Win The Jam Maker’s Garden book

new gardening cookbook review and competition

The Jam Maker's Garden
The Jam Maker’s Garden by Holly Farrell

Ever grown a crop of fruit or veg and it’s done so well you end up with a glut and haven’t got a clue how to use or preserve it?

Well, this new book, The Jam Maker’s Garden – Grow Your Own Seasonal Preserves could be the answer – and you can win one in this week’s competition.

Written by Holly Farrell with pictures by Jason Ingram and published by Frances Lincoln, this is NOT a book to keep on the shelf – you’ll need it to hand in the kitchen when you bring your crops indoors and decide what to do with them.

As well as a useful beginners’ section on what equipment you’ll need to make jams, jellies, chutneys, ketchup, curds, etc, the Continue reading “Win The Jam Maker’s Garden book”

RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2017

Top new flowers, fruit, and veg of the year

Zantedeschia Dubai Nights
Brighter Blooms’ Zantedeschia Dubai Nights. All pictures unless otherwise stated RHS Media Image Collection

One of the highlights of the Chelsea Flower Show is the Plant of the Year competition and this year sees a host of bigger, better and brighter blooms, veg and fruit to tempt you to part with your cash.

Not all of the new plants get entered into the competition but those below have been. The winner is picked on Press Day, Monday, May 22.

Good luck to you all!

Zantedeschia Dubai Nights, Brighter Blooms, Walton-le-Dale, Preston,
Flowers are a rich velvet purple with an outer margin of cream, held well on very speckled foliage. The plant is nice and compact.
Continue reading “RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2017”

50 packets of free seeds up for grabs!

Seeds for first 50 gardeners to email Plants of Distinction

Heads up folks – the first 50 gardeners to respond to this offer can claim a free packet of seeds from Plants of Distinction. Continue reading “50 packets of free seeds up for grabs!”

Growing tomatoes in grow bags

A boon for gardeners with limited space

Tomato grow bags
Tomatoes Artisan Mix, Rosella and Sweet 100 in extra-large grow bags and ring culture pots

Grow bags are great news for gardeners with little (or no space) to plant into proper beds but there are pitfalls you need to be aware of – here are my top tips for getting your money’s worth and the biggest crops out of soil in sacks.

I’m planting mine (under glass) earlier than usual as I planned a holiday at the worst time of year for gardeners (missing Chelsea and the busiest planting season) as I want to make them easy to look after for long-suffering daughter Vanessa.

One point to note here – if you want to use peat-free Continue reading “Growing tomatoes in grow bags”

Veg and fruit stars from Dobies

Veg from seeds plus chilli plants

Carrot Oxenheart
Carrot Oxenheart from the Rob Smith Heritage Range. Picture; Dobies

Cut your fruit and veg bills this summer by growing your own and Dobies has some cracking ideas for those with and without gardens.

From the firm’s spring catalogue comes the Good Life Range, come these three top veg choices – two which can be still grown from seed and chilli plants, ideal for a patio, sunny windowsill or under glass up north.

Carrot Oxenheart: From Rob Smiths’ excellent Heritage  Range. A snub-nosed, old French variety you certainly won’t see in the shops. It will grow well in containers or shallow soil, unlike most standard carrot varieties. Sweet and tender, Oxenheart is a quick grower and an excellent keeper. Code: 434119, price £2.50 per seed packet.
Continue reading “Veg and fruit stars from Dobies”

Win The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom

Win a copy of revamped gardening book classic plus review

The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom
The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom

The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom is one of the gardening world’s classic books – and you can win an updated version in this week’s competition.

Tagged as ‘the book of the century’ by horticulturist Michael Michaud, it was first published in 1984, and was hailed as a game-changer by professionals and keen amateur gardeners alike.

The original book was inspired by Joy’s year-long ‘Grand Vegetable Tour’ around Europe with her family and later trials with oriental vegetables.

The name is a slight misnomer – there are more than 200 vegetables, wild plants, herbs, etc covered at length in its nearly 300 pages – not just salad ‘leaves’ but everything you could possibly put in a salad. Continue reading “Win The Salad Garden by Joy Larkcom”