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, 25 April 2015

Year of the Sunflower 2015

Twas good to see Monty Don sowing sunflower seeds on Gardener’s World last night.
Fleuroselect (The International Organisation for the Ornamental Plants Industry) has declared 2015 ‘The Year of the Sunflower’ and I for one am joining in.

All of the seeds I’ve sown are from Suttons Seeds.


Ms Mars boasts dark pink / purple flowers & is a dwarf variety growing to about 2 foot.


This is the uber-tall Giraffe sunflower with a height of around 15 foot, yes you read that right…15 foot tall!!!!


A bit different from your usual colour for a sunflower, this is Moonlight with creamy white flowers growing to just over 4 foot high.


Summer Long is a mixed bag of different coloured sunflowers reaching a height of 4 foot, both single-stemmed & branching.


Another different colour for a sunflower, Jade Green which gets to a height of around 3 foot.


And finally Tasty Treat. According to Suttons ‘Nearly all this sunflower is edible - leaves, seeds, flower buds and petals! Soak the large seeds in salt water then roast.’ Height 4 foot.

PicMonkey Collage

Here are mine, sown at the end of March, but there’s still plenty of time to get yours going.

Suttons is running a competition with the Giraffe Sunflower this year where you can win the height of your sunflower in £ coins if yours is the tallest. Full details here….
Grow the Tallest Sunflower and Win the height in £

Off to give my ‘little Giraffes’ a ‘big’ talking to.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Romance is in the air…



Greetings fellow Gardener-holics.
It’s been a busy, busy, thoroughly fabulous week gardening.
The weather has been glorious, almost perfect….except Wednesday when the temperature hit 25C. Not only was it too hot for this shade-lovin’-lass but it also meant the embarrassingly, silly hat made an appearance.


Luckily for you, I will not be sharing images of said hat, but I will, for your delight n’ delectation, share the latest addition to the Tidy Garden.
This is Primrose ‘Romance’ with her ruffled, marbled, pinky / orange petals.

I think that’s enough excitement for one day.
Until next time Winking smile

Monday, 13 April 2015

Fruit Trees for Container Growing



Lubera's Fruttoni Range

Introducing Lubera’s Fruttoni range of fruit trees bred specifically for container growing.
Not everyone has the idyllic English garden in which to grow fruit trees and this is why Lubera specialise in producing fruit trees that everybody can grow.

The majority of the fruit trees in this range grow no taller than 160cm and have even been Tweeted about by Rob Smith, the winner of the BBC Big Allotment Challenge 2015, who says "Lubera's Diamond peach is a great mini peach tree, mine is covered in beautiful pink blossom in the late spring, followed by up to 20 small, juicy, 'diamond white' fleshed fruit. Perfect on a patio in a big pot. Diamond is a real eye catcher, and a real talking point of the garden"
Varieties in the range include:

Fruttoni Cherry 'Cinderella'

  • A self fertile mini cherry
  • Pretty white blossom in April
  • Harvest delicious cherries in July
  • Final height 140cm to 160cm
  • Final width 140cm to 160cm
  • These hardy plants are ideal for containers or in the ground

Fruttoni Peach 'Diamond'

  • A white fleshed mini peach
  • Stunning deep pink blossom in April
  • Harvest juicy fruits in July to August
  • Final height 140cm to 160cm
  • Final width 140cm to 160cm
  • These hardy plants are ideal for containers or in the ground

Fruttoni Pear 'Mibi'

  • A mini pear for the smallest garden
  • Beautiful pale blossom in April
  • Harvest sweet fruits in September to October
  • Final height 140cm to 160cm
  • Final width 140cm to 160cm
  • These hardy plants are ideal for containers or in the ground

Fruttoni Apricot 'Apricompakt'

  • A mini self fertile apricot
  • White gentle blossom in March to April
  • Harvest tasty apricots in July to August
  • Final height 180cm to 2metres
  • Final height 180cm to 2metres
  • These hardy plants are ideal for containers or in the ground

Don’t forget, Tidy Gardens by Jane readers can get 20% off their order at Lubera by using the code TGBJUK-1504-01 (Offer ends 20th April 2015)

Saturday, 11 April 2015




A couple of gardens that I’ve worked in recently have been awash with Pulmonarias (Lungworts).
On my hands n’ knees, up close, weeding around them, I realised just how beautiful they are & each clump buzzing with bees.
Well that was me sold (again)…anything that lures bees to the Tidy Garden in the spring.
Last year I bought Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ & ‘Lewis Palmer’.


