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, 23 September 2012


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!
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! 
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