Sunday, 16 June 2019

Garden visit, Gardener's World Live 2019.

Joe and I had a lovely time at Gardener's World Live today.  We saw Alan Titchmarsh and the presenter from Gardener's World who always says 'plont' not plant, and on the train I sat opposite the actress who played Martha Jone's mum in Doctor Who!  And then I ate 2 Pret vegan chocolate cookies. But most exciting were the gardens, here are some photos.

I loved this yarn bombed garden, it was so colourful it made my heart sing, 

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

The Clockmaker's garden won the best garden prize, it was so lovely, 

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Can you spot the bunnies? 

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Here are some more of my favourite bits, 

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

Garden visit, Gardeners World Live 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenersworldlive #gardenersworldlive2019 #gardenblogger #gardeninspo

This is our 2nd year at Gardener's World Live and we bought our tickets for £12 each from Wowcher.  If they've run out of cheap tickets for Gardener's World, look for tickets to BBC Good Food show, one ticket gets you entrance to both shows anyway, and they're much cheaper than the £25+ official tickets.  After a couple of hours you'll have had enough of people running over your ankles with their folding shopping box cart thingys anyway. The cheapy tickets give you entry from 1pm, which is perfect to spend around 4 hours wandering round and having a couple of sit downs before beating the rush out when it closes at 6pm.  This year we got the train early and had lunch in Grand Central station Birmingham before carrying on our journey to the NEC, which was a good idea because it was cheaper and less stressful.  Even though the BBC Good Food show goes on at the same time as Gardener's World I still struggled to find something I wanted to eat, that was vegan and that hadn't all sold out, last year.  If you're planning a trip to Gardener's World Live, I hope these tips help! 

* Facebook * Instagram * Twitter * Bloglovin' *

Thursday, 30 May 2019

My homegrown harvest, May 2019.

I've had a few tiny, tasty harvests this month, I hope next month there'll be much more! 

I picked these chive flowers and have popped them in a bottle with some white wine vinegar to make chive blossom vinegar, so far it's very pink! 

My homegrown harvest, May 2019.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #suburbanpermaculture

I've had my first pickings from my front garden raised beds. I planted my red onion sets and garlic cloves too close together on purpose so I could strategically pick the thinnings for an extra harvest!  I've picked a few stems from my perennial Welsh onions that I've planted out in my flower beds this year.

My homegrown harvest, May 2019.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #suburbanpermaculture

My homegrown harvest, May 2019.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #suburbanpermaculture

I've picked a whole load of mint to dry, Joe buys mint teabags but I hope he'll like homegrown instead to save some money and the plastic-y teabags. 

My homegrown harvest, May 2019.  From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #ukgardenblogger #suburbangarden #suburbanpermaculture

That's about it for this month, have you been harvesting much from the garden this month?






Saturday, 25 May 2019

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019.

This month we got new garden furniture!  It's so lovely to sit out in the garden in comfort and the set is modular so it comes apart and goes back together in lots of different configurations.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

In other, actual, gardening news, my front garden raised beds are going good.  The potatoes have all come up and so have broad beans, peas, coriander, borlotto beans, carrots, beets, onion, garlic, kale, cabbage, chard, sweetcorn, peppers and tomatoes.  I love having 4 raised beds instead of a car on my driveway! 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

In the back garden my raised beds need some attention, but I've got broad beans and dwarf borlotto beans and lettuce and a crazy cauliflower in one bed, and some onions and bolted chard in the other.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

I planted some 'walking onions' a while ago and I guess it's their time to go walking, cos they're growing little onion bulbs on their tops and flopping all over the place trying to plant themselves.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

My Hotbin composter seemed pretty full so I emptied it and got some lovely compost to spread on my cottage garden bed.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Speaking of the cottage garden bed I've been pulling up all the many, many, many forget me nots, chopping up some of them and laying them down as a mulch, then putting a layer of Hotbin compost on top.  I've also watered with worm wee from my wormery and sprinkled some poppy seeds and other random seeds that came from cleaning out my seed tin.  I hadn't added compost here for a few years and you could definitely tell, the poor soil was as dry as dust. 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

My Aunty Rose (not my biological aunty, but the lovely lady who I lived next door to for 20+ years when I was growing up) died this month, and I inherited (or rescued!) quite a lot of her chipped kitchenware that was heading for the tip.  One of those things was this old colander, which I've lined and filled with sedums.  I did this little metal watering can too, it was left in the garden by the previous homeowners and it leaks, so it's much cuter as a planter.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

My apple trees have set some fruit!  Yey!

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

That's it really.  The garden is looking pretty and I'm feeling pretty tired after doing lots of gardening this month! 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, May 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #permacultreuk #suburbanpermaculture #frontgardenallotment #ukgardenblogger

How's your garden doing?




Sunday, 5 May 2019

Easy green actions and articles.


Easy green actions and articles, from UK eco blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #eco-friendly #ukblogger #ecoblogger #savetheworld

Here are a few easy online actions and interesting articles to make the world a better, greener, happier, place, 


Edinburgh has become the first city in the UK to have traffic-free days!  I love this idea and hope it spreads to other cities and towns. 


This is an interesting article, if the government actually does something - like put it's money and power behind eco initiatives, the UK could cut it's greenhouse gas emissions to ZERO by 2050 - yes please! 


