The 8th and last day of Celebrating Urban Gardening

To all of you following my blog religiously and who enjoyed the Celebration tremendously, I thank you all kindly. Please let me hear about your urban or other miraculous garden experiences.

And a big thanks to Nature the rare and kind creature who has yet again gave us a glimpse through the lens.

I’m signing off.

A Celebration of Urban Gardening: Day 8

For a Maidenhair fern to be happy, it is said that the gardener caring for it has to be happy too

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Urban Gardening, Wildlife Gardening | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The 8th and last day of Celebrating Urban Gardening

A Celebration of Urban Gardening: Day 7

Alpine strawberry

They might be small but Alpine strawberries taste more intense than ordinary strawberries. That is if you are patient enough to wait...

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Alpine strawberry, Organic Fruits and Vegetables, Soft fruits, Urban Gardening | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on A Celebration of Urban Gardening: Day 7

A Celebration of Urban Gardening: Day 6

Tomatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals!

I Know, only tomatoes....however these babies are genuinely home-grown and organic. Why not try growing some of your own next summer, it is easy and rewarding! Yes, and one of your five a day,that is if you haven't lost count yet.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Herbs & Vegetables, Organic Gardener, Tuition on How to Grow Your Own Organic Vegetables, Urban Gardening | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on A Celebration of Urban Gardening: Day 6

A Celebration of Urban Gardening Today!

A Celebration of Urban Gardening Today!

From left to right: Lysimachia punctata, Buzzy Lizzy, clay pot with Penny Royal (Spanish), Viola and succulent (unnamed for now) and a very rare Solanum, to be featured again...

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Organic Gardener, Urban Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Celebration of Urban Gardening Today!

A Celebration of Urban Gardening Today!

A Celebration of Urban Gardening Today!

Quality before quantity. The top of this outdoor coffee table supplies chives, alpine strawberries, basil and in the near future also some chillies. The Crassula (succulent: right hand corner) is spending the summer here. Hidden behind the Basil a young Blackberry (to be featured in its own spot soon so watch this spot!!!) A common green Tradescantia next to it, trailing downwards gracefully. Note the recycled veg trays under water loving plants. On the floor below I’m storing some logs from a very unfortunate Sycamore (long story..) The plastics: Recycled veggie oil can made a pretty perfect water feature. Still water is the best for insect and plant population. It is meditative to stare into it. Bottles with blue lids contain the all import home-made fertilizer. Please admire the Salvia divinorum taking up the shadiest cover (bottom right) of the table. Left shows one Dandelion in a seed tray. Extra bonus Today: Spot and Identify the plants not named and WIN! Try to spot and identify any plant I missed on this picture and you win a free mystery plant from my collection, UK only. If you life outside of the UK it will have to be a mystery seed (Three Guesses and one attempt per person offer closes 31 August 2011)

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Bio-intensive gardening, Organic Gardener, Urban Gardening, Water | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A CELEBRATION OF URBAN GARDENING TODAY!

A CELEBRATION OF URBAN GARDENING TODAY!

Now you can see some delicious Chives in the background (a must have), also one very impatient Busy Lizzie, Dichondra 'silver falls' middle left; front left: several self seeded Buddleia davidii babies and the rest is history or will be tomorrow.

AS PROMISED…MORE!

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Bio-intensive gardening, Buddleia davidii, Organic Gardener, Urban Gardening | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on A CELEBRATION OF URBAN GARDENING TODAY!

A CELEBRATION OF URBAN GARDENING TODAY!

Please enjoy this short celebration of urban gardening. I will post a photo here daily and describe its content, today’s only a taster for you!

I will keep on going until I run out of photos.

If you like these, this could become a permanent feature here.

A CELEBRATION OF URBAN GARDENING TODAY!

Ever wondered what to do with the peels of melons, just to give your compost bin a little break? Why not spike them to form works of arts which in the meanwhile will also feed ants! Tagetes patula (yellow flower) is supposed to send insects on their way, I have yet to see that happen.. The composed leaves overhead belong to none other than Licorice and the rhizome in the top left corner is Ginger. Front left corner: some leaves of Nepeta (catmint) only just showing. Want to see more?

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Urban Gardening | Tagged , , | Comments Off on A CELEBRATION OF URBAN GARDENING TODAY!

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

A Male Nettle Plant (Urtica dioica)

If there is one herb we all know and respect it’s nettle. There are more than dozens of ways to utilise their nutritional value, be it soups or added to casseroles. Nettle is exceptionally rich in vitamins and minerals.

If soups ain’t your particular sting why not put a few freshly pinched leaves in your teapot and fill up with boiling hot water. For me a Nettle tea regime is a good addition to complete a well thought out bodily detox for this herb’s blood cleansing power.

Besides the culinary and cleansing properties, there is a long list of other medicinal uses and as for its effect on human hair nettle lend itself to cosmetics as well as being suitable for paper and cloth making.

