Curing Pumpkin and Squash Autumn harvest for extended storage life.

Did you know that your Pumpkins and Squash will need curing in the Autumn Sun if you want them to last more than a few weeks? Pumpkins and Squash are available to grow in a whole host of varieties, shapes, colours and sizes. When selecting cultivars of Pumpkin or Squash to try growing at home…

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Butterflies on September Garden Flowers

I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of Butterflies busy feeding and inturn pollinating our September garden flowers (despite the lack of an Indian Summer).  So I wanted to learn more about the different types of butterflies that are making the most of the garden in September. Wikipedia is always my first port of call…

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Dorothy Clive Hillside Garden where Love never dies

A real gardener’s garden is born out of love, created with passion and fuelled by desire and takes many years to mature. It becomes a life’s work that is carved in the hillside with sweat and hard graft, a garden made with love never get’s old. Instead it grows, it blossoms into much more than…

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Fall in Love with Autumn

Fall in Love with Autumn, see it in the trees, smell it in the harvest air, feel it in the breeze. Join me on Stephen Pryce-Lea Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consulatant     “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like…

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Grow Organic Vegetables All Year Round

If your thinking of supplementing your families diet with fresh homegrown organic vegetables, then your going to need to do some research and most likely some back-breaking preparation. Growing vegetables all year round is for many a chore that we simply no longer have time for, our busy lifestyle and social desires limit our gardening…

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Pretty in Pink, A Parterre Garden Tour.  

I’m warming to Pink! Well I am, it’s a fact I never really fully appreciated Pink in a garden until recently. Thankfully my appreciation of Pink came just in time for me to create this culmination of colour that is akin to that of  an Italian Renaissance garden a froth with pleasurable, scenery, sounds and smells. Things…

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The Making of a Head Gardener – How to grow a career in Horticulture.

Horticulture continues to flourish in the British isles, a massive diverse industry that employe’s a vast number of qualified and practically trained individuals that have a passion for horticulture and it’s associated professions. The making of a Head Gardener however follows the non-commercial route and relies on experiences largely from the amenity sector. Having spent the…

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Plant Food Diet Plan to Grow your own families health.

Have you considered providing for your families health through nutritional plant foods instead of relying on processed foods enriched by vitamin supplements that provide basic nutrition at best? I have fully embraced a vegetarian diet since the New Year, futhermore I have largely accepted a plant based diet. Follow my plant food diet journey as…

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Drink fresh herbal tea for increased vitality and give your garden health a tonic.

Starting my working day at 7:30am, in reality I’ve probably already sent several emails, ordered gardening supplies, planned a daily work schedule, drank too much coffee ate too many croissants. My transition to becoming a vegetarian began quite by accident, I wanted to increase my fruit and vegetable intake. I didn’t believe the recommended five a…

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Allium’s, Raindrops and an Orderly Vegetable Garden in May

Order! Order in the vegetable garden in May, that’s what’s requested, that is what’s required this is when the garden should look at it’s near best. Raindrops on Pak Choi capturing the beauty and depth of rich crimson devine. Line up, line up no time for the Maypole dance, ‘Golden Gourmet’ shallots keep watch as…

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Romancing the sandstone, a love for a garden divine.

Reach for perfection and strive to achieve those life challenging goals, then and only then are you truly living my friend, long may you grow and flourish. for the Love of Gardens by  Stephen  Pryce-Lea Perched high on a sandstone ridge, the hall is a fine example of a formal Georgian mansion with immaculate lawns…

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A Colourful Gardening Affair with Iris. 

A Colourful Gardening Affair with Iris. May is the perfect time to appreciate the beauty of the bearded Iris, my photographs were taken during a trip to London and back home in the Cheshire garden I manage. The beared Iris are a colourful addition to a May garden. Iris colours vary from tranquil cloud bilowing…

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Be still my Bleeding Heart – A love for Dicentra never skips a beat.

I still recall my first glimpse of a bleeding heart, the delicate fragile unfurling of fresh, almost juicy stems enthralled me as a teenager. I remember watching with delight as the Dicentra grew as day by day into a magnificant arching stem of rich crimson red that, pumped colour to the forming heart shaped flower…

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The Influence of Spring – I like to Teach the World to Grow.

The seasons will change, the winds will blow, a late frost, a destructive gail will knock us gardeners from our determined stride! But we are made of stone or carved in wood, earth in-grained into our skin, often ruddy in complexion, our heart’s rosy red. We are generous and forgiving, we harvest the elements as our guide, the seasons as our influencer, in nature we trust, in gardens we grow.

