Category Archives: How tos

VIDEO I The world of beekeeping

Eastend Gardener delves further into the beekeeping world and meets Alessia Bolis, expert beekeeper who runs courses at Hackney City Farm.

We also attend one of the classes to see what the course is all about and find out some top bee facts from people who attended the course.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the class email Alessia at beecome[at]hotmail.com. The next Introduction to Beekeeping course starts on 9th May and runs every Wednesday till 4th July at 7pm at Hackney City Farm. The fee is £110 per person and concessions are available for residents of Hackney on benefits and people involved in full time study. To find out more information visit the Hackney City Farm website.

By Krystena Petrakas

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DIY VIDEO | How to make a seed bomb

Do you hate the sight of a disused plot of land, or a vacant lot by the side of the road? Always wanted to try guerilla gardening, but scared of the public attention that comes with planting flowers by the pavement? Try seed bombing. It’s easy, cheap and exercises your throwing arm.

You can buy pre-made bombs, but where’s the fun in that? With a little bit of clay, compost, seeds and a sprinkling of water, you can make your own seed bombs. Chuck them into abandoned, unloved plots of land and make this city a little greener.

Check out our handy seed bomb primer here:

Read more for our six rules of responsible seed bombing…

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VIDEO l How to make a solitary bee home

Bees are in trouble. The number of bees in Britain is falling dramatically and three bumblebee species are already extinct.

Many factors are causing the declining population, from having less habitats, to climate change and even certain pesticides can harm bees. Many bee homes have been destroyed as development continues around the UK and bees are left nowhere to lay their eggs.

Tash and I are doing our bit to encourage bee activity and making our Eastend garden bee-friendly by making our own solitary bee home. We hope you follow in our steps and help the bee population.

Please see our video on how to make your own solitary bee home.

And here’s what went wrong…

By Krystena Petrakas and Natasha Wynarczyk

VIDEO l Shopping on a budget: how to pick the right plants

In aid of National Gardening week I spent my Saturday morning at Growing Concerns choosing some flowers to spruce up my garden.

In this video I share some tips on how to choose the right flowers for your garden when you’re on a budget.

Thanks to the staff at Growing Concerns who were great at advising me on the right plants to buy. As our valued readers, we welcome you to leave comments if you have any useful tips. Also, excuse my pronunciation of ‘Pulmonarias’!

By Krystena Petrakas

VIDEO | Ask a Dad: how to plant hardy asiatic lilies

If you’re a flamboyant flower lover with limited space and funds, the asiatic lily delivers a whole lot of bang for your buck. These vivid flowers look both expensive and impressive, but in fact even the most horticulturally challenged can buy a cutting for a few quid and watch it flourish almost of its own accord.

In the first of our Ask a Dad video series, our resident Dad reveals the tricks to successfully potting up these hardy plants…

By Hannah Bass
Image by Arturo Yee

Treat your Valentine with home grown roses

Rose soleil bourgeons

For all you romantics, here is a dig-and-pot guide on how to treat your Valentine to home grown roses to keep them sweet all year round.

So, instead of buying your beau a bouquet of stems that will only last a week, why not get in their garden tomorrow and plant them a rose garden that will last indefinitely.

And in true East End Gardener style, we’ll also tell you how to grow roses in those concrete backyards many of you may have. If you don’t have the luxury of soil flowerbeds, as most of us urban gardeners don’t, fear not – most roses can be grown successfully in containers.

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Re-home an ex-battery hen

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Owning an urban hen is one of the best ways to bring the countryside into your London yard, and what better way to bring a lovely hen into your life than to adopt one?

The British Hen Welfare Trust is campaigning for a free-range future, aiming to give former battery hens a new home. Adoption is free, although any donations to the charity is welcome. You can also find a comprehensive guide on their website which every budding hen-owner should read.

Not got enough space or time to look after an urban hen? Don’t worry you can sponsor one instead.

East End Gardener is looking to interview an owner of urban hens in London. If you’re interested, please email eastendgardener@gmail.com

By Natasha Wynarczyk. Photo by Steven L Johnson under a CC licence