Enjoy your sunset

* This item was gifted.
When I brought this gerbera home at the end of February, I didn’t have high hopes for it or my green fingered skills if I’m honest. The blurb promised me that it would be in flower by the time of Gardeners’ World Live, which takes place in mid-June. And I was, as it turned out, unnecessarily skeptical.

IN FEBRUARY

IN FEBRUARY

The new variety is called “Sweet Sunset” and it’s planned to be introduced at Gardeners World Live in June on the spectacular pyramid display. I’m not planning to go to this show this year - we went last year for the first time, and it was great, but I figured that I have plenty of content to share here already, and as the show is straight on the back of our holiday, I could use the leave more efficiently this year.

the sweet sunset gerbera in flower

I’ll be sorry to have missed this plant there though, as despite my misgivings it’s a bright and cheery plant. And I am rather partial to orange it seems, this year even more than before it’s creeping more into my wardrobe.

I’m supposed to have repotted it, but given my general lack of gardening enthusiasm in the early part of this year, that hasn’t happened yet, but even so it’s flowering. And I quite like the clash with the red background of plates on the dresser in the photo above.

IN JUNE

IN JUNE

It’s since moved from there though, and found a new home on our drinks trolley as you’ll have seen earlier this week. And while we’ve been away I’ve needed to find it yet another home, as leaving it to try and survive in the conservatory without help, wasn’t going to be my best plan.

* Although this item was gifted during my visit to the Garden Press Event in February, I was under no obligation to share it here on my blog.

'Get Set Grow' this May

Gardening is good for you, and so is growing your own food. But growing anything yourself gives an inordinate amount of pleasure, doesn’t it? Whether it’s runner beans or sunflowers with the kids, flowers to brighten up your space or fruit and veg to eat, the process is enthralling each time.

But it’s also beneficial to our health and wellbeing. It’s rewarding and productive, provides exercise, and if you’re growing edibles eating freshly picked, homegrown, organically grown produce is a way of keeping healthy and saving money too, not to mention the complete lack of air miles.

This is my new monthly linkup, where you can share your gardens and/or gardening posts (old or new) that complement the month’s theme. For May, that’s Get Set Grow.

The linkup will stay open all month, so pop back if your post isn’t published yet, and remember you can link up an old post too.

MAY: GET SET GROW

MAY: GET SET GROW

Get the harvesting high!

Researchers have found that seeing, smelling and picking fruits and berries can release dopamine from the brain’s reward centre, resulting in a feeling of mild euphoria and wellbeing. So there’s the perfect excuse to hit the PYO farms when they open later in the month!

Eat the rainbow

We know that we should be eating five a day, or up to ten a day depending on what advice is flavour of the day, but there’s also benefits to eating different coloured fruits and vegetables as they contain varying beneficial ingredients:

  • Red: Tomatoes, red onions, rhubarb chard, peppers, chillies, strawberries and rhubarbs

  • Orange: Carrots, squash and pumpkin

  • Yellow: Golden courgettes and tomatoes, sweetcorn, yellow beans and peppers

  • Green: Asparagus, spinach, peas, beans, mangetout, rocket, lettuce and salad leaves, kale, cabbage, cucumber and pak choi

  • Blue: Blueberries

  • Purple: Beetroot, broccoli, aubergine, purple beans and asparagus, red cabbage, radish and plums

  • White: Cauliflower, celery, leeks, onions, garlic, shallots, spring onions, potatoes.

Plants of the moment for summer displays and crops

Flowers: Nemesia - I’m sure you’ll know what these look like if you google them, Poppy varieties, Pinks, shrubs including Berberis, choisya, ceanothus with its lilac blue flowers, weigela, lilac and many viburnum.

Young seedling plants: tomatoes, peppers, chillies, cucumbers, strawberries, courgettes and squash.

But there’s dozens of other crops such as salad leaves, beans, rocket, spinach, beetroot and carrots which can be grown from seed, which is even better value.

I now have some seed compost, and I’ve got plenty of seeds, all I need to do is put them together and let the magic happen, what about you?

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Putting the Ultimax gardening gloves to the test

* This item was gifted by Town & Country
It must be said I’m a fan of pink gardening gloves. My regular go to gardening gloves are pink, and are also by Town & Country. They’re reliable, but somehow I do seem to go through quite a few, and I’m not quite sure why. While I do always wear gloves while gardening, I don’t think I go through them due to some kind of extreme gardening, it just seems to be the way it goes.

I always revert to buying the same sort - or style? (do gardening gloves have style, now that’s a whole other question I’m sure!), because I know they fit. They don’t have overly long fingers which mean they’re useless, and of course they’re pink. I mentioned before I like a pink gardening glove or two. Actually two gloves are better than one…

So when Wilkinson Sword offered me a different type of (thankfully pink) gardening gloves, I was sceptical. But then again, they were pink and so I thought I could definitely give them a go. And last weekend I did.

Ulitmax gardening gloves by Town & Country

I needed to dig my way into the greenhouse, which had become another storage space for our winter garden. And while I wasn’t expecting it to be mucky, I know what I’m like, and so the gloves went on. The blurb on the label says that these Ultimax gloves have “an innovative design offering an extremely close fit for unequaled dexterity.”

A rather full greenhouse

The palm of the gloves do look very high tech - there’s textured pads for grip and extra protection. And while the photo below looks as if there’s holes in the fingertips of my first two fingers, there isn’t, that’s the texture pads. You can see it more clearly on the thumb in the photo below.

ultimax - padded but still flexible

The gloves did fit well, the velcro fastening at the wrist kept them on, and I was able to pick things up that perhaps I wouldn’t have in my other pink gloves. I’m not sure I’d be able to sow tiny seeds in these gloves, but then again I’m not sure I’d want to. Even me, who’s someone not keen on having mucky hands, thinks that sometimes you have to feel the soil, and sowing seeds is one of those times.

IMG_2963.jpg

Thankfully there was nothing nasty or slimy lurking in my greenhouse and it wasn’t long before I’d cleared a space and found a new home for the things I’d moved. Something - a squirrel perhaps - had been in the greenhouse as pots had been disturbed and overturned, but whatever it was seems to have moved on.

The only downside for me with these gloves is the labels (see the photo above). They’re quite large, and while I’m glad this size label isn’t on the inside as that would most likely be uncomfortable, I’m not sure what value these labels add. They stand out literally and visually and I suspect I’ll be cutting them off as I found them distracting - but then again I’m not much of a label lover, and regularly cut them out of clothes too, so it could just be me, but if they were half the size then I think they’d be less intrusive.

Much clearer

I’ve still some more to do in here - including sowing some seeds and rearrange the benches so there’s more space to move in here, and hopefully incorporate some more growing space too. But these new Ultimax pink gloves are a keeper, and on their first outing had quite a workout.

A good day's gardening

Overall, it’s a thumbs up from me.

* While this item was gifted by Town & Country, I was under no obligation to share it here on my blog.