18 Fabulous flower blogs
All over the UK, garden bloggers are busy digging, harvesting and blogging away. We've spent the summer reading florist blogs, and have picked out 18 of our favourite flower blogs to review. They're a brilliant bunch - Enjoy!
Is it one of your secret fantasies to one day be the proud owner of a slug and snail-free garden? It is for Anna, though she dreams of an 'almost' mollusc free garden because, as she says, "I have to leave a few tasty morsels for the birds".
Anna is keen to expand her own knowledge of gardening through experimentation and research, and if she doesn't know the answer to her readers' questions, she finds out. When blog reader Cathy wanted to know when anemones coronaria normally flower in the UK, Anna jumped into research mode: they flower three months after planting. That's good to know.
How often do you really stand back and look at your garden, warts and all? Helen has created an End of Month View section on her blog, which disciplines her to take a photograph of different parts of her garden from the same viewpoint at the end of each month. This enables her to really understand what is and isn't working.
Helen's readers are invited to add their own end of month photographs to the blog, which makes for wonderful viewing. We particularly enjoyed this contribution on days of peas and raspberries, posted by Linnae of Books and Blooms.
Ever planted something you weren't sure you'd like, but then changed your mind about it? When Helen was sent Rose of the Year, For Your Eyes Only, she had her doubts but thought, why not? This rose had adapted to growing in the Iranian desert, and Helen has come to appreciate its robust health, it's glossy leaves and the fact that "it is flowering its little heart out".
Helen is a freelance writer and monthly contributor to Kitchen Garden, Towpath Talk and Growveg, and has some great gardening tips to share. Did you know, for example, that sequestered iron could be the answer to yellow leaves and poor growth in acid-loving plants like azaleas and rhododendrons?
When did you first realise you were born to be a gardener? Sarah was about eight years old when she secretly dug and lined a pond then filled it with frogspawn. Result: A whole load of frogs and a Mum who recognised her need to nurture things. Reward: A packet of carnation seeds and a lifelong interest in all things garden related.
In her post, Prince Charles, The Smiths and a Passion for Podcasts, Sarah flirts with the idea of planting a battalion of delphiniums. She confesses that the prospect "doesn't scare me because (look away now if you are faint-hearted) I don't stake my herbaceous perennials." Now there's a rebellious thought...
What kind of garden do you work with? Petra, recently crowned as a committee member of the Garden Media Guild, is lucky enough to work in a beautiful walled garden. In her post Jostaberry: Last Chance Saloon, she shares her experience of attempting to grow Jostaberry, a thornless cross between the Gooseberry and the Blackcurrent.
Petra also blogs about other gardeners and gardens. In Fuelling my plant addiction: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014, she shares her experience of visiting the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which is always "followed by an insatiable appetite for plants and all things gardening". We can all relate to that.
Are you guilty of homicidal neglect when it comes to indoor plants? Jane Perrone's post on the top five houseplants even you won't be able to kill should fill even the worst offenders with hope. The ZZ plant (Zamioculcaas zamiifolia), for example, will "shrug off deep shade, direct sun, no water for months on end and desert-dry air without any sign of distress". Ideal.
Jane is gardening editor at the Guardian, co-presenter of the Sow, Grow, Repeat podcast, and author of The Allotment Keeper's Handbook. She writes for lots of other publications too, including The English Garden and Grow Your Own.
Are you a fan of the water feature? In his post Highlights from Hampton Court, Andrew waxes lyrical about his very favourite display, the Working Wetlands Garden. The challenge was to come up with creative ideas to make use of rainwater, while mitigating the danger of flooding. The results were impressive.
Andrew describes himself as a "gardener, blogger, and owner of a too-loud laugh". He reached the finals of the Garden Media Guild's Blog of the year for two years running, and as the blog develops, he's planning to include a resources section, with downloadable goodies.
Are you someone who dreads an overnight frost? Look on the bright side, say the folks over at the Woolly Green blog: Frost helps break down clods of earth and kills some nasty critters and diseases, so it can be a good thing.
This colourful and artistic blog is packed full of useful tips and resources, and is run by eight friends from different locations, who have in common a love of all things green. The group guru is Alison, who "knows EVERYTHING". You are invited to ask her questions on Twitter every Thursday evening with the hashtag #WoolliesAskAlison.
Do you know the secret to a low maintenance garden? Joanna Manser, who runs the Produce from the garden blog, believes she has the answer: mulch. Mulch suppresses weeds, retains moisture, conditions the soil and helps keep the place looking tidy.
Joanna is a keen gardener of over 20 years standing, and believes the kitchen garden is a "magnificent oasis full of treats for the home." One tip she offers is, if you do decide to go the mulch route, put a nitrogen-rich fertiliser down first, because wood chip can deplete the nitrogen in the soil.
