1. Get on trend for 2020 - what's new in terms of gardening style?

    As the garden prepares to slowly wake from its winter slumber, this is a great time to think about the coming growing season and prepare for all the excitement that is just around the corner. But just for the moment, depending on the weather, the best gift you can provide for your garden is to stay away. The compaction caused by winter boots on soggy lawns and beds does no favours for the structure of the soil. It’s possible to work by using boards on which to tread, or you can wait until conditions improve. 

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  2. Which plants are safe around children and pets?

    The fact that plants are good for us is fully acknowledged and embraced by most. But some plants are better than others. Some plants are harmful, and it's essential to know which are poisonous for children, adults and pets. It's important to be wise without being paranoid, because the benefits of plants certainly outweigh the dangers.

    We now know that humans have an innate tendency to make connections with nature and this is beneficial to health and wellbeing. It’s known as the  biophilia hypothesis and it makes perfect sense.

    But will any old plant do the job? 

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  3. Ban the bugs! These 9 plants will help to deter insects in your home

    The weather has cooled after the mini-heatwave in August, but those hot, sunny days promoted a rise in insect numbers. If you are still swatting flies and wasps in your home, you might like to consider a little biological control in the form of plants. Some flowers and foliage give off an aroma that bugs would rather avoid. Fill your windowsills and kitchens with pots or vases of the following in order to help deter insects.

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  4. How to protect your garden from slugs and snails and avoid SLUGfest in summer

    Are slugs and snails having a feast at your expense?

    It’s summer time and slugfest has started! In these day of enlightenment (or an awakening of common sense), it would be encouraging to hope that most people have sealed their poisonous pots for good. But how do you stop slugs and snails (not to mention vine weevils and lily beetles) from decimating your patch of paradise?

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  5. What to do with baby bird fledglings in the garden

    Do these baby birds need your help?

    It’s part of the summer scene: parents and babies outdoors enjoying the weather. Human babies and small children need to be supervised at all times, but if you’re an animal such as a bird, a rabbit, a fox or a deer fawn, you have nature as your guide. It’s entirely natural for bird babies to fledge, i.e. to leave their nest once they are fully feathered, then learn to fly and survive in the big open world. What they don’t usually need is human intervention. This is sometimes difficult. You find a fledgling in the garden, hopping around and looking vulnerable. It’s tempting to interfere.

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  6. A tale about Twitter, tweets and wild birds

    Twitter, Tweets and wild birds in your garden. Is there a connection?

    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. This bald eagle (below) would be a wonderful sight to see in the wild!

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  7. Six of nature's berry best baubles to brighten up the winter

    Christmas is about to take centre stage andit's good for the soul to rejoice in positive sights, sounds and celebrations. So let's not forget those that are taking place all around, unaided by LEDs. Nature has its own #festivedisplay which doesn’t need to cycle through various flashy patterns in order to impress. What’s more, berried bushes are for life, not just for Christmas. There are many wild creatures that depend upon the feast during deepest, darkest December.

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  8. How to deal with insect pests such as horseflies, mosquitoes and things that bite in the garden.

    A hot, dry summer provides ideal conditions for many things. Some plants love the weather, including cacti; succulents; alpines; ornamental grasses such as Stipa gigantea; Agarves; Bougainvillea; Portulaca; Oleander; poppy; lavender and most silvery or furry-leafed plants. But other things thrive in the heat too - including FLIES and other insects. What can you do about this problem?

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  9. Do trees eat bicycles? All about edaphoecotropism: what does this mean?

    Well yes, and no... trees don't really eat bicycles but they look as if they might! They can grow around objects, the most common of which are metal fences.

    The living tree has the most amazing capacity for self-repair and it will simply incorporate foreign objects into its structure. This act of edaphoecotropism, as it is called, is not harmful to the tree. The living tissue of the tree itself simply flows around an object and engulfs it. In so doing, the tree binds itself to the item and the connection actually becomes stronger as time passes. If you were to carve back the tree, you would find that the item inside will still be perfectly formed, not eaten but merely ‘consumed’!

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  10. Ignore granny at your peril! Folklore can be better than science in your garden

    Garden lore: truth or fiction?

    The best nature and garden knowledge, some say, is that which is handed down from generation to generation. Garden folklore might not be the most scientific, but much of it has been tried and tested out in the fields and gardens over time. Since the Egyptians cultivated plants that they collected from Europe, in fact. There are folklore solutions to age-old problems that you might not find in an official guide. Sometimes, listening to granny gives you wisdom! Here’s a round-up of useful folklore, tips and thoughts that you might want to put into practice. Read more
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