Enter the new year with new ideas for your garden. Ensure you stand out and stay in style by planning your horticultural look with inspiration from our top upcoming gardening trends for 2017. Here’s everything you need to know for the year ahead:
The number of hedgehogs spotted in English gardens has been steadily declining over the last few years. A study undertaken in 2015 by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society shows that the urban hedgehog population has declined by a third since 2000, and the countryside population by up to three quarters.
September is an important time for gardeners, with the transition from Summer to Autumn becoming crucial for deciding how you want your garden to look through the colder months and beyond. So here are a few ideas for what to do in your garden this month.
Prepare your winter pots and beds
As summer flowers begin to wilt, now is a good time to prepare the garden for winter. Replace flower beds and pots with simple, low maintenance, hardy plants that will continue to bring a touch of life to your garden through the colder months. Bedding plants like cyclamen, violas, primulas and polanthus will continue to flower every so often throughout milder periods, evergreen shrubs like ivy or thyme fill out a garden with green leaves, and tough plants like sempervivium will survive even through freezing temperatures. Plant your winter selections now to allow them to bed in a grow to an optimal size before the temperature drops.
Plant sweet peas
As one of the most popular flowering plants, there are hundreds of varieties of sweet pea, with breeders developing new types each year. The simple “White Supreme”, the blue flowering “Charlie’s Angel” or the frosted pink “Gwendoline” all provide a delightfully strong scent that makes them sought after in gardens. Plant towards the end of the month in fertile, well drained soil with as much exposure to sunlight as possible, and keep watered during dry spells. Use pea sticks, canes or trellises to support the plants and allow them to climb as they grow. They should begin to flower beautifully by late spring.
Many crops are reaching peak time for harvesting, but there’s still time to grow something new. Coriander, best used in Indian or Thai cooking, can grow well with limited sunlight to add a fresh flavour to autumnal dishes. Plant coriander in deep pots or flowerbeds and protect with a cloche during colder nights and you should be rewarded with a crop that lasts until winter.
Enjoy the outdoors with a fire pit
Though the evenings may be getting shorter, there’s still plenty to enjoy in the garden. If your summer beds are still in bloom and your garden still smells fresh and peaceful, don’t miss out by retreating inside. Add a decorative fire pit or chiminea to your garden and add some essential warmth to your September evenings outdoors. With many designs to choose from, an outdoor fireplace adds a contemporary touch to outdoor living, and becomes a wonderful, cosy centrepiece for friends and family to gather round.
Outdoor heating is available now at Gardens And Homes Direct.
As we sink deeper in to the tail end of summer, the hard work and patience put in to greenhouses, allotments and kitchen gardens is finally starting to pay off. The time has finally come to harvest those fruits and vegetables planted months ago with so much soil and hope. As mouths across the country alternate between being stuffed with fresh produce, and exclaiming how it “tastes so much better than what you buy at the shops”, eyes will be taking in the bowls and buckets spilling over with an endless supply of tomatoes, plums, courgettes with a growing expression that says “what the hell am I going to do with all of these?”
So before you start shovelling armfuls of radishes on unsuspecting friends just to get rid of them, here are a few tips for prolonging the life of your successful crops.
If you watched Wednesday nights episode of The Great British Bake Off, chances are you’ve had baking on your mind for quite some time! The first episode of the latest season, starring twelve new amateur bakers hoping to go pro, had our fresh-baked contestants tasked with baking a divine lemon drizzle cake, before trying to make heads or tails of Mary Berry’s famous jaffa cakes recipé (with crucial details removed, of course…) In the episode’s finale, the bakers had to pull out all the stops, and really impress the judges with a recipé of their own choice, resulting in some stunning creations (and a great big upset at the Star Baker decision!)
— Gowans (@tootsdeville) August 25, 2016
The sun is out, the beers are cold and the grill is on.
This isn’t your first BBQ. You know all the basics, you’ve heard all the safe beginner barbecue stuff – don’t start until the coals are white, ensure meat is properly cooked through, etc. But no-one got a Michelin star from just knowing the basics. It’s time to bring up your bbq game to professional level with some advanced tips for serious grillers.
The bee population worldwide has been falling rapidly over the last few years, and that’s a problem. It’s actually surprising how important these tiny insects are to the natural environment and our own lives. It’s thought that the pollination provided by bees affects up to a third of the food we eat every day. Apples, broccoli, sunflowers, coffee and cocoa beans may not exist without bees. Neither would many of the crops grown to sustain cows and other livestock, seriously affecting another part of our traditional diets.
If a small insect can have such a big impact on the natural world, then it should only take small changes to aid them. With that in mind, here are a few easy things you can do in your garden to encourage the bee population to thrive again.
If you’ve always considered gardening an analogue activity, uninterrupted by the technological advances that have taken over so many other activities, then it’s time to discover a whole new way to grow. Our smartphone-enabled modern world doesn’t have to always be at odds with the beauty of nature, sometimes it can actively help to enhance it. We’ve discovered five brilliant apps that are changing the way we grow things, and this short guide will demonstrate the simple steps that you can use them for to create a modern, flourishing garden.
It is officially National Barbecue Week, but what does that really mean?
We don’t know. We’re pretty sure it means nothing (have you seen how many of these “National events” exist? Where do they come from?!). Nevertheless, we won’t pass up the opportunity for a good barbecue!