Customer Service 0344 481 1001
110+ articles

Gardening with Gareth Richards

55+ articles

Views from the Greenhouse

For a Garden You’ll Love to Grow!

 

With over 70 years experience as a garden business, Bakker.com is a long-established, reliable company, forward looking with exciting new ideas to share with our gardening friends. We pride ourselves in our expert knowledge in getting top quality flower bulbs, indoor and outdoor plants, roses, perennials, seeds, and other garden related products directly to your door from the fields of Holland. We also take great pride in offering all the garden information and help that you need to make the right choices and, if necessary, to ‘hold your hand’ as you develop your skills on the road to becoming the expert gardener.



1 Honey bee on lavender at The Green Backyard

It’s Bees’ Needs Week!

Our gardens are full of small miracles. The billions of tiny organisms in every teaspoon of soil that are the difference between a fertile tilth and sterile dust. The joyful, tumbling swifts and swallows that somehow fly here every summer from thousands of miles away in Africa. The wonderful feeling you get from smelling that first cut of the lawn on a warm day in spring, each time as good …Read More

Climbing hydrangea

The Marmite plant

Hydrangeas: love them or loathe them? Not always an easy question for me to answer. The very word conjures up images of fusty pom-poms of flowers in a dirty, granny-knicker pink. But recently I’ve begun to see one hydrangea in particular in a new light…

When I moved into my new house back last August, there were just two plants in the garden. One was an enormous dicentra (bleeding heart, now …Read More

Let parsley flower and it attracts many insects

The scent of summer

It’s a wet and windy night – big fat raindrops are lashing the steamy kitchen windows as the last of May’s delicate flowers are swung wildly to and fro in the looming dusk. No idyllic sunlit shots of the allotment for Instagram tonight.
It’s the kind of weather that makes me want comfort food. For me, when I need to make something from the cupboard and not set a foot outside, …Read More

Keukenhof 2016 - Photo 1

Keukenhof 2016

March the 24th, was the open day of Keukenhof 2016! Bakker.com have been proud sponsors of the Keukenhof now for many years. I was lucky enough to visit recently and my high expectations were well and truly met! From walking though the gates, the sense of excitement is buzzing around you. For any gardener, I can only liken it to Charlie entering the Chocolate Factory! Just wow!

It was a chilly morning …Read More

How to tame a Robin - Birds - Bakker Holland

How to tame a robin in half an hour

Last weekend I realised a long-held dream: taming a genuinely wild creature to eat out of my hand. I’d like to say it was a carefully thought-out process, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I’ve always seen robins around on the allotment. I love them for their beady-eyed, inquisitive nature – looking at you as if bemused, cocking their heads to one side, as if to say “are you …Read More

Rainbow Tulips - View from the Greenhouse - Bakker Holland

The ‘Rainbow Race’

I was so excited last autumn when I planted my Rainbow Tulips that were a Bakker.com special offer and now they are just beginning to unfurl and show their colours. It’s a little like watching a horse race toa see which colour comes in first.
At the moment Red ‘Casa Grande’ is taking the lead, followed by Purple’ Exquisit’, neck to neck comes Yellow ‘Tropical Wave’ and Pink ‘Queensland’ followed closely …Read More

Rhubard Picking - Bakker Spalding-w850

The Secret Life of… rhubarb

There’s more to good old-fashioned rhubarb than meets the eye. Firstly, it has a somewhat shady back story. Don’t ask about the relatives – it’s part of a plant family that you just wouldn’t mess with: the knotweeds – Polygonaceae – which includes fearsome plants like Japanese knotweed and the equally fearsome (though not nearly as invasive) gunnera (Gunnera manicata ) – which I once saw recommended in a catalogue …Read More

get-ground-elder-while-its-still-small-930x698-w850

What to do this week

Ah the joys of spring – seedlings bursting forth, bulbs flowering and a cacophony of birdsong – all of which for me tends to bring a mix of heady optimism and mild panic. It’s such a busy time of year –  I always wish April was twice as long! Where to start? Based on past experience (both successes and regrets), here’s my April ‘bucket list’:

Plant summer bulbs – …Read More

Spring Soup Broccoli-w850

Spring Cleaning Soup!

If like me, you have eaten too much choccy just lately, and want to kick start the healthy eating again for summer. I have found a real health boosting soup that will spring clean you from the inside out! It is very simple to follow and should only cost pennies to make four portions.

What you will need….

2tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut …Read More

chamomile-tea-930x622-w850

Grow your own… cuppa?

 I’ve seen quite a few column inches devoted recently to growing your own tea. It’s a topic that’s naturally very appealing to our tea-loving, gardening-obsessed nation. Did you know that tea comes from a kind of camellia, not too different to those we grow in our gardens? Or that in the UK we drink 165 MILLION cups of tea every day?

