Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden

Snowdrop Festival brings first signs of Spring

by Diane - January 14th, 2019

Snowdrop Festival brings first signs of Spring

 snowdrops

On a wintry day there is nothing better than visiting a garden teeming with one of the earliest flowering plants of the year –and the National Garden Scheme’s fourth annual Snowdrop Festival brings the first signs of Spring to everyone with over 92 snowdrop gardens open across England and Wales.

Whether you enjoy carpets of naturalised white in woodlands, meticulously grown rare varieties of snowdrops or gardens boasting a colourful mix of snowdrops, hellebores and other early Spring flowers – there is something for galanthophiles and garden enthusiasts alike throughout January and February.

George Plumptre, Chief Executive of The National Garden Scheme, says:

“Over the last few years the National Garden Scheme’s Snowdrop Festival has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to gardens throughout January and February. But garden visiting at this time of year isn’t just for galanthophiles who are looking to discover a rare variety of snowdrop in gardens they may never otherwise find.  Snowdrops are the perfect antidote to the Winter blues and spending the afternoon at one of our Snowdrop Festival gardens is the ideal opportunity to get outside and enjoy some spectacular scenes at an otherwise depressing time of year.”

Snowdrop garden highlights include:

  • Welford Park, Berkshire

https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/5331/

Welford Park in Newbury is one of the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the country with 4 acres of grounds to discover. The garden may be familiar – Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off is filmed here.

  • Gelli Uchaf, Wales

https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/21809/

Gelli Uchaf is a smallholding in Carmarthenshire with an organic 1.5 acre garden. Visitors can enjoy trees and shrubs underplanted with hundreds of thousands of snowdrops (200 cultivars and a unique Welsh Snowdrop Collection), cyclamen, crocus, scillas and other bulbs.

  • Horkesley Hall, Essex

https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/12746/

Horkesley hall is an 8 acre romantic garden in Colchester offering an evening snowdrop walk on 19th February, when visitors can enjoy the garden’s snowdrops by the light of the full moon and twinkling fairy lights.

  • Higher Cherubeer, Devon

https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/17164/

Higher Cherubeer is a stunning country garden in Winkleigh, which boasts a National Collection of cyclamen species and hellebores, as well as over 400 snowdrop varieties lining woodland paths.

The National Garden Scheme gives visitors unique access to over 3,600 exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake. Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the National Garden Scheme has donated a total of £55 million to nursing and health charities, and made a record annual donation of £3.1 million in 2018.

To find your perfect snowdrop garden, visit ngs.org.uk/snowdrops or download the National Garden Scheme app. 

The Asian hornet

by Diane - January 3rd, 2019

I am a beekeeper and I am pledging to make more people aware of the Asian Hornet this year.
It’s a non native species that quite likes eating other insects and unfortunately for honeybees because they live in a colony they provide a whole larder of food for Asian hornets.

The National Bee Unit has a page on the Asian hornet  http://www.nationalbeeunit.com/index.cfm?sectionid=117

You should be able to get copies of the poster from your bee inspector or your bee association. It’s important to share these with relevant people – anyone who spends a lot of time outside and will observe an unusual insect. Whether it’s gardeners, groundskeepers, the council’s tree man, they all need to know.

If you’re in a bee club you’ll probably have discussed an Asian hornet action team. If not, go back to your group and ask!

The poster shows the asian hornet and details of the abdomen which has one yellow stripe. They look like lit cigarettes coming at you apparently. If you sit next to your hives you can watch for them hawking your bees.
Monitoring traps are a good idea – but need to be regularly emptied of the native species that might get caught in the trap.

Asian hornet identification

 

If you’re not a beekeeper then you could get the poster and display it at your local garden centre – just ask, I’m sure they’ll let you put a poster up. Share it with as many people as you can. Thanks

GROW YOURSELF HEALTHY THIS JANUARY

by Diane - December 10th, 2018

GROW YOURSELF HEALTHY THIS JANUARY
…WITH GARDENING IS GOOD FOR YOU!


