Frau Gertolds Garden Zurich

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Frau Gertolds Garden is located in Zuri West or Kries 5, right next to Hardbrucke train station. It consists of a garden with fruit, herbs and vegetables (all grown for the restaurant), a bar and restaurant and also several boutique clothing stores.

Summer is short in Switzerland, so you must get outdoors while you can. The day that i went was extremely humid and while enjoying a drink, we were hit by rain!!

Zuri west is the industrial part of Zurich which is why the bar has been created in an old shipping container.

I also love that they grow their own produce for the restaurant, so a lot of the things on the menu are actually grown on site in the garden!

If you are ever in Zurich, make sure you drop in!!

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Travel diaries- Summer in Spain

I have wanted to visit Spain for such a long time, and was so excited for this particular trip. My brother had come to Europe to visit me, so we (including my boyfriend) decided to make the trip to Barcelona then spend a few days in the Costa Brava which is a few hours north of Barcelona.

We had chosen a hotel in the gay district of L’Eixample. The reason we chose this area was because it was out of all of the major tourist areas and also because it was quiet.

Our hotel was Villa Emilia which i would highly recommend. It was a small boutique hotel with a great roof top bar, within walking distance of the train station and close to many restaurants.

Our plan for the five days was quite packed with things to do…..so there wasn’t a lot of relax time.

Barcelona was absolutely amazing! I have several Spanish friends who kept telling me so many wonderful things about Barcelona, so i had very high expectations. It did not disappoint. Barcelona had a vibe that i have only experienced in New York. The people were so friendly and the food was fantastic!!

I had many recommendations for restaurants and we tried as many as possible. But with only 5 days in BCN, it was difficult to try them all!!

My top restaurant recommendations:

1. Jai Ca– at Barcelonenta (the beach area) small restaurant and very homely. Honest food and so cheap!! http://www.barjaica.com

2. Federal- Carrer del Parlament, 39, 08015 Barcelona, Spain. Great breakfast and very funky cafe. Fresh juices and good coffee. http://www.federalcafe.es

3. Brunch and Cake- Enric Granados, 19 (Barcelona)Spain. Great breakfast, and they do unusual twists on things. Like eggs on waffles (sounds a little disgusting, but the sweetness of the waffles goes perfectly with eggs) http://www.cupcakesbarcelona.com

4. Cup and Cake- also owned by the same people as Brunch and Cake. Unbelievable red velvet cupcakes. Must try!! Or you can try Kronuts, something we have only ever seen in BCN. http://www.cupcakesbarcelona.com

5. De Tapa Madre- Carrer de Mallorca, 301, 08037 Barcelona, Spain. Wonderful paella! http://www.detapamadre.cat

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Because of our schedule, we knew we were going to be exhausted by the end of our time in the city, so we planned a beach break.

We caught the bus from Barcelona to Parafrugell and then a taxi to our destination of Llafranc. It took about 2 hours in total.

Llafranc was a very small town, quaint and quiet. You could also walk to several other beaches- Tamariu, Callela de Parafrugell and a bus to Aigua Blava.

We had a very relaxing 3 days there..eating, drinking wine, sun baking, reading and sleeping. It was wonderful!

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What to do in the garden this month- July

I am back from my Summer holidays and feeling quite exhausted! Doesn’t it always happen that way? I will be posting photos from Spain and Germany next week once i have been through my thousands of photos.

For now, here are some tips on what to do in the garden this month.

Southern Hemisphere 

1. As bulb shoots develop, feed with one of the new Thrive Liquids such as Thrive Roses & Flowers. It’s high in potassium so will strengthen the stems of floppy bulbs, as well as enhancing their flowering. Do the same for spring flowering annuals to help them develop a strong framework before they start to bloom.

2. July is rose pruning month, except in cold climates where it’s better to wait until just before the last frost is expected.

3. Check camellias for signs of leaf-spoiling sap suckers such as thrips and tea mite. Prune camellias (if required) after flowering, feed with Dynamic Lifter Plus Flower Food.

4. Dianthus is a carnation relative that develops a succession of cheery, fragrant blooms.

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Northern Hemisphere 

1. Prune back the tangled new growth of wisteria, by shortening the current season’s stems to five or six leaves from their base. This allows light and air into the climber and enhances flowering.

2. Clip box hedging and topiary at the end of this month, which should keep them neat and tidy over the winter.

3. Birds love ripened soft fruit as much as we do and are up earlier to enjoy the crop first. To ensure fruit is reserved for you, cover the plants with netting before ripening is complete.

4. Give container plants a liquid feed throughout July to keep them looking good.

5. In what is known as the “June drop”, fruit trees undergo a natural thinning process when fruit they are unable to support falls from the tree. Additional thinning is often required for the remaining fruit to attain optimum size and quality. This should be carried out by mid-July. Thinning has other benefits:

Sunlight and air can circulate more easily, which helps fruit to ripen evenly and reduces the risk of fungal diseases.

6. Camellias set their buds around this time of year, and one reason for plants not flowering is dryness at the roots when the buds are being set. This is a particular problem for container plants, so ensure that potted camellias are watered regularly, especially during hot dry spells

Newly planted trees also benefit from regular watering during dry spells.

Branches can break if trees over-crop – a particular hazard for plums. An overly large crop can exhaust the tree’s resources, so thinning helps it to develop a manageable quantity of fruit.

When young trees crop too heavily, energy is diverted from developing a strong framework of branches and roots. This makes them less able to produce large crops in subsequent years.

Apples: To ensure the largest fruit, thin cooking apples hard; dessert apples more lightly. For both types leave just one fruit per cluster; choosing the strongest and best-shaped.

Apricots: Thin only if the crop is excessively heavy.

Plums are particularly prone to over-cropping, so thinning is vital.

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