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Blog posts tagged with 'liz longworth'

Tutorial: Recycled and Crafty Plant Markers

This week we have had nothing but biblical rain so we haven't spent any time out in the garden, but being the crafty girl I am, and always on the endless hunt for things to amuse the children with we decided to do a little recycled garden related craft.
Garden labelling is always important especially when growing from seed but the wooden shop bought ones rot with the damp weather so you are constantly replacing them, but not with these!


(originally from Bunny Hill Designs)


Tools you will need:

  • Assorted old silverware
  • Anvil or a strong, durable surface
  • Letter stamping set 1/8″
  • Hammer
  • Black Sharpie Permanent Marker, any size.

The letter stamps aren't too expensive and are widely available in different font and size from eBay.
Simply place the piece of cutlery onto your desired surface and hammer it flat. Take the letter stamp of your choice, hold still and imprint the letter, and subsequent word, into the piece of cutlery by hitting the stamp with the hammer.And voila, your totally funky and unique garden markers.


As you can see from this lovely picture, they look awesome in situ!

--Liz Longworth

Inspired: Gardens for Play

In celebration of the beginning of the summer holidays and finally seeing some sun I have decided to do an 'Inspired' post this week. I've always loved playhouses and after having three daughters that all LOVE playing outside and getting dirty I'm currently longing for an awesome playhouse for them to spend more time outside come rain or shine.

 
 
I know this isn't something 99% of the population can afford, never mind fit into their suburban garden but Oh My Lord it's the most amazing structure I've ever laid eyes on.
 
 

This one reminds me of all the Enid Blyton books I read as a child. It has a thatched roof, which as a grown-up I know it is impractical yet I still want! The size and shape is more fitting to a UK suburban garden, if not made from totally the wrong materials for our climate, but I'm sure you can all take inspiration from this and build something amazing for your children!

Now the obvious course of action here is to follow on to games you can play in your garden, and I don't mean tennis or football but indoor games... MEGA sized for the garden.

Twister has to be my favourite by far, ideal for a children's party or even a wedding reception! And here is it in all its garden sized glory...
 
 



The possibilities are- of course- endless and I'm sure the children would enjoy painting the spots on as much as playing the game with their friends and family. The special garden games spray paints are available from garden centres and don't damage the grass. Instead you could cut out fabric or card spots and simply lay them on the grass, or you could chalk the spots onto the patio.

Another family favourite is Jenga and what garden should be without a giant-sized version?


Of course you don't need to buy one this enormous! Argos and other retailers sell a garden version for not very much money but you could always- if you're crafty- make your own. There are many, many others, such as chess and draughts which are also great for garden fun and simple enough for children to understand and take part.

I'm a sucker for pretty things whether clothing, homewares or gorgeous things in your garden and the following pics are no exception! Maybe one day I'll get it looking like this!

I love arches and this is totally beyond belief! 'The Secret Garden' is an amazing book and inspiration just flows from it. This would be an amazing entrance to any garden, secret or otherwise! The possibilities are endless in regard to what you have climbing up and over your own archway. There are plenty of frames or shaped metalwork out there to achieve a fabulous shape for any archway.


I love our garden at night, you can't see the neighbours and we get a great view on the sky but my trouble has always been making somewhere amazing to sit and spend an evening. I long to create a space like this and it's easy and low cost to do. Most importantly, you need trees or a structure to sit beneath for your hanging lanterns, etc.


I challenge you this summer break to create something amazing yet family friendly for your garden, ours is in progress!

-- Liz Longworth

 
Straw-berries

It's that lovely time of year when the fruit plants and bushes start to produce some fruit, so todays post is about strawberries.

We grow a few patches of them every year as the girls LOVE them, especially in jelly. Homegrown ones taste amazing compared to the shop bought forced-grown strawberries. I usually start them off on the windowsill early in the year from seed, but this year the plants from last year came back with a vengeance and are currently growing some monsterous strawberries!


If you have a busy patch like mine you may not be able to recognise your strawberry plants..The leaves look like this when they are still small and are not ready to produce fruit.
The leaves grow to an enormous size...

...and you wont be able to miss them!


This plant has produced a lovely bunch of strawberries that are just starting to go red, but with the heavy rain we keep getting I'm worried they will rot as they are lay on the soil. Here's a quick tip for all you strawberry growers- pop a little mound of sawdust- or straw!- underneath the fruit to protect them from the soil, dampness and pests. They will be happy and will continue to thrive.

I'm looking forward to trying ours this year.. I hope you are too!

-- Liz Longworth

Planting out the tomatoes

So this week we will be planting out our three tomato plants that the girls and I have been growing on the windowsill in the kitchen for about a month now. The girls had a pot each and a few seeds and enjoyed planting them and have been anxious to see them grow. I always grow veg from seed inside first to stop them getting eaten by snails and such before they grow into a decent size plant.

Over the last four weeks they have been watered every morning and turned occasionally so they grow straight up not all on one side. They now are starting to invade my kitchen so its about time they went outside into our raised bed.

1. Dig a round hole with a trowel about an inch deeper than the roots to make sure the roots can spread nicely, if the plant sits above the soil line the plant tends to die and we dont want that!

2. Carefully remove the soil from the pot by squeezing it gently all the way round the pot to create a small gap around the soil and the pot and it should smoothly slide out of the pot.

 

 


3. Gently drop the plant into the hole you have just dug out and push the soil all around it, then compress gently on top to make sure its securely in place.

4. Now push in a garden cane as centrally as you can into the soil as deep as it with go and secure with some twine. This will help the plant to grow tall and strong and move up as the plant gets bigger. once you tomatoes begin to grow they will weight the plant down so you need to make sure they are secured well.

5. Now water gently and admire your handy work.


Keep checking on your new planted out tomato plants to ensure you are not being attacked by snails. If however they are then place a circle of salt around but not on the plants to protect from attack.


-- Liz Longworth