Can you believe that’s been 4 weeks of lockdown? A whole month? It’s a long time in gardening and with all the sunny weather things are growing at a pace and we are being tempted into our gardens all the more. What have you been tackling? Here’s what what has been happening at Vialii Towers in Gardening During Lockdown – Week 4…
We had sown several seeds indoors during the first week of lockdown so our focus this week we turned our attention to the seeds which can be sown directly outdoors. Lulu and Tilda took over this task and armed with seeds and trowels set forth creating drills to fill with seeds. They have sown:
They also planted two types of onion sets and two varieties of seed potatoes and left space for our broccoli to be transplanted as it gets bigger and stronger. The finishing touches were the painted stones they created last week. Click here to find out how make your own plant labels.
Life is so much easier if you just weed and tidy as you go. Our rule is never walk past a weed you have spotted. Always stop and pick it out. Then you never have a jungle to tackle which takes hours and makes you dislike gardening. A quick weed, run the lawnmower over the grass or the odd prune here and there and you will easily keep on top of your gardening.
Wildlife are enjoying this lockdown period more than ever. From tiny ladybirds and hedgehogs to long-tailed tits and partridges, wildlife are venturing into our gardens more and more. Encourage this by considering your planting, leaving some wild areas in your garden, creating hedgehog houses, putting out bird food, building bug hotels – it all makes such a difference. And all those animals and insects do amazing things for our gardens and eco-systems so we’re all winners.
We have been having the MOST amazing spell of weather recently which is helping keeping us sane. So, in between all the garden jobs, sit back and enjoy your garden, your outdoor space, the lovely view, the beautiful planting, whatever is around you. There is a lot we can be grateful for so take some time to relax and enjoy it.
Other jobs to tackle this week:
I wonder what Week 5 will have in store for us – we still have lots to tackle on our to-do list. How about you?
Every year it seems to get harder and harder to get gifts for the kids which are actually useful and something they will like for more than five minutes and not awful for the environment. Well, worry ye not, we have pulled together some ideas we think you will all love in our Vialii Guide to Kids Gardening Gifts for Christmas 2018…
Yup, you heard us! The dino lover in your life will be blown away by this creative gift. It comes with a pop up scene and you can grow your own “grass”. Available from Not on the High Street.
This lovely little greenhouse will be fun to build for your little ones then you can plant the various seeds that come with it. It is reusable so environmentally a good gift this Christmas. Available from the Ethical Superstore.
This fab wee kit comes flat packed, Ikea style! Make your insect home and then find the perfect corner of your garden to locate it. Available from Garden Divas.
We LOVE Peter Rabbit here at Vialii Towers so these Peter Rabbit socks are perfect for us! Available in Peter Rabbit or Lily Bobtail designs from eBay and other retailers.
If you are serious gardeners like us then you will need a proper set of tools. This set from Spotty Green Frog will help you have your garden flourishing in no time!
How gorgeous is this little glass terrarium. It comes with all you need to grow your very own wildflower meadow. Beautiful! Available from Prezzy Box.
This stunning case would make any wannabe botanist proud. It contains a magnifying glass, notebook, 3 storage boxes for collecting specimens and a wooden flower press. The perfect way for your little ones to explore the natural world. Available from various suppliers including Trouva.
Hope that helps round off your Christmas shopping. You a festive period full of fun and frivolities! See you in 2019!
Lulu & Tilda xx
My recent blog “Make Your Own Bird Feeder” was all about helping birds. This one is all about helping the bugs which are an important part in keeping our gardens healthy. As we landscape our gardens with beautiful seating areas, carefully manicured lawns and garden sculptures there are less and less habitats for wildlife. We recently made a really cool bug hotel at school with help from M&D. Here are my tips on how to make your own bug hotel…
1. Choose a quiet corner of your garden where the bugs won’t be disturbed too much and away from your veg beds
2. Carefully stack the pallets on top of each other with the help of a grown up
3. Now is the fun part, fill your bug hotel, adding the larger items such as bricks and logs first (it’s good to drill holes in the logs first too)
4. Roll up the cardboard and slot it into some gaps.
5. Fill your tin cans with various items such as cut down bamboo canes, collections of plant stems or old leaves and moss then add them to your bug hotel with the open end facing out
6. Stack slates up and slide them in
7. Fill all the gaps with leaves, moss, pine cones and sticks.
Once your bug hotel is finished it will be a beautiful feature in your garden as well as a 5 star hotel for your creepy crawly friends to check into. Keep filling up any gaps as the garden materials start to decay down.
