Wednesday, 20 May 2015

My Top 10 Gardening Tips! #GardenSecrets

I am quite simply obsessed with gardening. I remember as a child pulling carrots with my Dad on Sunday mornings in time for the roast and helping Mum weed (normally if I wanted something!) but now I love the quiet, the peace and the satisfaction it gives me.

I can be lost for hours in amongst my compost and pots and if I don't answer the phone I am probably in here:

Freegle is a great, great place to start (or Freecycle if that is what you have locally) to find items for your garden...

Like my gorgeous greenhouse which was put up at the weekend (thank you my wonderful friends).

So I thought I would do my 10 ten tips for anyone new to the hobby!

#1. Don't buy more seed than you need! It is really easy to get over enthusiastic and buy tons of seed - work out what space you have and what you REALLY want to grow.
Find a friend that enjoys it too and split packets etc

#2. Go to your local dump! If it has a 'sale' area or a 'too good to throw' spot and check regularly to see what gardening items are left - so far this year I have got:

Fork, spade, adjustable rake, loads of tools, Tumbler composter, 3 china pots 30 plastic pots, fairy ornament, 2 metal hanging baskets

Total cost £3.50!

#3 Car Boot sales are an awesome source of plants, pots, tools and well anything you can think of!
It saves you loads of money when setting up and you get plants at a fraction of the cost of a nursery/garden centre!

Boot Sale Bargain £3 RRP £20!!

#4 Make your own compost. You can make compost in all manner of containers from bags to buckets to large bins and wooden structures. I have 2 wormeries, 3 composters and a huge bag (the sort you fill instead of a skip) all cost me nothing to set up and the compost is AMAZING!

#5. WEED - I cannot stress  this enough! Every weed you pull out is one less later in the season and is worth the effort. Do not just rotovate it all in, spend the prep time and dig it out and then dig it over again!

#6. Get your children growing! Even if you don't have a garden - Ev and I didn't until he was 5, we planted a lemon pip together when he was 2 and grew it in our flat kitchen, planted a few potatoes in a tub... he LOVED it and even though he just about acknowledges me going on about my veg now, hopefully one day he might try it again (he certainly eats more veg because of growing it when he was little) you could even just do cress on some kitchen roll!

#7.  Mulch! I use all my Autumn leaves for mulch which helps to hold moisture and keeps weeds away. Make sure you investigate what trees you have and the best way to use them.

#8. Grow veg that cost a lot to buy. I worked out I saved an absolute fortune last summer just from the few varieties I grew. I love peppers, french beans and corn on the cob!

#9. Join a local gardening group or even an online forum. You will find a wealth of tips and knowledge and can swap/help each other no end! Which leads me on to my top tip....

#10. Seek out and make friends with the oldest gardener you can find - seriously hang out at your local allotment and TALK to them, they love passing on their tips and will willingly offer up any help they can!

Song for this POST

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Getting Your #LDN on with @Superbreak!

Evan and I LOVE London - it has always been a favourite place to go and I was always determined to take him as often as I possibly could so that he could be exposed to the vibrancy and multi-culture that it is so rich in.

He is now completely able to use the tube at 13 and I would be confident that if we ever get lost he could use the bus and tube to find me or our hotel!
I always wanted him to be know that by his later teens he could whisk himself off to the 'Old Smoke!'

I am sure it is in our genes as my Mum was born in Lambeth and evacuated down to Dorset as a baby, returning frequently after the war to visit and stay with family.  When Ev was a toddler we used to do car boot sales and he used to copy the traders and could be heard shouting "5lb of bananas for a £1!! " (we didn't have bananas) but the barra boy was in him, right n proppa, Guv.

SuperBreak are asking 'What Type of Tourist are You?' on their blog - and you get the chance to win an awesome 4* break in the capitol just for telling them which type you are and why!

We are definitely #LDNSuperCulture but also with a hint of #LDNSuperTheatre - as we just love to weed out the mysterious, infamous and down right creepy; places to visit!
Horror fans to the max we love Whitechapel and the Jack the Ripper tours, The London Dungeons and Tombs and basically anywhere that is just ...well a bit gross!

So far our favourite place to visit is the Old Operating Theatre and Herb Garret which is part of St. Thomas's Hospital and was hidden for years until discovered by accident in 1956!

We also do love a show and Ev is desperate to see The Woman in Black as he is crazy about the movie.
We are also REALLY up for the new Zombie experience that is currently taking place The Generation of Z - running until the 5th of July.

So what do you love about London? You can enter via Twitter or Facebook!

Make sure you enter!