You’ve been asking about our irrigation for ages, I’ve finally managed to get Neil to stand still long enough to record it. Extra notes from Neil: Never turn the valves on and off when the water is on, the pressure can make them difficult to turn and you may snap the fitting with the effort….
It’s a new season, keep up to date with the seed sowing here!
Keep up to date with the growing here!
Sweet Pea Grow-A-Long (Lathyrus odoratus)
This method of growing our plants over a long and cool period is how we find it possible to obtain such huge blooms on long strong stems
Growing Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus), are technically a short lived perennial best grown as an annual.
I find that Snapdragons bloom best in their first year, especially from a Autumn sowing (Autumn Jump Start).
Videos with Subtitles (Captions)
On Instagram captions annoy more viewers than it pleases but fear not you can turn on captions when you view videos via our ‘Website’ here’s how
How to sow and grow one of the worlds favourite garden plants, Cosmos bipinnatus for armfuls of blooms and dramatic garden display this Summer.
Grow-A-Long Statice (Limonium sinuatum)
Fast growing and easy for the beginner.
Wonderful used fresh in bouquets and arrangements, filling in all those awkward gaps, Statice can be dried for everlasting flowers.
Tomato Video Hub.
Tomatoes need to be kept above 5°C so you may need to sow and grow them indoors initially. To help prevent leggy seedlings (leggy Linda’s) you can create a simple foil reflector.
How to grow Malope trifida
Stocks (Matthiola incana) Grow-A-Long Video hub
Anemone & Ranunculus Grow-A-Long
The Full Grow-A-Long video library
Potting on Nigella
Potting on continues check out the Greenhouse Updates
Potting on Larkspur
Potting on Larkspur
Wondering if you can do a cheeky late sowing?
We deciding what seeds we can sow and when, we must first consider the plants photoperiod requirements as well as other factors such as hardiness.
Heat Mats and Propagators
Heat Mats are my favourite piece of gardening equipment, they take your growing to a new level and cut down seed germination time, perfect for the impatient gardener.
What is a seed (plant seeds)
In this video I explain what a seed is and how germination occurs.
Opens Saturday 14th January at 10am
Seeds dispatched immediately ready for the Grow-A-Long.
Packets contain my exact professional grade flower seeds and sell out quickly.
Planting Anemones & Ranunculus
Part of the Live Grow-A-Long on Instagram videos more videos in the coming days!
Low light levels and why its best to wait before sowing your seeds.
Light Levels hit rock bottom on on the 21st December but since then we have only gained about 4 minutes by the middle of February we will have gained another 2 HOURS of light!
You can add Wood Ash from your winter fires to your garden.
Neil’s Interchangeable Containers
Pot change over can be such an ordeal so Neil came up with this solution.
We have 2 sets of pots which means we can get the next display going undercover as required and then perform a quick pot flip twice a year in Late Spring and Late Autumn.
Bulbs can then be allowed to do their dying back out of sight.
Black pots are 30 x 30 x 30cm 18L capacity.
Wooden boxes were then made to fit the pots.
Overwintering Scented Pelargoniums
As we head into Winter I will move my scented pelargoniums into an unheated greenhouse or polytunnel to overwinter.
It’s fairly mild overwinter here in Buckinghamshire and I find they don’t mind the odd cold spell too much as long as they are not wet.
Seed starting Greenhouse versus Windowsill
Seeds started in the greenhouse versus seeds started on the windowsill.
Grit, Perlite and Vermiculite
Have you ever wondered what the difference is (for your plants) between Horticultural Grit, Perlite and Vermiculite?
Storing Dahlia Tubers for the Winter
Here is our set up for overwintering stored dahlia tubers.
Garden put to bed for the Winter
Now and then garden tour
Over Wintering Dahlias in the ground
Short on storage space? Here is how we over winter our Dahlias in the ground.
It’s important to lift your dahlias if your ground floods or is excessively wet.
It is the water that freezes.
Water expands during the freezing process and this will cause the tubers to split.
Damaged tubers will rot, so it’s vital they are kept as dry as possible.
