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

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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