Research from around the world has confirmed something many gardeners already know ­– gardening really is good for you!

So, it’s time to grow yourself healthy this year with support from the Gardening is good for you campaign. Month-by-month you can explore the many benefits of gardens and gardening to your health and wellbeing.

Gardens are great places to relax, and just being in or looking out onto gardens and green spaces has been shown to relieve stress, improving wellbeing and creativity. By creating a beautiful garden outside your own back door you’ll have a personal sanctuary to step out into, and somewhere to grow healthy food, welcome in wildlife, and spend time with family and friends.

In fact, gardening could be described as the Natural Health Service, as doctors recognise the numerous benefits gardening brings without the need for costly therapies and drugs, with their unwelcome side effects.

For instance, eating well can start by growing your own organic homegrown crops – all part of the ‘5 a day’ we all need. Herbs for example not only add wonderful flavours to our home cooking and teas but bring many health benefits too.

DID YOU KNOW?
By choosing the right plants we can design gardens that encourage birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife to drop in for food, water and shelter, or even take up residence. Developing an all-year-round wildlife-friendly garden satisfies our own creativity and feeling of achievement, bringing us outside and closer to nature to reduce stress and improve our wellbeing. Contact with plants and the soil also enhances our health and boosts the immune system, too.

PLANTS OF THE MOMENT: CREATE YEAR-ROUND COLOUR & INTEREST
By creating a garden that looks great all-year-round you’ll not only have a beautiful outlook but more opportunities to be tempted outside throughout the year to stay active and grow yourself healthy.

To give your garden structure and form choose plants that offer more than one season of interest. In particular, pick evergreen plants and architectural shrubs with green, coloured or variegated foliage that also produce seasonal flowers, and perhaps fruits or berries too.

Plant these to form the backbone to your garden, giving it structure, and adding height at the back of borders. Use their bold shapes and sizes to obscure eyesores and cover boring fences, cut down noise from roads and neighbours, and create a sense of privacy and seclusion.

PLANT SUGGESTIONS:
Choisya eg ‘Sundance’ AGM, ‘Aztec Pearl’ AGM
Hebe ‘Red Edge’ AGM
Skimmia x confusa ‘Kew Green’ AGM
Skimmia japonica ‘Fragrans’ AGM
Photinia eg ‘Red Robin’ AGM
Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo’  AGM
Japanese spotted laurel – Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia’ AGM
Osmanthus x burkwoodii AGM
Elaeagnus x submacrophylla ‘Limelight’
Euonymus, Pieris, etc, etc.
Follow ‘Gardening is good for you’ at www.hta.org.uk/gardeningisgoodforyou

Being outside and getting your hands dirty is a great way of exercising. Pull those weeds out, do that pruning! Enjoy being outside, it’s good for you!

Spider proof shed!

by Diane - December 5th, 2018

Spider season hits: New spider-proof shed

 

With 25% of the British public admitting they’re too scared to venture into their sheds due to arachnophobia*, experts at Tiger Sheds want to tackle this head-on with the world’s first Spider Proof Shed.

 

No longer will you fear grabbing your gardening tools or bustling for your bike; visit your outbuilding with confidence with the Spider Proof Shed. The shed has been intelligently designed to repel spiders and unlike your standard garden shed, the whole space is airtight.

 

As we all know, spiders like to crawl their way through the smallest cracks and holes so the expert designers have taken extreme care to cover any potential areas that the eight-legged visitors can sneak through by including a special airtight door seal. The windows are made from toughened glass and are completely sealed in to ensure the shed is not only water resistant but spider proof too!

 

The shed also comes with lining paper in a sky blue colour, as this has been scientifically proven to help repel spiders. Tiger Sheds are also offering extra treatments as an upgrade with your purchase, such as treating the wood used with peppermint, citrus and insecticide; all ingredients which spiders despise!

 

A novelty ‘No Spiders Allowed’ sign comes as standard with your purchase, making the perfect decorative piece for your Spider Proof Shed. It even features some useful tips on keeping your shed spider free!

