Garden centres’ pledge on neonicotinoids

Nine out of top 10 retailers working to prevent use – but not Homebase

Honey bees
Pressure is being put on Homebase to end the use of neonicotinoids

Environmental campaigners have welcomed pledges by leading garden centres to stop the flowering plants they sell being grown with pesticides linked to declines in bees.

Friends of the Earth (FotE) said its survey of 10 top garden retailers found nine did not want the plants they sold to be grown using three neonicotinoid pesticides restricted in the EU, and were working with suppliers to prevent their use. Continue reading “Garden centres’ pledge on neonicotinoids”

How to get rid of a moth infestation

Record numbers eating UK out of house and home

The common clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella)
The common clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella)

Are you suffering a moth infestation? We are and we’re not alone. Moth numbers have soared this year, thanks to a combination of a mild winter and warm spring.

Modern-day housekeeping habits aren’t what they were – in the past, people had few clothes, valued them more and we looked after them properly.

Now, thanks mainly to cheap fashion, we buy vast quantities of clothes and stuff them into wardrobes – dark, warm places where moths – silvery-brown, about a  can breed merrily undisturbed.

Moths can cost a fortune – the larvae eat carpets, wool, cashmere, cotton, etc – so how to get rid of them without calling in pest control? Continue reading “How to get rid of a moth infestation”

Late summer flowering perennials

Pep up borders with flowers until the first frosts

Echinacea Rudbeckia
Colour blast – Rudbeckia Goldsturm and Echinacea SunSeekers Pink for late summer colour

Have your borders run out of steam? It’s only August 1 and there are at least two months of display left – don’t let your garden fade into the background too soon.

The long border in my garden suffers every year. It’s at its peak from early May to the end of June, with Chaenomeles japonica Jet Trail, Rheum palmatum (ornamental rhubarb), foxgloves, sweet rocket, Welsh poppies, early lilies in pots, late tulips, the huge Weigela variegata all in bloom and the freshness of new foliage. Continue reading “Late summer flowering perennials”

Big Butterfly Count 2017

Count finishes on August 6 – hurry!

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough and the Big Butterfly Count 2017 identification chart. Picture; Butterfly Conservation

There seems to have been a marked drop in the number and types of butterflies this year and according to other gardeners around the country on Twitter, my garden is not alone.

It’s a worrying trend and it’s vital that we keep account of numbers every year – that’s why taking part in the Big Butterfly Count is so important. Continue reading “Big Butterfly Count 2017”

Gardening for the less able with Forest and Thrive

Forest’s Accessible Range donates to Thrive

Corner table planter
Corner table planter. Picture; Forest Garden

Here are some good ideas for gardeners with health issues, from whether you have trouble bending with a bad back to if you use a wheelchair.

Gardening is great to lift the spirits and can really help with mental health problems (I can speak from experience here) so it’s a delight to see Forest Garden’s Accessible Gardening range, created in association with the charity Thrive. Continue reading “Gardening for the less able with Forest and Thrive”

Should you keep cats indoors to save wildlife?

Does it have to be cat lovers v wildlife lovers?

George greenhouse
George – more interested in snoozing in the greenhouse – or is it all a front?

Do you, or would you, keep your cat indoors permanently to save garden animals? According to animal charity South Essex Wildlife Hospital, we should be doing so – I have a feeling many owners like me don’t want to think about the ‘true’ nature of our pets.

Judging by this Facebook post, they have a point (sic): “Todays hoard of sacrifices to the cat gods. 37 birds didn’t survive, another 22 along with a baby rabbit, a frog 2 slow worms, and a lizard are still fighting for their lives. Continue reading “Should you keep cats indoors to save wildlife?”