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Super Surrey Spring Gardens

April is such a magical time of year!  It’s quite simply awe inspiring to see the landscape being painted by mother nature in every beautiful shade of green, as more leaves unfurl and the view becomes ever greener each day.  I love to be outside, surrounded by the birds singing and bees buzzing.  On warm days you may see butterflies flying: look out for the green toned Brimstone butterfly this month. 

Sustainable Gardening Ideas

I love our planet, I love plants and nature.  I want to protect our environment.  I want to live more sustainably.  Sustainability is not a new desire for me, it is something that I have always aspired to.  Firstly though I must tell you that I am far from perfect, I make mistakes and I am always learning.  I want to improve, I want to make changes to live more sustainably and to live ethically. 

Heritage Open Days 2017

The Heritage Open Days are four very special days of the year, where you can experience local history, culture, and architecture, and visit special places which are normally closed to the public, as well as enjoying free entry to places that charge an admission fee.

The 2017 Heritage Open Days will be held from Thursday 7th September 2017 to  Sunday 10th September 2017.  

RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, supported by Viking Cruises, is the world’s largest annual flower show!  This family orientated Show covers 34 acres of ground, occupying both sides of the Long Water, in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace.

This year Garden Designer Juliet Sargeant has designed the RHS Kitchen Garden, which has been created to showcase a number of innovative methods used to grow edible plants.  

Exotic butterflies in the Butterfly Dome, at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017

Visitors to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017 can experience exotic butterflies from Asia, Americas and other exotic climates, inside the Butterfly Dome.

Butterflies are again a special feature of the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2017.  I love butterflies, so for me the Butterfly Dome is one of my favourite features of this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.  

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.  

Beautiful, Easy to Grow Cut Flowers to Sow in April

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite cut flowers; these beautiful, easy to grow flowers, don’t require any cosseting.  You can sow these flowers from seed this month, directly where they are to flower, so there’s no messing about with potting seedlings on, and no need for a greenhouse or any special kit or equipment.

There are so many fabulous varieties of Nigella available.  

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.