Happy Easter

Normally at Easter we are all excited with Spring well on its way, warmer and longer days and lots of new growth in the garden.

Not quite the same this year as it is still very cold, and the forecast is suggesting it will stay that way for a couple of weeks yet. But whatever the weather I hope you have a great Bank Holiday Weekend.


Great Dixter opens this Weekend

Great Dixter, located in East Sussex, the home to the late garden writer, Christopher Lloyd opens its doors to the public again tomorrow. Created in the fantastic grounds of the Luytens extended medieval manor house, Christo as he is still affectionately known created a garden with constant interest, with fantastic planting combinations, offering year round interest the garden really should be on the must visit list for all British Gardeners.

For more information see the Great Dixter Website

Borough Market

One of the best markets in London for fresh produce is Borough Market, situated in close to Southwark Cathedral in a mix of Victorian and more contemporary buildings with the railway elevated overhead its a fantastic delight to the senses.

The food is of fantastic quality with wonderful artistic displays. Well worth visiting in its own right to sample the food as well as to buy produce as there are lots of stalls selling freshly prepared hot food.

Borough Market

Tide Flow – Time Flow

Rob Mulholland’s latest installation 'Tide Flow – Time Flow' is part of a group exhibition at the newly opened Caol Ruadh Sculpture Park overlooking the Kyles of Bute, Argyll, Scotland. 

'Tide Flow – Time Flow' has been installed on the shores of the Kyles of Bute. As the tide ebbs and flows, the reflections of the sun and sea constantly alter the appearance of the mirrored stainless steel forms creating a kinetic surface that moves to the rhythm of the sea. The Cretaceous sea-forms, standing alongside the human figures, are a reference to our genetic past and ask us to consider our evolutionary journey thus far.

The installation is open to the public until October 2012. For more information please visit

Protection of Hardwoods

New rules will come into place to prevent the sale of illegally harvested hardwood's, following
a Cites conservation meeting in Thailand, where delegates have agreed far-reaching restrictions on the trade in critically endangered hardwood trees.

Extra protection was given to several species of rosewood and ebony that have been threatened by illegal logging. Campaigners welcomed the move, saying it stood in marked contrast to the slow pace of progress in tackling the ivory-poaching crisis. The criminal trade in timber is said to be worth around $30bn (£20bn) annually.

Cites has the power to impose trade sanctions on any country that produces more than a pre agreed volume of exports for protected species. Hopefully this will lead to a fall in the trade of endangered woods.

Urban Paving Stones with Built-in Planters

I love new ideas, especilly when they look as good as these. Designer Caroline Brahme created these fabulous Grey to Green paving stones for S:t Eriks. The paving stones can host your small plants, with small planting holes in a variety of asymmetrical configurations allowing patterns to be created when the stones are set into the pathway or patio.

Caroline Brahme explains, “Right now, the world is facing the largest wave of urban growth in history. However, the cities depend on nature’s ecosystem to function properly. In the future we must find new ways to integrate green structure into the cities more efficiently. The aim is to build dense, green and sustainable.”

For more information or to buy them check out the S:t Eriks website

Win A Fantastic Organic Vegbox

Riverford deliver fresh and delicious award-winning organic vegboxes packed with tasty and great looking food directly from the farm straight to your door and for this months competition we have one of their delicious hampers to give away.

Riverford offers a range of weekly organic essentials like vegetables as well eggs, milk, meat, juices and cereals, they can even deliver wine and chocolate when you need a treat and their amazing Organic vegboxes start from just £10.45. The Riverford box scheme began when Guy Watson started delivering vegetables locally to 30 friends in Devon. They now deliver around 40,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their regional farms. Ordering is easy and flexible, delivery is free and you don’t even need to be at home.

The prize is a large vegbox with meet that will be enough organic meat and veg to feed 4+ people for around a week. Typically 12 veg varieties with potatoes, carrots and onions most weeks. You’ll also get 3 RSPCA award-winning meat items that will always include a joint and mince, plus a different cut such as diced chicken. 

To be in with a chance of winning simply leave a comment below to tell us your favourite freshly prepared meal and why you like it. The prize will be drawn from a hat containing all valid entries.

Extra entries can be made by sharing this competition on Twitter (include #DiligentGardener) or by liking our page and sharing the competition on Facebook.

An additional entry can be made by "following" this blog via Google Friend Connect

Terms and conditions: This competition closes at 23.59 on 31 March 2013. 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 from the valid entries and will be announced here on the blog. Please make sure we are able to contact you if you do win.

Ash Dieback Genetic Code Revealed

UK scientists identified the genetic code of the ash dieback fungus, which will help identify how the pathogen attacks ash trees and possibly, in the long term, how to stop the epidemic, say genetic researchers. The data has been released on the web to enable international experts to study the problem of dieback, which is attacking forests across Europe. Chalara fraxinea has the potential to devastate the UK's population of 80 million ash trees. Scientists are trying to find out how it spreads, why it is so deadly to most trees, and whether any ash trees are naturally resistant to the fungus. A team at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) and the John Innes Centre in Norwich sequenced the RNA of an infected ash twig in December.

Beautiful Basil

If you love to cook then you really should be growing basil, a fantastic herb that you can grow on a windowsill or in the garden

To grow I like to thinly sprinkle a few seeds onto a a small pot filled with a good quality multipurpose compost, and then cover over with a fine layer of compost. Water lightly and place your pots on a warm windowsill, keeping moist until they germinate after a couple of weeks.

About 5 weeks after they germinate you should transplant your seedlings into individual pots, gently tease them out taking care not to damage the roots and plant them carefully. You can then grow them on indoors permanently or plant them out. I always grow some on a windowsill over winter but prefer to grow outside in the summer, the plants seem to do better.

They like a moist but well drained soil - so a large pot or raised herb garden is ideal. Keep them in a sheltered bright spot.

You can pick the leaves as soon as they are big enough but its best not to pinch out the tips unless you want to make the plant bush out more - it can slow them down a little.

How to grow French Beans

It is just about the right time to start sowing, your French Beans indoors. I always start mine indoors by sowing each seed into a small pot of a good quality multipurpose compost After sowing water them and allow the pots to drain. Place them on a warm windowsill until the beans germinate. 

Alternatively if you want to waiting a bit longer then  you can sow them outdoors in May. I sow two seeds together straight into the ground in rows, spaced about a two feet apart with the beans planted about 20-30cm apart. But dont rush if its still too cold and wet, allow the soil to warm up a bit first.

Your will need to provide support for your beans to grow up using bamboo canes and a bean netting (or whatever else you may have to hand for a similar effect. Seedlings started indoors will  be ready to plant out after about three or four weeks, but only after the last frosts. You will need to harden them off before planting out by placing them outside during the day and bringing them back inside over night for at least a week before planting out. Plant them to the same spacing as for ground sown plants above planting two pots together.

You should be able to start harvesting from July :)

How to Grow Carrots

Fresh carrots straight from your garden or allotment are one of the best vegetables in my opinion, and quite often I will harvest, wash and then eat them raw!
You can sow them outside from next month, in a well prepared bed, they need to be sown in rows fairly thinly into a well-raked soil free from stones and with a good crumbly texture - in a trench no deeper than your thumbnail Cover with a fine layer of compost or sieved dry soil and then water.

For a continuous supply of carrots, sow a row seeds every fortnight. As the seeds germinate you may need to thin them out a little more so they don't compete with each other. Once they ar ebig enough to handle remove the weaker carrots , leaving one carrot every inch. It is best to do this in the evening or on a damp day to avoid attracting carrot fly.

You should be able to start harvesting after about 12 weeks.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...