This year’s Chelsea flower show rewarded tradition over innovation: the winning garden, a baroque microcosm of the stately 105 acre Chatsworth estate grounds was a celebration of country house gardens in centuries past. But for those of us without the financial backing of Laurent-Perrier Champagne House or the space for trout streams and decorative rockeries, there are plenty of modern ways to exercise those green fingers.
Tea Cup Gardens
At Victoria Eggs, our personal favourite indoor gardening tip is the teacup garden! The method is similar to our Kilner jar garden (see below) - you’ll need to use some rocks at the bottom of your mug for drainage, then simply plant your choice of shrub on top. Tea cup gardens are ideal for the kitchen, where it’s always useful to have live herbs at hand. If you’re feeling more ambitious, try planting lettuce or add some spice to your home with a colourful selection of chillies. Start your tea cup garden today with a green-fingered gardening mug from our collection!
Indoor Gardening with Terrariums
Half ornament, half micro-garden, the terrarium is a staple of the urban gardener; they provide an attractive addition to desks, dining room tables and other well-lit spots. Another Victorian invention, curtesy of botanist Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward; the first terrarium was accidentally stumbled upon in 1842. Like many of his age, Ward was a keen observer of insect behaviour and accidentally left one of his specimen jars unattended. The jar became contaminated with fern spores, germinated into a plant, and lo and behold the first terrarium was born.
While terrarium plant selection can be interesting, choosing a container is a chance to be truly imaginative, anything made of glass will suffice - from lightbulbs to snowglobes! For Victoria Eggs shoppers, we recommend the ever-versatile one-litre Kilner jar that comes as part of our Condiments Tea Towel Gift Set.
- Create a base for your plants by sprinkling charcoal/stones at the bottom of your Kilner jar.
- Combine soil with activated charcoal and fill one third of the container with a layer of the mixture.
- Lightly push the plants into the soil, packing with your hands to avoid air bubbles.
- Position moss between plants to cover
- Trim plants to avoid any overspill at the top.
- Water and leave in an area of direct sunlight.
Guerrilla gardening is a practice as old as time; it has roots way back to Victorian England and the gardener Ellen Wilmott, who regularly and surreptitiously scattered seeds in the gardens of others without their permission. So successful were her techniques that the thistle-like flower 'Miss Wilmott's Ghost' was named after she died in tribute to her efforts. Yet, with ever-dwindling space for urban plants to flourish, guerrilla gardening is becoming more popular than ever.
The method is simple: find yourself a tract of orphaned land and appoint yourself as its parent. You will be surprised at just how many small, muddy patches of unloved public space there are - deserted flower beds, untamed concrete planters and simple, bare plots of dirt. The most convenient spots are those you pass on the way to the shops or work for gardening-on-the-go. It is best to use, tough plants like lavender, thyme, tulips and shrubs.
The hardiness of the herb is not only useful for urban planting, but can also be utilised in one’s own garden with an original herb seat. One for the more experienced gardeners; the living seat combines greenery and seat together to create the most fragrant garden furniture you will ever own. Use thyme, chamomile, pennyroyal or any other low growing, tough plants.
For those less inclined towards the green side of garden, there are plenty of ways to decorate your garden without even lifting a trowel. These ladybird stones make a cute addition to any garden and are a perfect family art activity for the summer!
Toilet roll Seed Starters
Not content with being a DIY Halloween costume classic or homemade rocket starter kit, the toilet roll has found yet another use for itself. Fill an empty cardboard tube with soil and seeds to create the perfect biodegradable planter. Toilet roll planters allow you to start from seed and are ideal for plants with longer roots such as French beans, runner beans and carrots. Moreover, they are useful for out of season planting as they protect your delicate baby plants from the frost!