What’s the difference between Crown Gall and Leafy Gall?
Over Wintering Dahlias
How to lift and store your Dahlia tubers for the winter.
How to Plant a Bulb Lasagne
From November to May the complete picture including details of all the varieties!
Grow-A-Long Orlaya Grandiflora
A beautiful, delicate filler, flowering in June and July.
If we experience a warm autumn, pre-chill in the fridge for 1-2 weeks before sowing.
Grow-A-Long Part 2 How to grow Anemones
Ranunculus and Anemones will transform arrangements and bring early colour to the garden.
Grow-A-Long Part 1 How to grow Ranunculus
Called the ‘Rose of Spring’, Ranunculus will provide gorgeous blooms throughout the start of the season, giving you an abundance of flowers long before the Roses wake up.
Anemones and Ranunculus Flowering Schedule
Not sure when to start your corms or where to plant them?
Here is an overview of when flowering starts in my garden.
Introduction to Anemones & Ranunculus as Cut Flowers
Selling wedding flowers, at first to floral designers, then direct to clients for weddings and events, opened my eyes to a whole group of flowers that you might never have heard of: Ranunculaceae. The Ranunculaceae family (or ranunculus) is a genus of about 600 species. A ‘genus’ is a class of plants with similar traits,…
Grow-A-Long Larkspur (Delphinium consolida)
Larkspur needs both cold stratification to break seed dormancy and trigger germination and vernalisation (a period of cool growing temperatures) to trigger flower development.
Larkspur won’t germinate if the soil temperature is higher than 13°c so it’s vital that seed is sown outside in an unheated greenhouse and definitely not placed on a heat mat.
Grow-A-Long Wild Carrot (Daucus carota dara)
Once germinated Wild Carrot needs a period of cool growing conditions for good seedling establishment.
Excessively wet foliage from watering overhead or a very wet Spring can cause carrot leaf blight. This will cause the foliage to collapse and the plant will die.
For this reason I overwinter plants in a cold greenhouse to protect them from the worst of the winter wet.
Grow-A-Long Greater Quaking Grass (Briza maxima)
Grow-A-Long Greater Quaking Grass (Briza maxima)
I found this grass did well from an Autumn sowing, the seeds germinate easily, growing strongly over winter, producing bigger plants earlier than seeds Spring started.
Officially this grass has a hardiness rating of H6 (-15°c), however, I have found this plant can suffer cold shock (foliage bleaching) if plants are exposed to extreme temperature swings following planting out.
For this reason, I have reduced the official hardiness rating for the purposes of the Grow-A-Long, to H4 (-5°c).
The hardness of plants is reduced by keeping them too warm in the greenhouse.
Give plants a good long hardening off period in late winter and be ready with horticultural fleece, a cloche or cold frame after planting if the weather is extremely cold.
You can of course plant in pots and initially locate them in a sheltered spot.
Grow-A-Long Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ (Honeywort)
Grow A Long Ammi majus
How to Grow Ammi majus
Grow-A-Long Agrostemma githagos
Easy to grow from both an Autumn sowing and/or a late winter sowing.
Autumn sown plants will flower from late May and will be slightly taller at 120-140cm.
Late Winter sown plants will flower around a month later and a tiny bit shorter 110-130cm.
Grow-A-Long Cornflowers (Centaurea cyanus)
For best results Sow one seed per cell during September or early October while the temperatures are still warm.
Grow-A-Long Euphorbia oblongata
Euphorbia oblongata is a short lived perennial so if you miss your sowing window you can try again in the Spring.
Germination can be slow and erratic. Never throw away the compost where seeds have not germinated. You can get a sudden surprise months and months later.
Nigella is not quite as hardy as some of the other Autumn Jump Starter seeds but over winters beautifully in a cold greenhouse.
Grow-A-Long Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Autumn Jump Starter
Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Autumn Jump Starter Videos 1-3
Welcome to the Autumn Jump Starter Grow-A-Long warm up videos
Taking Scented Pelargonium Cuttings
As well as potential winter loses, plants also have a tendency to become woody and flower poorly as they age.
