The Green Gardener

Follow our blog on all things gardening and grow your own, from "How to's" to interesting facts and recipes you can make with your home grown garden produce.
SEP
16

September Newsletter

September's arrival heralds the onset of Autumn, colder nights and misty mornings and the bright and beautiful summer flower displays have faded. Just around the corner though,  a riot of autumnal foliage, flowers, berries and shrubs is waiting to burst into bloom! Things to do in the Garden This Month Lawns need a bit of pampering at this time of year, replacing turf and lawn treatments such as .......autumn lawn feed, high in potassium, will make sure your lawn recovers and rejuvenates for the Spring. It's time to move any evergreens and perennials and top up the bark mulch in flower beds....
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1438 Hits
DEC
15

Festive Christmas Tipples

Festive Christmas Tipples
  Festive Christmas Tipples Mince Pie Martini  To make a mincemeat syrup, put 100ml water, the golden caster sugar and mincemeat in a pan and bring to the boil. Cool and strain though muslin into a sieve. Separately, mix the caster sugar and mixed spice, then dampen the rims of 4 Martini glasses and dip in the sugar and spice mixture. Muddle the mincemeat in a cocktail shaker (you may need to make in 2 batches), then add the gin, sweet red vermouth, dark rum, 80ml mincemeat syrup and ice. Shake well and strain into your prepared glass.    100g golden...
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4749 Hits
DEC
05

Christmas Tree Care

Christmas Tree Care
When to buy your Christmas tree? Wait until two weeks before Christmas to get the tree (if you possibly can).   Choosing Your Tree & What to Look Out For Check it out: The tree shouldn't look wilted or have brown needles. Bend the needles: If the tree is fresh, the needles will bend instead of breaking. Shake the tree: It's natural for some needles to fall, but not too many. Measure: Get a tree that's at least a food shorter than the ceiling that will eventually be above it. Remember that the stand will add height. And since you pay...
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2730 Hits
NOV
14

November Garden Check List

November Garden Check List
  November’s CHECKLIST WINTER IS ON ITS WAY   So shortly winter will be here and there will be a few things to prepare in the garden.    Here are some simple tips to get you ready . . .    Improve your soil - Improving the soil with plenty of organic matter in the form of compost helps drainage and aeration on heavy soils and conserves essential moisture on light ones. Clear up fallen leaves – especially from lawns, ponds and beds Raise containers onto pot feet to prevent water logging Prune roses to prevent wind – rock Plant out winter...
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SEP
18

The Blackberry - Healthy Recipes

The Blackberry - Healthy Recipes
TheBlackberry Recently the weather has been very warm and encouraged early ripening to certain fruits, one of which being, the blackberry. Berries usually ripen and are harvested from August to mid-October. Making this the perfect time of year to make the most out of what the Blackberry has to offer. From your diet, to health or taste buds, the blackberry has been proven to enhance many aspects of our lives. Studies show, blackberries, have one of the highest antioxidant contents per serving of any food tested. Therefore if you introduced a regular consumption of blackberries into your diet, you could make a...
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9564 Hits
AUG
05

Up-cycling Old Pallets

Up-cycling Old Pallets
What to do with left over pallets  Not sure what to do with your left over pallets? Don’t throw them away! There are many ways to make the most of your pallets, which are effective and cost effective. Whether it is making furniture, shelving, decorative wall art or flowerbeds. We have had a lot of calls asking what to do with the pallets after delivery, and thought it would be a great idea to suggest to you, a fun alternative, other than a trip to the local tip. There are many ways you can turn a few simple planks of wood...
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5433 Hits
JUL
28

The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 16.54.01The Green Gardener looks into the facinating life of a butterfly.   As part of butterfly month, I thought to myself that although I vaguely remember my school days when we learnt about life cycles, I want to know more about the life of a butterfly.   Their life cycle is a very structured one consisting of four stages, each of which are totally different from the next, the butterfly taking a completely different form in each stage.   It's quite magical!       Stage 1:  THE EGG The first stage is a tiny egg which are laid on leaves, they...
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JUL
21

Celebrate Butterfly Month with us this August

10536453 10152135088426076 3070377133641823659 oButterflies.  In the British Isles we have 56 species of these stunning insects full of colour and enchantment and are seen as a representation of freedom and peace, they are also considered a measure of health on the environment but the number of species is rapidly declining.  So, here at QGS HQ we decided to celebrate these wonderful in-vertebrae by having a butterfly month to raise awareness of the importance of saving our butterflies.   Even our most familiar butterflies are becoming harder to find and are at desperately low numbers, so it is critical we do something NOW to start...
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5345 Hits
JUN
26

Helen's Soggy Cycle Through Yorkshire

Helen's Soggy Cycle Through Yorkshire
Our Office Manager Helen Stokes takes part in an 80 mile cycle as part of her Stoker 5 Challenge to raise money for Mind.  The sportive was organized by Carter Jonas to raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Sustrans and followed part of the 2014 Tour de France route: "As I travelled up to Yorkshire, car packed full with bikes and kit, to meet my fellow cyclists from Team Lanyon Bowdler, the sun was a shinning, sunglass and summer dress on.  In my car, excited about cycling through 80 of miles of the Yorkshire hills, taking in the hills and...
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4267 Hits
JUN
19

Tour de France - Things to Do with Old Bikes

Tour de France - Things to Do with Old Bikes
To celebrate Le Tour or The Tour de France coming to Great Britain, which kick starts in the glorious but hilly Yorkshire in July, we decided to get creative in the garden.  We thought to ourselves lets find as many ways to utilise all of those old bicycles that must be hiding away in sheds, garages and homes across the country. Here is just one of the many bikes you can find in dotted around in Yorkshire, painted by Tour de France fans, they have really created a buzz about the place.  Even after the Tour whizzes past onto the France...
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4496 Hits
JUN
06

