September Gardening Tips

By Monday, September 5, 2016 0 0

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.

Plant coriander

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.

 

Making the Most of your Late Summer Harvest

By Tuesday, August 30, 2016 0 0

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.

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GBBO & Competition: Baking Through the Years

By Friday, August 26, 2016 66 0

Let’s get baking!

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!)

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Advanced BBQ Techniques

By Friday, August 12, 2016 0 0

Advanced BBQ Techniques

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.

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Competition: Your Best Ever Holiday!

By Friday, August 12, 2016 84 0

Tell us about your favourite holiday!

Competition-Blog

We all love a good holiday – whether it’s jetting off to our dream destination to explore the world and experience new cultures and cuisines, or simply getting away from it all with a nice drink and forgetting all of your troubles, we love the opportunity for some time to ourselves!

But after all that’s done and you’ve come back home, all you have are the memories – and hopefully photos, because that’s what our competition this week is all about! Tell us about your favourite holiday, and share a photo from it, for a chance to win one of our fantastic Oasis Dining & Entertaining Collections, with a table, four chairs, a parasol and a parasol base – perfect for garden dining on lovely days, all-year round!

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We’ll be choosing our favourite photo and comment, and announcing the winner of our competition on Monday the 22nd of August! We look forward to seeing all of your entries, and wish you all the best of luck!

Beginner BBQ Techniques

By Friday, August 5, 2016 0 0

 

So the sun has finally come out and everyone’s looking to you to properly honour it in the traditional fashion through the burning of meat on an open flame. Before you begin, there are a few basic things you need to know in order to successfully host your first BBQ party.

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5 Tips For A Bee Friendly Garden

By Monday, July 25, 2016 0 0

5 Tips for a Bee Friendly Garden

 

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.

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2016 Garden Trend: The Indoor/Outdoor Switch

By Tuesday, July 19, 2016 0 0

It’s time to stop thinking of your garden as a separate entity to your home. The lines are blurring between indoors and outdoors: nature makes its way in to the house while comfort and style spill out to the garden.

 

Indoors

Houseplants have always been an essential feature for introducing warmth and life to a home, but there is a growing trend for more vibrant, more tropical and more varied growing arrangements indoors.

 

 

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5 Apps That Are Revolutionising Gardening

By Wednesday, June 29, 2016 0 0

 

 

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.

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