It’s an attractive idea – step outside the …Read More

Lemon-Tree-w850

Quick and dirty tips: grow your own oranges and lemons

I’m just back from a wonderful gardening holiday in the south of France, one of the highlights of which was a Lemon Festival in Menton, just next to the Italian border. It’s a delightful setting – steep terraces of lemon and olive groves tumble down towards the turquoise sea, and the streets of the town are lined with orange trees and palms. In winter, it’s the warmest place in the …Read More

Olive Turtle-w850

Olive the tortoise!

Meet Olive! The newest member of our household. It’s no wonder tortoises live for so long, they have the healthiest diet of anyone I know! As a house of gardeners, we are keen to grow all of Olive’s food ourselves. Not only will this be good fun, it will also keep her as close to nature as possible. By doing this she will be following the seasons veggie delights very much like …Read More

Fuchsia-Berry-w850

Back to the fuchsia

Human beings are fickle creatures. Imagine if someone introduced a new bedding plant that gave unique, colourful flowers, bloomed for months on end and even grew well in the shade – it would set the gardening world alight.

And yet the trusty old fuchsia, which does all of these things, has steadily fallen from favour through no fault of its own. We’ve just taken it for granted and been distracted by …Read More

bumble-bee-flies-toward-a-flowe-w850

Helping bumblebees!

Last spring we saw lots in the media regarding our UK decline of bumblebee species. Many of which have been declining for a number of years. The main reason for this is the loss of their natural habitat through urbanisation and a steep incline in intensive use of agricultural pesticides. Historically, large proportions of our countryside was not cultivated due to it not being feasible or profitable for farm use. …Read More

Strawberry-Plant-930x619-w850

From root to fruit!

Whether you have acres and acres of countryside, or a high-rise balcony, we all have space to grow our own strawberries! As the nation’s favourite fruit to grow, you really are missing a trick if you haven’t given them a go!
I inherited mature strawberry plants in my little village garden, they are now hardy enough to withstand the snow and take no maintenance at all. I have decided that this …Read More

Chickens - My Girls - Bakker Spalding

New chooks on the block

The memorial service was short – just a couple of dozen well-wishers and a brief eulogy from a local Archbishop. RIP Battina the ex-battery hen. Joking aside, I was really quite surprised how attached I’d grown to ‘Batty’ as she was called for short. For creatures without much brain, chickens have rather a lot of character. Batty was queen bee of my trio of hens that were rescued from the dog …Read More

Roasted Vegetables

Roast Vegetables, a guide to getting them just right!

Roasted vegetables are a simple, delicious healthy dish. Using a mixture of different vegetables (home grown if you can!) will give a good balance of flavours to be eaten on their own or as a side dish.
Prepare butternut squash by chopping off any tough skin. Scrub or peel root vegetables like parsnips. You can also use other vegetables such as carrots, squash, celeriac and sweet potatoes. The more the merrier!
A …Read More

3-Tomato-crates-after-harvesting-and-removal-of-plants-930x618

Grow your own detox

If, like me, you stumbled into 2016 suffering from a severe overdose of booze and cheese, read on. January is traditionally the time when we kickstart a healthier regime, but who honestly wants to spend lots of time in the gym, or splash out lots of money on health food supplements? The real answer is at your (green) fingertips.
It’s time to grow yourself healthy – gardening is proven to have …Read More

beetroot-600x450

January Blues Buster Smoothie!

This healthy vegan smoothie is packed full of vitamins to banish any winter blues! Pack full with fabulous flavours, dust off your juicer and give this one a try!

Ingredients

1 young beetroot (approximately 120g/4¼oz), cooked
125ml/4fl oz coconut milk, chilled
1 ripe banana
A handful of blueberries
1 vanilla pod ( just the inside, discarding the pod)
7 ice cubes
tiny pinch sea salt
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Preparation …Read More

Poinsettia Bakker-w850

Happy Christmas Everyone from Bakker Spalding

Just a few days to go and here’s hoping that everyone wherever you are have a lovey Christmas. My tree is decked – the Santas are back on the fireplace and I’m almost ready. My Grandchildren are growing up and the festivities take on a slightly different aspect – where once it was up at the crack of dawn, it’s now a more reasonable hour that the festivities begin – …Read More

thumbnail-w850

A long wait for a kiss

Funny, isn’t it, how some plants overwhelm you with their abundance of growth, while others are so slow they make you wonder whether they’re still alive.

My home-grown mistletoe is a case in point. Back in January, I gleefully ‘sowed’ lots of mistletoe berries all over my apple trees, squishing their disgusting slime into almost every crevice I could find.

It was not one of my most resounding successes, to …Read More