Five reasons to get a greenhouse

Elite greenhouse

 

I’m at my dad’s house in Brittany at the moment and he’s just built a greenhouse in his garden. Apparently, choice of greenhouses is limited in France, so he bought his from the UK.

His garden is a bit windy, so after extensive research on strong greenhouses for windy or exposed gardens, he chose this lovely 8.5′ x 12′ one, from Elite Greenhouses Limited.

Five reasons why greenhouses are useful

1. Protect plants during winter.
Grow tropical plants, such as Brugmansia or Bourgonvilla  in pots outdoors, then bring them into your greenhouse to over-winter.

2. Propagation.
Get flowers and veg off to a head start by sowing them early in the spring.

3. Protect against blight.
Tomatoes grown in a greenhouse are not only more flavoursome and tender when grown in a warm greenhouse, but they’re also protected from air-borne diseases, such as blight.

4. Grow exotic or tender fruit and veg.
The warm, humid conditions that can be easily created in a greenhouse provide good growing conditions for crops like melons, pineapples, cucumbers and chillies.

5. Start a collection.
Some people use their greenhouses for creating jungle of rare or tropical plants, others keep tender alpines, for example.

6. Bonus point.
I’ve personally never built a greenhouse, but according to my dad, if you always wanted, but never had, a Meccano kit when you were young (and you think you’re a bit old for one now) building a greenhouse is a good project for you.

Having your very own greenhouse is a bit of a luxury in my eyes. First of all, you need space for one. Then, there’s the cost of buying one and the time it takes to put together. If you have space, money and time – I do recommend these Elite ones. They’re very much all you want a working greenhouse to be – sturdy, practical and functional. As domestic greenhouses go, 12′ x 8.5′ is quite a large one, but priced at around £1800 (give or take a few optional extras), I think it’s good value, too.

Here are some more pictures, and if you’re interested in finding out more about these greenhouses you can do so on the Elite Greenhouses website.

Elite greenhouse

 

Elite greenhouse

Images of greenhouse © Alan Jones

 

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Natural remedies – the health benefits of nettles

Nettle and heather

Nettle health benefits

Common nettles (Urtica dioica) can be used to treat an array of ailments, large and small. And, not only do they provide excellent health benefits, they have good flavour, and are actually quite a useful substitute for spinach.

Nettle is a natural antihistamine and can be used to treat hayfever, as well as other allergies, with its decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike chemical antihistamines, nettle doesn’t lose effectiveness over time and won’t cause drowsiness.

Nettle leaf is used as a diuretic, and has also shown to be affective in treating urinary tract and prostate inflammation, rheumatism and high blood pressure. Skin conditions, such as eczema, can also be treated with a nettle infusion.

Research with nettle leaf is also showing promise in treating Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, bladder infections, gingivitis, hives, multiple sclerosis and sciatica.

Harvesting nettles

Make sure the nettles you pick haven’t been sprayed with weed killer. It’s also best to avoid nettles that are growing next to a busy road, as they may be covered in exhaust fumes and dirt.

Wear long leather gloves, or rubber washing up gloves to protect your hands and forearms from stings.

How to use nettles

You can use nettles fresh or dry. To dry, wash them in clean water and remove the leaves from the stem. Lay the leaves on kitchen paper or linen in a warm, light and airy place until they’re completely dry. Alternatively, you can hang the nettles upside down in a warm, dry place and wait for them to dry out completely before removing the leaves.

Once the leaves are dry you can infuse them in hot water and drink as a herbal tea. Fresh nettles can also be infused in hot water as a herbal drink, or cooked in soup or side dishes as an alternative to spinach.

 

Image of heather and nettle © Alan Jones

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Hello! More posts coming very soon

GardenNomey's baby

In case you’re wondering where I am and why I haven’t posted for a while – I’ve just had a baby! So I’ve been a bit preoccupied, but will be back on the blogging very soon. I’ve a few good ones in the pipeline when I get a spare few minutes, thanks for your patience while I get myself back on track!

Nomey xx

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Show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Show gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014! Read about them here!

gardennomey

The show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show are some of the biggest and mot impressive exhibits. Every year, it amazes me how the designers can get a brand new blank canvas to look like a mature garden in such a short space of time. I think the key is just clever design and a lot of plants.

Here are some of the gardens featuring at this year’s show:

Cloudy Bay Sensations Garden, designed by Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson and sponsored by Cloudy Bay

The Cloudy Bay Garden

This colourful garden has been designed to reflect the tasting notes of the Cloudy Bay wines. Using this as the basic concept, planting and flower colours, perfumes and textures are used to visualise the sensations experienced when drinking the wine.

