The greenhouse effect

A fully productive greenhouse is similar to having a family pet – it will need a bit of your attention every day! Despite the hard work, once you’ve reaped the rewards of tasting your own chili peppers, peaches or tomatoes and raised your own garden plants for a fraction of the price charged at the Read More

Berries for birds

Your garden can provide birds with essentials such as food, shelter and the chance of finding a mate so make it appealing to them by installing a birdbath and plenty of nest boxes and make your borders a haven for birds by boosting them with berried trees and shrubs. Birds prefer untidy borders, so to Read More

All about heathers

Heathers are incredible plants that offer real value for money, as they provide a splash of vibrant colour, more or less the year round and especially in autumn and winter. Currently, there are more than 500 heather varieties to choose from with light to dark green, silver, yellow, grey or purple evergreen leaves. Heathers long-lasting Read More

Jacob plans a surprise

Now almost 5, Jacob is becoming more adventurous in his garden. He knows that we have to plant bulbs in the autumn, so when he visited the garden shop, he chose some ‘lovely’ flowers that he wants to plant in his garden to surprise his mummy when they bloom in spring. His favourite colour is Read More

beat the burglars

The clocks in the UK go back 1 hour at 2am on the last Sunday in October. Whilst we gain an hour on this day, it means that our days will be getting shorter and our nights longer and colder. These darker evenings are perfect for opportunistic thieves to target your home so you’ll need to make Read More

Beat the winter blues

Colour and light affect our mood, so if you are someone that feels down as the nights draw in, take steps now. People who get the blues in winter are said to be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For your home and workplace you can buy daylight bulbs and fluorescent tubes that mimic the Read More

Berried treasures

Enjoy the rich rewards of autumn up close, by planting your garden with these fab four shrubs that put on an unusual and flamboyant display of colourful seedpods and berries. Enjoy non-stop pots on the patio by replacing summer flowers with the bright marble-like berries of the dwarf evergreen shrub, Gaultheria mucronata, which is often Read More

Look and learn

The fallen leaves, which carpet the ground provide food and shelter for many animals. Even when a leaf has fallen, it still contains valuable food reserves which can be returned to the soil and absorbed by the roots of plants, so recycling the nourishment. Teacher Julia Fairfax suggests you get your kids off the sofa Read More

Preserving the pick of the crop

Now that pickles and preserves are no longer a necessity to get us through the winter when native fruits are scarce, they’ve become something of a delicacy. Homegrown and homemade enjoy a cachet that that can’t be matched by anything bought, however expensive. If you’re lucky enough to have an apple tree or perhaps some Read More

Gap-fillers for late borders

Now, is a precious time in the garden when you can reflect and write notes on all your trials and tribulations and enjoy remembering all of the seasonal surprises that just happened without any clever forward planning. It’s always a good idea to take photographs of your best plant associations, so that you can repeat Read More