 

As an optional extra with this product, you can include our ‘Creepy Crawley’ den, which is a special home designed to attract spiders away from your much loved garden shed. The Spider Home is a dark wooden box with holes for the spiders to crawl into. The inside of the box is painted black to make it even darker to attract them to stay in the Spider Home. We suggest you place this outside your Spider Proof Shed.

 

Jack Sutcliffe at Tiger Sheds said: “Before developing this product our skilled design team carried out extensive research to fully understand exactly what repels spiders and keep your garden building spider-free. The product is scientifically proven to be spider proof and is the perfect shed for anyone who has a fear of spiders and wishes to enter their outbuilding in full confidence!

 

“For those who are still sceptical we also offer an optional six-month ‘pest test’ which will be conducted by a fully trained member of the Tiger Sheds team who will carefully inspect your Spider Proof Shed for any spiders. If we do find any, these will be carefully removed and a full investigation will take place into how this may have occurred.

 

For more information on the worlds first Spider Proof Shed please visit: https://www.tigersheds.com/product/spider-proof-shed/

 

Results are in for Heligan’s First Rare Breed Poultry Show

by Diane - November 27th, 2018

Results are in for Heligan’s

First Rare Breed Poultry Show

The Lost Gardens of Heligan played host to its first Rare Breed Poultry Show, with an invitation to take part opened out to all local poultry and waterfowl keepers.  There were over 80 categories and the event saw just under 700 people on the day, which was co-hosted with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, Poultry Club of GB and the Rare Poultry Society and was the third Rare Breed event to be held at Heligan this year.

“Thanks must go to the representatives from RBST, Poultry Club of GB and Rare Poultry Society who gave great assistance in the planning and delivery of the event. It was a fantastic day and we are absolutely delighted as a Rare Breed Park to be able to be a platform for events such as this within the South West.” Laura Chesterfield, Heligan Livestock Experience Manager.

 

Judges Kevin Dowrick and Simon James commented on the quality of the birds shown, especially the waterfowl and turkeys. Many of the birds entered met competitive show standards and were fantastic examples of these rare breeds.

 

Angela Kingsnorth from the RBST, who co- hosted the event commented “holding an event like this that purely highlights the rare breeds is an important progressive step for RBST in collaborating with farm parks that creatively bring rare breeds to a wide audience”.

 

The show received entries from 10 of the 11 heritage rare Turkey breeds, which in itself is a rare sight and makes it the third largest turkey show in the UK, held this year. Kind support was given to Heligan by Turkey Club of Great Britain, who sent rosettes for the turkey classes.

 

Heligan’s very own poultry made their debut in the show ring and made exciting placings with their beautiful Silver Appleyard Drake taking 1st place in the Appleyard class, their 2018 hatched Shetland duck winning the Shetland class and their lavender booted bantam winning the 2018 hatched bantam class.

 

Winners and results 

Best bantam- Nankin bantam cockerel, owned by William Merrell

Best Duck- White Campbell drake named Wilbur, owned by Peter Hayford.

Best goose- grey Toulouse Male, named John. Owned by Ed Whiteman.

Best Turkey in Show, and Best female Turkey- bronze hen, owned by Ian Waterman.

Best Male Turkey, crollwitzer Stag owned by Angela Kingsnorth.

Best hard feather chicken- Le Flèche hen owned by CS&S Davies.

Best child Handler- Lowen Smit Chesterfield (7) with Lavender a Booted bantam

Best juvenile – Josh Trew (13) with Millie, a Lemon MilleFleur Sablepoot.

Reserve Show Champion cup, donated by Roger Thomas, awarded to the Best Bantam.

The Heligan Show champion cup was awarded to the Best Duck.

Asian Hornet Map

by Diane - November 17th, 2018

Not a hugely cheery subject but one beekeepers need to be aware of: Asian hornets.
I’ve got a monitoring trap out at the moment and keep checking it regularly to see what’s in it.