Taking cuttings is your insurance policy against losing plants.
Harvest stocks straight into deep water and allow them to condition preferably overnight.
Insects including the dreaded Pollen Beetle dislike being indoors, leave a door or window open so they can escape.
Nigella can be harvested fresh or pods can be dried for everlasting flowers.
Harvesting Larkspur (Delphinium consolida)
For the longest vase life cut Larkspur (Delphinium consolida) when one-third of the blossoms are open. Larkspur also makes a great dried flower.
Harvesting Umbellifers Ammi majus and Wild Carrot
Much the same as my previous videos on Harvesting Orlaya Grandiflora, Ammi majus and Wild Carrot or Daucus carota are from the same family of plants
Harvesting Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)
Snapdragons are geotropic which means they are influenced by gravity.
If conditioned at an angle, even in complete darkness the tips of the flowers will bend skywards and fix in that position.
Part One – Cutting and Conditioning
Part Two – Making an Arrangement
Harvesting Orlaya grandiflora
The first Orlaya grandiflora flowers are just beginning to emerge.
This early in the season you want to cherry pick those stems that are fully open but without any sign of pollen drop.
Stems will feel firm to the touch while underdeveloped buds will feel soft and bendy under your fingers, avoid these stems for now because they will likely wilt after picking.
Very late flowering plants such as Sedum can be cut back in May (around the time of the ‘Chelsea Flower Show’) to produce shorter bushier plants that will then not require staking.
Sedum cuttings can be easily rooted in water.
Patio Container Boxes
The bulbs are over so we are swapping out the pots in Neil’s homemade patio containers with Dahlias that are best suited to pots.
Harvesting Sweet Rocket
Cutting and conditioning Sweet Rocket (Hesperis matronalis aka Dame’s Rocket, Dame’s Violet).
Autumn Jump Starter Spring Tour
Spring Tour of the garden and a chance to catch up with the Autumn Jump Starter Plants
Grow-A-Long Courgettes and Beans
Sowing of Courgette, Climbing French Beans and Runner Beans for the Garden and patio pots
Grow-A-Long Panicum ‘Frosted Explosion’
Panicum Frosted Explosion is an amazing as garden decoration as well as a cut flower foliage filler for late summer until the frosts.
Grow-A-Long China Aster
China Asters (Callistephus chinensis)
Video 1 How to Grow
Video 2 Harvesting China Asters
Zinnias are tender plants native to Mexico and as a result resent cold wet conditions.
Avoid frost at all costs. This video will explain how to achieve the best results.
Orach (Atriplex hortensis) perfect for dramatic garden decoration especially towards the end of Summer and Autumn. The tender leaves can be eaten just like spinach or leave plants to develop seed pods to use as cut flowers.
Grow-A-Long Cucumbers (Tomato & Salad update)
Kitchen Garden update plus starting Cucumbers for planting in the greenhouse or in patio pots
Grow-A-Long Wrinkled Cress
Wrinkled Cress is the perfect quick foliage filler for your bouquets and arrangements. In this video I give you a whistle stop tour from sowing and growing through to harvesting.
Grow-A-Long Hardy Winter Salad Mix
In this video I explain different sowing techniques, successional sowing and answer your questions at the end
How to sow and grow Amaranthus for cut flowers as well as dramatic garden decoration
How to sow and grow Helichrysum.
Flowers will bloom until the frosts taking the place of earlier flowering hardy annual plants.
Flowers can be used both fresh or dried for everlasting flowers.
Ranunculus (Harvesting Flowers)
When and how should you pick Ranunculus and what is the Marshmallow stage?
Dahlia Videos will be added here throughout the season…
We are starting at the beginning again!
How to sow and grow Sweetpeas
All the latest videos are added here.
Sweet Pea House
How we support our Sweet Pea’s and protect the blooms from rain and adverse weather conditions.
Grow-A-Long Apple Mint
One of the first foliage fillers to be ready in my garden and the last still standing in November! This perennial, once established, will give you bucket loads of stems and needs very little care and attention. Fresh green foliage early in the season and stems with delicate flowers later in summer.
