Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Gimme Five! Shade loving vegetables

Friday, March 20th, 2015

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

selection of 5 shade loving vegetables | H is for Home | #gardening #allotment #seeds

We’ve been working down to our allotment a couple of times in the past few weeks, mainly raking up mounds and mounds of leaves that fell last autumn.

In the summer, much of the plot is in dappled shade thanks to lots of big, tall beech trees. Because of this, a lot of what we planted last year such as tomatoes and peas didn’t produce bumper harvests. This year we’ve been looking into shade loving vegetables.

Vegetables and herbs with lots of dark green leaves are an indicator to shade tolerance. Spinach, kale, lettuce, parsley, coriander will all do well. There’s a saying I’ve come across which is a general rule of thumb for growing fruit & veg: “If you grow it for the fruit, you need full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, stems or sprouts, partial shade is all you need.”

Gimme Five! Outdoor thermometers

Friday, August 29th, 2014

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

selection of 5 outdoor thermometers

The weather’s been all over the place in the past few weeks. The summer started with long hot sunny days then things became far more unpredictable; the remnants of a hurricane blew in from the US, there were hailstones in Hove and we’ve just had the coldest August bank holiday on record.

I’ve learnt from bitter (literally!) experience that just because the sun’s out doesn’t mean it’s warm. Or that rain means it will be cold. One big help with choosing outdoor attire has been the thermometer we have in our back garden, just outside the kitchen window. We can peak through the glass and see just how warm or cold it actually is. You’ll never go out over or under-dressed again!

There are quite a few outdoor thermometers available on the net. You can even find full-on weather stations if you’re that way inclined! As well as temperature, they measure humidity, rainfall, wind speed & direction, sunrise & sunset times, phase of the moon… We’re not that weather obsessed – a basic thermometer will suffice! :-)

  1. Annecy thermometer: £18, Garden Trading
  2. Giverny thermometer: £10, Notonthehighstreet
  3. Filigree thermometer: £9.99 Primrose
  4. Gooseberry thermometer: £26.50, John Lewis
  5. Giant solar garden thermometer: £9.99, Coopers of Stortford

Gimme Five! Hibernation homes

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

'Gimme Five' blog post banner

selection of 5 hibernation homes for garden wildlife

The weather has turned positively autumnal this week – and August Bank Holiday weekend isn’t even upon us yet! We’ve been seeing squirrels scurrying about busily collecting supplies for later in the year.

We regularly feed the avian visitors to our garden, especially hanging seeds and lard balls in the trees during the lean winter months. This year, we plan on doing a little bit extra. Erecting insect, bat and hedgehog hibernation homes will make our garden a veritable wildlife boarding house – the kind of lodgers we’d love to welcome! There are so many types of homes and shelters to choose from out there. And so many different creatures that you can encourage to over-winter and stay on year-round.

  1. Butterfly biome: £24.99, RSPB
  2. Wooden hedgehog house – £99.95, Notonthehighstreet
  3. The Birds and the Bees: £34.95, Etsy
  4. Double chamber bat box: £28.95, Ethical Superstore
  5. Ladybird house – £9.99, Crocus

Monthly Mood Board: Al fresco summer

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

'Monthly Mood Board' blog post banner

'al fresco summer' mood board

For the past few weeks we’ve been enjoying a blissful al fresco summer – with no end in sight so far (touch wood!). We’ve been pottering in the garden, sitting outside to eat and working on laptops from our deckchairs.

We love a blue & green theme for the garden, it works really well with a backdrop of trees, plants and flowers and creates a restful outdoor vibe.

  1. Hardwood 2m garden parasol – light blue: £29.99, Homebase
  2. Romvi LED solar powered outdoor string lights with 20 lights, green & blue shades: £10, B&Q
  3. Lexon Maizy radio: £49, Ethical Superstore
  4. Century bench: £49.90, Butlers Online
  5. Florence table – green: £419.99, Crocus
  6. Amazonas Belize hanging chair: £37.15, Tesco
  7. KitchenCraft Bar Craft ‘Vino Curvo’ wine cooler: £13.40, Wayfair
  8. Coolmovers Meadow Lane acrylic stacking glasses – pack of 4: £6.77, Auravita
  9. Charcoal bucket BBQ: £9.99, Argos
  10. Tam Tam green plastic stool: £12, Habitat

Gimme Five! Outdoor solar lights

Friday, July 11th, 2014

'Gimme Five!' blog post banner

selection of 5 outdoor solar lights

We’ve been enjoying sitting in deckchairs in our garden this summer. It gets direct sun until almost 7pm at this time of year. It’s been warm enough to sit out until way after the sun has gone down.

We want to get some pretty yet functional lighting to enhance our garden space and think that we’d be best served by some outdoor solar lights. No fiddly – and not to mention potentially dangerous, given our electrical knowledge  – cables and sockets to contend with. Solar lights are notorious for being a bit dim thanks to the often measly British sunshine. But we don’t mind that, we’re not after floodlights, just a nice, warm glow to give the garden added atmosphere. Here are some we’ve found…

  1. SOLVINDEN solar-powered table lamp: £9, IKEA
  2. Lola LED solar powered outdoor glass jar lantern in blue: £7, B&Q
  3. Solar outdoor string lanterns, multi: £20, John Lewis
  4. Solar post light: £16.99, Crocus
  5. Solar bamboo light: £6.99, Original Organics