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Perfect Plants

  • How to grow figs in the UK

    Growing figs. Exotic, or a 'fig'ment of the imagination?

    The mysterious world of figs is easy to ‘fig’ure out once you realise that it's easy to grow these fruit trees. These long-lived plants crop well here in the south east, particularly now that winters tend to be milder and start later than ever before. People have been growing figs in thIs country since Tudor times. They just need a good sunny position, some food, water and shelter. A limited number of fig varieties are reliable in the UK but these are readily available and prolific fruiters.  What’s more, these figs are self-fertile and they can both pollinate and set fruit without needing any intervention from insects or gardeners.
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  • Feeling fruity. There's a fruit tree for every garden, even the smallest space.

    Which fruit tree for a small garden?

    Did you know that you can have a fruit tree in your garden, whatever the size of your outdoor space? Even a courtyard; a roof garden or a balcony can house a patio fruit tree or bush in a pot. The secret is all about selecting an appropriate variety; positioning; feeding and pruning. What you need is a combination of low-maintenance, compact growth, good health (of the plant, although let’s hope you’ve got that too) and self-fertilising properties.
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  • Six fantastic ferns for the home. House plants extraordinaire!

    Six fantastic ferns for the home

    Ferns comes in all sorts of forms, from frilly and airy to glossy and structural. There’s a wide variety of ferns highly suitable for use as house plants. What’s more, these are excellent plants for filtering the air – being highly effective at removing toxins from the home and office.
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  • Growing love on Valentine's Day with a living plant gift

    The dating game - it's Valentine's Day!

    With one month of the year having passed and all but a memory, are you ready for the rest? It seems that from February onwards there’s a gradual but steady feeling of momentum which builds to a triumphant climax marked by the burst of spring blossom. The entire process commences on 14 February and this date is known to many as Valentine’s Day.
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  • Keeping on trend during 2017. Six ways to help the environment in which we live.

    Six reasons why we should all do our bit for the environment

    It’s no longer a new idea to each do our own bit for the environment. There are few people who don’t recognise the importance of safeguarding all the wonderful things that exist on the planet Earth. Climate change might not be a trendy term but it does encompass a lot of the thoughts behind energy-saving, water preservation, wildlife protection and flood prevention, not to mention recycling, tree-protection and limiting greenhouse gas emissions. There will always be sceptics but most people can recognise common sense when it is on display.
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  • Six ways to help you beat the January blues.

    The January blues are a well-known phenomenon.

    It's January and the partying is well and truly over. For those at work, it is as if the festive fun never happened. What’s more, the nights are still very long, the weather is chilly and the holidays probably seem a long way off. Most people who are working set off on their commute in the dark and come home after dark, so the winter can feel everlasting. Add into the mix the recent excesses of festive foods and of course over-spending, it’s hardly surprising that people can feel depressed.

    depression, January, blue, blues, depressed, bed, thoughts, anger, sad, new year, unhappy, motivation Can't get out of bed? You might be suffering from the January blues

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  • 10 things to do in the January garden.

    What to do in the January winter garden

    Remember the mild weather on Christmas day? Folklore suggests that if mild weather prevails over Christmas, there will be cold weather at Easter, which falls on 16 April this year.  Luckily, the old superstition that a Christmas without snow will be followed by illness and many deaths (‘A green winter makes a fat churchyard’) seems to be without any factual foundation, although it is generally believed that cold weather helps to kill off bacteria and unwanted bugs.
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  • RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch. Join in and rejoice

    RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch: Five reasons to participate

    If there’s one huge advantage of the winter season in the garden, it’s birds! It’s such a great time to see these feathery friends without too much undergrowth or cover obstructing the view. Attract birds to your garden by leaving out some food and water and you’ll be amazed just how quickly they flock to your patch. There’s no better season to start feeding birds, just in time to participate in the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which takes place from 28-30 January. Start feeding now to ensure you have a regular flow of visitors before you need to record them.
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  • The 3 most popular festive plants bringing Christmas cheer

    How to care for festive plants received as Christmas gifts.

    The countdown has begun and there are just five days to go before Christmas day has arrived. All this fuss and preparation just for one day! But what lasts much longer are your festive plants which you might be lucky enough to receive. The three most popular plants at Christmas are:

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  • Six facts about Christmas trees and one word of warning!

    Why do we love Christmas trees? A potted history follows:

    There’s little time at Christmas to concentrate on the garden, but there is one gorgeous element of the natural world that plays an important part in all the festivities. It’s the Christmas tree and this forms a central point around which the celebrations are concentrated.
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