Wednesday, 12 September 2012

What to plant in autumn

As the first crisp leaves hit the ground and the frost is still at bay, it’s the perfect time to channel your green-fingered goddess and sow seeds for next year. From vegetables to fruits and flowers, here are a few ideas to get you going, some of which are surprisingly easy to plant.

Take cloves from a bulb you already have and scatter them about 5cm deep. Come spring, you should have your own home-grown crop. Simple!

Broad beans
Sow the seeds 5-7.5cm down, in single rows and about 15-23cm apart. Keep an eye out for weeds which you’ll want to keep the beans free from. With a little soaking (should there not be enough rain) you should be able to harvest the pods as soon as you see them swelling.

Plant summer-fruiting raspberries from now until November. Try growing yours in small containers with multi-purpose compost and using a small wooden cane, guide the plants as they grow. A little slow-release fertiliser in early March will make for juicy, delicious fruits come June.

September into early October is prime-planting-time for tulips. Make sure you bury them about 15cm deep (measured from the bottom of the bulb) and space them about five inches apart. Water and a little straw mulch from now and then will see them through to flowering

Monday, 3 September 2012

Seats for sun-seekers

Intermittent sunshine, sporadic rain showers - what's the British weather if not unpredictable? 

As we race towards the end of summer, many, if not all of us will be clutching onto the last bits of warmth with all our might. So when the sun does beam it's last few rays upon us, we're thinking about grabbing light, portable furniture and heading to the garden - move over shade! Here are our top five grab-and-go seats for sun-seekers.

1. The Deck chair - a hard to beat classic.

2. Habitat's adorable fold-down Rosso table (a snip with nearly 50% off in the sale). 

3. Quite the modern chairs to match - shhh, they're from Ikea!

4. French-inspired vintage love seat - arrives flat and can be easily flattened again to store.

5. Remember these? A kid's-classic and an utter steal at 99p from eBay, too.