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Welcome to Gardening a Lifetimes Love of Learning.

You become a gardener when you accept that gardening is a lifetimes commitment and a  love for Learning. Choosing gardening as a hobby or even better a career, will fill your life with the insurmountable passion for learning that only nature can foretell.   There is not a single day that goes by when gardening…

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Spring Garden flowers on the edge of the Cheshire plains

Rhododendrons in dappled shade, Magnolias and Azaleas were a big part of my ‘Red Castle’ apprenticeship as a flushed face teenagers full of wonderment at the world of nature and the adventure it was sure to bring.

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Sow Zinnia now for a colourful Summer filled with Fun and Frivolity.

If your looking for that special planting scheme to gets pulses racing then you won’t go far wrong with a colourful selection of Zinnia. Sowing Zinnia in the next few weeks will guarantee colourful Summer borders filled with Fun and Frivolity. In a range of colours that are sure to delight Zinnia’s have set the bedding…

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Magnolia Black Tulip puts on a spectacular Spring performance. 

Having worked in horticulture for over 30 years it now takes a spectacular plant to really impress me and actually stop me to admire the show. A gorgeous Magnolia soulangeana hybrid with the darkest burgundy flowers in early Spring is the first of several varieties to perform in a Cheshire garden. Breathtaking upclose the velvety…

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Daffodils a bright beacon of hope for any era.

#Daffodils represented chivalry during the Victorian era, today that are a symbol of hope and really do come in all shapes and sizes. Gardeners looking to achieve a bright show of Spring flowering daffodils, ensure dried bulbs are planted in the autumn. Cold weather encourages root growth giving the bulb the opportunity to establish a…

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How to grow to love Broad beans  

Broad beans must be one of the easiest of vegetable crops to grow, so easy in fact that they make the ideal first vegetable for the novice or kids to love to grow. Large dry bean seeds can be sown in the open ground in

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Planning 12 months with flowering Heathers

Do you know how to plan for 12 months of colour with flowering Heathers? Typically associated with Winter into Spring, Heathers can with some careful planning, provide flower colour and foliage interest all year round. Winter and Spring tend to be seasons we appreciate the heather, usually when little else is in flower. Heathers are often…

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How to Defend your Garden plants from Vine Weevil attack

Milder winters and wet summers may seem like a blessing to many, longer growing seasons and a readily available source of life-giving water encourages many of our trees and perennials to grow faster, flower earlier and appear to outperform previous colder growing seasons. Take heed and be warned softer stems, temperate growing conditions also mean…

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How to become a Snowdrop collector

Humble, meek and mild the lowly Snowdrop famously illuminates many a woodland setting at this time of year. It’s no wonder that so many people obsess over Snowdrops and choose to collect 100’s of highly sort after named cultivars from all over the World.

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Snowdrops an Addictive Spring time Obsession for Galanthophiles

Having always admired the humble snowdrop from afar, I decided it was time that this Head Gardener become up close and personal with the delicate Galanthus. Little did I know what a vast expedition I was about to undertake much like my four year obsession with fungi and subsequently foraging. This interesting  green swatch Galanthus…

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Celebrate a New Year with Flowering Bulbs.

January starts with a warm rosy festive glow, yet a bitter chilling winter soon prevails and memories of celebrating, childhood laughter and Christmas carols are lost in the whiteout! Breaking ice and frozen snow the winter Aconite flowering bulbs are the first to appear in the New Year.    

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Top Ten Winter Flowering Shrubs – Best gifts for growing #Gardens.

I don’t know about you but as I get older I find it increasingly difficult to buy Gifts for Adults!  That’s why I decided to put together my Top Ten Winter Flowering Shrubs list – Best gifts for Gardeners So what do you do when it comes to buying the best gifts for someone who already…

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Garden lighting provides night-time treat for gardeners.

Come the early nights and the savvy gardener illuminates any good garden design with a built-in lighting programme. A well thought out subtle lighting system can provide evening and security garden lighting treat throughout the year. Similarly the garden plants need for dormancy, take their lead from the subdued lighting that precedes the Autumn fall. Nature…

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Brighten up an Autumn Border by planting Nerine bowdenii

Keen gardeners will be well aware of the added value of planting seasonal flowering bulbs. Autumn a time when colour in the garden begins to fade to shade of rustic hues, oranges and yellows a plenty, this is when late flowering bulbs like the feminine Nerine takes to the stage.