Are you a fan of the snowdrop? It was news to us that Slovenians hold the snowdrop in high regard, and that 2016 saw the debut of the Slovenian Snowdrop Festival. Blogger John Grimshaw attended as a guest of the Ljubljana University Botanic Garden. The event included guided tours, demonstrations, talks and an art competition.
John is a gardening botanist and Director of the Yorkshire Arboretum, with his own garden at Kirkhill Farm, Settringon. He shares a chatty and informative monthly blog post, which aims to give his "personal view of the world of horticulture and plants".
Chances are, if you're a gardener, you already have a love of flowers, but where do you stand on foliage? Chloris compares learning to love foliage to learning to like olives: both are an acquired taste. But foliage, once appreciated, can enhance the beauty of the flowers you already loved.
The Blooming Garden blog deliberately sets out not to be a blog about double digging, with step by step instructions on when to plant your Brussels sprouts. Instead, it's about "sharing my love of beautiful plants". It follows Chloris's quest to tame one neglected acre in Suffolk and turn it into a floral Paradise.
How's your garden looking today? If it's looking good, why not post a link to some photographs of it on the Country Garden UK blog's Looking Good Today section. Blog owner and gardener, Gillian McCulloch, is also a photographer and she shares loads of photographs of her own garden on her blog.
As well as the Looking Good Today postings, Gillian's blog is open to anything garden related and welcomes input from and interaction with its readers. She welcomes chat about flowers and foliage, fruit and veg, or parks and allotments, just so long as there's a garden related theme.
Ever heard of Spoonie Veg? Neither had we until we came across Gwenfar's Garden, a blog about growing flowers, fruit and veg in a small urban space with the added challenge of having a chronic illness. Julieanne Porter (also known as Gwenfar) has ME and sometimes struggles to work in her garden. She uses 'Spoon Theory' to work out which combinations of plants are good for her to grow.
A spoon is a unit of energy, and different plants require different levels of energy to nurture. Low maintenance strawberries use one spoon out of a possible five. High maintenance tomatoes require five spoons.
Many garden lovers have no doubt planted a lot of pots in their time, but possibly not as many as Harriet Rycroft, who reckons she planted around 7000 during her 14 year stint as head-gardener at Whichford Pottery. Harriet now works as a free-range gardener, speaker and writer, and enjoys visiting and photographing gardens.
Harriet's blog is divided between 'Friday Flora' and reports of the gardens she visits. Each 'Friday Flora' post focuses on one plant, such as the Muscari armeniacum 'Peppermint', a little powder blue grape hyacinth. Her garden visits, illustrated by some wonderful photographs, include RHS Hampton Court and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Not many people get to have a rose named after them, but Ronnie, owner of blog Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond is able to claim that honour. When she was diagnosed with cancer back in 2013, her work colleagues bought her an unnamed yellow floribunda rose, now forever known as Ronnie's Rose.
As Ronnie pushes on with life beyond cancer, each year she looks forward to seeing large yellow blooms at the bottom of her garden.
Ronnie blogs about her garden and gardens she visits and photographs. Her regular 'In a vase on a Monday' posts show beautifully colourful flowers (and some nice vases, too).
We've all got our favourites when it comes to flowers, and Gwen Ward makes no secret of her love for pelargoniums, though she also clearly has a soft spot for geraniums. Pelargoniums have some very appealing names, and two of our favourites that Gwen blogs about have to be Happy Thought pelargoniums and Sweet Jess.
Gwen is the membership secretary of The Pelargonium & Geranium Society, and is Show Secretary of The Shamley Green Gardening Club. She has been a member of Farnborough Fuchsia & Geranium Society for about twelve years. You can join The Pelargonium & Geranium Society from her website.
On our blustery little island, the luxury of a greenhouse can make all the difference to how your seedlings come on. But not everybody has the money or space for a greenhouse. Benjamin Ranyard has come up with the simplest of solutions: Drill a couple of holes in the bottom of a plastic storage box and make your own mini-greenhouse. Simple, but smart.
Benjamin's blog includes a free Sowing Guide and Growing Guide, both great resources. He also takes pride in the high quality of the chemical-free seeds he produces from growing traditional annual flowers in a paddock in Cornwall.
Do you know about the importance of adding images to your tweets or how to add text to your Snapchats? Flower writer and social media expert Rona Wheeldon provides advice for florists and flower lovers on her award winning blog Flowerona (she has won "Best Wedding Flowers Blog" for the last 3 years in a row).
To mark the occasion of reaching 20k Instagram followers Rona shared some of her favourite Instagram tips, including how to "subtly use hashtags" and how to "Pin your Instagram photos to Pinterest." If it's more in depth support you're looking for Rona also runs branding and social media workshops for florists, and if you're looking for a job there's even a Flowerona job vacancies board.
We hope you've enjoyed our floral tribute to these blossoming bloggers - check out their blogs and feast your eyes on their glorious flower pictures while you learn about how they're grown.
Lead image: Shutterstock