The Great Little Garden Blog
These are testing times my gardening friends. We all endured the long dark winter and spring kind of fizzled out until, pow, we hurtled headlong straight into a proper grown up summer.
Every morning for weeks we have had blue sky and ever strengthening sunshine. And it’s playing havoc with my greenhouse and veg.
Each day I am plying my toms, cue and aubergines with gallons of water. The peppers need less as I’ve found they prefer to be grown on the drier side of moist. And that's a sentence you rarely read. I hope.
But there are steps you can take to minimise the impact of a heatwave on plants.
Watering Your Garden in a Heatwave
It’s hot and getting hotter.
Most people love this hot weather and revel at the thought of at least another fortnight of the stuff as ice cream sales, BBQ charcoal and Prosecco sales go through the roof. But, for me, the decline in slug activity is the main positive from this heatwave. Yep, always the gardener.
Slugs and Watering:
Slugs prefer a slightly cooler and damper environment. They quickly d
A lament to viewing the world through a camera phone
I was out at a pop type concert the other night. Unusual, I know, but my good-time mood turned dark once the singing started. The moment the act came on stage, the bloke in front of me sat bolt upright, got his phone out and started to record the whole thing. And light from a phone is bright. Concentrating on the artist was impossible as I couldn't help but think, ‘Zoom in now. Wide shot there – wider… wider… there. And focus.’
Phil’s Garden Show Survival Guide
Buckle up - It’s Garden Show Time!
We are slap bang in the middle of show season. Not village fete, crushed grass, homemade cakes and bunting type shows (they come later) but glitzy highly advertised shows such as Chelsea, Hampton Court, Gardeners’ World Live and Chatsworth. And Tatton. Something for everyone.
But there’s also an underscore of equally entertaining shows, dripping in superb garden design and quality plants across the whole of the country. The ever so exciting inaugural show at Belvoir, classy Blenheim and suave Henley spring to mind. Add them all up and I reckon you could spend every minute of every weekend from now until the end of summer visiting a garden show. And that means tactics.
In this Top Ten List, our garden expert - Phil McCann - has compiled his favourite Hardy Annuals.
What is a hardy annual? An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle, from germination to the production of seeds, within one year, and then dies. These tend to be your bedding plants. A hardy plant is one that will tolerate light frosts - so they are particularly good spring plants where we can still be caught out be the frosts.
1. Poached egg plants
Loved by the bess, the fattened flower heads are a soft buttery yellow and white. Simple to grow and a real boon in the wildlife garden.
A Proper Chelsea Belter
It was an honour and privilege to visit the RHS Chelsea Flower show on press day. It gave me a fantastic chance to get up close to the gardens and plants (and some celebs as well) and appreciate the excellence in horticulture everyone produced. And truly, it was excellent.
Showtime at Malvern Spring Festival and Some Top Gardening Tips from You
I, or we, are recovering from the Malvern Spring Festival. This annual RHS Flower Show has it all: show gardens, stalls and stalls of great gardening products, delicious culinary delights, crafts, fabulous school gardens, competitions for you diehard gardeners, and lots more. This year there were even goats! Nestled in the sunshine under the Malvern Hills, it’s a beautiful place for garden aficionados – beginners and experts alike – to spend a day or two.
So, of course, GLG couldn’t miss out. Some of our top products in hand
The blackbirds are back.
And for avid readers of this blog, and I know that’s at least two of you, you will know this isn't the first time I have experienced these birds in my garden.
Last year I had to deal with a young blackbird in the house. Scary, messy but I’ll be honest, I coped, sorted it and I now know they are grateful. They are back. And nesting.
I was slumped in my favourite garden chair when I was buzzed by a blackbird. It screamed overhead and with an amazing dexterity, snuck into the top of my wood store next to the house. Now, the woodpile is low, it is after all spring, and is the perfect spot if you wanted to build a nest. Sheltered, shady, out of the way...
There’s a lot going on in the world and if we stop to think about it, chances are stress levels will rise. But mine are already beyond snapping point as I was recently given the biggest responsibility anyone can ever have - looking after the neighbour’s fish.
They’ve gone on holiday and asked me to do a simple job. ‘Feed the fish once every three days and only use a handful of fish food.’ There - easy to follow instructions.
The problem is that their trip away coincided with what I hope they realize was a ‘phew wot a scorcher’ type of week of weather with railway
Daily Daff: ‘Village show in uproar as judge condemns biscuits to second place’
All rise. The Court of the Village Show is now in session, the Honourable Judge McCann presiding. And so, at 10.00am the other Saturday, I began judging at our local spring horticultural show. And what pressure.
For the record I love village shows. I do my best to actually exhibit some of my plants and produce wherever possible. But this year, or this spring, having been volunteered to judge, I couldn't very well put my own auriculas in the show. Can you imagine the uproar as I ca