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.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lazy Hazy Days of...February

Back in the Summer of February 2012, in the days before hosepipe bans and 24 hour rainfall, the sun shone, the garden warmed up & the Ladybirds arrived.

For some, the barmy temperatures of Feb' were too much, seeking a shady spot in the mid-day sun.

For others, it was an opportunity to meet up with old friends...

...and snack at the local aphid cafe.

Other, less sociable types laid down their towels and soaked up the suns rays,

while those, clearly in need of new glasses, hugged leaves and made polite one-way conversation.

The adrenaline-junkie Ladybird psyched itself up for a nose-dive into the abyss below.

These photos were taken prior to the ladybirds seeking sanctuary in the Ark that I have been constructing.
With all the rain we've had, since the inroduction of the hosepipe ban, the need for drought-tolerant plants has diminished...I'm considering a line in aquatic garden plants for the under-water world that I think is the future.
Anyone got Kevin Costner's number?

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Patience is a Virtue

About 14 years ago we bought a peony for our new home & garden.
We were seduced by the label dangling on its spindly stems, a vision of the future, of things to come.

We planted, we watered, we tendered the soil, we talked endlessy to it's spindly little stems that peered through the soil each year but nothing....a leaf or two maybe (if we were lucky) .... but never the minutest hint of a bud.
After 11 years of begging the 'damned thing' to 'DO SOMETHING!!!', we took drastic measures.
We dug it up and moved it to the worst part of the garden, where the soil is pretty much the kind of ground you find on new housing estates, bits of rubble, dry, desperately in need of some attention.
At least nearer to the house I could keep a closer eye on it, not have to walk so far to yell at it.

Well you could knock me down with a feather boa & call me a fish sarnie!
The following year (now 12 years old) we had a couple of blooms, weedy, weak ones...but blooms I tell yer!!
Last Summer in its 13th year, the stroppy teenager produced the beautiful swan of the Peony World in abundance. These photo's were taken then, I'm hoping for even better this year.
I guess I was just a little impatient.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Hayfever Sufferers Beware ....

It is 'officially' (according to my book of 'All Things Official') the most beautiful time of the year.
OK, so delete the cold, dank, miserable days and you have the most wonderful time of the year (according to my other book 'The Most Wonderful Parts of the Year with the Grotty Bits Removed', published in Hardback)

The fields round these parts are blooming away with a sea of yellow Rapeseed Oil plants. Looks positively stunning at the mo', especially when viewed from a distance with the skies bubbling away after another downpour & the sun taking a peek & bathing the fields in an even brighter light.
A sigh of relief for all hayfever sufferers as the rain keeps the pollens at bay.

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Have just stumbled upon Pooktre, a process of Tree Shaping.
Check out this link  Pooktre.com or Google 'Pooktre images' for some amazing creations.
Interested to know what others think.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Gardening Companions

There are some days spent gardening that you just don't want to end.
Mid-week I was tending the Tidy Gardens plot, planting lavenders & moving a white buddleia to create a new bug / butterfly haven.

Not wishing to see me garden alone, I was joined by Scruffy Robin and House Mouse.
 Scruffy Robin spent the afternoon hopping around my gloved hands filling his tum with evil vine weevil grubs that I found in a Spirea pot, fatballs, worms & other wriggly creatures I unearthed.
House Mouse made an appearance later on, with a mission to nibble its way through this huge piece of bread before anyone else nabbed it. The pair of them were completely unphased by my presence and it was only sudden shower that ended our time together. Actually they stayed gorging themselves, I legged it indoors for fear of ending up like the Wicked Witch of the West.
This picture is a bit blurry as I was trying not to tread on my newly dug-over bed, but I had the lens about 2 inches from his nose & it didn't even flinch.
Perfect gardening companions.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Old favourites



