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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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