Sunday, 17 March 2013

Edible garden show on its way to it's new home

Well that's it for another year the doors have been closed on the Edible Garden Show it's also the last time the show will be held in Stoneleigh. In 2014 the show is moving to Alexander Palace in London and is set to be much bigger and better than it has ever been. The Edible Garden Show has become a firm favorite for a lot of grow your owners and marks the start of the new growing season, which is hard to believe as the garden was covered in snow this morning. But what a show it was this is the first time i have ever been to the show and I'm so glad i went i would certainly recommend it to anyone who grows and of there own food. But its not just about Veg Chickens, Goats, Pigs, Fruit and just about any seed plant tool or gizmo that you would need to become self sufficient. 
There was even a Solar Panel company there so you could go off grid if you wanted, But probably the strangest but the also the most novel stall was the Snail Farm they are a fairly new company. Selling home snail farm kits for you to grow your own snails to eat at home kits start from £25.00 and should be ready to eat in 6 months. They also sell snail caviar which is just the snail eggs I'm not sure about this it will take a lot to persuade the public in to eating snail caviar.
The highlight of the show has to be the launch of the new James Wong Homegrown Revolution new plant range Tea, Cardamon, Saffron and many more fantastic plants for you to grow at home. All available from Sutton's seeds You can read all about the full range on our site www.thepottingsheduk.co.uk Suttons Seeds where also selling apart from there seeds they had there Grafted plants although more expensive than your average tomato or pepper plant you have the potential to harvest up to 70% more fruit per plant compared to when conventionally grown. 

Other seed company 's with a presence at the show where Kings Seeds,More Veg, Sea Spring Seeds, Terwins Seeds and Marshals Seeds where there with there recently launched new seed range. Marshals have been solely a mail order company until now but have moved into retail displays and they should be starting to appearing in garden centers and nursery's as we speak.

The range is aimed more at the serious Veg gardener as they are all sold in plain packets no fancy photos to temp you i know they will do well once they get themselves established in the garden centers .
Another interesting product i came across is Rock Dust which a natural volcanic rock high in minerals and trace elements which increases plant growth and health well worth a try. Many National organizations where present Garden Organic giving advice on growing organic. The National Allotment Society where promoting allotments and also the National Vegetable Society where there giving out growing advice. There where so many stall too many to mention but all selling good quality products and services and not to mention all the Talks and demonstrations going on all day every day. James Wong was promoting getting more folk growing something a bit different and help save them a bit of money. Aly's Fowler was promoting the use of edible flowers and fruit. Bob Flowerdew was promoting the Organic cause unfortunately Paul Peacock was not able to attend due to a Heart attack during the week. As well as many cooking Demos that smelt fantastic where ever you where all you could smell was cooking.  It's given me lots of new ideas as well as lots of Plants and seeds to sow can not wait to get stuck into the garden again once this snow has gone, I have already put next years show in my diary 28th-30th March 2014 at Alexander Palace.



Friday, 15 March 2013

The Edible Garden Show 2013

I spent a great day today at the edible garden show today lots of new products and plants on offer. The show takes place at the Stoneleigh Agricultural center in Warwickshire although the show is moving to Alexander Palace next year. If you want to get some ideas for your garden for the coming season then The Edible Garden Show is well worth a visit.




There are so many products on offer it is hard to know where to start so i have put together a top ten stalls to stop at are.

1. Sutton's seeds a well established company that every one will have heard of launched today a new range 
    of plants in the James Wong's Home Grown Revolution. A seeds range has been available for a couple of
    years now but Sutton's have put together a new range of plants to complement the seeds. Ever fancied
    growing your own Tea (Camellia sinensis) well you can now although not completely hardy it can be
    grown in a pot on the patio and just put in a frost free greenhouse for the winter. one plant is available
    £7.99 other plants in the new range are Cardamon, Saffron and Chilean Guava 'KA-POW' which is being
    sold exclusively by Sutton's seeds and many other great new plants to try see there website for the full
    range www.suttons.co.uk .

2.Carbon Gold with there fantastic range of coir based composts and there Bio char this is a product that is
   going to become more popular with gardeners once they have tried it.

3. Kings seeds have been around since 1888 when a company is still trading after that amount of time you
    know that they are a company to trust. New this year is the Seedlets which is a new childrens seed and
    tools range designed and selected by Blue Peters Chris Collins.

4. Rock Dust is a Volcanic mineral rich crushed rock that is packed full of mineral and trace elements that
    are beneficial to plants. It vastly increases plant growth improves plant health.

5. Grow Rings i new raised bed system made from corrugated plastic can be made into different size beds. It
    also has the option of a green house top to protect your young plants from the worst of the weather
    available in may styles and colours.