With a hosepipe ban now in full-force it's time for Mother Nature to turn on the sprinklers and switch on the rain taps.
I planted a selection of seeds a few weeks back, including Candytuft (Fairy Mixed) & Calendula (Art Shades) so I'm very grateful for a watering-hand in the garden
Going back through the archives of photos of 'The Tidy Garden' I found these images that reminded me just how simple they are to grow. With the Calendulas being edible too, they'll look great as a splash of colour in a summer salad.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sunshine Award

It's a murky & grey ol' day out today. It's cold enough to switch off the fridge & keep the contents in the garden and the wind's doing its best to blow all our precious Magnolia blooms halfway across town.
But a ray of light in the shape of one of my fav' stalkers bloggers, Kevin AKA Nitty Gritty Dirtman has sent me this formidable Sunshine Award to brighten my day. Thank you.
Now can I make it quite clear that I am NOT paying Kev huge amounts for bestowing me all these awards of late, nor am I threatening him in any way, shape or form to swim across the pond to De-Tidy his beautiful garden if he doesn't send me some kind of praise on a weekly basis, nor have I got the names & addresses of all his family, friends & work colleagues to share explicit images of him with his bagpipes.
If however you are seeking a more intellectual, amusing, inspirational & mature blog to follow then please do check out Kevin (you're wasting your time here).
As per, there are rules with these awards, so here goes ....
  1. Include the logo in your post. (Sorted)
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.  (Done)
  3. Answer the following 10 questions about yourself. (Prepare to be bored again)
  4. Nominate 10 – 12 other bloggers and link them to the Sunshine Award post in their comments section. (Will do)
1.What is your favorite colour?
Depends if I'm wearing it, making a card out of it or planting it .... please don't make me choose.

2. What is your favorite animal?
I'm a cat lover.

3.What is your favorite number?
4, no idea why.

4.What is your favorite non-alcholic drink?
Tea, el-cheapie stuff

5.Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Hmmm ..... Facebook's ok I guess, am on Twitter but can't get my head round all the '#' and '@'

6.What is your passion?
Was going to say gardening, then Mr TG walked in the room ..... Mr TG of course, without a second thought (gardening & making cards but don't tell)

7.Do you prefer getting or giving presents?
Receiving presents or cards from my children they've either bought or made themselves, otherwise I love the thrill of choosing gifts

8.What is your favorite pattern?
Stripes (usually blue & white) .... (think I was a sailor in a previous life)

9.What is your favorite day of the week?
Friday (so much 'hope' rests on a Friday)

10.What is your favorite flower?
I can't & won't choose .... there .... Rule Breaker.
My nominations for this award are based on those who always manage to bring a wry smile to my chops. They're both fellow gardeners & card-makers with a sense of humour. I hope they will accept ..... if not I know people with knuckles & rottweilers.

(There you go, not quite 10 or 12, but the sun's just come out, gotta switch the fridge back on & mow some lawns)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Way Too Excited ...

Clearly my posting earlier today was a curse on the weather.
Having had months with zero, zilch, nowt in the rain department, I can officially report that my part of the planet has had some 'drizzle' this afternoon.

To all Sun-Worshippers I apologise, to the farmers & gardeners I await payment in the post.

Rain ?

I've been having a 'moment', remembering the 'old days' ..... when computer games consoles took hours to warm up ..... when you could only walk a yard from the telephone before either the curly wire yanked you back or the big, plastic phone itself crashed to the floor.
I also find myself reminiscing about Sunday evenings sat with my cassette-player held tight against the radio waiting to press record when a great song played on the Top 40 chart show, hoping that no one would yell for me or bang on my bedroom door (or the police would arrest me for such an illegal practise)
Then I tried to remember the last time it rained .....

Most of these photos were taken on the 26th January ....

Is it really that long since we had rain ..... ?

If we'd know then what we know now, we could have harvested every last drop ....

We shouldn't really be in drought mode with a hosepipe-ban already.
I'd almost forgotten what rain looks like ....
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