Win Seeds from Seed Parade

The lovely people at Seed Parade ( are offering two lucky readers the chance to win 50 packets of seed each (a random selection of seed packets will be sent out)

With Seed Parades garden seeds, you could have strong, healthy growing plants with high yields of delicious fruits, vegetables and herbs. They only choose the finest quality seeds from around the world which are then sent to you in a padded envelope, so they arrive fresh and ready to sow. They also don’t go overboard on packaging, which means they can offer first class royal mail postage for only 129 pence and reduce the amount of waste produced.

To top it off, they also have a range of thousands of heirloom, traditional and rare varieties of every seed for mere pennies, so you can find your usual choice or try something new!

As well as selling top quality seed, Seed Parade also have an interesting blog and forum that are well worth checking out.

To enter simply follow the Diligent Gardener and then visit the website and tell us which variety of seed is your favourite. Extra entries can be made by sharing this competition on Twitter (include #DiligentGardener) or facebook.

Terms and conditions: This competition closes at 23.59 on 12 July 2012. Any entries received after this time will not be counted. Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older to enter. By entering this competition you agree and consent to your name being published and by taking part in the competition, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and accepted all of the Terms and Conditions and agreed to be bound by them. The winner will be selected at random and will be announced here on the blog.

'The New Urban Green' Exhibition

'The New Urban Green' exhibition celebrates the tucked away, the overlooked and the greened-up edges of our urban areas captured over 10 years by photographer Jane Sebire and writer Caroline Beck.

‘…..documenting these tucked-away, often overlooked fringes of our landscape because we're excited by them & the people who work them, plant them & love them.‘

The exhibition will run from Fri 22nd June to end of September here at the National Wildflower Centre in Knowsley, Liverpool.

Open 10am to 3pm seven days from June to end August; Monday to Friday September.

For more information see here.

The Azorean Garden

The Azorean Garden at this years RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is nearly complete. We were lucky to get a sneak preview today. The show is on from 3 July 2012. For more information and tickets see the RHS Website.

Cottesbrook Gardeners' Fair 2012

The Cottesbrook Gardeners' Fair started today, in torrential rain. However dsepite the rain a good crowd of people arrived to savour the plants and garden accessories. The theme of the day was most definately mud, with the sodden ground quickly turning to mud, and the car parks being churned up.

However despite the rain everyone seemed in grand spirits, with the gardening delights on display. The fair is held every year in the grounds of Cottesbrook Hall, a large stately home built in 1702 and apparnatly the inspiration for Jane Austen's "Mansfield Park". The fair is on until Sunday 24 June.

Fatsia Spiders Web

Fatsia Spiders Web in the garden. This Fatsia offers rather unusual evergreen foliage with lovely speckled variegated green and white leaves. Eventially it will provide typical large white fatsia flowers and then black berries. It is fairly slow growing compared to other fatsias, but well worth adding to the garden.

The Azorean Garden

Hampton Court Flower  Show 2012 will soon be upon us, and one of the gardens that has caught our attention is The Azorean Garden. This garden depicts the volcanic character and sub-tropical planting of the islands of the Azores. Inspiration has been taken from the geological features of the islands, and from theirimpressive botanical gardens.

Features of the garden include an Azorean pool and waterfall, vines in black basalt planters reminiscent of Pico's UNESCO World Heritage vineyards, a steaming fumarole (a geological feature) and an underground oven where the traditional dish cozido is cooked. The surface of the garden is covered with scoria, a naturally-occurring volcanic gravel. Planting includes zantedeschia, canna lillies and ferns, creating an informal hedge characteristic of the islands. The structural planting consists of tree ferns, palms and deciduous broadleaved trees underplanted by shrubs and grasses.

Aloe Polyphylla

One plant that was the talk of Chelsea 2012, was the Aloe Polyphylla on display by Trewidden Nursery. This magnificent spiral shaped aloe is reasonably hardy and will survive most typical British winters, certainly hardy to at least minus 10C or possibly lower. It prefers a fairly free root run and free draining soil, so adding grit to the planting area or pot culture will suit this fantastic aloe.
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