Lead the Good Life Blog

Cut Flowers

Aside from houseplants, there are many flowers that can be grown in our own garden and then brought inside as a cut flower, however these are are often overlooked by many gardeners. Plants need not be restricted to beds, borders or containers, they can be cut and brought indoors for wonderful floral displays. Here is a list of my favourite flowers to use in bouquets.

My Top 5 Cut Flowers Continue reading

Is It Time To Put Bedding Plants To Bed? – Lead the Good Life Gardening Blog

297 529-02Bedding plants were first introduced in the 1820s where their 464825237 intricate, vibrant and exotic style broke up the large landscaped gardens of ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton. The plant hunters of the time were discovering all manner of colourful new blooms from far flung places, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. The great stately house owners fell in love with these “novelty” plants and soon became the fashion of country estates. However, as these exotic plants needed warmth to grow, bedding was not grown by the public because it was far too expensive to produce. In 1845, when the glass tax was abolished and the majority of the population could afford greenhouses in their back garden, bedding plants were made accessible to the general public; the bedding craze of the Victorian era had begun. Continue reading

Bare Root Plants – Lead The Good Life Gardening Blog

Bare root plant

When it comes to planting a new garden it’s important to consider the time of year. Just because the weather is cold, doesn’t mean that you can’t plant. During the warm months container planting is the best option, however now is the time to plant bare root shrubs and trees.

About Bare Root Shrubs and Trees

Bare root shrubs and trees have been grown in a field and then lifted when they are at the required age for sale. They are sold without a pot, literally having bare roots and have many advantages over potted or container grown trees. For example bare root trees can have a much larger root system, sometimes up to 200% more. The cost is less with bare root trees because of less labour and materials involved in their production and planting them is much easier because the tree is often younger, weighs less and is easier to move.

Bare root shrubs and trees are sold throughout the cooler times of the year, namely from late Autumn to early Spring, because of the nature of how the trees are delivered their roots would not be able to cope with the heat of Summer months. Therefore their roots must not be exposed to the air because they will quickly start to dry out, so keep them covered until you’re ready to plant them. Continue reading

Gerberas – Lead the Good Life Gardening Blog

gerbera

Gerbera Sweet Collection

Gerberas are one of the most vivid and vibrant flowers that we grow in our gardens and they look beautiful as potted house plants too. Their big smiling, daisy faces bring life to wherever they’re planted and their range of colours is almost infinite. Planting Gerberas in your garden not only brightens you borders but they also brighten your mood; whenever I see Gerberas I can’t help but feel warm and smile. Continue reading

Digitalis ‘Illumination’ a foxglove with a difference

Digitalis IlluminationDigitalis ‘Illumination’ is a foxglove with a difference! For those of you who love traditional style cottage gardens but are looking for a change from the plain, and lets face it, over used varieties, Digitalis ‘Illumination’ brings a much welcome relief from the mundane.

Digitalis ‘Illumination’ is reliably perennial, flowers for months on end and has colourings comparable to any exotic flower. Previously thought impossible, Digitalis ‘Illumination’ is an unbelievable hybrid between the common foxglove and its sub-section, Isoplexis, giving this hybrid a very unusual tropical colouring; the most spectacular foxglove you will have ever seen! Continue reading

TomTato – a horticultural breakthrough

TomTatoIt seems that nowadays horticulture is constantly breaking conventions. Back in October 2013 we took a look at some novelty fruit including pineberries, framberries and pink blueberries. However these fruits with an identity crisis are nothing compared to the latest horticultural breakthrough created by Thompson and Morgan. We are proud to introduce a vegetable with a split personality, the TomTato!

The plantsmen at Thompson and Morgan have really outdone themselves this time; tomatoes and potatoes on one plant and imaginatively named the TomTato, this vegetable innovation has been especially developed for the gardening market within the UK. Continue reading

What To Do In the Garden In February

What to do in the garden in February? February is the month where signs of spring appear; bulbs begin to poke through the dormant ground and wildlife, such as birds, slowly start to wake up. For us gardeners days begin to lengthen, nights become lighter and the temperature warms up. Now is the time to get on to of planning the season ahead. Think to yourself ‘what needs to be done?’ Most of the work is indoors but by the end of the month there’ll be plenty to do outdoors too. Continue reading

How To Grow Potatoes

sb10062327ee-001As this is our first blog of 2014 what better way to start than with the UKs favourite vegetable…the potato! There is nothing more satisfying than harvesting your own potatoes. Freshness and flavour alone is far superior that those bought from the supermarket. They are easy enough to grow to and if you have the space then you should definitely give it a go. Continue reading

Roses: a gardeners guide to great varieties #8

Roses are a gardeners favourite, there’s no denying it. I fell in love with them when I first went to RHS Rosemore and saw their wonderful collection and after years of travelling around several more gardens with delightful displays, I’ve compiled a list of what I think are some of the best varieties for type, colour and overall beauty.

My All Time Favourite Five Roses

Rhapsody in blue Rose

‘Rhapsody In Blue’ Shrub Rose

‘Rhapsody in Blue’ is a variety of modern shrub rose which is quickly increasing in popularity as it is the closest yet to a the colour blue. The flowers are initially purple but fade into a slate blue colour over time. The blooms of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ are scented which will give your garden a sweet fragrance, plus the long stems and beautiful colour make it a great cut flower. The overall form is tall and bushy; a beautiful modern shrub rose. Continue reading