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, 31 October 2014

End-of-Season Temptresses

Helenium Mardi Gras

Whilst hunting for grass seed for a client, these 2 beauties ‘fell’ into my shopping basket.
The fact that they were an end-of-season BOGOF offer is irrelevant and quite how, at 3ft tall’, I didn’t notice their presence in my basket until I was through the checkout is still a mystery.


Thankfully they sit nicely in a gap that had ‘appeared’ in the Tidy Garden…Phew!
What a stroke of luck!


The other is Helenium Moerheim Beauty with its rich, rusty tones.
Thank goodness these 2 look great together.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Greenhouse Update



The ol’ greenhouse is almost a year old.
It’s the best thing I’ve ever bought & I still get an enormous buzz every time I slide its squeaky door open & enter the warm micro-climate.
If I’ve tweaked its layout once, then I’ve tweaked it a thousand times and each time I wonder why I didn’t think of that layout before.
I won’t say I’ve got it 100% right now, as that would be dull…change is good.


Lessons are being learnt all the time.
Firstly I grew too much, not just in volume but in variety.
The garden became a nursery of pots EVERYWHERE!!
Seeds here, seedlings there, cuttings over yonder (you get the idea)
I overdid it, got myself in a bit of a tizz & for a nano-second wondered what the heck I was doing & trying to achieve.


But you live n’ learn, pour a few glasses of the ol’ vino, get someone to give you a slap with a damp kipper (in this case Mr TG) and then take stock…. or in this case sell it off / give it away.
So here we are today, final revamp for this year completed.
The staging to the left now has a raised shelf (bricks & spare planks of wood) to hold my display of pelargoniums. Bowls lie in wait for sowing winter salad leaves.
Shelving to the right currently holds my streptocarpus cuttings (that’s another story) & a selection of experimental seeds from around the world (again, another story).
The end of the greenhouse holds my expanding display of carnivorous plants (yet another story to follow).


‘She’ is a thing of beauty…sigh….

Monday, 20 October 2014

Mega-Gorgeousness Alert



Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

This is the flower of the tigridia pavonia (Tiger flower).
Available in an array of lush, bright colours, the tiger flower (a member of the iris family)starts its life off as a small spring-planted bulb that bursts into life late summer. The flower heads are huge, this one was about 4-5” across. The flowers only last a day but, just like a daylily, you get several buds at the end of each stem so a succession of uber-fabness.

These have been grown in a clients garden in pots, they’re quite tender so the bulbs will be lifted once the leaves have yellowed & stored somewhere snug during the coldwinter months.

I personally will be buying lorry-loads of these for the Tidy Garden next year as they’re stunning.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Special Offers


It would be wrong of me not to share these offers that I’ve found with you. They’re via Gardener’s World mag’, so you may have already seen them…but…just in case…


50 Mixed Wallflowers, just pay the postage of £5.95. Enter the code GX14OCT at the checkout.
Here’s the link….




200 bulbs (50 of each), again just pay the postage of £5.65.
Mine have arrived already…. Eeek!
Here’s the link…


Enjoy & Happy Planting!!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Harvest Time


Harvest time in the Tidy Garden.
This is our second year using the Square Foot Gardening method & a selection of pots to grow our veg but I confess that I haven’t tended the patch as diligently as I would have liked….something that I will correct next year.


Let’s quickly skip by the sweetcorn… the heat, humidity & stillness of summer went to my head & I forgot to give Mother Nature a hand by tapping the tassels. Result was poor quality, 2 inch long short cobs.


Regular stalkers may recall the black tomato ‘Indigo Rose’ that the good folk at Suttons asked me to trial back in April.
They are ‘naturally cross-bred from native tomatoes found in the Galapagos & Peru & come grafted onto vigorous rootstock to give strong plants & high yield.
They’re naturally resistant to early blight and have high levels of lycopene and anthocyanins found in so-called ‘super foods’.


According to Suttons they ’should take about 93 days from planting for the fruit to be fully ripe. They start out green before sunlight turns them black. At this stage they will be as hard as bullets. As they ripen the fruits will soften and start turning red, from the bottom up. At this stage they are ready for picking however the longer you leave them then the sweeter they will taste. When they are fully ripe the skin beneath the calyx will be red but they can certainly be eaten before this final stage’.

black tom

Well here we are 6 months on. Yes…there’s an amazingly high yield but I almost lost the will to live waiting for them to ripen.
These were all picked today, most still have green bottoms so will have to be ripened indoors.
As for the taste, sorry Suttons, they were quite bland.
So disappointing after all this time.


Meanwhile, carrots, cucumbers , broad beans & strawberries have been a huge success…Yay!


Happy Harvesting! 




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