Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Highlights From Gardeners' World 2012

Last week I visited Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC in Birmingham. This was my first visit to a garden show of this scale and so was unsure about what to expect.
The RHS Floral Marquee was packed full of ideas and inspiration. I have to say that I was really impressed by the scale of the stands put on by the various associations and nurseries.
Amazing Alliums
Just a small part of Birmingham City Councils award-winning display
Lilies in all their splendour
The show gardens outside were impressive and gave lots of design inspiration. The Water Wise Garden below shows how plants can adapt to dry conditions and how waste water can be collected and re-used, perfect if we are to face more hosepipe bans!
The Water Wise Garden by Brett Hardy

Coming Out To Play? by Adam Frost
The main highlight for me though was seeing my gardening hero Monty Don. The presenter of the BBC gardening programme Gardeners’ World and a self-taught gardener, gave a frank and insightful talk on the filming of Gardeners World which takes place in his own garden in Herefordshire. Having seen and heard him live I can only say that I admire him even more!
Monty Don
In all I had a great day out and spoke to some interesting people who are passionate about what they do and I left feeling inspired, ready to tackle my own garden - after I rested my aching feet!

If you feel inspired to get gardening Homes & Dreams sells a wonderful range of gardening accessories from Burgon & Ball, Sophie Conran, Hawes and Gardening Trading. You can find them at http://www.homesanddreams.co.uk/the-country-garden-8-c.asp 

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Great British Strawberry Season

Image: Garden Organic

It is that time of year again when British strawberries ripen and herald the start of Summer. June is the start of the British strawberry season, synonymous with Summer they are only in season for a brief time, from early June through to August.

By far the best strawberries to buy have to be from a local producer. A day out strawberry picking can be fun; supermarkets may sell the cotton wool impostors cheaply but the flavour is incomparable to home grown fruits.

Strawberries were originally called strewberries because when growing they appear to have been thrown about. After various name changes they ended up as strawberries after the straw that was used as a mulch to surround them when growing.

In medieval Great Britain newly weds enjoyed strawberries, borage and soured cream for their wedding breakfast believing them to be an aphrodisiac. The heart shaped fruit has long been a symbol of purity, passion, and healing. In the 18th century farmers would fill baskets with the berries and tie them to the horns of their cattle as an offering to elves who, it was believed, could help them produce a good supply of milk.

5 Facts About Strawberries

1. 5 strawberries provide more vitamin C than an entire orange 

2. 100 grams of strawberries contain approx 30 calories

3. Strawberries were cultivated by the Romans as early as 200 BC

4. Roughly 27,000 kilos of strawberries are eaten during the Wimbledon Championships

5. On average there are 200 tiny seeds on each berry

So pour the Pimms, get set for Wimbledon and enjoy the British strawberry season!