Tag Archives: garden

A Fabulous Fern for Shady Corners

Seasonal Garden Ideas

Fabulous Fern

Here’s a show that’s strictly for the summer months – a magnificent bird’s-nest fern lighting up a shady corner with its huge, wavy-edged, apple-green fronds.

Warm, moist conditions in shade are a must – plus indoor shelter for the rest of the year.

Grow the fern as an indoor plant until summer temperatures outdoors are warm enough – 16°C (60°F) at the very least. Bring indoors again at the end of summer to a heated greenhouse, conservatory or living room.

Planting the fern should take about a hour or so – it’s quite big so will take some handling.

 


 

What you need

Plants
A specimen-sized bird’s-nest fern (Asplenium nidus).

Equipment

  • Large terracotta, ceramic or plastic container with drainage holes.
  • Humus-rich compost with added grit or sharp sand for drainage.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Trowel.

 

1 Line the container with broken crocks for drainage. Half-fill with the compost. Check the level of the compost by placing the fern, in its original pot, inside the container – it should be planted at the same level as it was before. Adjust the level of compost as necessary.

2 Plant the fern into the compost, firming in well. Top up the compost to within 5cm (2in) of the rim of the pot. Water thoroughly.

3 Bring the fern outside when the weather is warm and position in a shady, sheltered spot. Keep it moist at all times and feed weekly with a liquid fertiliser during the growing season.

Tip

If the care, attention and exacting conditions required by bird’s-nest fern seem a little daunting, then try its smaller relative, the hart’s-tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium, also known as Phyllitis scolopendrium or Scolopendrium vulgare). This fern is frost hardy and reaches about 30cm (12in) tall, with a spread of 45cm (18in). It does well in damp, shady places and likes well-drained, alkaline soil. The variety ‘Marginatum’ has most attractive frilly edged fronds.

Note

If conditions are right, bird’s-nest fern can produce fronds over 90cm (3ft) long and 20cm (8in) wide with their trademark thick black midrib. Bear this size in mind for when you need to move the plant around and when it comes to repotting into a larger container.

Aftercare

Remove old or damaged fronds as they appear.  Keep warm, moist and humid at all times, though you can lessen watering during the winter.

 


 

Seasonal Garden IdeasA project from Seasonal Garden Ideas.

Now available for just £3.99!

    Buy Seasonal Garden Ideas

10 things we should all do this summer plus win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

10 things to do this summer

10 things we should all do this summer

As last Monday heralded the official start of summer here are a few suggestions to make the most of the season

 1 Go to the seaside.

As we’re a small island nation most of us can drive to the sea in less than 2 hours. In fact the village considered furthest away from the coast in Britain is Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire; a mere 70 miles from the sea.

There’s something magical about the seaside. Everything smells good (even those fried doughnuts!), the sound of the waves and seagulls lull you into a relaxed state and for me, it always reminds me of childhood day trips and holidays. So breathe deep and enjoy the sea air!

2 Write exercise in your Dairy Diary.

With a hectic life, it’s not always easy to fit in exercise but I have found a very nifty trick to sticking to my new found ability to run (it only took me 40 years!!) – write it in the diary. If it’s there on paper, slotted into an available gap you’re far more likely to stick to it. You can even tick it off when you’ve done it and feel really virtuous!

3 Make a holiday photo collage.

How many holiday photos do you have stashed away on the computer or in old dusty albums in a drawer somewhere? Enjoy them instead! Choose one really lovely image from each holiday and make a collage – either with prints or make one with digital photos online and get it printed via a photo website. Frame your creation and put it somewhere you can see it every day and remember all those cherished moments.

4 Treat yourself to a pedicure and show off your toes.

Summer means sandal time, so book yourself in for a proper pedicure – I love Shellac or Minx because they last and you can enjoy gorgeous shiny or sparkly toe nails all summer long.

5 Go on a picnic.

Make this an impromptu affair with a blanket, a few of your favourite foods (homemade or bought from your local deli), and your favourite view. Bliss.

6 Explore local footpaths.

When going walking we often head off in the car to some ‘route’ I’ve found in a walking book. This summer, instead I plan to explore our locality and discover where all those public footpaths lead to that we have never walked. I just hope we don’t get too lost!

7 Wear your favourite dress on an ordinary day.

We so often save gorgeous clothes for ‘best’. But how often do we actually get to wear them? Tomorrow, wear that beautiful dress and enjoy it rather than saving it for a special occasion that may never arise.

8 Spend the evening in the garden.

Whizz up a dip and take it into the garden with a bag of crisps or crudité and a chilled bottle of rosé or elderflower fizz. You’ll probably need a blanket or warm cardigan but enjoy the long summer evenings and having some tv-free time.

