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Perfect Plants

  • Are garden shrubs popular?

    Which are the best shrubs for my modern garden?

    So, where are we with shrubs in these days of creative design, modern, sleek lines and contemporary spaces? Plants have an age-old appeal and it’s only natural that trends come and go. Have shrubs gone? Well, for a while they declined in popularity, but it seems that the tide of opinion is turning. The group of plants that we refer to as shrubs is a huge and diverse category of botanic life and one that would definitely have featured prominently in your great-granny’s garden. Continue reading

  • I think my old fashioned garden might need updating

    How do you recognise a 1970s garden?

    What does the term ‘old fashioned’ or ‘outdated’ mean, in terms of gardens? It’s very easy to spot garden styles, just by the planting. Walk through a public park that hasn’t been updated for a few decades and look at the plants. There might well be some overcrowded ‘dwarf’ evergreen conifers that are now four metres high or so. Lots of shrubs. Some Acers, if the soil is right. Definitely rose beds, maybe Cordyline, pampas grass and perhaps some empty winter beds that will soon be filled with summer bedding. Is this an outdated style?

    pampas grass growing in a garden Pampas grass was popular back in the 1970s and 80s and it does have a place in modern gardens, in the right situation.

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  • How to deal with a sloping garden or a difficult site

    What can I do with my difficult garden? Steps to success...

    A garden doesn’t need to be spacious or flat in order to be beautiful and rewarding. In fact, some of the most interesting and difficult gardens are those that represent a challenge in one form or another. Dealing with a steep slope, for example, brings a set of problems that might need imaginative thinking. Terracing is the obvious answer, but rows of steep steps leading to narrow, flat areas can look cramped, uninviting and daunting. Continue reading

  • Biggest is best - why we should love trees just a little bit more

    Love trees? Why we should appreciate the biggest plant

    We should all love trees a little bit more. We’re all capable of appreciating things, but perhaps we don’t always bother to notice what’s going on. Just look around at the natural surroundings. Whether you live in a city, a town, a village or in a rural retreat, there is nature to enjoy. And the largest living species within nature is a tree. It’s easy to take trees for granted and it’s often only when they are under threat, or after they have gone that we miss them the most.

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  • 7 Steps to increase the value of your home through your garden

    Our love affair with homes (and gardens): how to increase the value of your property.

    Many of us love to watch Kirstie and Phil (did you know that Phil Spencer’s middle name is Cuthbert, how cool is that?); Homes Under the Hammer; Love It or List It; Grand Designs; George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces and a selection of the ever-expanding range of property-related programmes on TV.

    Channel 4 has around 12 or so entertainment outlets based around homes and what you can do with them. Similarly, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent, there are garden-renovation shows too. It proves that there’s a general love affair with homes and gardens, and a compulsion to improve. Part of this is in a bid to achieve a more enjoyable and comfortable lifestyle, but much of it on television is about increasing value and being able to make a profit.

    homes and gardens property programmes on tv the word home made from turf and flowers Home turf! The garden is a vital part of your home and, with the right treatment, it can increase the value of your property.

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  • 3 easy steps to the 'no dig method' of gardening and why it can work for you

    The 'no dig method' of gardening is a growing trend, try it before the main vegetable planting season arrives

    So, here we are, more than three quarters of the way through January already. Grow your own enthusiasts and those with an allotment will already be champing at the bit, eager to start sowing and growing. Let’s look at what you can be getting on with right now.

    It’s a great month for preparing the plot. For some, this means digging. This helps to bury weeds and loosen the soil. Digging the vegetable garden or allotment in order to prepare for spring  growing and sowing is the traditional way to go about things, but with the benefit of ecological understanding together with science, it might not be necessary.
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  • Six tricky house plants and how to prevent them from dying!

    House plants - are yours dying to join the trend? 

    Everyone is loving house plants at present. But some of them will give up on life and turn up their toes with relative ease. Others can live just about anywhere, with the minimum amount of care. So why bother with the tricky set? It’s all about shape; structure; size; beauty. And that most elusive quality: extraordinary desirability.

    How can you not only stop your desirable and trendy house plants from dying, but help them to thrive? Continue reading

  • How realistic are New Year's Resolutions? Here's 5 top tips for success.

    How many people break their New Year's Resolutions?

    Are we setting ourselves up for failure when we make those New Year’s Resolutions? It seems that around 88% of people fail to achieve their goals, and by the end of February a high proportion can’t even remember what they resolved to change in their lives.  Here are the reasons why we do it and five top tips for success: Continue reading

  • Tips for happiness, how you can recover from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

    Suffering from SAD? Here's a Christmas survival guide to help you through the festive season.

    Are you longing for the moment when you can put away your Christmas decorations; find homes for the gifts; eat the last of the festive food and simply get on with life in a brand-new year? This can be a tricky time for those suffering from SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, but you can get through it! We would like to help you deal with this very common winter problem, as working through the low feeling and arriving at a more enjoyable place is definitely worth the journey.  This is the perfect time to contemplate new beginnings and a fresh approach to life…
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  • A tale about Twitter, tweets and wild birds

    All that Twitters is not told, what about wild birds?

    We all know that a tweet is a sound coming from a bird, rather than characters originating from a digital device. Right? The majority of the younger generation wouldn’t agree. Tweets are part of Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams’ idea for what was originally a ‘short message service’ communications system. A bit like texting, but for groups. In the 12 years or so since Twitter was created, the number of active users has risen to around 336 million each month, making it one of the biggest social networks.
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