Charlotte, Gardening, Grow Your Own, Guest Posts

Planting out Potatoes and Beans

Plants in potsHaving returned from a week away, I was delighted and yet shocked to see how my beans and potatoes had progressed.
Beans growing on the trellis
The bean seeds had been planted just a few weeks ago and placed in my newly constructed growing rack. Thanks to a week of extraordinarily hot weather, they had not only germinated, but grown a good 6 inches! They were looking pretty leggy so I promptly planted them out in troughs. It was a hasty decision and I’m sure they would be better planted directly into the ground. However, they were desperate for support and the troughs allow me to position them against some wall mounted trellis.

Admittedly, the freshly transplanted beans look rather limp and pathetic, but having settled in they already have some healthy new growth.
Charlotte's chitting potatoes
The other matter requiring urgent attention was the potatoes which have been chitting on the spare room windowsill for some considerable time. After a slow start (I think due to the cold environment I originally had them in), they’d formed lovely purple sprouts and were ready to go outside. I’m aware that many people follow the tradition of planting potatoes on St Patrick’s Day; meaning I’m falling well behind schedule this year. But having moved house in the spring, I hope I can be forgiven for my slow progress in this area.
Repurposed potato barrelPotato barrel
Not wanting to use up too much ground space I chose to plant the potatoes in an unused compost bin. I already have 2 full ones; how much compost does one girl need? I’m not sure how suitable a vessel this large black container will be. I have in the past found potato peelings sprouting in my compost bin so it should provide a reasonably appropriate environment. The plastic monstrosity is not something I wish to have on display so I’ve hidden it behind some dense shrubs at the back of the flowerbed. It’s a sunny spot so I don’t think it will suffer too much from lack of light. To inhibit weed growth I lined the base with some old cardboard and then covered it with a layer of compost. The seed potatoes went on top and were covered with another layer of soil.
Seed potatoes in barrel
After a good watering I crossed my fingers and left them to it. Hopefully in a few months I’ll be harvesting bin loads of potatoes to feed my sons; who are themselves sprouting up!

– Charlotte

Bird Baths, Celebrations And Holidays, Chimeneas, Clocks, Decoration, Gardening, Lighting, Mothers' Day, Solar Lighting

Show Your Appreciation This Mothers’ Day

A big day is coming up – the day when men and women across the country will be spending their time with good old Mum, showing their appreciation for the woman who took care of them throughout their childhood and beyond.

If you are looking for a special gift to show your mother how much she means to you, Primrose has lots of fantastic gift ideas to give you some inspiration!

Why not give her a gift that will light up the fresh, spring sky, with some beautiful solar lights? From path markers to guide your way through the garden, to sparkling light strings to brighten up any tree, these delightful solar lights are eco-friendly, cost nothing to run and would make an ideal gift!

If your mum is a keen gardener, consider buying a grow kit so she can grow her own produce – our herb kits sit neatly on the window sill and come with everything needed to grow a range of fresh herbs such as parsley and basil, perfect for use in everyday cooking. Or let her try growing her own delicious strawberries with a strawberry barrel kit! There is a lot of fresh produce you can grow yourself, from tomatoes and herbs, to potatoes and beans, all easy to grow, tasty and satisfying!

And why not cook those home-grown potatoes and tomatoes, along with some burgers, sausages and kebabs, on the barbecue, or for something a bit different, consider grilling them over the fire in a chiminea! Chimineas are both useful and decorative garden features – use one for warmth and cooking on sultry summer evenings.

A garden clock is a fantastic gift idea – these smart, practical items come in a range of styles and will look elegant fixed to any wall. Some even light up in the evening so it is easy to read no matter what time of day.

If you know your mum is a fan of nature and wildlife, why not help her get the most from her garden and both attract and protect the local animals? A bird bath or bird house is a great way to entice a wide variety of birds to the garden, while a bee box or hedgehog house will provide sanctuary for some of the UK’s more endangered species.

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