9 Plant lavender.

The fragrance of lavender is so relaxing it’s perfect for the garden. Plant one or two bushes near to where you sit or come in and out of the house and enjoy the scent all summer. Don’t forget to enter this month’s prize draw to win a £50 garden voucher and you could buy a whole gardenful of lavender! <link>

10 Make a different salad for lunch every day this week.

One of the best ways to ensure we are getting all the right nutrients is to eat a ‘rainbow’ of colours. Each day this week enjoy a different salad for lunch – see how inventive you can be with different veg, salad, fruit, nuts, seeds, cheeses, fish, meat and dressings. The possibilities are endless. Why not try this one today:

 


Tuna and Avocado Salad

 

Tuna, Avocado & Fennel Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 296 per portion
Fat 20g (3.7g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Tuna in water 200g can, drained
  • Light mayonnaise 3-4 tbsp
  • Lime 1, juice only
  • Avocado 1, peeled, stoned and diced
  • Fennel bulb ½ small, very thinly sliced
  • Salad leaves 60g packet

Instructions

  1. Mix together tuna, mayonnaise and lime juice.
  2. Add avocado, season to taste and gently stir together.
  3. Divide salad leaves between two plates. Spoon tuna mix on top.

#summer #win #competition #salad


 

Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

Dairy Diary is giving you the chance to win a £50 voucher to spend on whatever you fancy in over 200 garden centres and nurseries throughout the UK.

To enter simply answer the following question:

How many easy half-day projects are there in Seasonal Garden Ideas? (Hint: the answer can be found on the Seasonal Garden Ideas page)

ENTER


Seasonal Garden IdeasSeasonal Garden Ideas is a beautiful book featuring easy half-day projects, with easy-to-follow instructions, to add beauty to any garden.

There is lots to do through all four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Now available for just £3.99!

READ MORE

Garden Revamp in 4 Simple Steps

Win £50 Garden Voucher

Fabulous Front Garden Revamp in 4 Simple Steps

Plus WIN a £50 garden voucher

Whilst rambling cottage gardens and wildflower meadows have a beautiful carefree charm, I also really love the pattern and uniformity of municipal gardens and even town roundabouts – try to see beauty wherever you can is my motto!

For many modern houses, this regimented type of planting can work really well, particularly in the front garden where space is often limited.

I love this Rainbow Fan idea from our Seasonal Garden Ideas book and plan to try this to cheer up a drab patch of soil underneath one of our windows. Here’s how to create it:

 


 

RAINBOW FAN

Summer annuals are unrivalled for the colour they can bring to the garden – it’s no wonder they are so popular for bedding schemes. Here petunias and marigolds have been planted in a rainbow fan of brilliant colour.

Plant in early summer when all danger of frost is past. The bed should flower throughout the summer. Set aside most of a day for planting – there are a lot of baby plants to put in.

What you need

Plants

Buy bedding strips of purple and blue petunias, yellow and orange Afro-French and French marigolds and variegated-leaf salvias – enough to cover the area you have in mind.

Here there are at least 30-40 yellow marigold plants and the same number of orange ones; 20 or so of each colour of petunia; and 20-25 salvias.

Equipment

Fork, spade, rake and trowel. General-purpose compost.
1 Bedding schemes like this do best in full sun, so choose your site carefully. The soil does not have to be particularly rich, but it still needs to be dug over thoroughly. Remove any weeds, roots or stones as you dig. Incorporate a general-purpose compost into the top 8-10cm (3-4in) of soil and rake smooth.

2 Start planting the deep orange marigolds at the wide end of the fan. Remove the baby plants from their bedding strip and lay them out in three rows, spacing them about 20cm (8in) apart. Use the trowel to dig small planting holes, setting in and firming each pant methodically in three arcs.

3 Moving forwards, plant the bright yellow marigolds in the same way, again in three curving rows. Follow up with the salvias.

4 Finish with the two bands of blue and purple petunias, using the same procedure as before to plant them. Water the whole bed thoroughly, using a fine rose on your watering can so you don’t dislodge the newly bedded plants.

Tip
To keep the plants producing flowers for as long a period as possible, feed with a high potash liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks.

Note
The salvias are not yet in flower in this bed. They will come into bloom later in the season.

Aftercare
Keep the bed well watered in dry weather. Deadhead faded and withered flowers as often as you can to encourage new ones to appear – and to keep the bedding scheme looking good. Clear the bed in autumn, dig over the ground again and replant the following year.

 


 

Seasonal Garden Ideas £3.99Seasonal Garden Ideas
is available for just £3.99!

