hail and enough rain to sink a battleship.
I fear, like the Raspberry (singular) last month, there may be yet another stampede in the Tidy Garden kitchen for this tomato, so after this posting this one's going into hiding (between 2 slices of bread on my plate!)

Friday, 17 August 2012

Always Look On The Bright Side...

 
Feast your eyes on this... 
 
 
During the depths of our balmy summer our old dying Pyracantha finally bit the dust.
 
 
Mother Nature, along with a gale force wind and a shed load of rain finally snapped one of the branches off our ladder-shaped shrub.
 
 
 
It had originally been shaped into a series of lollipop branches but our aged cats used it's crafted stems as a ladder onto next doors shed roof.
 
 
 
Anyway, after a summer lashing, this branch fell off and I was amazed how much more beautiful it looked than it ever had on it's original Pyracantha torso. 
 
 
I think this is Turkey Fungus...
 
 
 
Isn't it amazing?
 
 
 
Not sure what type this is, looks like suede. 
 
 
I guess not everything in the garden has been a disaster.
Our crazy summer has bought some right crackers!
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