1. Why palm trees can help us to feel good in the UK

    Palm trees are good for the health, and boost the spirits too. Here's 4 hardy palms for UK gardens and 3 excellent palms for indoors.

    Why are people pleased by the pleasures of palms? These iconic plants signify hot weather, holidays, gentle breezes and relaxation. There’s something about palm trees that needs a blue sky and yellow sun to make them look comfortable. Here in the UK there are many people who give palms some garden space, presumably in the hope that they might create some sort of tropical paradise. Some of these plants fail miserably to achieve much growth. Others die during their first tough winter. A few, however, are hardy and can grow into sizeable trees. Given the right environment, underplanting and setting, these palms can create an impressive impact, even in the depths of winter. Read more
  2. 11 unusual fruit crosses that will make your taste buds quiver

    Plumcot anyone? Here’s 11 unusual fruit trees and bushes for the experimental gardener

    What’s with the weird and unusual fruit? Perhaps you have tasted some of the many strange fruit crosses that are now available. Are you tempted to plant your own unusual fruit tree or bush? If so, February is a great time to plant. You might even find bare root plants to keep your costs down. These curiously addictive fruit crosses are generally created from hybrids rather than selective breeding through genetic engineering of DNA. In other words, the new fruits arise from cross-pollination of two plants from the same species or genus. Here’s a round-up of the most commonly found ‘alternative’ fruit crosses. You can decide for yourself whether the tree or bush is the right one for you. Read more
  3. Fashion versus tradition in the garden. Are you keeping up?

    Should you keep up with fashion trends in the garden?

    You might not associate plants and gardens as being subject to fashion, but they are indeed. For instance, you can date many gardens by looking at their planting style or choice of hard landscaping materials. Crazy paving came into being as an inexpensive method of hard surfacing that used broken or incomplete pieces of paving, with mortar being used to fill the gaps. The craze for crazy paving caught on and during the 1960s and 70s it was everywhere. This style of paving might not still be in fashion, but it is still acceptable, but it will always have an air of ‘age’ about it. However, replace the mortar filling with low planting of Thyme or other such creeping beauties that will allow a softening of the ‘look’ and it is bang up to date. Older styles can be updated and adapted to the modern age with great effect. Read more
  4. A definition of Mindfulness and how best to achieve it

    The definition of ‘mindfulness’ and how it applies to gardening

    There’s no getting away from ‘mindfulness’. References to this most desirable state of being are everywhere. But what is mindfulness and how do we achieve it? Mindfulness, depressed, anxious, anxiety, happy, happiness, psychology, state of mind, Mindfulness is all about your state of mind. It’s simply a word that urges people to cease rushing through their days without noticing things that are outside their own heads. We tend to miss so much because most of us are obsessing over thoughts, worries, lists of tasks, diary engagements, chores and more. Not to mention gripes about the weather; the people around us and the state of the economy. STOP! Many of us are failing to recognise or acknowledge the good stuff that’s happening right now. There are simple steps everyone can take in order to improve their daily lives and happiness will inevitably result. Read more
  5. How to achieve kerb appeal in a front garden and lighten your mood

    Why your front garden might need some ‘kerb appeal’ and how to achieve it this winter

    Does your front garden have kerb appeal? What does the space in front of your property say about you? In fact, how often do you look at it, and does it really matter? The chances are that you concentrate on your back garden because it’s more private and you spend a greater amount of time in it. Front gardens are generally more for ‘show’ than for ‘play’, but they are places through which people walk all year round, whatever the weather. Read more
  6. Time to make new year's resolutions: make them achievable

    Happy new year:  make your life healthy

    One of the problems of winter is that it’s more difficult to spend time outdoors. The daylight hours are short, nights are long, and work often gets in the way of opening the door onto the big wide world. It’s not surprising that people suffer from colds, depression and general malaise during this time of year. So, how can you get the new year off to a great start? Read more
  7. 10 Plants for dark and shady places

    Plants for shade, here's 10 plants for dark and gloomy places

    In some respects, plants are rather like people. But far less vocal. Many British folk seem to be obsessed by the weather and a multitude feel unable to contend with rain, gloomy skies, shade, or indeed, winter in general. Their inability to cope could be compared to the way that plants behave when they are placed within an environment that is alien to them. Place a sun-loving succulent in a damp, gloomy corner and it will fade away. Bright and beautiful flowers in the garden often need sunshine. The same principle applies indoors. The position of house plants needs to be matched to their temperament if they are to thrive.  In fact, the most common cause of death to house plants is over-watering, followed by lack of light. Read more
  8. Six reasons why you should LOVE ivy.

    Hedera is a humble ivy plant with so much to offer. Six reasons to LOVE this evergreen.

    Ivy is an unsung hero of the plant world that has so much to offer that it’s difficult to know where to start.
    1. This is a plant that can be used indoors and out.
    2. It’s as hardy as they come and can be used to climb, to trail, or as a groundcover.
    3. It’s great in shady places (even on a north-facing wall) and can be used equally successfully in sunny spots.
    4. It has many different forms, including variegated foliage in glorious tones of white, cream and yellow.
    5. What’s more, it excels at Christmas and in flower arranging and plant containers throughout the year.
    6. And it’s excellent for biodiversity and wildlife throughout the year.  

    Read more
  9. 7 ideas to brighten up the November garden - and your life!

    7 ways to set November alight as the clocks go back!

    November brings its own share of challenges to the garden-lover. You might have to arouse your passion in order to overcome dreary surroundings. Drizzle, mist, frost and dark hours at both ends of the day contrive to banish garden activity to memory – apart from weekends and non-working days of course. Here's seven ideas to brighten up your life at this time of year! Read more
  10. Here's six reasons why you want a terrarium...

    Six reasons why you'll want to garden INDOORS with a terrarium!

    If you are reading this, the chances are that you already have a house plant or two.  But you could go one step further and join the trend for a terrarium. Or perhaps you already have! If not, you'll probably want to jump on trend right away, and here's why: Read more