Glorious gardening blogs
If you’re ready for some gardening inspiration, we’ve got just the thing for you – our run down of some of the best gardening blogs on the web. Here you’ll find some great greenhouse stories, a wealth of tips and info to help you with your own gardening, and plenty of beautiful photos taken by these special green-fingered bloggers.
Rambling in the Garden
If you’re someone who likes nothing better than a good look around a lovely garden, then Rambling in the Garden is the blog for you. Not only does writer Cathy Lyon-Green post delightful photos of her charming patch of the rural West Midlands, she includes a regular video which takes you on a full tour of this most accomplished of gardens.
Cathy started her blog to keep a record of her garden as she developed it from scratch. Anyone doing the same will find the evolving maps of her garden, plant lists and four years’ worth of annual sowing records an invaluable resource.
The Urban Veg Patch
As far as summer ‘munch bunch’ casualties go, Caro at The Urban Veg Patch reports a long list of nibbled crops. She recently took a brief holiday and arrived home to find “my cabbages have been thoroughly enjoyed down to a stump, as have all my dwarf French beans and courgettes - even carrots are now leafless.”
If this sounds familiar, avid community gardener and blogger Caro says it’s not necessarily too late to have another go: “I once grew a lovely bed full of Kelvedon Wonder peas in the late summer and had a good harvest before the end of autumn.” Although Caro grows a lot of fruit and veg, her plot isn’t entirely without colour. She’s a huge fan of nasturtiums, not only because they’re beautiful and pollinator-friendly, but the petals are edible as well! ‘Bloody Mary’ is her current favourite.
The Good Life Crewe
If you’re wondering just how much money an allotment can save you on your food shopping, The Good Life Crewe say that, over the past seven years, they’ve managed to halve their food bill. The secret of their success? Enjoying every minute of their time spent gardening – in the company of some highly entertaining chickens.
A must for anyone thinking of incorporating poultry into their home food-production system, The Good Life Crewe offers lots of info on caring for chickens, plus an allotment diary that’s crammed with fun, fowl, bee keeping, and fabulous veg. Plus, if you're looking for snippets of life living with poultry is really like, you’ve got to check out their Instagram!
The Middle-Sized Garden
“This year, we’ve had double the normal summer rainfall. Flowers have been battered and blown about, or haven’t come out yet.” Blogger, Alexandra Campbell of The Middle-Sized Garden says that while recent fickle weather has destroyed many blooms, some – like oakleaf hydrangeas – have coped well. Here, Alexandra reveals which flowers do best in difficult summers.
Offering great insights and advice for those with middle-sized gardens, Alexandra’s excellent blog is full of practical advice. Wondering what colour to paint your garden shed? Author and journalist Alexandra says vintage hues are the way to go right now – take a look at her excellent guide to help you make the right choice.
The Frustrated Gardener
“Once in a while one’s garden has a ‘moment’,” says Dan Cooper aka The Frustrated Gardener. But while these often happen in May, an August moment of picture-perfect harmony is a rarer thing. It’s a good job Dan captured his garden’s late summer rapture to bring you photos to die for.
Dan’s stunning subtropical garden on the Kent coast boasts sumptuous planting, and an outdoor kitchen, which all makes for an outdoor space that’s perfect for alfresco soirees as well as sitting with a book – not that there’s much time for that. In fact, with a job in London and a large allotment to care for too, special garden moments are all the more precious. And for more snapshots of his daily life, check out Dan's Instagram @thefrustratedgardener.
While it’s nice to kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labour, your trowel should not lie dormant during the summer, says Karen at the Allotment Haven. As you harvest your summer fruit and veg, now is the time to think about crops for winter and beyond. Check out Karen’s post on planting for winter to find out what she’s sowing and growing right now.
Karen gardens a “quintessential British allotment in the heart of a rural English village, overgrown with pumpkins and sprinkled with bunting.” In fact, if you’re keen to try pumpkins and winter squash, Allotment Haven is perfect for you – Karen’s slight obsession makes for a great source of info and you should definitely check out her pumpkin patch post.
Do you think Cordyline Australis – Torbay Palm smells sweetly, or does it reek of cat pee? The answer seems to be that it depends on the person smelling it – at least that’s the opinion of the guys at Alternative Eden. Either way, this hardy ‘exotic’ is certainly photogenic when in full bloom and attracts lots of bees.
For over a decade, Mark and Gaz have been busy creating their own jungle garden here in the UK. This makes their blog a superb resource for anyone with a taste for subtropical planting. Find out what works and what doesn’t – like the delightful Wollemi Pine which has endured setbacks but is nevertheless, “well worth the perseverance to grow.”
If you’re thinking of buying a new lawnmower, would you consider a cordless hover mower? Leicester-based gardener and blogger Alison Levey of The Blackberry Garden, trials one on her blog. She says the twin battery pack lasts for 45 minutes which is also how long it takes for a full charge meaning, “you can mow up until the batteries run out, go and have lunch and then finish off.”