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European Spindle tree outshines amongst the natives

Hidden amongst the hedgerows of much of the UK and Europe the spindle tree – Euonymus europaea outshines amongst the natives. Coming to life in the autumn, the spindle tree makes a  great robust addition as a native hedgerow, a stand alone shrub or small garden tree. Strangely the versatility of such an understated native tree is largely unknown,…

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A Realistic November 

Novembers Path. To be a pessimist one looks down and looses ones way. But be an optimist with your head held high then sooner or later you are going to loose your footing Try being a realist looking forward and adjusting your strategy, every step you take. Always forward never back, stay focused on the…

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A Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.

“I dreamed of being a teacher, but academically I just don’t cut the Mustard! So I became a Gardener and learnt to Teach the World to Grow! “ I believe a love of nature, plants, animals and our environment is essential, today our modern thinking is as much about our ecological footprint as it is about…

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How to Collect, Clean, Dry, Store and Enjoy Walnuts

If your lucky enough to have a fruiting Walnut growing in your neighbourhood then you are going to need to learn how to Collect, Clean, Dry and Store fresh Walnuts then you’re in luck. If Walnuts are completely new to you, then not perhaps after reading my article, you will consider planting one? But don’t…

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How to Find and Prepare a Juicy Beefsteak Mushroom

A mushroom that looks, feels, is full of protein and even tastes like meat? Photo Credit: Sam Harris Next time you talk a country walk, keep an eye out for one of Mushrooms best kept secrets! Beefsteak fungi (Fistulina hepatica) or known regionally in the UK as Ox tongue fungi, is a great find when found growing…

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Gardening in October is time to tidy, clean and prepare for Winter

I hate being the bearer of bad news but once October is here it is largely time to accept the inevitable! Prepare for Winter it’s on its way and it is time to get Gardening and prepare ready for cold winds and harsh weather conditions. Before you give up all hope on growing fresh produce at…

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The Silent Kingdom – Foray for Fungi

As Autumn grips the region, rustic hues appear across our beloved landscape and preparations are made for the Winter months ahead. Naturally drawn to giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, we re-joyce to reside in such a rich, fertile land, where nature and agriculture exist in symbiotic harmony. Combing the elements has always been mother…

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20 Tips for a Perfect September Garden

When September arrives it reminds us that Autumn is well on it’s way but it is also one of those months that fly by so fast that if you blink your going to miss it!  Especially true for busy gardeners who won’t have a moment peace until well after September has past. What with the…

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Grow your own Summertime Raspberries 

Sweet sun ripened Raspberries have to be the ultimate Summertime soft fruit. Careful planning of early, mid and late season varieties will ensure you have fresh rich red Raspberries to pick all Summer long. Raspberry canes are one of the easiest fruiting cane crops to grow for yourself at home. Once established the bare rooted…

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August brings a touch of Autumn and a taste of Summer.

August teases us with signs of Autumn, providing an abundance of soft fruits and berries, seeds and ripening vegetables leaving us the taste of Summer that lingers on the tongue. Just as we begin to enjoy the warm Summer’s breeze our senses detect signs of Autumn, all too quickly our sunshine loving perennials and bulbs begin to set seed and prepare…

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Love Colour in your Garden in July

July has been quite a month with Summer flowers in full bloom the garden is a hive of activity! Insects, bees and wildlife busy collecting their own produce, whether it be freshly filled pollen sacs or feeding from the unfurling leaves of your favourite roses. I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some of…

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Aquilegia a growers guide to beautiful Springtime bonnets.

There are a million reasons why Aquilegia deserve a dappled shaded position in your Garden! I love to see the delicate mound of Spring leaves forming a mass of light green foliage that quickly follows the fading Tulips and spent Narcissi in our Gardens. Flowering throughout May into June these dainty dancing intricate often spurred,…

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Powis Castle Gardens – Trainee to Head Gardener.

Taking a trip down memory lane and re-visiting the past may not be something many of us have time to do! Instead looking to the future the changing of the seasons and our future plans. I wanted to take this opportunity to re-visit and share with you my memories of working, training and learning at…

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Are Horticultural Professionals really in short supply?

