Archive of ‘gardening’ category

Chelsea Fringe

The grande dame of the gardening world, the Chelsea Flower Show returns this week for her annual celebration of horticultural design and innovation. Indeed, the designs on show tend to determine the gardening trends of the next year. And running along beside her, is new (ish) kid on the block, the Chelsea Fringe.

Having started on Saturday, the Fringe runs until 8 June and this year is taking place in and around London, as well as Brighton, Bristol, and has even spread as far afield as Vienna and Ljubjlana. 
Although only in its third year, 2014’s Fringe is playing host to a heady mix of over 200 public spectacles, horticultural happenings and community celebrations. With so many exciting events going on, we thought we’d lend a helping hand and have picked a few we like the sound of most. 
London 
Discover London in a new light with Where the Wild Things Grow, a project which aims to make us take notice of the small and often overlooked wildernesses within the city. Where the Wild Things Grow documents the ordinary everyday weed, or wildling, and encourages us to look more closely at the botany, history and geography of our pavements, building edges, bridges and step cracks. From walks and talks, to a photography exhibitions and a pop-up café, this event takes a number of forms and each promises to be equally interesting, informative and illuminating. 
Dirt and Martini’s; Herbal cocktails in Kentish Town certainly sounds like one for tickling the taste buds. Head to the Boma Garden Centre, where they have teamed up with The Oxford Pub to bring you a Pop up Herb Garden. Sample herbal cocktails and summer snacks whilst being given top tips and expert advice on growing your own edibles at home.

The Tea Time Wonder Game invites you to become part of ‘a bizarre, wreathed in mist tea party’ and it sounds delightfully intriguing. After taking a place around the table, you become part of a performance that mixes Alice in Wonderland with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Peter Pan, and adds a dash of Dali’s surrealism for good dreamland measure. Not necessarily directly related to gardening, but sounds fun nonetheless! 
 Brighton
Spend three delightful afternoons with artist Kate Osborne, exploring different watercolour techniques using the late Spring garden as inspiration. In Waterworks you will learn how to mix watercolour with other mediums to create your own beautiful botanical images.

 Bristol
This Pop up Edible Garden aims to show that you don’t need much space at all to grow your own food in the middle of a city. Popping up in a spot the size of a car parking space, you will be able to see for yourself the wide variety of food that can be squeezed into tight spaces and may even inspire you to turn those green fingers to growing fresh food.
Enjoy a literary evening at Bristol’s Chelsea Fringe Poetry Review. Garden and wildlife poetry will be performed by acclaimed poets as well as newcomers and the readings promise to be entertaining, informative and evocative. The perfect way to mix a little cultural learning with outdoor interests.

By Laura Peebles

Green Fingers

Gardening is currently enjoying something of a renaissance. What with The Great Allotment Challenge over on BBC2, growing your own is becoming the new cool. Whether you have an outdoor garden or are filling indoor spaces with pots and planters, the good news is that there are lots of innovative products emerging to uphold gardening’s new rep.
Before we get carried away with all the shiny new things you can get your hands on, let’s start with the basics: watering cans. Indoor and outdoor gardeners alike will need a trusty can to seem them through the seasons.
For those of you who really like to look the part, then you can do no better than a Haws watering can, the classic staple of the gardening world. These beautiful cans come in both the indoor and outdoor variety, so no matter what sort of gardening you do, you can do it in time-honoured style. 
If you’re more of a finger on the pulse of all new trends type then Shahar Peleg’s Rainmaker is sure to make you smile. Adorably cute, there is also something quintessentially cool about this little cloud shaped bottle topper in it’s mimic of nature.
Being a reader of this blog, we’re going to assume that, like us, you’re a lover of the printed word. The Balcony Gardener’s Bookend Bloccon Indoor Watering Can mixes our love of bookshelves and plants perfectly. 

We also love these ceramic vases which are cleverly disguised as hardback books and definitely wouldn’t look out of place on our shelves. Fill them with your favourite blooms to make a cute book-themed flower display, perfect for when it’s your turn to host book club!
Words by Laura Peebles

Window Boxes for Dummies

Are the first rays of spring sunshine giving you the urge to grow something!? But what do you do if your green-finger clock is ticking but you don’t have even a stamp size patch of outside space?
Assuming you don’t live underground and you do have natural day light, why not get a window box? These little contraptions might seem like a puny compromise when you’re yearning for an orchard, but with a little bit of careful planning and love, you can quell your gardening pangs, and brighten up your view.
Handy hints:
Drill (or hammer) some holes into the bottom of your box. If water can’t drain, your greens will drown.
Line the bottom with cracked pots (ask the garden centre as they’ll always have broken and unsellable ceramics) to aid drainage.
Choose a selection of plants that will flower at different paces. This increases the longevity of your box, as there will always be a new plant in bloom.
Select low lying bedding plants. Taller plants will lean toward the sun, making the box look lopsided.
Give your plants space to spread; this will fill out the box without costing a fortune.
If you’re thinking of growing herbs, try single seed plants like chives and parsley as they will grow in abundance in any space. Avoid mint at all costs, as it’s an aggressive plant(!) which will dominate the space and squeeze other herbs out.
Happy growing!