And remember to give your hotel a name. Our favourite is the Grand Bug-and-Pest Hotel but we also love Bug-ingham Palace and Edin-bug Castle! What will you call yours?
It’s not just us that loves bug hotels, they have even featured at the Chelsea Flower Show too!
We LOVE this time of year as we see all the bulbs pushing through in the garden and the weather (hopefully) starts to improve. We have BIG plans to grow lots of lovely things in our garden this year to supplement the fruit trees, rhubarb, raspberries and blueberries we already have growing. Here’s what we’re growing in 2018 in our veg garden:
We’re also growing a few flowers from seed too to add to our pretty garden:
As you know from our last blog, “Growing Potatoes” we will also be growing three different varieties of potatoes this year.
I’d love to hear what you plan to grow in your garden this year…
Lulu & Tilda xx
Thanks to DT Seeds who we purchased this year’s seeds from and for all their great plant descriptions.
We just love growing our own fruit and you can pretty much find us in our raspberry patch at this time of year, catching the end of those rosy jewels! But we think we would like to grow some more strawberries for next summer. Did you know what now is the perfect time to plant them? Here is what you need to do to grow your own strawberries…
Here is a wonderful visual from the people at Sainsbury’s bank which shows you what you need to do…
By next summer you will be picking the delicious fruit from your windowsill!
Lulu & Tilda x
My latest blog tells you all you need to know to grow the perfect potatoes in an easy to follow guide. It’s gotta be simple, I’m only 5 right!
Hugs & kisses,
Our latest blog is short (like Tilda!) and sweet (like me!) If you don’t already have an apple tree in your garden then pop along to your nearest garden centre and make sure you have one fruiting away in your garden this summer. If, like us, you live in Scotland, you want to choose a variety perfect for our climate. Here are my favourite 8 apple trees to grow in Scotland…
The Egremont Russet is a cultivar of dessert apple, of the russet type. It has a rich, nutty flavour and crisp, firm and fairly juicy flesh.
Discovery is best known because it produces some of the earliest apples in the UK. The cropping time is mid to late August and lasts for about a month into September.
Fiesta is a modern cultivar of domesticated apple which is often marketed as Red Pippin.
The multi-tasking James Grieve fulfils every apple expectation: it juices beautifully, cooks perfectly and is so refreshing to eat.
Katy is a great choice for newcomers to growing apple trees because disease resistance is high and it requires only minimal pruning. It grows well all over the UK but is especially valuable in cooler parts where it shrugs off late frosts with ease.
‘Laxton’s Superb’ is a heavy-cropping, late-season, dessert apple with a sweet flavour and firm flesh.
Attractive, crunchy, sweet, easy to grow, and with the characteristic delicate wine- like flavour of the McIntosh family of apples (or so mummy says!)
Sunset is a popular Cox-style apple, recommended as one of the best alternatives to Cox’s Orange Pippin as it is much easier to grow.
So there you go, there’s no excuse not be crunching on your very own home-grown apples this autumn!
Lulu & Tilda xx
Sometimes people ask “Why bother to grow your own fruit and veg? It’s more hassle. Sometimes crops fail. Why not just pop along to the supermarket and get your ready picked, washed, convenient produce?” Well, there are lots of reasons but we’ve freshly picked our top five, just for you…
In the current economic climate, more and more people are struggling to make ends meet. Growing your own fruit and veg is a lot cheaper than buying it fresh in the supermarket. Lots of us have our own garden or space for a few pots or there are lots of allotments available which are cheap to rent. Packets of seeds don’t cost much and if you keep your eyes peeled they are often being given away for free!
Eating fruit and veg is a great way of keeping healthy. And when we grow it ourselves it’s even healthier as it couldn’t be any fresher. Plus we can grow it organically and know there hasn’t been any yucky pesticides sprayed all over it. Also, gardening is a great form of exercise so there’s another tick in the healthy box!