Carnations ‘Dianthus caryophyllus’, technically a tender perennial. Carnations are best grown as an annual. They dislike damp conditions so are unsuitable for Autumn Jump Starting. Sown in late winter gives them not only the time and but also lower temperatures at the young plant stage to achieve strong bushy growth.
Late Winter is the perfect time to sow Rudbeckia hirta for blooms from later in Summer until the frosts.
Pinching Snaps + Late Winter Sowing
Pinching Snapdragons Late Winter is the perfect time to sow a 2nd round of Snapdragons, they will bloom slightly later than the Autumn Jump Starter Snapdragons which should now be ready for pinching to create more bouquet sized stems. Full how to and why in this video.
How to sow and grow your own Eucalyptus (Late Winter)
Potting on and coppicing (Late Spring)
Eucalyptus update (Late Summer)
Grow-A-Long Phlox drummondii
From sowing and successful germination all the way thru to flowering, harvesting blooms and arranging.
The annual scabious (scabiosa atropurpurea) is a supreme cut flower! I like to sow late winter for best results
Late Winter Sowing – Anemone & Ranunculus
Late Winter 2nd Sowing of Anemone and Ranunculus Corms For busy gardeners you can now plan ahead with our Grow-A-Long Handbooks. It contains technical growing information including plant heights and spacing, what to pinch and when, key dates to help you plan for the growing season ahead, and a sowing schedule.
Late Winter Sowing of Sweet Pea’s
The best time to sow Sweetpeas is in the Autumn but you also have a short window in late winter. In this video I explain why it’s best not to sow any later than the end of February.
In these videos we will discuss Soil PH, Soil Structure, Soil Horizons, Planting and Composting.
Leaves turning yellow for no apparent reason? Your plants could be suffer from ‘Cold Shock’.
In this video I’m going to demonstrate how to make a simple buttonhole using flowers you have grown yourself from your garden.
My list of essential kit is also available in the handbooks with pages you can print and take it shopping. In these videos I will also take you through each item and explain the use.
In this video I will explain what a seed is which will help you understand why we need to store them carefully in a cool dry place.
How to make your own cold frames
VC Corrugated Roof Sheets
Length : 2m Width : 762mm
Frame 850mm x 350mm Pressure treated wood (Total needed approx. 6.5M)
Back legs 2 x 500mm
Front legs 2 x 400mm these are shorter so rain will run off
Extra support baton 25mm x 35mm (total wood 2.8M)
Roof fixings will cover any screws in the roof
Drying and wiring flowers
Drying Strawflowers and wiring.
It is better to wire flowers fresh and then dry them, they are easier and less fragile.
Sweet Pea Cuttings
Convert your ‘Leggy Linda’ seedlings into new plants by taking Sweet Pea cuttings.
‘Leggy Linda’s’ or leggy seedlings
Leggy Seedlings is the most common problem when starting seeds is too little light.
Dahlia Hall of Fame
Dahlia Hall of Fame, the very best Dahlias to grow as cut Flowers for Flower arranging, Weddings and Events
How to grow Peonies
Is there any flower in the world more beautiful than a Peony?
Herbaceous Peonies are the most well known type of peony and probably the most converted Wedding Flower ever! Not a single stem is wasted.
Here are my top tips on how to grow Herbaceous Peonies.
Wire Hoop Plant Supports
Wire Hoop Plant Supports.It can be expensive and tricky to adequately support a whole cut flower garden, here are some plant supports you can make yourself…
Our Flower Growing Frames
Our own ‘invention’ these double Plant Staking with Cold Frames and extend our season here in the Chiltern Hills right on the Buckinghamshire / Bedfordshire border…
How to plant a Bulb Lasagne
In order to have a season long display rather than one big bonanza, you should plant bulbs with a variety of flowering times.
Cutting and Conditioning Flowers
An easy way to remember is not to cut flowers for something important like a Wedding or Event if you can feel the heat of the sun on the back of your neck…
I pick in the early morning or the cool of the evening straight into water and then keep them in a cool and dark place for at least a few hours – preferably overnight.