Bamboo for smaller gardens: clumping v running

Avoid invasive running bambooS at all costs

Bamboo forest
No room for a bamboo forest? Then read on…

In one of my other jobs, I’m a gardening expert for Primrose, the online retailer, answering customer’s horticultural queries.

The one plant that people have the most questions about, outnumbering all others by 2:1, is bamboo.

The fashion for this Far Eastern giant seems to have beaten the Leylandii madness of the 1970s, where novice gardeners were sold ‘dwarf rockery conifers’ – in reality very young and eventually very big trees.
Continue reading “Bamboo for smaller gardens: clumping v running”

Recycled motor-themed outdoor bars

Bars made from tractors, trucks, tuk tuks, and oil drums

Tuk tuk bar
Tuk tuk bar. Picture; Smithers of Stamford

I usually stay away from expensive, ‘aspirational’ products but these recycled outdoor bars from Smithers of Stamford are first on my list if I win the lottery!

They’re recycled from industrial oil drums, old motor parts, reclaimed wood from boats. Some, like the VW Camper van, are one-offs, so get in quickly. In the meantime, I’ll make use of my TK Maxx oddments…

The Vintage Taxi Tuk Tuk Bar is repurposed by hand from an old taxi and has working headlights and plenty of storage space made from reclaimed boat wood for bottles and wine glasses. Price £1,188 (a saving of £700). Continue reading “Recycled motor-themed outdoor bars”

RHS Hampton Court: celebrities and children

Celebrity Theatre line-up announced

Chris Packham
Chris Packham

The line-up for Hampton Court’s Celebrity Theatre is led by TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham making his debut at the show, which runs from July 4-9.

He will be joined by fellow Springwatch presenters Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games, along with David Domoney, Charlie Dimmock, Pippa Greenwood, and Justin Fletcher from CBeebies.

The Celebrity Theatre is in a marquee overlooking the palace gardens, with stars talking about their passion for gardening, wildlife, and nature, as well Continue reading “RHS Hampton Court: celebrities and children”

Edging your lawn: experts’ top tips

Different Types of Lawn Edging

Lawn edging
Lawn edging – do you know which is best for your garden?

Many gardeners have found themselves making a disastrous attempt at installing lawn edgings only to find themselves killing the grass around them.

This might be due to underestimating the effect of the lawn edging, as they are quite small, with each piece only a few inches high.

While it is possible for homeowners to do this task on their own, proper care should be observed to avoid ruining how your garden looks. Continue reading “Edging your lawn: experts’ top tips”

International Garden Photographer of the Year competition

Thompson & Morgan sponsors new category for ordinary gardeners

Artichoke by Jason Ingram/IGPOTY
Artichoke. Picture; Jason Ingram/IGPOTY

Fancy yourself as a garden photographer? I don’t have a snapper’s eye, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed, but now everyone can enter the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY) competition.

Seedsman Thompson & Morgan is collaborating with IGPOTY to sponsor a new award, the Joy of Gardening.

You can enter images of Thompson & Morgan products that you’ve grown and winners will appear at the launch event at Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and have their photograph published in the annual IGPOTY book.

The winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Continue reading “International Garden Photographer of the Year competition”

UK flood risk survey fears

Homeowners fail to find out whether homes are at risk

Flooding fears highlighted in new survey. Picture; YouGov

Ten years since the devastating summer floods of 2007, which saw more than 48,000 homes affected by flooding, homeowners and landlords are failing to find out whether their homes are at risk.

It’s possible we’re all in denial, but a new survey says we’re ignoring the fact our homes may lie in flood zones, especially if we live in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Continue reading “UK flood risk survey fears”

Win hand-made bird box from WhisperLeaf Workshop

Unique prize made from reclaimed wood

Bird box
Win this charming bird box made from recycled wood. Picture; WhisperLeaf Workshop

Fancy winning this one-of-a-kind bird box made from ethically sourced 100 per cent reclaimed wood? Well, you can in this week’s competition, thanks to the lovely Phil Thompson from WhisperLeaf Workshop!

Phil, from Leeds, makes a host of lovely (and handy) items, including coat racks, candle holders, potting tables, all sorts of boxes and you can ask him to make anything you like.

See his latest creations on Twitter @WhisperLeaf1, on Etsy, on Facebook and Instagram. Continue reading “Win hand-made bird box from WhisperLeaf Workshop”