Garden And Gardener

Everything for the Gardener and their Garden


by Diane - December 10th, 2018


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.

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.

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.

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

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:


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
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).

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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 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.


  • 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
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
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Lobster Pot Plant Support Rust
Lobster Pot Plant Support
Natural Rust
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Short Circular Plant Support Black
Short Circular Plant Support
Matt Black
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Tall Circular Plant Support Rust
Tall Circular Plant Support
Natural Rust
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Short Circular Plant Support Rust
Short Circular Plant Support
Natural Rust
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Tall Circular Plant Support Black
Tall Circular Plant Support
Matt Black
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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


🎄 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 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.


More than half of Brits abandon their garden every winter

by Diane - October 29th, 2018

More than half of Brits abandon their garden every winter


  • 40% of homeowners fail to prepare their garden for the harsh British winters

  • 52% don’t manage the upkeep of their outdoor space throughout the colder months

  • Experts offer their tips on how to look after your garden in winter with minimal effort


Who doesn’t love spending time in their garden when the summer sun is shining? But for many, the temptation to make the most of your garden furniture and the motivation to spend time preening your plants to perfection dramatically drops as the colder weather rolls in.

Outdoor building manufacturer, Tiger Sheds, surveyed the nation to unveil their garden habits, revealing that a massive two in five (40%) of Brits don’t take precautions to prepare their garden or garden buildings for the cooler weather.

What’s more, 52% completely abandon their gardens and fail to do any gardening throughout winter. Almost one in ten (9%) said that they don’t care for their garden in winter because they think that their plants will die regardless, and 8% said they would just replace anything that that is damaged by the winter weather – but at what cost?

As a nation we are keen to retreat indoors as soon as the chilly weather hits, with only 4% of Brits saying winter is the season they spend the most time caring for their garden. It seems the frosty weather is quick to discourage even the most avid gardeners from pottering around their outdoor space, with the cold temperature coming out as the number one reason to avoid gardening in the winter (67%).

The top four reasons people don’t garden in the winter are:

1)    It’s too cold to be outside gardening (67%)

2)    The flowers and leaves don’t come through until spring so there is little payoff (31%)

3)    Not spending enough time outdoors in the winter for it to be worth it (25%)

4)    Slippery surfaces (20%)

Abandoning our gardens while we spend less time in them may seem inevitable, however, experts from Tiger Sheds offer four top tips for homeowners to ensure their garden and garden buildings survive the frosty weather and all the money and time spent perfecting green spaces in the summer months does not go to waste.

Protect your garden buildings

Make sure to weatherproof your building before the cold weather hits to reduce the risk of rot in the damp environment. You can also help protect your outdoor building with a simple lick of paint! As well as giving your garden a new lease of life, applying a fresh coat of paint gives your building some extra protection for the winter.


Another tip is to check that the windows and doors of your garden building are well-sealed to ensure that water can’t get in and cause further unwanted damage.

Don’t abandon your plants

There’s still life in them yet! Keeping your plants warm and dry is key for their survival. If you can, move plants indoors to keep them out of the cold and rain. If this isn’t possible, try to keep your plants near fences and other sheltered areas. To shield your plants from frost, use a protective cover overnight.


Grouping your potted plants together and/or wrapping them in bubble wrap will also help to keep them warm and prevent them from freezing or getting blown over in the bleak conditions. It’s also good to keep your plants in pots with drainage holes so excess moisture from heavy rainfall can drain out.

Store away garden furniture

Garden furniture can easily get damaged in the winter weather so it’s a good idea to store it away, ideally in a garden shed, where it can be sheltered from the snow and rain. Despite being designed to be outside, the wet weather makes furniture susceptible to damage so it’s good practice to pack it away before winter kicks in.

Don’t forget to maintain!

Maintenance matters – more than half of the nation (52%) tend to forget to look after their gardens during the colder seasons. Gardening in the winter doesn’t have to be strenuous but taking some time to look after your green space will make all the difference. One key tip is to keep trimming away problematic branches to reduce the risk of damage that could be caused in harsher weather.


Although it may not be the first area you think of when it comes to looking after your garden, the winter can have harsh effects on your lawn, so it’s important to stay on top of maintenance. Make sure you clear up any dead leaves as these prevent the grass from getting sunlight and water. It’s also a good idea to fertilize your lawn to restore any nutrients lost as a result of the frosty weather.


Commenting on the findings, Jack Sutcliffe from Tiger Sheds said, “Understandably, it can be easy to ignore your garden in the winter, but it’s important to look after it throughout the colder months to ensure your green space bounces right back once spring comes along.

“These tips are easy to follow yet can go a long way in protecting your garden from the cold British winter and ensure all the time, effort and money spent taking care of your garden in spring/summer wasn’t in vain.”

For more information on how you can look after your garden and garden buildings in winter, visit:

Autumn Seating from Sadolin

by Diane - October 26th, 2018

Autumn Seating from Sadolin

Autumn Seating from Sadolin