Gardening Guides

Pumpkin trees

Posted in Fruit Gardening, Gardening Guides on September 6th, 2013 by Julian Cassell – Be the first to comment

Definitely not my usual subject matter, and not anyone else’s as far as I can research, but my first view of a ‘pumpkin tree’ immediately appealed to my DIY nature. If there are such things as DIY or gardening ‘headturners’, this is most definitely one, and although you may have surmised by now, with a little disappointment I imagine, that you were correct in your assumption that pumpkins don’t grow on trees in the true horticultural sense, they can certainly be made to look like they do. read more »


Planting a hedge

Posted in Gardening Guides, Planting a Garden on April 28th, 2012 by Julian Cassell – Be the first to comment

Planting a hedge is a great way of creating a boundary, whether it be around the edge of your land, or, between you and your neighbour, or even as a decorative division between different parts of your garden. Box hedges, as shown below, are very easy to plant and maintain, and can be trimmed to stay small for a more a decorative option, or allowed to grow much higher in order to create a larger boundary feature. read more »


Choosing a lawnmower

Posted in Gardening Guides, Grass and Turf on April 12th, 2012 by Julian Cassell – Be the first to comment

Choosing a lawnmower for your garden can be a tricky decision because of the vast array of models on the market. Before making that decision, take a little time to understand the different options, according to the method by which they actually cut the grass. Also, lawnmowers may be manually powered, petrol powered, electrically powered by cable connection to an electrical socket, or even by rechargaeable battery.

Rotary lawnmower

Rotary lawnmowerA rotary lawnmower is the classic multipurpose option, characterised by a horizontal rotating blade. Also in this ‘family’ are hover mowers, which are similar to a standard rotary mower except that it floats on a cushion of air created by the rotating blade – consequentially, they have no wheels.

Deciding between a classic rotary, or hover mower is one of those decisions that tends to come into the ‘either you love hover mowers, or you hate them’ category . Personally I always feel you get a better cut from the traditional rotary models, but other people find the hover option ideal for them. Smaller hover models are incredibly light and easy to hang on a wall in the shed – also a good choice for uneven or undulating lawns.

Cylinder lawnmowerCylinder lawnmower

Cylinder lawnmowers provide the closest, most even cut and are characterised by a horizontally mounted cylinder with cutting blades.

I always feel that these lawnmowers really are for the lawn enthusiast, but if you have a small garden, the model shown to the left here is totally hand powered, and therefore no need for petrol or electrical hook up – surely therefore one of the ‘greenest’ options out there?

Cylinder mowers are also only really suitable for level, flat lawns – it just won’t cope with any unevenness or undulations, so don’t think that buying a cylinder mower will automatically give you a beautifully close cut bowling green of a lawn.


Cordless garden strimmerNot technically a lawnmower, a strimmer makes cutting edges that are inaccessible to the lawnmower an easy job -certainly in comparison to using hand-held shears.

Although technology keeps marching forward, I still don’t think that rechargeable batteries provide the necessary power for most lawnmowers, but with a strimmer, as shown in the model to the right, it’s a perfect adaptation.

Other lawnmower considerations

Lawnmowers may be self-propelled, so that you literally only have to guide or steer them rather than push them around the garden. Although self-propelled mowers will be more expensive than those that you have to push, it is an option worth considering if you have a large, or sloping lawn.

Of course for extra large gardens you could think about a ride on mower but you will be entering a different league in terms of price, as well as storage considerations.

All the big outlets have good lawnmower selections, so it is definitely worth trying such stores as B&Q, Screwfix, and Amazon to do a bit of a price comparison. Also for some reason, lawnmowers are an item that purchasers like to review. For example, some of the models on Amazon have literally hundreds of reviews, so you can get a very good idea of personal experiences with different types of lawnmower.


Growing lettuce

Posted in Gardening Guides, Growing Vegetables on March 23rd, 2012 by Julian Cassell – Be the first to comment

Growing lettuce is a great idea for any vegetable garden, and with some good planning you can provide lettuce for your family all summer and into autumn. There are plenty of options in terms of choice – some of my favourites include ‘cut and come again’ varieties that you harvest after just four weeks. You can simply pull single leaves from each lettuce as required, or cut a plant 3cm above the base and let it sprout again. The lettuce just keeps on growing! read more »


Growing fruit

Posted in Fruit Gardening, Gardening Guides on March 21st, 2012 by Julian Cassell – Be the first to comment

Growing fruit often comes second place to growing vegetables, in many gardens, why? – well I think a lot of people feel that growing fruit may be tricky, or that crops can often be disappointing in relation to the outlay and effort put into cultivation. In response to this, I would say that in recent years, suppliers have done a lot to produce what are effectively “easy grow” options, and never before has so much advice been available, whether in books or free online. read more »