How can I write one of these blog posts without mentioning Extinction Rebellion.  Oh my gosh, I may have wept a little bit watching the action taking place in the UK and all over the world to stop a climate catastrophe.  You can check out their website for what's happening now and to find your local group. 

Don't forget to donate to Extinction Rebellion if you can.  There's nowt doing in my town in terms of an XR group or protests, and I couldn't get to London for the big protests, the least I can do is give a donation.

Over the Easter bank holiday Britain went 90 hours without using electricity from coal - woop woop.

It is still not too late to act. It will take a far-reaching vision, it will take courage, it will take fierce, fierce determination to act now, to lay the foundations where we may not know all the details about how to shape the ceiling. In other words, it will take cathedral thinking. I ask you to please wake up and make changes required possible.




Sign Friends of the Earth's petition asking the government to adopt their plan to stop a climate emergency.  See their 6 part plan here. 

And finally, the UK government has become the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency - and I'm really interested to see what'll happen next. 




Tuesday, 30 April 2019

My homegrown harvest, April 2019.

The first harvests of spring are starting to come in, they always taste the best.

I've been growing this cauliflower plant for about 18 months and was just debating cutting it down as it hadn't produced anything when all of a sudden a little cauliflower appeared, and within 2 weeks that little cauli grew until it was bigger than my head!  Although it was impressively sized, I can't say it was particularly tasty, I wouldn't grow this variety again (it's 'cut and come again', so it's supposed to make several heads but I'm not sure I'll bother with it any more).

My homegrown harvest, April 2019.  From UK suburban permaculture (ish) gardener, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #suburbanpermaculture #urbangarden #homegrowncaulflower #homegrownshallots

I've also had some small shallots, I bought the shallots for 50p on sale really late in the season last year and they've overwintered, but not very well.  Some are really small and some are just about to go to flower, but it's nice to have fresh onions, whatever form they take.

My homegrown harvest, April 2019.  From UK suburban permaculture (ish) gardener, secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenharvest #homegrownharvest #suburbanpermaculture #urbangarden #homegrowncaulflower #homegrownshallots

Apart from the usual herbs, and a few pickings from my perennial welsh onions that's all I've eaten from the garden this month.  I can't wait for next month to see what's coming! 

Have you eaten any spring crops from your garden yet? 


Friday, 26 April 2019

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019.

I love this time of year when all the forget-me-nots go 'wooosh' and take over for a while.  They're one of my favourite flowers.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

The weigela is flowering and the lilac too, the lilac smells so lovely. I always wanted a purple lilac to go with the white one at the bottom of the garden.  It turns out I already had one - I just had to let the branches from the old tree stump grow and bloom.  The people who had our house before us were monsters, who cuts down a lilac tree?!

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

My apple trees are blossoming too!  There's just one that didn't blossom last year and hasn't this year either, I don't know what's up with it, but if it doesn't buck it's ideas up I might have to dig it up.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

This is my set up from last weekend, when I decided to empty my worm compost bin.  I thought it wasn't working ok because I'd never got any worm wee liquid out of it for the 3 years I've had it.  But turns out the tap was just on wonky and I there was a whole bucketful of liquid, plus a washing up bowl and half a bucket of worm castings.  I've reset the wormery with new coir bedding mixed with shredded paper and I'm going to start feeding them differently, chopping their food scraps into smaller pieces and burying it under the surface, it's supposed to reduce pests (like slugs, I found some mega slugs cleaning out the wormery!) and make decomposition quicker.  

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

All my fruit and nut trees have received a mulch of worm castings to give them a boost this growing season. 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

In the front garden I planted my onions and garlic at the start of the month and they'd sprouted up by the end of the month!  I've planted some carrots and beets too that you can see in the second photo.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

My onions are covered with enviromesh over part of a little greenhouse from wilkos, which was the easiest way to make a frame I could think of considering I have terrible woodwork skills.  I got onion fly on my onions last year and the only way to keep them off is to keep your onions covered so that's my plan this year. 

I've also planted my tomatoes and peppers out into my covered raised bed, I think it's warm enough now and they were taking over my kitchen worktops!  Some test tomatoes have gone out without cover into my upcycled big tomato basket in the back garden, I'll soon find out if it's warm enough out there!
 
Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

I'm experimenting with biochar this year, you soak the charcoal-y bits in liquid fertiliser for a while, then mix it with your compost.  It releases the fertiliser and helps retain moisture in the soil too, I'm wondering if it will help if we get another super hot summer.  I've put it in my new raised beds in the front garden to test it out.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Look at this messy area!  Joe's taken the paving slabs off the weird steps that go nowhere, to lay a base for the bin store in the front garden, so now we have a muddy mound!  We're hoping to get someone in to look at the back garden soon to help us sort out a nice patio.  We dragged out a water feature left here by the previous house owners, so I'm going to clean that up and find a spot for it.

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

The side garden is looking nice, it's one of my favourite parts of the garden.  Only one of my tulips has come up successfully, but at least it's a pretty one! 

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

Diary of a permaculture (ish) garden, April 2019. From UK garden blogger secondhandsusie.blogspot.com #gardenblogger #ukpermaculture #suburbanpermaculture #wormcomposting #appleblossom #frontgardenraisedbed #frontgardenallotment

How's your garden doing?