Our summer fruit harvest has been pretty good this year. We have a few strawberry plants that have produced lots of fruit – and now, dozens of runners between them. We don’t want to just cut them back and waste them. Also, you shouldn’t just keep the same strawberry plants, growing on the same plot (or in the same soil) year after year, as they accumulate viruses – and crops diminish.
About three years is the optimum life for a strawberry plant apparently, so we’re going to propagate a few over the coming weeks. We had a look at what the venerable Monty Don had to say on how to go about it – and it’s incredibly easy. You can never have too many strawberry plants because you can never have too many strawberries!
Here’s a trio of different strawberry pots – from less than a tenner to over £50 – which we’ve found that would be perfect for our allotment and garden…
- Large 45-litre plastic herb / strawberry planter / grow bag: £7.95, Amazon
- Terracotta strawberry pots: £35.00, Etsy
- Terracotta strawberry planter: £64.99, Crocus
We love living the quiet life, but every so often we both get a yearning for big city living again. This urban roof terrace is just the kind of outdoor space that many city-dwellers would love; a huge sky and activity all around.
It’s very open indeed, so perhaps not everyone’s favoured option – probably not the best place for a spot of sunbathing in the nude! The clear glass barriers are primarily built for safety rather than privacy. The view is one of the terrace’s great attractions, however – you’d have the feeling of hovering in mid-air – so probably wise not to block it out.
Astroturf is the perfect floor covering, it stands up to the elements, is non-slip, soft underfoot and really gives the illusion of a well-manicured lawn. It looks like a lovely place for a relaxed, al fresco gathering of friends and family.
- 1000mm2 toughened clear glass balustrade panels
- Matthew Hilton Eos outdoor furniture range for Case
- MAUI deckchair slings
- John Lewis deckchair frame, FSC-certified (eucalyptus)
- 4 Nova champagne glasses
- Stainless steel ice bucket / wine/champagne cooler
- Marlow medium density artificial grass
Click here to see more indoor & outdoor spaces we’ve featured in our Get their look series.
We’ve recently been sent this wooden trestle staging by First Tunnels, a polytunnel and garden structure firm based in Barrowford – not that far from us, over the Lancashire border.
We’ve been in need of a potting station on our allotment, however, we thought we’d have a dry run and assemble it in the garden before taking it down there.
In fact, we needn’t have worried about a tricky construction. No tools, nails, screws or allen keys were required – job done in 30 seconds flat! The kit came in a single piece; all that was needed was for the folded, hinged legs to be stabilised with a metal pin on either end and the under-shelf slid under.
The trestle staging is made of planed, tanalised pine – First Tunnels is FSC certified which means all the wood they use is responsibly sourced. It’s not just ideal for the allotment; it can be used in the garden, conservatory, potting shed, greenhouse, garage or boot room.
It’s 6ft wide and the under-shelf is useful for storing tools, pots and watering cans whilst the top is the perfect height for sowing seeds and potting on. The structure is very sturdy – it can easily support heavy things such as tomato grow bags and bags of potting compost.
This chilled garden belongs to BBC radio and TV presenter, Jo Whiley. You’d expect something this relaxed and comfortable from the Glastonbury Festival veteran.
It’s a perfect candidate for Through the Keyhole – there are so many clues. Bales of hay for that Worthy Farm vibe? Check! Superstar DJ disco ball? Check! Fire bowl for sitting around playing or listening to music and toasting marshmallows? Check, check, check!
Strings of outdoor festoon lights and lanterns complete the easygoing ambience and, according to a recent article in House Beautiful, they’re very on-trend for this summer.
- 20 warm white LED connectible festoon lights
- 300mm silver disco mirror ball
- Hot lips cushion
- Black cage battery wax candle lantern, 20cm
- Outdoor battery flickering candle lantern
- Barley straw bale
- Metal double sun lounger
- Original recycled Kadai Fire Bowl®
What a glorious place to spend a warm summer’s evening! Gently rocking back and forth with a cold beer or glass of wine, taking in the view and watching the sun go down.
This rustic porch (and indeed the cottage to which it belongs) ticks lots of boxes for us in terms of materials and décor.
We like the combination of natural wood and stone in a building structure – and the introduction of cane, rattan and weathered metal works perfectly with it.
The look is carried through the various connecting spaces – flowers, textiles and furs softening the harder edges.
If you’re equally taken by the idea of spending some time here – well you can! The cottage is situated in Cornwall and available to rent for holidays (dogs allowed too).
Hopefully we’ll be lighting that fire and rocking in those chairs one day soon!
- Franco Albini rattan rocking chairs
- Franco Albini glass-topped rattan table
- Tree branch tea light holders – set of three
- Large terracotta plant pot
- Storm lamp
- Natural woven straw seat cushions
A couple of weeks ago I noticed a bunch of saplings for sale outside the entrance to our local supermarket they were all priced up at £5.00 – bargain! I had a look at all the labels and amongst the apple, pear and cherry trees I spotted a single Victoria plum tree. I thought to myself that I’d return a bit later on in the day to buy it.
Needless to say, I popped back mere hours later and it was gone – I lost my chance! Anyway, a couple of days ago, I was back at the supermarket to pick up a couple of things and there were a couple of plum trees back in stock. I picked one out on my way in – I walked all around the shop with it – I wasn’t going to miss out again.
It said on the label that it’s self-pollinating (self-fertile), however, I did a bit of research online and apparently having other compatible plum trees nearby helps improve fruiting. ‘Compatible’ simply means another variety that flowers at the same time.
I’m torn between ‘Black Amber’ and the dual ‘Bleue de Belgique’/’Reine Claude d’Oullins’. The former only gets to 1 metre tall – perfect for a small garden like ours. However, the latter gives you two completely different varieties on a single tree; again, a good option for our limited space.
- Plum ‘Black Amber’ (mini fruit tree): £12.99, Van Meuwen
- Dual plum ‘Bleue de Belgique’ + ‘Reine Claude d’Oullins’: £17.50, Bakker
- Plum ‘Opal’: £24.99, Thompson Morgan