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.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Hooked on Heucheras

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While Mr C drools over the loves of his life, Geums ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ & ‘ Lady Stratheden’, I have been revelling in my own affair with a whole bunch of Heucheras. I can’t get enough of them & my ‘supplier’ is at the stage of questioning ‘do you really need another?’
Now I don’t know the names of all the varieties I have but the one above has speckles of pink in the rich purple & green tinged foliage & long stems of white flowers that last for months at a time.
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This one is quite special, the above photo shows its green leaf colour now and the one below shows that its leaves were peachy coloured earlier in the year, with its stunning flowers that up close are pink & lime.
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What can I say about this one (Lime Marmalade) that isn’t flamin’ obvious! It looks this perfect everyday of the year & I’m still in awe each time I walk pass. I have more than one (ahem!) of these.
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I believe this one is Coral Bells, the striking lipstick-red flowers make up for the fairly ordinary foliage.
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It’s impossible to count the number of colours that simply ooze from this one. Gorgeous from above looking down and amazing from underneath looking up with its deep purple undersides that show subtly along its frilly edged leaves.
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And finally…’Marmalade’….simply heavenly!
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These are all in pots of varying sizes outside the front door where they are exposed to everything the British weather throws at them. From snow, biting winds, torrential rain to baking summer sun.
All they require is regular treatment with an anti-vine weevil killer and watering & this is the payback.
I hope you’re hooked too!
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Friday, 6 September 2013

Nursery Dream (phase 2)

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Regular visitors to this wee blog, family & friends will know that I’m an easily pleased kinda soul and small ‘things’ can get me quite excited.
(I’ll pause a while & wait for those smuttier readers to compose themselves…….)
Well you may recall the ‘beginnings’ of my next dream which was to have a nursery of my own one day. The Tidy Garden isn’t big enough to house greenhouses or polytunnels, it’s just your avarage sized garden so the only spare space is the unused path up the side of the house. Here I’ve installed 5 shelving units but with the cooler days ahead I’ve got my mitts on some tomato greenhouses to give my seedlings some protection.
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All was going fine until the first rains…disaster struck! I hadn’t taken into account the flimsy roofing & large air-vent holes. Being plastic the roof just collapsed in on itself & the rain gushed thru’ the holes.
It was at this point that a career in aquatics suddenly appeared a better option…everything was flooded in one downpour!
Enter the A-Team (…the ‘A’ standing for ANOTHER disaster dealt with )…
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….a bit of Blue Peter thinking, a lot of ‘umming’ n’ ‘arrrring’ and someone who can be trusted with a drill….et voila…Roofing!
All very Heath Robinson but hey ho! Gotta start somewhere.
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So of course it’s not rained since its construction but today we have a slight drizzle, not quite the torrential deluge we were forecast & I’m not sure how well it’ll hold if it snows during the winter but at least it should offer some protection & I can put ‘Aquatic Nursery’ as a stand-by occupation for now.
Meanwhile, on the look out for that winning lottery ticket so I can get a small piece of land to expand….(phase 3)
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Just a few updates….the tomatoes are finally ripening. Not many have made it to the kitchen as we keep eating them as we pass by.
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The raised beds have been more or less cleared now, just onions & leeks remain. Earlier in the year when the Tidy Garden offspring picked up what looked like half a dozen blades of grass in a pot for £1.49 advertised as ‘Sweetcorn’, I do recall ‘guffawing’ at the time & pointing out that we’d need lots of space as well as questioning whether the contents of the pot were in fact kitty-grass rather than sweetcorn. I personally can’t stand the stuff, feels like eating Lego-offcuts but the kids love ‘em so the challenge was on. Well how wrong was I…you could have knocked me down with a feather & called me Gladys!

I put 4 in one of the squares of the raised bed & the other 2 in with some leeks & we’ve had at least 3 husks per stem and what amazing plants to watch grow. See just what you can grow in such a tiny space and cooked within seconds of being cut.
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have been delicious, spring onions hopeless again. Can’t figure out just why I can’t grow them when they should be so easy….grrrr.
Our first attempt at broadbeans have been a triumph, initially grown for Mr TG but we’re all hooked on them now so will grow more next year.
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Time to sit back & enjoy our hard work (excuse the ‘trotters’ on the right!)

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