Tag Archives: Spring

Spring has almost sprung!

Spring is here on Wednesday

Wednesday heralds the official start to spring – the vernal equinox.

The vernal equinox marks the two moments in the year when the sun is exactly above the equator and day and night are of equal length.


RHS Orchid Show & Plant FairFlower shows for your diary

Spring signifies new life and, in particular, when flowers really begin to bloom again.

Join in the celebrations of spring flora at one of the several shows open to the public.

Enjoy the spectacle of the colourful camelia at the Camelia Show, Chiswick House and Gardens.

There’s also the RHS Orchid Show & Plant Fair from the 8–10 April.

From the 25–28 April you can visit the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

I’m also looking forward to the end of April when local woodlands are flooded with carpets of delicate, perfumed bluebells – a sight that always makes me feel young again.



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If you love flowers, you will adore this dinnerware set from M&S with its delicate watercolour flowers.

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A Splash of Colour and Instant Curb Appeal in 4 Simple Steps


A Splash of Colour and Instant Curb Appeal in 4 Simple Steps

Garden centres are filling up with beddings plants and we can finally say goodbye to winter on Sunday with the official start of spring.

Celebrate the new season by creating a splash of colour at the front of your house.

For just a few pounds and a few minutes
you can give your home instant curb
appeal with some gorgeous flowers.

In this feature from our Seasonal Garden Ideas book we show you show.


Playing a Supporting Role

A single giant pot with a very large plant can look a bit stark – surrounding it with smaller containers holding a variety of colourful flowers will soften the overall effect.

Buy a bedding strip of pansies, and several pots of white narcissi in bud in March for flowering in April and May.

Planting one pot like this takes less than an hour, but if you want to surround a large container with many smaller ones, allow an afternoon for the job.


What you need


  • Bedding strip of six to eight blue pansy (Viola) plantlets.
  • Six white Narcissus ‘Petrel’ in bud.


  • Terracotta pot.
  • Soil-based potting compost.
  • Broken crocks for drainage.
  • Trowel.
  • Extra terracotta pots, if required, to surround the planted container.

1 Line the terracotta pot with a layer of broken crocks for drainage.

2 Start filling with compost, then ascertain the right height for the narcissi by placing them in their pot on the compost – the rootball/bulbs should be about 4cm (1½in) below the rim of the terracotta pot.

3 Position all the narcissi, spacing them out as evenly as possible, firm in by twisting each one slightly, then top with more compost.

4 Plant the pansies in the same way, positioning them around and in front of the pot. Firm them in, finishing with a final layer of compost. Bump the pot gently to settle the plants and compost, then water thoroughly.


The beauty of this arrangement is that when the pansies and narcissi have finished flowering, you can replace the whole pot with another display. With the wide range of narcissi and pansy colours available, you can choose any number of variations on this theme – or go for something completely different.


The pansies may well flower a lot longer than the white narcissi. In this case, cut down the narcissi stalks when the flowers have withered and allow the pansies to continue on their own.


Deadhead the pansies regularly to ensure a long and continuing display of flowers. If the narcissi start bending over (in high winds or rain), support with thin bamboo canes and soft string ties.

Seasonal Garden Ideas if available for just £3.99 at http://www.dairydiary.co.uk/gift-books.html



Top 12 Recipes for Spring

Top 12 recipes for spring


Top 12 Recipes for Spring

This week I would like to share with you my favourite spring recipes.

These snacks, meals and bakes use gorgeous seasonal ingredients, are simple to create and taste delicious.

Which will become your favourite?


Asparagus Risotto

Potato, Beetroot & Mackerel Salad

Sea Bass with Asparagus

Broccoli & Apple Soup

Simple Roast Lamb

Mini Carrot Cakes

Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Quick Prawn Wraps

Salmon & Ginger Fishcakes

Rhubarb Sorbet

Danish Pastries

Green Omelette




Spring gardening ideas | Summer baskets

Baskets that flower throughout the summer


Baskets that will flower throughout the summer

Bursting out all over in a profusion of blooms, this huge blue and yellow themed hanging basket contains no fewer than ten different kinds of plant – they come into flower at different times, so providing a long-lasting display.

Plant in spring for flowering throughout the summer. There are a lot of plants here, so allow an afternoon for the job.


  • Buy all the plants needed for this basket as small container-grown plantlets.
  • Three plants are included for their foliage: Helichrysum petiolare; creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia); and Swedish ivy (Plectranthus coleoides ‘Variegatus’).
  • Seven are chosen for their flowers: purple heliotrope ‘Marine’; petunia; trailing verbena; lobelia; nemesia; French marigold; tradescantia. Note: in the picture, not all plants are in flower.


  • Large hanging basket with chains and hook.
  • Hanging basket liner (plastic, hessian, felt or moulded paper).
  • Potting compost.
  • Trowel.
  • Slow-release fertiliser spike.


1 Water all the plants thoroughly the day before you plan to plant them.

2 Insert the liner into the basket – prick small drainage holes through if necessary.

3 Planting such a large and varied basket requires a careful building up of layers of plants. Spread a sheet of newspaper or plastic on the ground, then take all your plants out of their original little pots and arrange them in size order on the sheet. Each should be placed in the basket according to the size of its rootball – bigger ones deeper in, smaller ones nearer the top.

4 Put a layer of compost into the bottom of the basket. Start planting, spacing the different plants around the basket, firming in, then topping up with more compost. Plant another layer and repeat the procedure. Note that the three foliage plants – the helichrysum, creeping Jenny and Swedish ivy – are all placed at the front so they can trail downwards, while the double-flowered petunia is placed centrally. Deep blue lobelias have been positioned all round the edges.

5 When the planting is complete, top up the compost to within 2.5cm (1in) of the top of the basket and insert a slow-release fertiliser spike. Hang it up in its designated position, making sure the hook and fixings are strong enough to take the considerable weight. Water thoroughly.

Invest in a long-handled, pump-action watering can to make watering your hanging basket easier – and to save you taking it down every day or climbing up a ladder to reach it.

Many, but not all, of these plants are annuals and will not survive the winter. However, even those that are hardy and evergreen, such as the Swedish ivy, will be exhausted by the end of summer – so it’s best to discard the whole lot when flowering stops and plant anew in spring.

Water regularly – at least once a day in hot weather. Deadhead withered and faded blooms to prolong flowering and remove any damaged or discoloured foliage.

Project taken from Seasonal Garden Ideas. Available now.


Plant a spring flower medley in one hour

How to plant a spring flower medley


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


  • 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).


  • 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.


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.

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

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.

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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