Find out what Alison thought of the mower and, once it’s stored safely in the shed, move on to discover a wealth of gardening material. Think book reviews, garden reviews, product reviews and the latest from this avid gardener’s own patch in the East Midlands which, it turns out, is looking lovely despite this year’s rather confusing weather conditions.
“Rain, wind and sun are anything but gentle with wooden structures,” says John Moore of ever-popular gardening blog, Pyracantha. Join John as he dips into the subject of timber treatments for fences, sheds, and other garden structures. He gives you his top four paints for protecting and brightening up your shed – take a look to find out which proves to be his favourite, and why.
With over 20 years’ experience as a professional gardener and nurseryman behind him, John’s helpful advice is essential reading. Wondering how to go about extending an existing lawn? John’s step-by-step expert guide gives you everything you need to know to get it right.
Dogwooddays: Life, Nature and the Garden
Healthy hedgerows team with native flowers, many of which have medicinal uses, like this towpath mallow, explains Nic Wilson of Dogwooddays: Life, Nature and the Garden. Read her fascinating insight into a plant that’s all too often reduced to stumps by mechanised hedge mowers.
The perfect person to take you outside your own garden, Nic often shares posts about her love of wildlife and the British countryside. She also grows lots of fruit and veg, and is a great advocate for getting kids into gardening. A Guardian Country Diarist and freelance writer for BBC Wildlife, Gardeners’ World, and the RHS The Garden, Nic is currently writing a book exploring ways we can engage with the wild in everyday landscapes. Her blog is a must for all lovers of the great outdoors.
The Biking Gardener
“Has anything brought humankind more fun and pleasure than a garden and the internal combustion engine?” asks Geoff Stebbings, the man behind The Biking Gardener. This green fingered biker is also a professional gardener, author, writer, and broadcaster, and he has a wealth of experience to share.
The Biking Gardener has lots of great info for gardeners everywhere. In fact, it’s fair to say that as far as veg growing goes, with Geoff in the saddle, it’s not a case of ‘easy rider’ as he explains: “There’s never time to rest on your laurels in the garden. As soon as one crop is harvested you should be ready with another so the space is used to full advantage.” Read his excellent Carry On Veg article for specific advice.
Have you heard of ‘Six on Saturday’? It started on The Propagator blog and encourages everyone to present six things from their garden, or at least a garden, in photographic form with few words. It’s a format that works to give you a lot of information about plants very quickly, plus of course some of the pictures really are beautiful.
Looking for foliage plants that stand up well to pests? Take a look at The Propagator’s post featuring Berberis thunbergii, also called ‘Golden Rocket’. He says, “I’ve had this for a few years now and it is slowly growing into a worthwhile border plant, holding its own more with the thugs.” It looks lovely.
Ellen Mary Gardening
“Choosing to spruce up or change your patio can drastically transform thelook of your garden,” says Ellen at Ellen Mary Gardening. To help you choose the best flooring solution for your outside space, she offers a handy guide that runs you through your options, including using outdoor tiles.
Listed as one of the top five women influencers in horticulture by Grow Your Own Magazine, you can be certain Ellen Mary’s gardening advice and inspiration is quality material. Not only is she a prolific horticultural journalist, she’s also author of the five star rated,The Joy of Gardening: The Everyday Zen of Mowing the Lawn.
“Many complaints you’ll hear about peat-free composts are based on out-of-date information,” writes Sally Nex. She says, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent and RHS Gardens Winsley run on peat-free compost, and if it’s good enough for them... If you’ve always wanted to be a greener gardener, Sally’s myth-busting post is a good place to start.
Somerset gardener and garden writer, Sally writes about sustainable, low-carbon, and eco-friendly gardening methods for the RHS journal, The Garden; BBC Gardeners' World; Telegraph Gardening and more. Interested in planet-respecting ways to feed your veg? Check out Sally’s post, How to Feed Your Plants a Healthy Diet.
The Sunday Gardener
The best plants to attract bees and butterflies to your garden? Carol Bartlett at The Sunday Gardener has the answer to this and hundreds of other garden-related questions. Here she gives her top ten with an emphasis on providing food for pollinators all year round. Their number one? Alliums and chives – in particular, Allium nutans (Siberian Chives).
Carol created The Sunday Gardener as a platform to share her love and knowledge of gardening and to inspire others to have a try. She says, “gardening enables you to get lost in the fascination of plants and to observe our native wildlife.” Found a plant you can’t identify? Get in touch with Carol and she’ll do her best to help.
Gardens and Wildlife
Are cabbage white caterpillars munching their way through your brassicas? It’s always nice to know others share your plight. Dina, the writer behind Gardens and Wildlife says, “I’ve never seen so many cabbage white butterflies as I have this year. They are desperate to get at the netted brassicas and sadly are succeeding.”
Not to worry, at least this blogger has plenty of successes to showcase – in fact, a visit to her blog is a wonderfully inspiring insight into the highs and lows of an avid amateur gardener, wildlife lover, and serial animal rescuer. Life at this menagerie is never dull.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our selection of some of the best gardening blogs. If we happen to have missed one of your favourites, please do get in touch. We always love to hear from you.
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