It’s genuinely true that what we grow ourselves tastes better. The tomatoes that we grow in our own garden couldn’t survive in a supermarket as they have such fine skins and are bursting with juiciness. Fruit and veg starts to deteriorate as soon as it’s picked so the quicker you can get it into your tummies the better. Raspberries don’t even make it to the house in our garden, they are in our tummies within two seconds of being picked!
By not relying on supermarkets as much, we are reducing carbon emissions by requiring less trucks which have to transport fruit and veg many miles to get from the grower to the supermarket and then to our homes. There’s also no packaging required to get your potatoes or carrots from your veg patch to your house. And no chemicals required to grow them if you grow organically.
We all know that being outdoors and getting dirty is a lot of fun! Doctor’s are even prescribing gardening as therapy these days. So get outdoors, dig over a section of your garden and see how much fun it is to see fruit and veg growing from teeny tiny seeds which eventually are big enough for us to eat. Amazing!
So why not choose at least one new vegetable or fruit to try growing this year and see what you think…
Lulu & Tilda xx
Now that Santa’s been and we are almost in 2017, it’s time to have a quick look back at what’s been happening in 2016. What was your favourite thing in 2016? Here are a few of my top picks, from best books and products to best places I visited…
The winner of this accolade simply has to be Jupiter Artland this year. We had a wonderful day there this summer with the very talented photographer Julie Howden who took some lovely photos of me and Tilda. It’s such a fun place to hang out. Our favourite is the land-forms by Charles Jencks which we ran around for hours! It’s packed full of amazing sculptures and bits to explore.
The winner of this award is the Fairy Trail at the Woodland Experience in Balfron. It was such good fun we went there twice and I am already planning on going back again when they re-open next Spring. There are LOTS of fairy doors to find, a wishing chair, worry tree and LOTS more.
This was a hard choice and we have reviewed lots of amazing things this year. My pick is not cheap but it’s worth the money as it’s such great quality, very practical and we will use it for years. It’s the Twigz wheelbarrow! It’s so sturdy that it makes wheeling Tilda about super easy!
We LOVE a craft project at Vialii Towers so we had plenty to consider for this award. My choice is this super cute glittery acorn.
We are always looking for cheap and easy ways to have fun outdoors. We had lots of fun playing noughts and crosses with some twigs and pebbles on an old tree stump.Free fun is the best!
Our final award, for the best book, goes to the The Children’s Garden. A brilliant book packed with loads of great ideas to do outdoors throughout the seasons.
So that’s my review of 2016. I hope you had as much fun as me. Here’s to getting outdoors and having a ball in 2017!
Happy New Year from me, Tilda and all at Vialii.
I was recently sent a lovely flower pressing kit by my buddies at BigJigs to review. As an expert flower grower I had plenty of choice of pretty flowers to pick in the garden and see how they looked once they pressed. Read on to see what I thought of the flower press and what you can make from your pressed flowers…
The kit from BigJigs is made of a lovely wood with some pretty flowers and bugs painted on the front of it. It comes with some cardboard pieces inside to help you do your flower pressing, just add some parchment paper in between the cardboard and the flowers.
First you need to cut some flowers. You may need to ask a grown up to help you with bit, partly because they may not want you cutting off their prized roses but also because scissors and secateurs can be dangerous if you are not an expert like me!
Once you have chosen a selection of flowers, lay them out on your cardboard pieces ready to be pressed.
Next you need to tighten the screws really tightly and leave them to flatten – I left them overnight.
The next morning I had some really pretty, really flat flowers to see!
I decided I would like to make them into a bookmark so I chose a piece of card and then glued my flowers on to them.
Other ideas include making cards, decorate the front of a notebook, make pretty gift tags or just make a lovely picture.
It was a lovely thing to do during the summer holidays and a great way to preserve your pretty flowers. You can of course just use a large, heavy book to do your flower pressing but the kit is really handy, can be used again and again and is not expensive.
