1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Horseflies, mosquitoes and things that bite in the garden. Help!

    No flies on me (normally), but how can I keep horseflies away?

    The 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. Read more
  7. Do trees eat bicycles?

    Do trees eat bicycles, fences and any old iron?

    Well yes, and no! Trees frequently 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’! Read more
  8. 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
  9. Roses are red, white, pink and even blue, but why are they our favourite flower?

    Roses say so many things, I love you, thank you, sorry... and more. Why do we love roses?

      There are few people that don’t love roses. The scent, appearance, colour and style has almost universal appeal. Especially in May and June when this magnificent shrub excels like no other. The rose is the national flower of England. But why are so many people in love with roses?

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  10. 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.  

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