1. Five best herbs and vegetables for the kitchen garden

    Ready, steady, grow your own! Here’s five of the best for the kitchen garden

    So, the major growing season is upon us and danger of frost will soon be a thing of the past. There’s no time to waste down on the vegetable plot and the sooner you start growing, the faster your crops will be making their way to the kitchen table. Are you a newbie to kitchen garden vegetable growing? Here’s our selection of five easy crops that can be sown and grown now. Read more
  2. Palm trees for indoor and out. How can they help us to feel good in the UK?

    Palm trees are good for the health, and boost the spirits too. But what is it about palm trees that give so much pleasure? Here is a selection of four hardy palms for UK gardens and three excellent palm varieties for indoors too. Just be aware that some palm trees are difficult to source due to plant passport requirements to help guard against pests and diseases.

    Read more
  3. Love is in the air, here's seven LIVING Valentine's Day gift ideas

    February brings hope, happiness and maybe love for Valentine's Day 

    Valentines, living gift, hoya, gifts for Valentine's Day, Valentines presents, pot plant, There's no mistaking the heart-shaped message offered by these Valentines Hoya plants. February signals the month of hope for several reasons. Valentine's Day is just one of them. It has become apparent that January wasn’t the easiest month to bear for many people who suffered from ill health and a certain amount of gloom caused by dull weather and grey skies. Aussie ‘flu and other ‘flu-like viruses hit the UK hard last month, with a rate of hospitalisation at around 4,000 per week at its peak. The symptoms of Aussie ‘flu are similar to normal ‘flu – i.e. headaches, vomiting, diarrhoea, blocked noses and sore throats - but they tend to last longer and are more severe. The illness can also lead to pneumonia. It is now hoped that the worst might be over, and the launch into a brand new, and very short, month is one to celebrate! Read more
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Hurrah for Hellebores, six reasons to want some of these winter wonders

    The Hellebore season is almost here. At the dawn of the new year, these sturdy perennials begin to shine. Despite their fragile appearance, they can withstand just about anything that nature brings. Snow, ice, rain, they just don't really care. What will damage them is too much direct sunlight (hardly likely in January). Position them in shady places so they are protected during the hotter parts of the year. They also won't enjoy sitting in a permanent bog. But apart from that, they are dynamite!

    Read more
  7. Why choose a crab apple tree for your garden?

    Here's six reasons why a crab apple could be the tree for you!

    If you have the desire to plant a tree in your garden, and, let’s face it, there’s are fewer more rewarding tasks, why should you consider the humble crab apple? The retort is “why not?”. There are so many benefits to this tree that it soon becomes obvious: you’ve just got to have one!

    Here's six wonderful features of a tree that's so easy to please:

    Read more
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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