The flower pressing kit is available from BigJigs for £5.49.*
*Price correct at time of publication
Hey y’all. I am always on the look-out for new ideas for things to do outside in the garden. You may have read my recent blog which had 19 Great Ideas for Summer Fun In The Garden. Well, now I have even more ideas to share with you thanks to a great new book called “The Children’s Garden” by Matthew Appleby.
There are a whopping 52 projects packed into this book and they are done in a very engaging way. There are LOTS of lovely colour photos as well as plenty of tips and facts within each section. The book is split into the different seasons so that there are always plenty of ideas to choose from whatever time of year it may be. Everything is done on a really low budget and most projects use things which you already have lying about the house. Here are a few of my favourites:
Potato stamping is an old favourite and perfect for this time of year as we harvest our home grown tatties. There are always a few potatoes which aren’t quite up to my high standards so what better than to use them to do some potato stamping!
There are lots of water fun ideas in this chapter. One that I loved doing was really simple. Mummy gave me a bowl filled with soapy suds and I set about washing all my dolly’s clothes. My clothes ended up drying on the washing line too but it was great fun!
I have been sent a flower press to try out (I’ll blog all about that soon!) so combining that with this book was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I loved picking lots of pretty flowers then seeing how different they looked once pressed. I then made a pretty bookmark using them.
This was a great project and all we needed was an old water bottle, a couple of pencils and some bird seed. My bird feeder looks great hanging in the garden.
And here are some of the ones which I am desperate to try which I haven’t yet…
I thoroughly enjoyed reading “The Children’s Garden” and would definitely recommend it for all children.
I give it a Lulu rating of:
Available on hardback, RRP 14.99 *
Hugs & kisses,
*Price correct at time of publication
The summer holidays are stretching hazily out far in front of us. There’s no school (nursery) for weeks and weeks. There will be late nights and long lies. Playing with friends. Days out. Picnics. Now, I don’t want to be hearing any murmurs of “Muuuuuuuuum, I’m bored”. The garden is your oyster and I have loads of cool things for you to do outdoors this summer….
With no school to get up for the next morning you have the perfect excuse to stay up late and look at stars on a clear night. You could maybe persuade an adult to camp in the garden with you one night too…
This is a great game you can ask a grown up to make so that you and your friends can play at being detectives in the garden. They just need to take photos of some plants and features in the garden and print them on some paper so you can see if you can find them. See if you can remember the plant names too.
Try some open air theatre… Drag the dressing up box outside and put on a show. Who knows, next summer you could be putting on a Fringe show at the Edinburgh Festival!
I’m not scared! Well I’m definitely not scared of the cute bears we look for in our bear hunt anyway! Ask a grown up to hide a selection of your toy bears all around the garden so that you and your friends can hunt for them. Watch out for the thick oozy mud!
Make a den from a clothes line, pegs and sheet and set up your own camp site. Make sure you set strict rules as to who can enter your den of course!
You don’t need to have a lawn like a fairway to enjoy some golf at home. Tilda and I love this crazy golf set for hours of fun in the garden! (£24.99*)
So there’s absolutely no excuse to be bored now these school holidays. Now, get outside and build a den…
I had a lovely weekend playing at farm parks with my friends. I had two favourite parts – one was horse-riding for the first time with my friend Georgia; the other was strawberry picking with my BFF Euan. Here’s a little story about it along with some strawberry facts, an awesome tip from my clever Mummy to make your strawbs’ last longer and a strawberry craft idea for the summer holidays…
We visited the wonderful Briarlands Farm on Saturday which is one of my favourite places to hang out. There is always plenty to do there from the bouncy pillows to go-karting, petting the animals to going on tractor rides (and we did ALL of that!) At this time of year Briarlands is extra special as you can pick your own strawberries too. So, Euan, Tilda and I went off to the polytunnels to get picking. All of the strawberries at Briarlands are raised up which makes them easy for us to pick. Tilda and I picked a whole punnet each (and may have popped one or two in our mouths along the way, just to make sure they tasted OK, oh and yes they did! But ssshhh, don’t tell anyone!)