The BBKA Asian Hornet map is updated each time a new sighting is confirmed by Defra.

There’s a video for the monitoring trap instructions here. Well worth making one. If you’re in a beekeeping group then you might already have discussed having an Asian hornet action team, and perhaps have had a day of making traps to ensure everyone has one.

The BBKA have a leaflet that has the identification information on. This can be given away to anyone who might spend time outside and might observe insects!

Harrod Horticultural Offers

by Diane - November 17th, 2018
CHRISTMAS
SHOP
RAISED BEDS FRUIT CAGES NETTING
& PROTECTION
ARCHES
& STRUCTURES
10% Off for Black Friday
Luxury Standing Santas
These delightful Santa characters will brighten up even the darkest days of winter. Made by Floral Silk, these lifelike Father Christmas Decorations look adorable anywhere around the home offering a warm Christmas welcome. And if you hurry – you can get nearly 50% OFF while stocks last with our extra 10% Black Friday Discount – just quote ECODE10 at the checkout or when you call. Take a look at our full Christmas Collection here for 10% OFF some already discounted prices.
Frosted Feather Christmas Tree
Frosted  Pine Christmas Tree
This attractive artificial Christmas Tree stands 90cm high and has a frosted effect to give that extra festive touch. It comes ready assembled – just move the branches into position and the tree is ready to decorate! WAS £34.95 NOW £22.90

Pictured here with Pearl Decoration Garland and LED Star Fairylights (not included).

Read more
The Christmas Shop is Open
Log Holder Range
Light up your Garden!

National Garden Scheme Gifts

by Diane - November 16th, 2018

National Garden SchemeGARDEN-LOVERS GIFT GUIDE: Quintessentially British Christmas gifts for garden-lovers from the National Garden Scheme

 

Treat your garden-loving friends or family members to horticulture-inspired gifts and Christmas cards from the National Garden Scheme – and all proceeds will help support nursing and health charities such as Marie Curie, Hospice UK and Carers Trust.

Visit www.ngs.org.uk/shop to order.

  • The Garden Visitors Handbook 2019

Inspire a year of garden visiting with the Garden Visitor’s Handbook 2019 – the essential guide to over 3,500 gardens opening for the National Garden Scheme next year. With detailed descriptions of every garden, stunning photos, and handy maps and calendars, all of the information you could possibly need to visit a beautiful garden is right at your fingertips!

Pre-order the handbook as a Christmas gift and you’ll receive a printable gift voucher to give to your loved one, letting them know they’ll receive the Garden Visitor’s Handbook 2019 hot off the press in February 2019.

£13.99

  • Christmas cards

Send festive cheer to your friends and family with the National Garden Scheme’s range of three Christmas cards, all featuring beautiful National Garden Scheme gardens in winter.

Pack of 10 cards £4.25

  • Apron, tea towel, notebook, tote bag

Whether you’d like to inject some colour into someone’s kitchen with the National Garden Scheme apron and tea towel, add to their stationery collection with a beautifully illustrated notebook or help them transport plants home from a garden visit with a canvas tote bag – your loved one will be sure to treasure one of the National Garden Scheme’s quintessentially British gifts.

Prices range from £6 – £14

Please note, last order date to receive items in time for Christmas is Monday 17th December at midday.

Harrod horticultural offers

by Diane - November 9th, 2018
ALL
CATEGORIES
RAISED BEDS FRUIT CAGES ARCHES & STRUCTURES OBELISKS & SUPPORTS
Trumpet Plant Supports
Your plants may well be in need of some additional support, and here at Harrod Horticultural, we’ve designed and produced four styles of Vintage Steel Wire Plant Supports. Available in a choice of 3 distinctive finishes, they all carry a 5 YEAR STRUCTURAL GUARANTEE*. Watch out for our Extra Value Sets of 3available on some designs where you can SAVE 10%!
Lichen Green Lobster Pot Support
Lobster Pot Plant Support