6. Link-a-bord this is a great product that can be used to make almost any sized raised bed made from
    recycled plastic. They also have a fantastic compost bin with a mini greenhouse on top that is heated by
    the heat given off by the decomposing compost. You also get increased growth due to the carbon
    dioxide being given off by the compost.

7. Proctors have been producing fertilizer since 1812 for many years they have been producing and bagging
    fertilizer for other company's for many years. But have now decided to start selling and marketing again
    under there own name.

8. Snail Farm this is an odd one for gardeners to get there heads round as we spend all our time trying to kill
    them. Grow your own snails to eat at home they are selling starter snail growing kits so withing 6 months
    you could have your own supply of fresh snails to eat.

9. Aqua Allotments this is a very new concept it is effectively a raised bed with a fish pond underneath. This
    is defiantly one for the self sufficient gardener ever fancied growing your own Carp but no room for a
    pond. This is the solution with the added bonus of the raised bed where you can grow the veg to go with it
    very interesting concept.

10. The Garden Store Is a chain of garden centers mainly based around the midlands they have a big stall
     selling a wide range of grow your own products. They have lots of demonstrations going on and very
      good special offers on fruit bushes and trees.


Thursday, 28 February 2013

The sun has come but not for long

The sun has come out its been long over due. The garden always looks a lot better with a bit of sun on it the snowdrops, hellebores, witch hazel and crocus are still in full bloom. They are tough old plants fighting there way through snow, ice, wind and rain all to give a wonderful display they mark the year and you know that spring is only round the corner. But all good things come to an end at some point . The sun is set to turn back into grey clouds by the weekend :(

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Start of a new growing season

The sun finally came out today so it was time to make the most of the weather. The problem is when the weather is as wet and miscible as it has been is when the sun dose come out you tend to do to far too much in an attempt to catch up. Today was no exception and my back is now feeling the effects i spent most of the day getting as much digging done as possible in the Trail garden. I no this should have been done a lot earlier but it has just been too wet and frozen to get on the land with out causing damage to the soil structure or just causing a mess. I am pleased with the progress made today it's beginning to look more like a garden now and less like a field if we get a bit more of this weather we will soon have it all dug over.

I have also been potting up some young plants i have received the first is the new perennial Foxglove 'Illumination Pink' from Thompson and Morgan this is a perennial foxglove which dose not set seed so flowers all summer and will come back year after year £14.99 for 3 plug plants.

Canny Gardener mixed plug plants
 I also took delivery of a box of mixed basket and container plants from a new company The Canny gardener who started up business in September 2012. There plants are of great quality good root system nice and healthy foliage will romp away now i have potted them up. There plug plants start from only 6p per plug which is great value i would recommend this company to anyone. 
 
I potted up all of the young plants with Grow Char which is a new organic coir based compost this compost has had some fantastic reviews last year so we are hoping for some good results from it.



Sunday, 18 November 2012

EDWIN TUCKER & SONS LTD NEW INTRODUCTIONS FOR 2013

Edwin Tucker & Sons have been around since 1831 supplying agricultural seed to west country farmers and growers. Although a lot of people know of Edwin Tucker for there brewing skills they are now a big player in the Vegetable seed market they are a suppler Rijk Zwaan UK Ltd seeds. They also offer one of the biggest selections of seed potatoes via mail order in the country. they offer a good selection of seeds mainly vegetable's but they do offer a small selection of flowers all at good prices. They have several new offerings for the gardener in 2013 the first is.


Winter Squash 'Butternut Barbara F1'

This is a very exciting new introduction is completely different to your average Butternut Squash. It has green skin with cream stripes once cut open it revels a dense bright orange flesh. It is a trailing type fruits weighing between 800g and 1500g each harvesting is usually 18 - 20 weeks from sowing. It is also early maturing so worth a try in colder areas of the country this one i will definitely be trying this year.

£2.50 for 8 seeds

Winter Squash 'Autumn Crown F1'

This is a cross between butternut and crown prince giving you the best characteristics of the both of them. It is a British bread variety so is bread for our climate early maturing only 95 days from sowing to harvest. With a dark creamy colored skin with an orange flesh with the aroma of melons. Weighing 1 - 2kg per fruit it is a semi trailing variety so good for the smaller garden.

£1.80 for 10 seeds

Courgette 'Best of British'

Bred in Britain for the British gardener and the British climate one of the heaviest croppers on the market. Has an open habit which allows air flow around the fruit in turn preventing rotting off of the fruit fruits are dark green and spine free. harvest from June to October no matter what the weather you will get a good crop.

