Grow London

Knowing where to start when it comes to gardening can be a daunting prospect whether you’re starting from scratch or find yourself with an established garden that you would like to make your own. Most garden centres provide little in the way of inspiration whilst the big gardening shows at the other end of the spectrum can seem a distant dream.

If this sounds familiar then visiting GROW London could be just the thing. Organised by Will Ramsay from the Affordable Art Fair the show aims to provide the ideas and knowledge to transform your outdoor space.

As well four beautiful feature gardens to explore some of the very best independent nurseries are exhibiting and there will be many of our leading garden expert giving talks and hosting a range of free workshops for both adults and children. You can even bring along some photographs of your growing space and have a complementary twenty minute consultation with a member of the Society of Garden Designers.  Here is a short film all about it.

The event is taking place on Hampstead Heath from Friday 24th June to Sunday 26th of June all ticket details can be found here and directions here.

There is also a Garden Party Charity Preview on the evening of the 23rd June in aid of Maggie’s details here.

The main website with all details of exhibitors, talks and workshops can be found here.

I will be visiting on the Thursday evening and Friday afternoon so if you are planning to come let me know and we can say hello.


Friday Plotlines

Well hello there! How is everyone? I’m almost starting where I left off, just a few months, a sprained ankle and a hospital stay later.  The sprained ankle in particular proved very difficult meaning that I couldn’t walk on uneven ground or bend down for most of last year whilst the hospital stay resulted in a diagnosis of acute alveolitis otherwise known as ‘farmers lung’, quite a stretch given our small plot.  My lungs crackle, which apparently makes me an ‘interesting case’ and I was quite a celebrity among the medical students who formed a daily queue by my bed to listen.  They do say everyone will have fifteen minutes of fame.


Anyway enough of that I’m back now so let’s talk about the gardening. The photos you see here were taken a couple of weeks ago and show how well Derek has kept on top of things in my absence.  Not only has he managed to maintain our existing plot but has cultivated the new plot to the extent that we now have six, I think, rows of fruit bushes.  There are now currents, grapevines and some Summer and Autumn fruiting raspberries all bought from Ken Muir.




As far as progress with the veg, we made the decision to buy our plants from Ayletts, tomatoes, chillies, peppers and beans, a bit of a cheat but it’s enabled us to catch up and keep on top of the weeding which I’m sure is keeping all of you occupied too.


That’s it for today, thank you for taking the time to read and please let me know what you’ve been up to.


Ten Questions With Joe Swift

This week I’ve been chatting to  Joe Swift.  Fresh from mentoring the contestants on The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge and presenting duties for the RHS Chelsea Flower show, here’s what he had to tell me.

Joe Swift at RHS Chelsea

How did The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge come about?

The idea for the program came from the BBC and the RHS getting their heads together and thinking how they could encourage some new amateur gardening talent and engage viewers at the same time. They wanted to show people the real truth behind what a winning Chelsea Garden takes to make and how it’s judged. They asked me to get involved and I loved it. It was great fun watching the designers, the learning curve from the garden that they created from the beginning to the end. Seeing Sean at the Chelsea flower show was a very proud moment for all of us. The Royal family turning up to meet him, signing autographs for the public.