Lichen Green
Read more
Lobster Pot Plant Support Rust
Lobster Pot Plant Support
Natural Rust
Read more
Short Circular Plant Support Black
Short Circular Plant Support
Matt Black
Read more
Tall Circular Plant Support Rust
Tall Circular Plant Support
Natural Rust
Read more
Short Circular Plant Support Rust
Short Circular Plant Support
Natural Rust
Read more
Tall Circular Plant Support Black
Tall Circular Plant Support
Matt Black
Read more
PAYMENT
Safe and secure
Request a catalogue
Harrod Horticultural, 1-3 Pinbush Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, NR33 7NL. Registered in England no. 875029. VAT registered no. 104 8573 75.
* The guarantee on our Steel Wire Plant Supports excludes surface corrosion

Christmas at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

by Diane - October 30th, 2018

🎄 Christmas at The Lost Gardens of Heligan 🎄

The festive season at Heligan always sees the Gardens and Estate burst into joyful merriment with a collection of events set to bring everyone together.

 

🎄Christmas Lunch

With the days growing colder, why not warm chilly toes by the wood burner in the Heligan Kitchen and enjoy a traditional Christmas Lunch served with all the trimmings.  Festive Feasts will be served from Monday 3rd December until Friday 21st December (except weekends).

 

🎄Christmas Fair                

Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December, sees Heligan welcomes back its annual Christmas Fair.  Heligan’s ethos shines through as some of the best local producers, artisans, creators and makers, producing unique food and drink, jewellery, art, ceramics and more, showcase their wares.   Mulled wine and delicious seasonal treats will be available from the Heligan Kitchen, and with well over 100 stalls, this year’s fair looks set to be the largest yet!   Entry Free to Heligan Annual Members; £1 to Local Pass holders & £2 everyone else – incl. garden entry.

 

🎄 Santa Claus, Christmas workshops & Christmas Trail   

Father Christmas will once again be occupying the Head Gardener’s Office, where the whole family can meet him by the log fire and receive a beautiful traditional gift! Children (of all ages) can write and post their letters to Father Christmas between the 15th-24th December, as well as trying their hands at Heligan’s Christmas workshops and following the magical Christmas Trail around The Lost Gardens.

For full details on all Heligan Christmas events check the website www.heligan.com

 

🎄 Heligan By Night

Throughout December, internationally renowned light artist Ulf Pedersen returns to The Lost Gardens of Heligan to reveal more of the night time magic of Heligan’s historic plantings.  Check out the Website www.heligan.com for timings and dates between 12 December and 5 January 2019,  then come down to the Lost Gardens and journey through an after dark world and delight in the incredible textures, colours and atmosphere created by Pedersen’s thought-provoking illuminations.  New for this year Heligan will also debut a selection of Pederson’s unique sound and light installations, creating a dazzling nocturnal immersive experience.

    

Ulf works closely with raw materials of the site, using light and colour as his essential tools, often combining these natural or architectural elements with new architectural forms he has designed.  Over 15 years he has travelled internationally bringing his work to locations from Oxford Botanical Gardens to Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Tickets for the event are £6 per person and are for timed ticket slots.

 

And, don’t forget:  Remembrance at The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Remembrance Sunday holds a special place in the hearts of those at Heligan as they continue to remember the ‘Lost Gardeners’ of the pre-1914 Heligan Estate. This year, Remembrance Sunday is all the more poignant, as it marks the end of the centenary period.  As the clock strikes 11, visitors will be invited to join Heligan staff in the Melon Yard to observe a two minutes silence. The ceremony will include a dove release and conclude with a live musical performance.

Then, at 11.30am a brand-new art exhibition ‘In Their Name: Don’t Come Here to Sleep or to Slumber’ by South African artist Lize Krüger, will open in the newly restored, Gardeners’ Bothy, previously unseen by visitors.   ‘In Their Name: Don’t Come Here to Sleep or to Slumber’ is a collection of three stunning artworks all brimming with deep symbolism and meaning; portraying the inter-relationship between the garden and its men and conveying the resilience of the garden, its gardeners and soldiers.