I remember days of old when opting for a career in horticulture was frowned upon and recall my career advisor suggesting I apply for a professional career in the Police force, teaching or similar higher paid, more streamline alternatives. How supply and demand for horticultural professionals has changed the marketplace! Today we are crying out for horticultural students…

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Silent inspiration in the Trees

Silent in the trees, Standing cowardly, I can feel your breath, I can fear my death, I want to know you, I want to see, I want to say hello, hello… I know Where you stand Silent In the trees And that’s Where I am Silent In the trees Why won’t you speak? Where I…

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Food for Thought

Food to live, food to grow, food rich in natural goodness! Thinking about adding to your diet, wholesome, plant based, wholefoods grown locally or better still on your own allotment or windowsill. Eight vegetables to add to your plant food diet to improve your memory and brain functions. Avocado Spinach Brocolli Beets Blueberries Celery Kale…

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Garden of Promise 

  Garden for a future, for a love of life! Promise to leave your legacy in your child’s hands. Join me on Stephen Pryce-Lea Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consulatant     “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“…

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Fall of Autumn

Subtle shades of Autumn have a tale to tell, of fortune of glory of colour every hue. Join me on Stephen Pryce-Lea Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.   Tags; Autumn,fall leaves,autumn leaves,autumn colour, igrowhort,igrow,Horticultural consultant,Stephen Pryce-Lea,Horticultural Journey,love life and learning,igrowhort.com,garden professional, horticulturalist,horticulture,…

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Time 

Time – A journey with moments so preciously fragile that they fade into life’s memory bliss! Join me on Stephen Pryce-Lea Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.   Tags; igrowhort,igrow,Horticultural consultant,Stephen Pryce-Lea,Horticultural Journey,love life and learning,igrowhort.com,garden professional, horticulturalist,horticulture, master gardener,

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How to grow Apple trees in small gardens

Apple trees lend themselves to training their delicate young grafted stems to various shapes, namely Espalier tiers, Fan trained or Cordon fruit trees. So whilst many of us don’t have room for an orchard we can often create frame work or clothe a sunny wall with professionally trained fruit trees.

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Bees on perennial sunflowers – Helianthus video

​​Perennial Sunflowers invite the late Summer’s Sun admits a shimmer of Autumn glow, inviting us to glory in its magnificent golden shine. This hardy perennial sunflowers loves to bask in the sun can tolerate dry soil and will add height to herbaceous border.  Join me on Stephen Pryce-Lea Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consulatant  …

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Courgette bean filled vegetable rings  

When you have a vegetable garden that’s producing faster than you can eat! It’s time to be inventive with vegetable recipes featuring at main meal time. If your growing Courgettes you will know that they appear as if overnight and swell to marrow size in just a few days. During my transition to becoming a…

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Hey Joe (Pye Weed) – Eutrochium purpureum

Originally posted on gardeninacity:
August brings not just the Susans, but also Joe – as in Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium). Note that Joe Pye Weeds used to be Eupatoriums, but now thanks to the ever-busy taxonomists they are Eutrochiums. This is arguably an improvement since Eutrochium is one syllable shorter. (I’ve written my Senator demanding passage…

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Succulents a delicious tea time luxury 

I was just 16 years old the last time I showed any interest in succulents and alpine’s, however of late both my mother and I have begun to appreciate the increasingly popular succulent. So when the seed is sown, an idea begins to grow but when mother and I spend any time together we end…

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Climber of the month – August – Clematis tangutica ‘Bill McKenzie’

When I think of climbing plants Clematis is the first plant that comes to mind, having so many forms, the Clematis rivals the English Rose. I chose Clematis tangutica ‘Bill McKenzie’ as Climber of August due to the success achieved from planting three of these fast growing Summer flowering clematis early this year. I have…

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One amongst many, time to be bold 

Courage I have a plenty, confidence not so much! There’s time for strength, time to be bold and boy has it been a journey. 

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How to grow Morning Glory from seed

Morning Glory a fast growing perennial herbaceous climber is native to tropical regions of Asia and the America’s. Looking for a taste of the tropics for your own garden trellis or wall? Then try growing sun loving Ipomoea or Morning Glory as it’s commonly known from seed at home. Morning Glory are easily raised from…

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Glory of the multi-coloured Vine

Fast growing climbers, vines and wall shrubs are always going to be in demand! Perfect for temporary screening or to add a glorious splash of colour to a drab wall, pergola or Eifel Tower growing frame. Morning glory related to the common bindweed is a tropical relative that thrives in a full sun, poor soil…

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Calycanthus Sweet-shrub of the month 

Calycanthus Sweet-shrub plant of the month, this unusual deciduous shrub resembles a Magnolia until the maroon rose like buds begin to unfurl and we are presented with a silky loosely petalled Camellia-like flower. Burgundy red wine flowers with a slight fleck of cream grace the most centre petals, on this unusual multi-stemmed sweetshrub. Held upright like…

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