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Colourful, Scented Container Plants to Plant and Sow Now!

Containers filled with your favourite coloured flowering plants can bring so much joy to you, and to the bees and butterflies in your garden.

Beautifully scented plants are always top of my list.   The dwarf, compact, lavender cultivars, known as Lavandula angustifolia, are such lovely options for containers in a sunny spot, where their calming, soothing fragrance can be welcomed and enjoyed by all.  

Protecting your Plants from Slugs and Snails

For many gardeners, the slug and snail population seemed to explode in 2016, with many fraught and distressed gardeners asking for my advice on the best way to protect their plants from slugs and snails.  I am strongly opposed to slug pellets.  I wouldn’t wish to kill any of the slugs or snails in my garden as I believe a healthy eco system is important.

Peat Free Compost and Winter Flowers

Peat Free Compost

Last summer, I ran a Peat Free Compost Trial to compare the different peat free composts available, and find out how well each of the composts performed growing dwarf French beans under the same conditions.  In my trial, Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Vegetables and Salads, and Dalefoot Double Strength Wool Compost were the clear winners producing healthy plants with a great harvest.

My RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

If you’re looking for some time out, a lovely and relaxing activity that you can take part in this weekend is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017 – simply spending a restful, restorative hour watching and counting birds.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is a delightful activity to share.  You could snuggle up by the fire and count the birds you see from your window, or wrap up warmly to count birds in the park, or at your allotment.  

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017

Life can be busy and stressful, it’s not always easy to make time to stop, relax, and appreciate the beauty of nature.  If you’re looking for some time out, a lovely and relaxing activity that you can take part in this month is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2017 – spending a restful hour watching and counting birds.

Hedges often provide food, shelter, and a nest site for garden birds.

Book Review – Gardening for Butterflies

Gardening for Butterflies: How you can attract and protect beautiful, beneficial insects
The Xerces Society
ISBN: 978-1-60469-598-4

Published by Timber Press

Gardening for Butterflies: How you can attract and protect beautiful, beneficial insects by The Xerces Society, is published by Timber Press.

I live in the UK.  I very much enjoyed reading Gardening for Butterflies, I found it very interesting to read about the butterfly species that live in America, their preferred nectar and larval host plants, and the challenges that these butterflies are facing.  

Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’

Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’.

I received this beautiful holly as a gift from a group of very special friends this autumn.  This Ilex ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ specimen was purchased from Squire’s Garden Centre in Milford, Surrey, where it was described as an ‘Instant Impact’ plant.  This standard holly cost £99.99, the plant is guaranteed by Squire’s for three years from the date of purchase.  

Big Butterfly Count 2016 in the Sunshine

This year Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count starts on the 15th July 2016, and runs until the 7th August 2016.  During this time, if you want to take part, you simply spend 15 minutes, in the sunshine, counting butterflies and day-flying moths.  You can choose to take your Big Butterfly Count in your garden, or a friend’s garden, or a garden open to the public, in a forest, at a park, in a field, meadow or nature reserve, or whilst you’re taking a walk.  

Big Butterfly Count 2016

The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey of butterflies that we can all take part in.  This year Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count starts on the 15th July 2016, and runs until the 7th August 2016.  During this time, if you want to take part, you simply spend 15 minutes, on a sunny day, counting butterflies and day-flying moths.  You can choose to take your Big Butterfly Count in your garden, or in the gardens of your school, college or university, in a forest, at a park, or nature reserve, or whilst you’re taking a walk.  

How to help Hedgehogs

I love hedgehogs!  Hedgehogs are so endearing and entertaining, every time I have seen or encountered a hedgehog has been such a special and uplifting moment.  Each hedgehog I have seen shuffling along or snuffling about has touched my heart and lifted my spirits.

Sadly nowadays there are many threats to hedgehogs – they’re in danger as they try to cross our busy roads, but even away from the roads, hedgehogs face many dangers in our own gardens, because of these dangers, hedgehogs are becoming more scarce, and these delightful, charming, and loveable creatures are now endangered.