Buy Seasonal Garden Ideas

 

 

 


 

Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

 

Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

And we have a fantastic prize on offer – enter this month’s competition
and you could win a £50 garden voucher to spend on anything you like.

ENTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#easygardenidea

#win

#competition

Competition | Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

 

Win a £50 Garden Centre Voucher

Dairy Diary is giving you the chance to win a £50 voucher to spend on whatever you fancy in over 200 garden centres and nurseries throughout the UK.

To enter simply answer the following question:

How many easy half-day projects are there in Seasonal Garden Ideas? (Hint: the answer can be found on the Seasonal Garden Ideas page)

ENTER

 


 

Seasonal Garden IdeasSeasonal Garden Ideas is a beautiful book featuring easy half-day projects, with easy-to-follow instructions, to add beauty to any garden.

There is lots to do through all four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Now available for just £3.99!

READ MORE

 

 

 

 

#gardens

#gardening

Plant a spring flower medley in one hour

How to plant a spring flower medley

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Celebrate the start of spring with these easy planted pots

Well thank goodness……..spring begins on Wednesday.

Let’s hope it heralds plenty
of sunshine and new growth.

I have already glimpsed swathes of crocuses and the daffodils are bravely shooting through our lawn at the moment. The front garden does need a little help though as it’s still looking pretty sparse.

Seasonal Garden IdeasThis easy project from Seasonal Garden Ideas
(£3.99 dairydiary.co.uk) is perfect to brighten it up!

 

 

.

 

Spring Flower Medley

Spring-Flower-Medley-2The beauty of growing plants in pots is that you can bring very different species together to form interesting associations – as proved by this captivating little group themed around the colour blue.

Buy the different plants in March and pot up for flowering in April and May. Takes about one hour. Plant in full sun.

What you need

Plants

  • Three deep blue hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Delft Blue’), in leaf, flower buds showing.
  • Five to seven Iris reticulata ‘Harmony’ in leaf.
  • Ten to twenty grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum).
  • Three small pots of Anemone blanda ‘Violet Star’.
  • One large pot of trailing variegated ivy (Hedera).

Materials

  • Three blue ceramic pots (or any other containers of your choice).
  • Two small terracotta pots.
  • One watering can with a wide mouth.
  • Enough soil-based potting compost to fill all the containers.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Horticultural grit or gravel (optional).
  • Trowel.

Instructions

1 Water all the plants thoroughly so the rootballs are moist right through. Line all the containers with a layer of broken crocks for drainage.

2 Start filling each container with compost. About halfway up, place the plant in its pot into the container to check for the right level. The top of the rootball should be about 4cm (1½in) below the rim of the container. Add more compost as needed.

3 Carefully tip each plant out of its pot, supporting the rootball and compost with your fingers on each side of the plant stems. Place in the container, firming in gently, then top up with more compost all round the plant, aiming to keep the top of the compost 4cm (1½ in) below the container rim. Firm the plant(s) again, then lift the whole container and tap or bump it gently against the ground to settle the compost and even it out all round.

4 Repeat the planting procedure for all the containers and plants. Water them all thoroughly using a fine rose on your watering can. If you like, scatter a layer of horticultural grit or gravel on top – this will keep weeds at bay, help to retain moisture and give a neat appearance.

5 Finally, position the newly planted containers in their allotted spot and wait for them to flower.

Tips
Choose a spot in full sun for the Anemone blanda – these only open fully when the sun is shining right on them.

Notes
When choosing your containers, bear in mind overall size and height. The aim is to have a range of sizes from short at the front to tall at the back.

Aftercare
Support the top-heavy hyacinths with discreet bamboo canes and soft string ties if needed. As with most bulbous plants, when the hyacinths, grape hyacinths and iris have finished flowering, allow the leaves to die back completely before lifting the bulbs/corms/rhizomes and planting in the garden. Alternatively, discard the old plants and replace next year with new.

Project taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas.

Plant now for a gorgeous spring display

Plant now for a gorgeous spring display

I would adore to live in a chocolate-box thatched cottage, or an imposing Victorian townhouse, but the reality is actually a 1980s red brick square.

We live in a lovely village and our house is very practical for a busy family, but what it’s not is pretty.

So my mission is to try and soften its
appearance with a gorgeous garden.

As time and money are not in abundance at the moment I need to start small.

Seasonal Garden IdeasWith this project from our
Seasonal Garden Ideas book, the
patch of lifeless soil underneath
the living room window can be
transformed into a fiery riot of
colour (fingers crossed!)

Click here simple step-by-step instructions.

Seasonal Garden Ideas is available for just £3.99 – it is an ideal low-cost Christmas Gift for family and friends.

 

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