Monthly Archives: July 2013

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Inspired by RHS Tatton Flower Show

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I’ve wanted to expand my Hosta collection for a while now, I just love the big green leaves and since finding out you can eat them, I’m even more inclined to do so. Find out more here

Hosta’s are a beautiful woodland plant, they love moist feet and a shady spot. Whist I was at the Flower show I came across a wonderful stand, the display was perfect, I have decided I’m going to do something similar in my allotment.

I have a big willow tree on my plot, it moved in many years ago and the height it’s given my plot is lovely. It also gives some nice shade to plants that struggle in full sun.

I have a huge oak trunk too! It was so beautiful I haven’t had the heart to cut it up for our log stoves and have always wanted to do something with it! So thanks to some inspiration this is what I will work on.

It will look lovely under the willow tucked away down the plot near my secret herb garden…

Happy gardening my friend! X

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RHS Tatton Flower Show

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Just got back from an amazing day at RHS Tatton Flower show. Phew it was a long hot day, but totally worth a visit.

I’m very lucky to of been given two Press passes for the day, thank you guys! I had the most thrilling day.

My favourite part was the allotments bit, veg and herb growing is a huge passion of mine and to get the chance to talk with like minded folk was a real treat. There was everything from huge onions to the worlds biggest collection of gooseberries I had ever seen, wonderful seed collections to the latest spade. It’s basically heaven for gardeners. I could of easily of spent the whole evening there too.

I bought a new herb, Banana Mint! I do have a soft spot for mint. Pineapple, apple, chocolate, spearmint and now Banana! I spoke to the lovely lady on the stand, next year she is hoping to have strawberry mint!

I also got the opportunity to speak to a lady who looks after the North West Herb Group. I shall be sending her an email and joining soon. Following another chat with a lady who helps run a heritage seed society I found out I could help a local stately home with their Tudor garden.

I always harvest my seeds in autumn and many of my plants have deep historical roots (sorry about the pun). So the thought of helping a historical site in the North West of England fills me with joy.

That pretty much sums up what gardening is to me, healthy eating, exercise and getting the chance to share knowledge, veg and seeds with as many people as possible.

Today has been one of the highlights of my year, now its head down and try to win Horwich in Bloom 2013! (Got to 3rd place in 2011 so it’s all to play for!)

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Kew Sunflower

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So pretty just wanted to share… I have sunflowers a plenty all over my allotment, like dancing sunshines peeping out from raised beds. The bright yellow ones are very happy looking flowers, but these Kew Sunflowers look almost wistful…

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What to do with those’s rocks you dig up?

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I live in the North West of England in a small town called Horwich. It’s great here, beautiful in fact. You know the kind of place, rolling hills, patch work fields, friendly people just doing their thing its perfect.

I say perfect… I live next to a massive hill, it missed out being classed as a mountain by a couple of meters, so I’m told! So because we are close to the big hill, our ground is pretty rocky! In fact our allotment has a nick name, ‘Heart break hill’, for two reasons.

The first reason, back in medieval times if you were caught poaching the Kings deer you were hung some where near our plot! How creepy is that?

The other reason is every spade or fork you plunge into the ground here hits a massive rock. I prefer the second reason than the first, I have to say!

So over the years I’ve been here I created a raised stone brick wall herb garden. It’s a peaceful spot away from the other allotments, in fact it’s a secret garden, my Dad and my favourite spot. Made complete by my Dad finding a Victorian park bench which he renovated and gave to me!

He sits there smoking his pipe whilst I potter about. I love it here. I love it even more because it’s my secret spot I share with my friends. It has a feeling of total serenity.

In the picture is my Green-man who looks after my secret garden at night whilst the sprites do there magic! (Well this is what I tell my 6 year old daughter)

It’s filled with sweet peas, Angelica, Valarian, in fact you name the herb and it will be tucked away somewhere. Even the weird stuff like Mugwort!

Gardening is magic, a magical gift from the universe, whatever you believe in, be it Gods or science, isn’t our world wondrous! Get out there watch the seasons, study each leaf and tiny bug! By goodness it’s beautiful!

I always say it and really mean it – happy gardening my friend! X

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A wall of peas

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Here are my peas, all that hard work preparing the raised bed filling it with my own compost has paid dividends.

You want to taste them they are so sweet, they could wipe the floor with those sweaty bitter supermarket ones!

Popping them open and sitting in the warm sunshine with my family and friends eating fresh peas, what a gift!

Check out how they have grown over the spring and summer click here

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Asparagus Pea

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Don’t miss out on growing this vegetable. If your not growing it this year, then put it on your list for next year!

It tastes just as it’s name describes and it’s lush. I almost didn’t do it this year, that is until I stumbled upon the seeds I collected from last year in an envelope hidden in the kitchen.

Pick them when they a tiny or they are tough, the one in this picture is too big to eat now.

They are worth a spot in anyone’s garden, they cover the ground with pretty leaves and gorgeous deep purple/red flowers, so they keep the weeds down.

With the plus, that you cannot buy asparagus peas in a single shop I know. I’ve never seen it at any farmers market or store. So you feel like it’s a secret veg, when you pick it and eat it!

They really don’t complain, slugs don’t bother with it, I’ve never seen a greenfly land on them they are very low in problems.

Just keep picking the pods small and it will keep flowering and podding all summer long!

Then in the autumn let the whole plant go to seed and harvest the seed pods. The shinny black seeds are a joy to collect. My 6 year old helps and loves this job, it makes such a noise when they roll into the tub.

Shame I cannot get her to enjoy picking weeds from the raised beds… I shall work in that! 🙂

Enjoy your outdoors and garden happy! X

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The Dragon Poppy

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Just had to show you this adorable poppy, it’s from a packet of mixed seeds I bought in spring. It’s the sweetest little thing. My daughter says it looks like a dragon, so that’s what we have named it!

Do you like our dragon poppy? She always comes up with better names than I could ever dream of!

Happy gardening my friend x