Everything in the garden, from the deep blackberry raspberry red flower colours, to the sweetly-scented roses and irises, oak and charred oak features, are there…

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New plants at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014

RHS Cheslea Flower Show starts today! I’m on my way

gardennomey

Iris 'Au Sommet'

Being the plant trend-setting hotspot of the year, The Great Pavilion at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is one of the best places for nurseries and growers to showcase their brand new varieties.

Every year there are dozens of new varieties introduced at the show, many of which are shortlisted for the ‘Plant of the Year’ crown. This will be awarded on press day (19th May) – I’ll post details of which plant won as soon as I know!

Out of the long list of new plants this year, I’ve selected my top 10 favourites below:

Chrysanthemum 'Martin Bell'Crysanthemum ‘Martin Bell’
Grower: Chrysanthemums Direct

Producing a mass of pretty, daisy-like flowers on strong, rigid stems, this new single, white Septempber-flowering cultivar is perfect for bringing colour to the garden in late summer.

Clematis 'Maria Skłodowska Curie'Clematis ‘Maria Skłodowska Curie’
Grower: Thorncroft Clematis

This beautiful double variety was named after the Polish-born physicist, known by many…

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RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014 – Product of the Year

Chelsea Flower Show starts today! I’m on my way!

gardennomey

New products are launched by manufacturers in the garden industry every year. Many are great inventions that are designed to make our lives easier in the garden, and others are perfect for turning your garden into a stylish and attractive entertaining area.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a great time to show these new ideas off. So, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year award was launched in 2011 to celebrate the best new garden product introductions. The products are judged on a variety of criteria including innovation, functionality, quality, visual appeal and environmental sustainability.

Here’s the shortlist of nominated new products for this year, including my top five favourite at the top:

1. Seed Cube from Mr. Fothergill’s

Seed Cube

These are a quick and cheap way of filling pots and borders in the garden with bright, long-lasting flowers throughout summer.

Each little cube is filled with a…

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Show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2014

The show gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show are some of the biggest and most impressive exhibits. Every year, it amazes me how the designers can get a brand new blank canvas to look like a mature garden in such a short space of time. I think the key is just clever design and a lot of plants.

Here are some of the gardens featuring at this year’s show:

Cloudy Bay Sensations Garden, designed by Gavin McWilliam and Andrew Wilson and sponsored by Cloudy Bay

The Cloudy Bay Garden

This colourful garden has been designed to reflect the tasting notes of the Cloudy Bay wines. Using this as the basic concept, planting and flower colours, perfumes and textures are used to visualise the sensations experienced when drinking the wine.

Everything in the garden, from the deep blackberry raspberry red flower colours, to the sweetly-scented roses and irises, oak and charred oak features, are there to remind you of a delicious glass of wine on a summer’s day.

Features in this sensory garden include limestone surfaces, oak, water, fragrant plantings, hazel and fruit.

 

‘From the Moors to the Sea’, designed by Alan Titchmarsh and Kate Gould and sponsored by RHS Garden

From the Moors to the Sea

The garden is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom, as well as Alan’s 50 years in horticulture. This is the first time that Alan has designed a garden at Chelsea since winning gold at the show in 1985. I’m looking forward to seeing it, although I’m sad he won’t be presenting the tv coverage this year.

The garden is split into two areas – a raised upper section of moorland with wild turf and flowers, native hedging, pine and birch trees, and a lower coastal section, linked to the upper part by a gentle stream. Coastal palms and shrubs provide shade and privacy.

Some of the plant used in this design include Echium, Agapanthus, Cordyline australis, Teucrium and Kniphofia.

 

RBC Waterscape Garden – Embrace the Rain, designed by Hugo Bugg and sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada

RBC Waterscape Garden

This contemporary garden is designed to illustrate global water issues, while demonstrating practical solutions for home gardeners.

This design cleverly shows how naturally occurring water management features can be replicated. Water is directed through the garden at different speeds, and the geometric shapes used are there to make it enticing to walk around.

Some of the plants used include Iris bullyana, Iris robustra ‘Gerald Darby’, Euphorbia ‘Whistleberry Garnet’ and Geum ‘Lemondrops’. A variety of plants will have different roles in the garden’s filtration, rain garden, and retention pools, inviting unusual combinations and contrasts including Juncus inflexus, Lysimachia atropurpurea ‘Beaujolais’ and Amsonia tabernaemontana.

