Wood Ash

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.

Grit, Perlite and Vermiculite

Have you ever wondered what the difference is (for your plants) between Horticultural Grit, Perlite and Vermiculite?

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.

Dahlia Gall

What’s the difference between Crown Gall and Leafy Gall?

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 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.

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 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 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.

Grow-A-Long Nigella

Nigella is not quite as hardy as some of the other Autumn Jump Starter seeds but over winters beautifully in a cold greenhouse.

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).

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.

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

Harvesting Stocks

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.

Harvesting Nigella

Harvesting Nigella

Nigella can be harvested fresh or pods can be dried for everlasting flowers.

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.

Arrange-A-Long

Arrange-A-Long

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.

Chelsea Chop

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).

Grow-A-Long China Aster

China Asters (Callistephus chinensis)

Video 1 How to Grow

Video 2 Harvesting China Asters

Grow-A-Long Zinnia’s

Videos Updated

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.

Grow-A-Long Orach

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 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 Strawflower

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.

Grow-A-Long Cosmos

How to sow and grow one of the worlds favourite garden plants, Cosmos bipinnatus for armfuls of blooms and dramatic garden display this Summer.

Dahlia Grow-A-Long

Dahlia Videos will be added here throughout the season…

We are starting at the beginning again!

Grow-A-Long Statice

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 Grow-A-Long

Tomatoes need to be kept above 5C 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.

Sweet Pea House

How we support our Sweet Pea’s and protect the blooms from rain and adverse weather conditions.