By Sarah Buchanan. First published by Rattan Direct on 29 April 2016.
Gorgeous gardens! Visit and be inspired
Thinking of sitting on a comfortable chair, in your sunny garden, and what do you see? If the view isn’t the gorgeous garden you want – you need inspiration! Find your diary and plan visits to gorgeous gardens near you and see the view you want to create at home. Many gardens open their gates, as at Rosemoor RHS Garden in Devon, so while you enjoy the view you can enjoy a cup of tea and plan your view!
The National Gardens Scheme opens gardens to visitors like you as a way of raising money for nursing and caring services. It began almost 100 years ago and has raised over £45 million. This year, in England and Wales 3,800 gardens open their gates to inspire visitors and raise funds, and there are more in Scotland.
The annual list of open gardens, simply called ‘Gardens to Visit’, is well known as ‘The Yellow Book’ because, since the first list in 1931, it has a yellow cover and gardens are signed with a yellow finger post. Find an open garden in the scheme or pick up a yellow booklet for your area in garden and information centres. On the move? Try the App.
Watch out for adverts in local papers and shops to find other gorgeous gardens to inspire yours.
Gorgeous vegetables: plant onion sets now
Onions are one of the easiest veg you can grow, and may be one of the most useful in your kitchen.
An onion set is a small onion. Planting these, rather than sowing onion seeds, is the easiest and quickest way to grow onions. Sets are better in colder areas, where summers may be short, and are less likely to be attacked by some pests and diseases. How to do it?
- With the edge of a hoe or a trowel make a straight, shallow furrow about 8cm wide and 4cm deep in soil that has been dug and raked to make it roughly smooth.
- Gently push each onion set (buy red or white, or some of each, from a garden centre) into the soil so that the tip is just above the soil), with about 20cm between each set. That’s it!
- If birds pull young sets up by their tip, push them gently back in.
- Onions are ready to use (or dry and store in a cool dry place) when their leaves have fallen over and the skins are papery, usually around August.