Category Archives: Seasonal

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

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Gardening Week is upon us

Today kicks off the start of National Gardening Week, not that we gardening enthusiasts need an excuse garden, but the Royal Horticultural Society has put on an abundance of events to keep our green fingers busy. You can find the full list of activities at nationalgardeningweek.org.uk

With a week of April showers forecast for London and the majority of the UK, I feel a boost of encouragement is needed to get all urbanites to dust off their shovels, get into their wellies and get your urban garden looking bright and blossoming for the summer months to come.

We want to encourage all urban gardeners who do join in with National Gardening Week to let us know what you get up to, whether you’re potting a plant, weeding the flowerbeds or mowing your lawn, it would be great to hear and see what you get up to this week. Feel free to contact us if you fancy writing a guest post for our blog at eastendgardener@gmail.com.

And if you have any gardening queries just comment below this post and we’ll get back to you with our tips and advice. And for those who get a chance to go to the events the Royal Horticultural Society are putting on, we want to hear about that too, so please comment and let us know your thoughts.

Here are some photos from Pinterest to inspire you this week:

Source: lifehacker.com via beth on Pinterest

Source: e-ogrody.pl via Design on Pinterest

 

By Krystena Petrakas

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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5 good reads for urban gardening: January 2012

Tulips snow winter urban gardening London

The East End Gardener is back after a winter break and ready to welcome the first hints of spring with crocuses and snowdrops.

Here are some of the top reads from the web this month to get you back in the green-fingered mood. Just click on the titles to go straight to the article.

Gardening trend predictions for 2012
MyGardenSchool, blogging for Huffington Post UK, predicts a return to the wild in 2012, with fewer lawns, more shrubs and greater concern for our environmental impact. Thought-provoking post, shame about the grammar…

The revolution will be composted: adventures in radical gardening
We’ve always known that gardeners are sexy and now here’s the proof. The Guardian’s gardening blog is setting out to profile rebel gardeners. They’ve already name-checked East End Gardener favourite, the Hackney FARM:shop  – we can’t wait to see who else is coming up.

Gardens of Eden: the heavenly horticulture blossoming on roofs high above the city
Some divine visual inspiration, courtesy of the Daily Mail – who’da thought it? Some of the most beautiful images are of roof gardens in our beloved London. Oh how we wish the Big Smoke would take a tip from Stuttgart in Germany, where roof gardens have been required for all flat-roofed buildings since 1989.

Winter allotment tips and what to grow now
Lucky enough to have nabbed an allotment? Live Urban Love Rural blog has some top tips for January planting. We’re dreaming of home-grown garlic… get digging!

Ten of the best ways to get stuck into urban gardening
Was urban gardening on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Then welcome on board! The Ecologist has some great ideas for getting started – we particularly like the tips for DIY windowsill planting (and eating).

By Hannah Bass. Photo from The Green Party via Flickr under a CC licence

The Pumpkin Bag

Who says fashion and fancy dress can’t mix? To jazz up a Halloween outfit why not make a pumpkin bag. It cost me all of £1.45 took 15 minutes to make and went down a treat.

Attach a bag strap using string

Lining the bag is good idea

Wear it with pride..it's a pumpkin bag!

How to harvest your Halloween pumpkins

If you had the foresight to grow your own Halloween pumpkins, the East End Gardener has some tips for harvesting.

You should leave the pumpkins on the plant for as long as possible (although you have permission to pick some tonight for Jack O’Lanterns). You’ll know that the fruit is mature when the stem starts to crack and the skin feels hard. The best test is to give them a tap: if it makes a hollow sound then it’s ready to be picked.

Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit, leaving a long stalk. If you want to eat your pumpkins (and not just carve silly faces into them), leave them in the sun for about 10 days or indoors for4 days to fully ripen.

If you have a glut even bigger than our crowd, you’ll be pleased to hear that pumpkins can be kept for up to six months, so long as you store them in a cool, dry place. So you can enjoy pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup and pumpkin bread all the way through winter.

By Hannah Bass

Wishing you a happy Halloween and a garden full of pumpkins…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

FROM THE EAST END GARDENER!

Don’t get too smashed…

By Hannah Bass.