So, welcome Pulmonaria ‘Majeste’, with long silvery, green foliage & a mixture of pinky / blue flowers. Will grow in sun or shade, in well drained soil that doesn’t completely dry out & reaches about 12” high x 24” spread.


This is the delicate, pale blue Pulmonaria ‘Opal’ with speckled, green foliage.
This one prefers a semi-shaded or shady spot in the garden in moist, well drained soil and will grow to about 10” high by 18” spread.


All of these Pulmonarias have a special charm.
The white flowers of this one, Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’ are so bright. like fresh snow. It also prefers a shady spot, with moist, well drained soil and has white-spotted leaves.

PicMonkey Collage

Pulmonaria’ Raspberry Splash’….isn’t that a fabulous name?
Raspberry-pink flowers above silver-spotted foliage…who can resist?
This one, like the others, prefers a shady spot.

I’ve also bought Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’ which is in the first photo, but not in flower.
According to the label, it will have magenta coral flowers above silver spotted leaves & prefers full sun or partial shade.
I’ve planted them all now down the dappled / shady side of the garden. That way I can keep my eye on them and watch out for any future plantlets.

Happy Gardener! Happy Bees!



Monday, 6 April 2015

Introducing Lubera


Please allow me to introduce…



‘Once upon a time there was a Swiss gentleman called Burkhard Gasenzer, who in 1889, placed his first advert in a newspaper in which he promoted his fruit trees. Today his great-grandson, Markus Kobelt, passionately keeps Burkhard's legacy alive with Lubera. The cultivation of fruit trees has been maintained on the Gasenzer family farm in Buchs for more than three generations. In 1993, Markus founded the Rhine Nurseries together with his aunt Anni Grässli-Gasenzer, which revived and continued this tradition.

Redlove® Odysso®
Redlove Apple

In the last 10 years, Lubera has bred and introduced more than 80 new varieties to the market. And there's no end in sight. Lubera breeds and produces their plants in the Rhine valley, in Switzerland, in the middle of the Swiss Alps. It goes without saying that their plants are very weather resistant.

Saskatoon Saskalate®

Now Lubera have launched their new UK website, here. Not only can you buy fruit, vegetables and flowers, but also peruse many of the informative and extremely entertaining videos.’

Edible passion Fruit

I’m really looking forward to introducing a touch of Swiss magic to the Tidy Garden very soon.
Watch this space (Enter excited ‘Squeal’)


Meanwhile, from 6th April - 20th April 2015 you can get 20% off your order using the code TGBJUK-1504-01 (exclusive to Tidy Gardens by Jane readers)

Click the image below to take you to their website.


Enjoy & do let me know what you buy, we can compare goodies.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The One-Pot Gourmet Gardener – Book Review


One Pot

I’m thrilled to have been given a copy of Cinead McTernan’s  book ‘The One-Pot Gourmet Gardener’ to review.
As a keen gardener and…let’s face it…rubbish cook, this is a great book for those wanting to grow their own fruit & veg in a limited space (limited as in, in a pot!!) and create simple yet fabulous meals & drinks.


This book starts with very detailed basics on how to grow plants in general, from choosing the right compost & pots though to plant care & pests…absolutely brilliant for novice gardeners. It then moves onto a selection of recipes for picnics, soups & salads, quick suppers, tasty accompaniments to drinks & puddings.

Garden Pizza Pot

The idea is that you grow all (well…most) of your meal ingredients in one pot to use in the recipes.

Garden Pizza Recipe

Each Pot / Recipe comes with detailed instructions on exactly what to grow but you can of course adapt the plants or seeds suggestions if you can’t get the plants listed.

Ready-to-Eat Garden Pizza

This book is beautifully written & illustrated, perfect for novice gardeners & those, like me, who are cateringly-challenged. It would make a great gift idea.

The idea is to grow-your-own and eat-your-own produce.
Any book that encourages that gets my vote.

The One-Pot Gourmet Gardener is officially released on April 2nd and you can get your very own discounted copy here…

To order One-Pot Gourmet Gardener (published by Frances Lincoln) at the discounted price of £12.99 including p&p* (RRP: £16.99), telephone 01903 828503 or email mailorders@lbsltd.co.uk and quote the offer code APG311.
*UK ONLY - Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

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