Poinsettia Bakker-w850

Know your Christmas blooms!

Interesting facts about our two favourite Christmas beauties

Poinsettias are the UK’s number one Christmas plant, with the most being bought during the six weeks prior to the 25th of December each year.


Amaryllis, means “to sparkle” in Greek.


The coloured parts of Poinsettias are not actually flowers, but bracts (modified leaves).


Amaryllis are considered an easy to grow bulb and can last for many years, if well cared for.


Aztecs used Poinsettias for many …Read More



There is something really satisfying about growing your own herbs. A cheeky snip of home grown basil, chives, mint or coriander into a lovingly prepared dish adds a level of completeness you just can’t achieve from a jar of dried stuff you bought a couple of years ago and found at the back of the cupboard.
Growing herbs is so simple, and the results are fantastically effortless. Who can resist a …Read More

Cactus Dahlia

Happy 70th birthday Bakker Spalding!

So our lovely company reaches the grand old age of 70. Which got me thinking, what was the gardening world like in 1945 when the company was born?
As Europe rose from the ashes of war, destruction was apparent in every part of life, from ravaged cities to stately homes turned over to emergency military hospitals – not even plant nurseries escaped the carnage. The commercial cultivation of ornamental plants had …Read More

Robin - Birds

Twitching and tweeting – the Big Garden Birdwatch

Although beds and borders are quiet at this time of year, close your eyes and listen for a moment and a whole different dimension to the garden will open up. Birdsong, well known for cheering people up, is especially noticeable at the moment, as hedges and evergreen trees especially are alive with the sound of birds, both year-round residents and winter migrants who head from colder climates to our (relatively) …Read More


Strong with the wind!

January 2015 has brought with it the strongest winds we have seen in the UK for quite some time! Now, don’t get me wrong, I would prefer this to the cold white stuff any day. However, our gardens can really suffer if we don’t take some temporary measures to minimize the damage from this blustery pest.

There are so many products on the market to protect plants and tree’s from the …Read More

Berry close-up

Grow your own…mistletoe

Mistletoe is a strange and mysterious plant. Growing high off the ground with no roots and remaining stubbornly green throughout the whole winter, its white berries shine out against a backdrop of sombre greys and browns. No wonder it had such an effect on our ancestors, giving rise to an abundance of myth and legend. It’s one of the few plants whose folklore nearly everyone knows – a kiss under …Read More


Hello Vera!

Said in a mock cockney accent, Aloe vera is one plant name which always makes me laugh. It’s also one of my desert island plants…beautiful, tough, reliable and above all, useful.
Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve always kept a pot of Aloe vera in the kitchen. It’s a great first aid plant – it’ll soothe any kind of burn, including sunburn, so it’s ideal to have around if you’re a little clumsy …Read More

Endangered plants

We’ve all heard about the most endangered animals. Creatures like the critically endangered black rhinoceros are famous, and in some cases have been reduced to just a handful of individuals.
But what are the most endangered plants? They might not be as loveable or cute as animals, but they are just as important to the ecosystem – and humanity relies on that ecosystem.
Two of the most endangered stood out at me …Read More

Winter Garden Soup with Garlic Croutons

Winter garden soup with garlic croûtons

I do love cooking with locally (or home) grown vegetables, there is something so wonderfully fulfilling about it. I have adapted a great recipe for you to enjoy making and most importantly eating!


2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
100g smoked bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
400g …Read More


Christmas made easy.

We have looked at the trials and tribulations of the Poinsettia recently and all that is needed to keep one happy and most importantly alive! This blog looks at the easier options for Christmas house plants. One of my favourites is the Cyclamen which we will get on too shortly, as first off we will go to the easy-peasy, look after it with your eyes closed, Christmas Cactus!
Keep the soil …Read More