Things to Do With Elderflower

Things to Do With Elderflower
Things to do with Elderflower Its that time of year again when we see that beautiful, creamy white hedgerow favourite, the Elderflower has always been one of my favourites. It’s a wild shrub which grows all year rounds but producing an edible flower which can be used in many creations. The ancient shrub which can be found throughout the country, flowers from May to July every year, later turning into elderberries. With large blooming heads and a beautiful fragrant smell, this shrub is one I have grown up knowing and loving. From an early age I have harvested Elderflower to make...
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Guest — Joanna
Check out our recipe for Homemade elderflower liqueur (also in english): http://delicioustitbits.blogspot.com/2014/06/nalewka-z-k... Read More
Saturday, 07 June 2014 13:14
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7866 Hits
JUN
04

Making a Safe Play Area

Making a Safe Play Area
Summer is the time of year that childrens should be outside playing, getting fresh air and lots of excerise.  They love running around, climbing and playing on swings and climbing frames.  All parents want their children to play safely, so what can we do to ensure that they are as safe as posible but without restricting their activities and fun? The answer is to build a play area; slides, swings and climbing frames are great fun but always think about the area surrounding the play equiptment, are there any sharpe edges or hard surfaces, the answer is probably yes, (even grass...
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2993 Hits
MAY
13

Things You Didn't Know About Earthworms

Things You Didn't Know About Earthworms
Earthworms are an essential ingredient for healthy soil structure and composts providing a number of great benefits for your garden. Often referred to as “ecosystem engineers” or “nature’s ploughs” they burrow through soil providing easy access for oxygen and water to circulate whilst pushing out unwanted carbon dioxide. Even the earthworm’s faeces is high in nutrients which allows bacteria and fungi to feed on it creating a fantastic foundation for plant growth.   Earthworms are highly underrated, yet they play a vital role in the success of any garden. Healthy, fertile soil can have around 430 earthworms per square meter. Here’s my Top...
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6118 Hits
MAY
09

Working out how much topsoil you need.

Working out how much topsoil you need.
Working out how much topsoil you need can be a bit of a daunting task, is it just a case of guessing?  Most people do just guess and often get it wrong! Follow our guide below to hopefully eliminate the guess work and save you alot of hassel and £'s. Topsoil is usually sold in tonnes, but for now we are going to forget about weight and concentrate on volume. Step 1 - Measure the Length & Width of the Area Firstly work out the area you want to cover with topsoil in metres by measuring the length and width of...
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6777 Hits
SEP
11

How to Make Sloe Gin

sloe gin-bottleMy first introduction to sloe’s came when helping my father to make his sloe gin, which was an annual thing in our house, to be done after the first frost each and every year without fail.  I had to laboriously prick every tiny berry several times with a pin, before throwing it into a large kilner jar with what seemed like millions of other dry and bitter sloes.  Needles to say my young, spindly fingers also suffered the same pain that the sloe berries went through! My father would then cover the berries with sugar and gin, leave the jar to...
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71573 Hits
SEP
02

Ash Dieback - What is it?

Ash Dieback - What is it?
Your questions answered We had a customer question following our tweet about Chalara; they wanted to know just what exactly Chalara or Ash Die back is. Chalara or Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus is a tree fungi which causes Ash dieback, which symptoms include leaf loss and dyeing of the crown.  Only discovered in 2006 this new disease was first discovered in Poland then spreading by 2008 to other parts of Europe such as Scandinavia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland.  Then by 2012 it was discovered in Belgium, France, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Ireland and of course Britain.  So it didn’t...
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12277 Hits
AUG
22

Autumn Soil Care

Autumn Soil Care
As the autumn months approach and we start to think about having a clear up of our garden space ready for winter months; it’s a great time to think about your soil. ‘Soil?’ you say!  Well yes, soil, this simple (or so we think), garden medium needs to be cared for just as much as the plants we grow in it.  The better the soil the better the quality of vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and other plants we get out of it.  Soil is made up of many different elements, including nutrients, which over time get used up or leached out...
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22669 Hits
AUG
21

Wild Blackberry Kiss Cocktail

Wild Blackberry Kiss Cocktail
Well, as Helen won our last inter office cocktail competition with her Lavender and Lemon Cooler; we thought we would make the most of her whilst her boastful head still fits in the office.  We sent her to make the most of the autumn gathering / scrumping season whilst it is at it’s most “fruitful’! (only from hedgerow’s my we add and not neighbors garden’s as the true definition suggests!). I have come up with this beauty; making use of my favorite berry the Wild British Blackberry, don’t go to your local supermarket, get yourself out for a walk and you will...
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23986 Hits
JUL
31

How to Take Rose Cuttings

How to Take Rose Cuttings
How to make take cuttings from Roses… One of the nations favorite plant’s, the rose is a great way to add crazy colour and sultry scent to your garden.  Why not try getting a sense of accomplishment by growing some from a cutting on an existing plant.  Here is our 4 steps to propagating roses from cuttings: Pick which rose you would like more of.  Choose a long and healthy stem, which has grown this season. Take a cutting by cutting to a length of 25cm long, cut above a bud at the top and below a bud at the base. ...
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16146 Hits
JUL
31

What to do in the Garden in September

What to do in the Garden in September
September in the Garden "Misty starts, dewy toes, the thud of windfalls" September, the ninth month of the year, in roman times it was the seventh month which is how it got it’s name,  Septem in latin means seventh.    Anyway we need to discuss what we should be doing in the garden right now… Divide your herbaceous perennial’s now, this will not only give you more plants but will maintain a healthy and happy plant next year. Collect and sow seeds from hardy annuals and perennials’, which you liked seeing in your garden this year. Now is the time to...
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