Gardening Blog

Festival of Learning 2018

I was delighted to be nominated for teaching ‘Learning Well’ gardening courses for mental health and wellbeing across west and mid Kent and Medway.   The programme brought community learning to people who have not previously accessed Adult Education services and I worked with groups ranging from a mental health support group who meet regularly to […]

Gardens, cake & good causes

What better combination is there than visiting a lovely garden and enjoying tea and cake, knowing that you are supporting a good cause?  Of course I am talking about the wonderful summer institution of ‘gardens open for charity’, whether these are via the National Gardens Scheme in the UK (aka The Yellow Book) or individual […]

Maximising your veg harvest

Succession sowing and inter-cropping The month of May sees the height of sowing and planting for the summer vegetables  and succession sowing and inter-cropping are two different ways to get the maximum vegetable harvest from your space and delivering a steady flow of produce to the kitchen through the summer. Succession sowing simply means that […]

Less Effort Gardening

Even the most enthusiastic gardener has limits on their time and for many people gardening has to come behind all sorts of other commitments. But everyone deserves a great garden and we all want the maximum impact from the effort that we put in.    Many people think that a garden with lots of intersting plants […]

Saving water and Garden irrigation

There are two strands to the use of water in the garden – and I am talking watering plants here, not choosing water features.  These are reducing the need for watering and efficient irrigation in a domestic garden. Saving water Mulching is a good way of reducing water loss by evaporation from the soil surface. […]

How to buy plants

Spring is a good time to buy plants to fill up spaces in your ornamental borders to be sure of a wonderful display in the summer.  But before you can plant, you need to buy and there are few things that a gardener likes more than the chance to acquire more plants. For herbaceous plants […]

Community, learning & gardening: a winning combination

At the end of February 2018 I was delighted to be part of a ‘delegation’ from Kent Adult Education to the Tes Further Education Awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.  A wonderful evening and a welcome opportunity for this gardening tutor to scrub up and wear a frock. We were shortlisted in […]

What is Soil and what is Soil Improvement?

You already know that the soil in your garden is key to growing great plants. But exactly what soil is made of, why this matters and what is meant by soil improvement might warrant a bit more explanation to turn the frustration of plants that struggle into the success of blooming borders. Soil Type There […]

Pruning in Spring

Many ornamental shrubs are pruned in Spring but there are two different reasons for doing so and it helps to understand how different plants grow before you reach for the sharp tools. Shrubs that flower in winter such as Witch Hazel or early spring like Forsythia need to be pruned just after flowering if you […]