So, I thought that seeing as strawberries are in season, that I would share some amazing strawb’ facts with you. Did you know that…
And one last fact from my super clever mummy. If you are buying LOTS of strawberries like we did at Briarlands, which might take (even strawberry lovers like me and Tilda) a few days to eat, here’s how to make them last longer. Mix 4 cups of water with 1/2 cup of any type of vinegar. Sit the strawberries in the mixture for 2-3 minutes, give them a swirl round then rinse off with some water. Leave them to air dry. Use the vinegar mixture to clean out your punnets so there are no spores left in there. Your strawberries will last longer (if you don’t eat them all first!) and don’t worry, they definitely don’t taste of vinegar.
And one way to make your strawberries last forever is with a lovely craft project for the summer holidays. You just need some pebbles and some paint and you can make your very own strawberry patch!
Happy strawberry picking everyone!
As school holidays beckon, it’s time to say thank you to our wonderful teachers for all their help and care over the last year. But are you fed up with the same old gifts for teachers? Are you feeling crafty and want something special and personal to give. Well, here is my step by step guide to making a chalkboard planter which combines crafts and plants, my favourite things!
I am going to show you how to make a chalkboard planter where you can write your own special message…
1. Paint the top rim of your plant pot white (I gave it a couple of coats)
2. Paint the bottom section with blackboard paint (allow 2-3 coats)
3. Once dry, draw on your measuring tape around the top using your black marker pen
4. Add your message in chalk. I wrote “Thanks for helping me grow” on one side and “Lulu x” on the other but you could draw/write whatever you want.
5. Plant your plant, being careful not to smudge your artwork.
And there you have it, a wonderful, unique gift for your lovely teacher.
A BIG thank you to my clever Auntie Nicola Simm who inspired me to make this gift.
A HUGE thank you to Mrs Sneddon for being my wonderful teacher this year!
Hugs & kisses,
We share some brilliant tips on how to keep children entertained outdoors throughout the summer holidays.
Back in February, we introduced you to the Foody, a revolutionary new way to allow you to plant a wide range of fruit and veg in the tiniest of spaces. In February it was only warm enough to build it and get used to how it worked and make plans for what we would plant in it one sunny day. Well, that sunny day has finally arrived so here is how the Foody looks planted up and what we think of it so far…
As we explained in our previous blog, the Foody is a vertical growing system which only needs a fraction of the water and space of traditional growing methods. You can choose different numbers of tiers depending on how tall you want to go. We are trialling the Foody 5, the daddy of the Foody world! So, what did we do?…
Well, we had already built the Foody when it arrived back in February so we were raring to go. We just needed to add our growing medium (compost, coir, whatever you prefer) and decide on what plants/seeds we were going to grow.
As we have the Foody 5, we had a whopping 39 spaces to fill! That’s a lot of different types of fruit and veg. We have gone for a yummy selection of things which we love to eat including:
We have all of these things growing in traditional methods around the garden too so we can compare how well the Foody works to them.
The Foody looks really stylish and makes a real statement in the garden. It is also well made and looks like it will last well. It was great fun planting up the Foody as it’s such an unusual way to garden. To be able to fit all of this fruit and veg into such a tiny corner of our garden is amazing and we think it would be a wonderful solution for those with little space or who want to try “grow your own” without giving up too much garden space. The whole Foody spins easily so you can turn it around and make sure all areas get good sunlight as well as making it easy to water.
We are also very interested to see if it means our courgettes can escape being ravaged by slugs and snails or if they will make the journey up high! As our garden is a little windy and as we have the super-tall Foody 5, Daddy has had to build a collar for the Foody so that it doesn’t fall over in the wind. It would be good if the taller Foodies came with something to help stabilise them. Or if you live in a windy area then just choose one of the two shorter Foodies which will solve this issue.
We will keep you posted as the season goes on but we are certainly loving our Foody adventure so far. For more information on the Foody visit LIFE.
We all want the perfect lawn in our gardens. A lovely, flat, weed-free, green space for playing and lounging on. But it isn’t very easy to achieve with all the weeds flying about and our wet weather and heavy soils. But, to help you get closer to that dream, I have collated my top tips for a lovely lawn this summer..