£1.70 for 10 seeds

Beetroot 'Carillon RZ'

Bred by Rijk Zwaan UK Ltd it is a cylindrical rooted type ideal for slicing and pickling. has a good red colour with strong up right foliage good cropper.

£1.90 for 250 seeds

Carrot 'Krakow RZ F1'

Bred by Rijk Zwaan UK Ltd it is a 'Flakkee type' carrot main season and can be stored for a long time ideal for over wintering in your root cellar. Very strong orange colour high in sugar and carotene  harvest in 150 days from sowing.

£2.00 for 500 seeds

Organic Romaine Lettuce 'Victorinus RZ'

Bred by Rijk Zwaan UK Ltd and is a romaines cos type with tasty dark green leaves very slow to bolt. Good disease resistance ready to harvest may - October seed sold pelleted to aid sowing.

£2.10 for 25 pelleted seeds

Flower Sprout Petit Posy F1 Mix

Flower sprout TM has been bred in Britain and has taken nearly 15 years to be developed it is a cross between Brussel sprouts and Kale this gives them a fantastic flavor. They look like Brussel sprouts but with baby kale's growing on them if you want to grow something different this year then this is the one to try. Ideal in stir fries or just simply steamed they grow to 120cm tall and are very hardy harvest from October - March.

£2.20 for 40 seeds

We will be trying all of these this summer and will let you know how they perform throughout the summer.
But if you would like to order them to try for your self simply click on the individual links above or visit there website www.tucker-seeds.com
You can also find them on facebook and also on Twitter.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The BBC, Dr Who and a secret nuclear bunker

 Wood Norton Hall

The BBC, Dr Who and a secret nuclear bunker whats this got to do with gardening well it's all on or has been on the site of a new garden. Wood Norton Hall the former site of the BBC engineer training center has recently been sold off and is being converted into a hotel. Part of the site is still owned by the BBC and is home to there underground nuclear bunker set in to the hill side although technically this bunker dose not exist . the site was also used to film several Dr Who episodes between 1970 - 1974 the house it's self is in a french style being built by prince Philippe, Duke of Orleans who was in line to the French throne had the french revolution had not have taken place. the BBC took over the site in 1939 to be used as an emergency broadcasting station in the event of London being either bombed or invaded. In the 1950 and 60's the cold war was in full play so the need for a under ground nuclear bunker to broad cast from was thought to be needed and the BBC set about building one at Wood Norton. So the Brendon Wing was built to cover up the entrances to the bunker which are believed to be 10 stores deep into the hillside that is aptly named tunnel hill. The site is still heavily protected  with CCTV and steel barriers that are capable of stopping a tank bit of over kill considering it is just a training center (officially anyway). Back to the gardening bit the Hall and out buildings have been bought by a developer and is in the process of being developed into a hotel the gardens are also getting a complete make over by English Heritage Gardens i had the opportunity last week to go there to see what they are doing. I met up with an old friend Peter Baldock the 1970's garden has gone and is being replaced by a stylish new french style garden to fit in with the architecture of the house. as you pull up to the hotel you will be greeted by an original fountain which is now at the center of a round about the area will be enclosed in pleached hornbeam from there you will be drawn down a path lined with pleached hornbeam under planed with box hedging you cross over several paths which lead you off to other parts of the garden. at the end there is going to be a statue. we took the path to the right where we made our way along the path with balustrade edging on the left with a view over to Evesham on the right you will find a large shrub bed and an expanse of fine lawn broken up by a lone mature tree that will give welcome shade in the summer. we worked our way round the edge of the lawn back to the house. Where Peter and his team are currently laying a stone terrace which will be used as an out door restaurant in the summer and also a place to sit and have a drink with a copy of the Telegraph or good book to read. we cut back again through the pleached hornbeam avenue as you come through the avenue to your left and right you will fined rows of vegetables and herbs


New vegetable garden

that are to be used to the hotel kitchen. All the borders in this area are edged by box and either in filled with roses or herbaceous perennials this is also where you will find the croquet lawn and boules square. This is going to be a fantastic garden when it is finished and will be a real asset to the hotel and this is just phase one there is a much bigger area behind the hotel to be landscaped in phase two the hotel is due to open late 2012 early 2013.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Rudbeckia occidentalis 'Green Wizard'

This is a new plant we have grown in the garden this year it's not showy or brightly colored but it is a great plant. i love the green insignificant flowers you have to look for them in the border. it likes full sun of part shade planted in moist soil. can grow up to 1m tall is loved by florists for there usual green colored flowers. we only have one in the garden but i will definitely be getting some more to make a bigger clump for next year. 
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