Solar-powered watering kit

Irrigatia takes the graft out of watering

Irrigatia solar-powered watering kit used in a greenhouse

Even the most dedicated gardener can get fed up with lugging hoses and watering cans around, but here’s a Christmas gift that will revolutionise their gardening experience.

The solar-powered irrigation system from Irrigatia takes the hard work out of watering and uses up to 90 per cent less water than a hose or sprinkler. It naturally delivers the optimum amounts of water and food when plants most need it – when the sun is shining. Continue reading “Solar-powered watering kit”

Best autumn flowering plants

Don’t throw in the trowel this autumn

Echinacea at RHS Harlow Carr

When planning ahead in the garden, autumn is often forgotten – until it’s upon us, then we wish we had more plants that perform between September and November. I’m sure this is the reason so many gardeners throw in the trowel at this time (sorry).

If you love a fiery colour palette, Halloween, hearty soups and appreciating weather and plants changing on a daily basis, this is the time of year for you. Continue reading “Best autumn flowering plants”

Best footwear for gardening

… or maybe the silliest

Splashing around in wellies that give folk the vapours

Footwear is a vital part of a gardener’s toolkit… the right footwear, that is.

I have been known to double dig in platform flip-flops (not recommended), but my heart lies with wellies – a surprise, considering I tried to lose them at every opportunity at infant school.

I suppose the difference between now and then is that I am not forced to wear them by my mother with short socks and a skirt and get chafed legs. Continue reading “Best footwear for gardening”

Bad back blues

Dreaded curse of sciatica strikes

Autumnal colours around the pond…

I hope nobody’s noticed, but I haven’t filed a ‘My Garden’ blog in a while, which is unlike me. No, it’s not laziness, but a worsening of the bad back that’s been troubling me since March.

It’s not just the normal tweaked muscles that is part and parcel of life of gardeners of a certain age. This is sciatica, and if you’ve never had it, you’re very, very lucky. Continue reading “Bad back blues”

European year of the bean

Six new varieties from Mr Fothergill’s

Runner bean Aurora.
Runner bean Aurora. Picture; Mr Fothergill’s

There’s a veritable beanfeast of new varieties in Mr Fothergill’s 2017 seed catalogue to celebrate the European Year of the Bean. The initiative hopes to encourage gardeners to grow more beans next year.

Exclusive new runner bean Aurora is pink flowered and produces self-setting pods. It is British-bred and produces an abundant crop of usually stringless, succulent pods whether conditions are cool or hot and dry in our unpredictable summers. A packet of 45 seeds costs £3.35.

Organic broad bean Eleonora has five up to five juicy, tasty beans per pod. Fast growing and not too tall, Eleonora is a good choice for windy sites. A packet of 45 seeds cost £3.35. Continue reading “European year of the bean”

Half term at Beamish Museum


Beamish farm
Come and visit the farm animals

Secret letters, Home Guard drills, Lindy hop dancing and animal antics – there’s lots to see and do at Beamish Museum this half term, from October 22-30.

Events at the award-winning open air museum, in County Durham, include:

Saturday, October 22: Write a secret wartime letter at The 1940s Farm and discover life on the Home Front.

Sunday, October 23: Join Home Guard drills at The 1940s Farm at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Continue reading “Half term at Beamish Museum”

Christmas gifts for gardeners under £30

Quirky, traditional and practical presents

Flamingo Watering Can, from Totally Funky
Flamingo Watering Can, from Totally Funky

As much as I hate an early start to Christmas, this dislike is overcome by the thought of being organised and getting good-quality gifts at a bargain price.

This is the first of my festive gift guide for gardeners – and everything is under £30. Enjoy…

Flamingo Watering Can, from Totally Funky, £7.99,
Ideal for those who like a bit of practical fun in their gardens. Generous 1.5L capacity, w28.5cm x h30cm x d14.5cm. Continue reading “Christmas gifts for gardeners under £30”