In the garden, leave some in one spot only and find out you could quite easily control it, you will be rewarded with the sight of  butterflies and other beneficial insects.

Do your bit for Nature!

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Nettle (Urtica dioica), Organic Gardener | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Alchemilla mollis

Alchemilla mollis

According to Culpepper women should drink distilled Lady’s Mantle water for twenty days to encourage conception. I do not know if this would work.

As a gardener there is always room for one in the garden and besides some water during dry spells it needs little attention to thrive year after year.

They look beautiful catching rain and dew drops on their silky leave surface soft to the touch.

The flowers are creamy yellow and are regularly visited by bumblebees.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Alchemilla mollis, Organic Gardener | Tagged , | Comments Off on Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Sunshine Glorious Sunshine..

It hasn’t rained today and many a plant enjoyed a generous dose of sunshine, including myself.

What a strange season it has been so far, so much rain and so little sunshine, and all this after a great drought was predicted by the newspapers!

It seems that the Busy Lilies had enough of the big raindrops splattering down hard on them. I had to remove some bits of rotten foliage and flowers and since they are it pots I could move them to a sunny dry ventilated spot for today.

My Butter-nut Squashes are really late this year as none of the flowers had opened up so far.

The tomatoes have yet to show some colour.

It seems that this year in gardening can be accurately described as a slow one.

Am I right?

Sunshine Glorious Sunshine

The human body need at least 10 min sunshine a day for optimum health, so don't forget to let the garden be and put your feet up sometimes

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Organic Gardener, Sunshine | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Sunshine Glorious Sunshine..

Enjoy life, while it lasts…

Life, how lucky we are...

Life, how lucky we are...

I was sitting outside earlier and the most beautiful mosquito black and white striped set itself down my arm where bodily hair doesn’t cover and I could feel the very faint sting, it flew off straight after but the brief visit was enough to make me consider my role in nature and in this case my place in the food chain.

Same as plants we employ insects it seems, and we play host to a multitude of organisms also, we only have to think about the intestinal tract.

Yet we play God over so many other species, cage them up, experiment on them, surely these lower than animal behaviours must also be reflected in the world outside.

And just look at the news today and see that it is.

Why not think about where your coffee table comes from and think about the lives lost under the axe every day.

Basically our required tastes will mean the end of the species.

My conclusion: Best we enjoy all this while it lasts.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Organic Gardener, Philosophy | Tagged | Comments Off on Enjoy life, while it lasts…

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

Hydrangea macrophylla

All us gardeners love Hydrangeas don’t we? Well I do, if only they didn’t take up so much space. I suffer a little to have to prune them back hard every year. I guess it is the best way to invigorate strong new growth.

As for colour, I never felt the need to chemically force a complete change of colour and I have yet to find out for myself whether it can be done. I can say that on one occasion, I did manage to really enhance a pink to a much darker, well… pink, simply by applying my home-made organic fertilizer on a regular basis.

There are two main reasons for a Hydrangea not to flower:

Firstly, a dry spell during a critical phase. To be safe, keep yours watered all year round (although they will stand midwinter dry conditions, if you must..) and to be completely sure it’s best to install automatic irrigation.

The second reason could be lack of sunlight, so you might have to transplant to a sunnier spot in the garden.

One way to have a brilliant show of flowers every year, is to keep your Hydrangea in a pot like I do. I have it in a sunny spot during spring until I can see the minuscule little flowers in the buds developing, then I move it away to brighten up a more shady location where the flowers last much longer.

One good tip to keep them happy:  a cool shower on those hot summer days.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Hydrangea macrophylla | Tagged , | Comments Off on Hydrangea macrophylla

The Real Blackberry

The blackberry plants that appear naturally as ‘weeds’ in our gardens can provide us with a very good quality, organic and delicious crop

The Real Blackberry

Those of you who love soft fruits but think they are overpriced should love to find out what I have to say.

The blackberry plants that appear  naturally as ‘weeds’ in our gardens can provide us with a very good quality, organic and delicious crop of sweet Blackberries to rival those sold in any good supermarket.

Although they might be a handful to control, if you are at it regularly (or by hiring a professional) they can be braided to form interesting shapes, or trailed up structures to form arches.

Once you make a habit of looking after one, you will be hooked, literally and figuratively…

 

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Blackberries, Organic Gardener | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on The Real Blackberry

Ailanthus altissima

Ailanthus altissima also known as the Tree of  Heaven, is officially the first tree up for discussion in my blog, and there is so much to say.

Aislantus altissima

Aislantus altissima

I always say that it was brought here by the Victorians; I like the sound of that.

I do know that they can be coppiced and then repeatedly used for a dramatic effect in the summer landscape. And please do not try this near buildings.

They grow very tall, very fast, and that is why I love them.

If you have access to land, and there is space, plant one and watch it grow without interference. It could certainly  be a good experience for you.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • email
  • Print
Posted in Aislantus altissima (Tree of Heaven) | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Ailanthus altissima