 

The BrandAlley Renaissance Garden, designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes and sponsored by BrandAlleyUK

 

The BrandAlley Renaissance Garden

This garden is principally inspired by three Renaissance gardens on the Italian Riviera: Palazzo Doria Tursi, Villia Cambiaso and Villa Durazzo Centurione, and also by Paul Hervey-Brookes’ time working on  the restoration of the renaissance garden in Italy.

A formal design,  it includes the early Renaissance use of clipped hedges to create rooms; the Imperial Renaissance use of formal sculpture and buildings, and the late Renaissance idea of water play in grotto fountains and jets.

Some of the plants used in the design include clipped hedges and structural plants (Buxus, hornbeam, Cypress and Alnus), and soft pink mauve and white flowers such as, Anchusa italica, Digitalis, Malva, Sanguisorba and Daucus.

 

The Brewin Dolphin Garden, designed by Matthew Childs and sponsored by Brewin Dolphin

The Brewin Dolphin Garden

That lovely calm freshness of a dewy summer morning is captured in this design, by Matthew Childs. The garden is about possibilities and nurturing potential for the future.

This garden includes features such as lush, leafy planting, archways, paths and sculpture, and has a contemporary look.

The colour scheme includes greens, yellows, white and cream. Some of the plants used are  multi-stemmed Betula nigra, underplanted with ferns, hostas and grasses, as well as Cryptomeria japonica ‘Globosa Nana’ globes.

The Extending Space, designed by Nicole Fischer and Daniel Auderset and sponsored by Auderset and Fischer

The Extending Space

The Extending Space garden is inspired by the variety of landscapes found within one of the Europe’s last remaining large pine forests, Pfyn Forest National Park in the Swiss Valais region – also one of the most significant and diverse meadowlands in Switzerland.

Reminiscent of a real forest, views are frames by trees and shrubs, offering glimpses of wildflower meadows, a river and a lake beyond.

The design also features a pine pergola and natural planting highlights the diversity of some of the plant species found in the microclimates of Pfyn Forest National Park.

 

The Homebase Garden – Time to Reflect, designed by Adam Frost and sponsored by Homebase

The Homebase GardenAdam Frost’s ‘Time to Reflect’ is themed on memories, taking inspiration from his father’s passion for stone, water, wildlife and the countryside.

Also, designed with the home gardener in mind for Homebase, this garden is to demonstrate how an outdoor space can be used to enjoy the company of others, whether it’s spending time gardening, cooking, eating or relaxing.

Some of the features in the garden include copper rills, moving water flowing into pools, wildlife, paths and gazebo with a heather roof.

 

The Laurent-Perrier Garden, designed by Luciano Giubbilei and sponsored by Laurent-Perrier UK ltd.

The Laurent-Perrier Garden

This garden design is so posh it’s in black and white. I think in real life there will be colour.

Luciano Giubbilei’s interest in texture, form and light has lead to this design, which explores the idea of physical composition through layering.

The garden is formed by a series of defined layers and the planting is made up of delicate forms alongside stronger, bolder leaves. Some of the features in this garden include metal patina, raw concrete, stone surfaces with contrasting finishes, flowing and still water.

 

The M&G Garden, designed by Cleve West and sponsored by M&G Investments

The M&G Garden

This beautiful-looking design is meant to be a contemporary interpretation of the ‘paradise garden’, showing that paradise spaces have barely changed through time.

The concept of the ‘Paradise Garden’ was invented by the Persians more than 1,000 years ago and used water, shade and planting for sanctuary and contemplation.

Some of the features within the design include a tall octagonal fountain, flowing water, a stone relief interpretation of the Tree of Life, arithmetic and ancient science, gravel beds and multiple planting styles.

Key plants included are English yew (Taxus baccata), Hairy Canary Clover (Dorycnicum hirsutum), bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Hairy Melic (Melica ciliata), Bear’s Breeches (Acanthus ‘Rue Ledan’), Silver Mound (Artemisia schmiidtiana), Centaurea ‘Phoenix Hybrids’, Dianthus carthusianorum ‘Miss Farrow’, Gillenia trifoliata, Purple Toadflax (Linaria purpurea), Senecio polyodon, fennel, Euphorbia ‘Compton Ash’, mint and thyme.

The Telegraph Garden, designed by Tommaso del Buono and sponsored by The Telegraph 

The Telegraph Garden

This garden is a traditional Italian design with a modern look, inspired by revisiting the components traditionally found in the great historical Italian gardens. The aim was to create a functional space to relax and enjoy.

There is a sunken area in the middle of the garden, with neat box domes to give it a formal appeal. A fragrant bay hedge encloses the garden, with 12 ‘roof trained’ Plane trees (Platanus acerifolia) at either end.

Soft plantings include colours such as deep blue, lime green and intense pink.

 

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