You can add a moss killer to your lawn but you don’t need to. Just use your muscles and a good garden rake to get the moss out of your lawn. I used my Twigz rake which was perfect for the job (£8.99*)
You can put the moss into your compost bin. My Twigz wheelbarrow is incredibly sturdy and perfect for this job (£49.99*)
Lawn weeds can be a real pain. You can buy weedkiller to put on the lawn or you can use old fashioned muscle and dig up the offenders! Regular weeding is key so they don’t take over and leave no space for the grass to grow.
If you have a heavy soil and a compacted lawn it makes it hard for the grass to grow well and thatch starts to build up. You can buy special tools to aerate your lawn or you can just use a garden fork to create the holes.
You can add sand if you have clay soil or just a lawn improver to your lawn which will go into the holes you have made and improve the soil making the grass grow better. Use a brush like the Twigz garden broom (£8.99*) to spread the lawn improver around. You can add some grass seed to bare areas while you do this and some fertiliser too to give your grass a wee helping hand.
It’s always tempting to cut your grass very short to make it nice and neat but it’s not good for your lawn. Raise the level of your lawnmower and just give it a gentle trim or it will look bare and weeds will thrive instead of the grass. Little and often is the secret. How cute is this Flying Bee Lawnmower from Bigjigs? I love using it on my lawn and Tilda loves the bee which flies off into the air. (£32.99*)
Grass-ias! If all that seems like a bit too much hard work and you would rather just lie back and enjoy your garden while others did the work for you then contact us to arrange a quote for us to do your lawn treatments and grass cutting for you!
*Prices correct at time of publication
The sun is shining (or at least it was when I wrote this, it is probably snowing now knowing Scotland!) so it’s the perfect time to sow vegetables in the garden. Don’t know what to do? Well, lucky I am here to show you how and to tell you about some wonderful tools I used along the way…
It’s important that you have a weed free veg patch and that you have good quality soil. Add some new compost or fertiliser if you need to.
Once you are weed free, take a few minutes to make sure your veg beds are nice and flat and even. It’s a bit like making your bed in the morning, you have to make it nice and neat and ready for bedtime! I used my Twigz rake, perfect for this job. Maybe not so much in your real bed though!
Not the tool kind silly! It’s a little line in the soil where you can sow your seeds into. Use a cane to help make sure your row is nice and straight.
Carefully pour some seeds into your hand and sprinkle them into your row, making sure they are evenly sown. Gently cover them over and water them in. If you are sowing seed potatoes or onion sets, gently push them into the soil to the depth stated on the instructions.
It’s important to remember what you have planted where – you don’t want to be making chips out of your shallots – so make sure you carefully write your vegetable names on a plant marker. I like to draw a picture too – here’s my rocket!!
Now you just need to sit back and watch your seedlings pop up. You will need to “thin them” which means removing some of the smaller seedlings and give some bigger ones space to grow. Keep your seedlings water and weed free and before you know it you will be picking fresh veg straight from your garden.
Good tools are the back bone of any good gardener and I have found some wonderful ones to use in my garden. To do all of the above I used:
I thoroughly recommend the Twigz range of gardening tools for kids. They are great quality and can even last the rigours of a professional like me! They are a little pricier than some alternatives but the quality and durability makes it worth it. They get a big green thumbs up from me!
Love Lulu xx
*Price correct at time of publication
Today is the start of the 2016 National Gardening Week and to celebrate I have collated my eight favourite things I recommend that you do this week…
I love all kinds of painting and this is the perfect time of year to get your garden looking spick and span. From fences and veg beds to playhouses and sand-pits, get outdoors and not only make everything look nice but keep it protected for another year.
Like us, plants need nutrients to keep them healthy and growing strong. To do this we need to add compost to the garden and guess what else? Poo! Yes, actual poo! Not ours of course, farm manure. Well, I am going to leave that part to daddy! Poooeeeeee!!
It’s always great to go visit a new garden and there are some amazing ones all over the UK. If you’re in London, go visit the new Magic Garden at Hampton Court. The RHS gardens and the Botanic Gardens are always worth a visit. More locally the maze at Scone Palace is a-maze-ing! And in a few weeks it will be the annual open day at the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. To read M&D’s list of their favourite gardens to visit, click here.
