Midsummer Day – A Bubble of Happiness for Sylvia

We have arrived at Midsummer Day without noticing it at all! There have been idyllic moments although they did not last for long. I recalled the most relaxing time of my life when, at school we used to lie in the hot sun on the playing fields and just watch the midges overhead! In those days we even used to suck the sweet nectar from the stems of the grasses!!

It was when loitering with the dogs in a rarely visited part of the garden this week, when I realised that the ground below me was awash with vetches, clovers, buttercups, cowslips (now over), lots of wild flowers and those lovely grasses that you can run your fingers up the stem and release a handful of seeds to the wind. I was standing in a tiny natural meadow which will never have been ‘farmed’ by anything more than a few pregnant ewes since the 18th century. There is enough known about this little area to say this with confidence. This is what my husband used to call, a Bubble of Happiness.

(Blog post by Sylvia Hopwood)

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Introducing the Rainsaver Water Collector Guttering Kit

rainsaver2A brand new, simple but effective British invention that simplifies collecting rainwater from just about any sloping surface in a garden or allotment.  With this versatile system conventional guttering can be attached to sheds, summer houses, greenhouses, lean-tos, car ports etc. practically anywhere.

Designed and manufactured entirely in England from weather resistant recyclable materials and guaranteed for 5 years, the Rainsaver Rainwater Collection kit includes everything except the water container – 2 special patent-pending
Rainsaver brackets, 1.7m quality branded 75mm gutter, outlet and 1m downpipe.

For more information and the choices of sizes available, simply click here!

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Jobs For The Fruit Garden In June

P1010589If you’d like to look after your fruit garden, then here is a list of jobs that may be applicable for getting out in the garden in June:

  • Pinch-prune figs. By pinching out the growing point of new shoots, this encourages a heaver crop of fruits
  • Thin out fruitlets of apples, pleases, peaches and plums this month to ensure that those that remain have room to swell.
  • Move citrus trees outside and gradually acclimatise them to the higher levels by opting for a shady spot for the first two weeks.
  • Peg down strawberry runners if you’d like to propagate from your stock.
  • Thin out new shoots of raspberries to ease congestion.
  • Cover ripening cherries with sheets of clear polythene during wet weather as this prevents the fruit skin cracking.
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Slug Gone – Organic, Environmentally Friendly And A Great Feed Product!

Slug Gone 3.5 ltr bagSlug Gone’s natural pure organic wool pellets are manufactured from the fleece of sheep. Wool fibres have very fine scales with small barbs on the tip called cuticle cells. These cause wool fibres to felt and matt together. Wool fibres are very hygroscopic and this plus the sand and grit already in the compound and the potassium salts from the sweat glands of the sheep absorb some of the slime from the slug’s foot to cause irritation, resulting in the slug finding easier feeding methods.

‘Slug Gone’ wool pellets are composed of 100% natural materials including phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium. As soon as water is added the fibres swell to form a barrier or insulation blanket. When slugs climb onto the fibres it irritates the foot and causes it to seek easier feeding elsewhere.

‘Slug Gone’ wool pellets are ideal for organic gardening and can be used in pots, flower beds, borders, allotments, herb gardens, nurseries, garden centres, green houses and vegetable plots.

To Use:

Clean the area around the plant and place the pellets to fill the surface of the pot, or in a 6” circle around the plant. Make sure all the pellets are touching.
Water well and soon the pellets will swell and bind together to form both a prtotective and insulating blanket.

Available in money saving 20 litre bags.

Gardening Works – In Harmony With Nature

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How To Use Tomato Ring Pots – A Step by Step Guide

Tomato_pot_ring2tTomato stems may look like normal stems but when you pile soil up against them, they turn in to roots! This ability gives them double the pulling power to absorb water and nutrients which in turn lead to super strong plants and bumper yields.

The idea with tomato pot rings is that you are using two growing environments and ring culture is a great way of compensating for the limited resources of grow bags as they sit snugly into the holes that you cut in to the top and untimely give far better results than a grow bag on its own.

Simply plant your seedlings into compost at the bottom of the pots and as they grow add more compost around the stems until you reach the top. Make sure your watering is tailored to the substrate and feed the ring pot weekly with diluted tomato feed.

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Our Own Gardening Works Recipe for Fresh Tomato Soup

We’re huge fans of freshly made soups at Gardening Works.  Like a lot of traditional cooking, soup making is so easy, but is often forgotten in these days of convenience.  …But as soon as you’ve tried your own you won’t ever want to open another tin. 

I like to make a huge pan of soup on a Sunday evening and then the family help themselves for a healthy lunch or after school snack.

With a glut of tomatoes just around the corner, this recipe produces a lovely creamy soup, full of flavour…….. But don’t forget the bay leaf as it really adds a little something to the mix.

Ingredients
Knob of butter
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 onion
1 medium potato
1 lb fresh tomatoes
dash of tomato puree
1 pint vegetable stock
quantity of milk

What to do

  1. Chop the onion and gently fry in the butter until clear
  2. Add a clove of crushed garlic, mix and fry a little longer
  3. Peel and chop the potato and add
  4. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add
  5. Add in the bay leaf and stock
  6. Simmer gently for 20 minutes
  7. Allow to cool
  8. Remove the bay leaf
  9. Blend until smooth
  10. Add milk as desired to obtain preferred thickness
  11. Reheat before serving

Serve with crusty bread or my children’s favourite – cheese on toast croutons!

…And it’s always worth remembering that food tastes one hundred times better if you grow your own!  For all your Grow Your Own needs visit our website at Gardening Works

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