You don’t need much space to grow veg. Why not try growing a courgette in a pot on your back door step. Or some tumbler tomatoes in a window box. It’s cool to watch them growing and yummy to eat. Go on, try one this year and see how it goes…
Spiking your lawn is a great way of getting air into a compacted lawn and letting the grass grow better (rather than just moss, thatch and weeds!) Try that as well as some lawn feeds and scarifying to get your grass in tip top condition for the summer.
There are always organisations giving out free packets of wildflowers to take advantage of. Use them in a quiet corner of your garden or see if you can find a piece of local wasteland which you can cheer up this summer.
We are lucky to have a wonderful range of garden games from BigJigs which we will be featuring soon in one of my blogs. From crazy golf and skittles to quoits and croquet, there is a great range of fun games to invite your friends round to play. Or, of course, the old favourites of hide ‘n’ seek and tag are fun garden games and don’t cost a penny.
This is currently my favourite garden activity. Anything can be added to mud soup (herbs, sand, water, stones, you name it) but the base ingredient is, of course, mud! Mummy recommends rainsuits and wellies for this game!
Hopefully you will do at least ONE of these activities during this year’s National Gardening Week, but wherever you are and whatever you do I hope you really do love your garden.
For more information on National Gardening Week please click here.
Hugs & kisses,
Saturday 19th March is the Spring Equinox and officially the first day of Spring yippee. That means sunnier days, lighter evenings and most importantly more time to play in the garden! It also means it’s time for me to get busy growing veg again so to help you along, here are my TEN easiest Spring veg to get growing…
Before you start to grow any veg, take a minute to remove any weeds or large stones from your veg beds and give them a wee hoe over. If you haven’t already added a soil improver over winter now is a great time to add some nutrients to help your veg grow big and strong (just like me!). Done? OK, let’s go…
This is one of my favourite root vegetables to grow as it is super-duper easy. Beetroot prefer a well drained soil so add some sand if yours is a bit sticky. Now, just sprinkle some seeds in a long row and gently cover. As the seedlings come through thin them out to allow big juicy beetroot to grow.
Now under the heading of “Salad” I am covering lettuce leaves, rocket and spinach as they are all equally easy to grow. I especially love the “cut and come again” salad leaves as they just keep on growing the more you eat them. Wowsers!
You have got your salad growing so you will need some radish growing with it. The best thing about radish is how quick it grows. Within a few days you will see it popping up. Sow successional rows so you always have radish to eat.
Another easy-peasy (ha, see what I did there?!) veg to grow and yummy to eat (it’s one of Tilda’s favourites!) If you don’t want to train big tall ones up lines then opt for a dwarf bush variety. I love popping the peas out of their pods!
An absolute staple in our garden and super easy to grow. Buy some seeds potatoes and let them chit on your window sill for a couple of weeks before burying them deep in your veg patch. Cover over the leaves as they pop through (this is called “earthing up”) and you will have a yummy batch of tatties come summer!
Another easy one, just buy onion “sets” which are teeny weeny onions and plant them in your veg area. They will soon grow into much bigger onions for you to pick.
Not only is swiss chard super healthy (it is full of vitamins and minerals) but it is also soooooo pretty. As well as growing it in your veg patch you can grow it in your flower beds where its colourful stalks will be a lovely addition to the garden.
If you are an expert like me then you can grow a wide variety of tomatoes in your greenhouse. But here’s a secret tip, choose a “tumbler” or “bush” variety and they will be super happy growing in a pot in a sunny corner of your garden. The bonus is you don’t have to “pinch out” this type of tomato or tie them up as they grow. And they will give you the most delicious cherry tomatoes you have ever tasted! And much easier than going to the supermarket to buy them!
This year I am growing both green and yellow courgettes. I have planted the seeds in little trays in the house and when they are a LOT bigger I will plant them outside in big pots where they will give me lovely courgettes all summer long. I’ll need to be fast though to beat the cheeky snails who love them too!
Well it wouldn’t be a Spring veg blog without a Spring Onion would it? Like beetroot, just sprinkle some seeds in a line and thin out the seedlings as they come through. Couldn’t be easier!
Happy growing readers!
Hugs & kisses,