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”

National Allotments Week 2017

Find out your local events: August 14-20

It’s National Allotments Week and this year the theme is Growing the Movement, paying tribute to the hard work done by all those people who give up their time for free.

Voluntary association management committees, plot- Continue reading “National Allotments Week 2017”

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”

RHS Britain in Bloom Awards 2017

Northumbria finalists in top gardening competition

Britain in Bloom
Northern Junior Community School, Fareham, previous winner of the Britain in Bloom School Award. Picture; RHS

Ponteland and Stanghow, near Saltburn-by-the-Sea, will represent Northumbria in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2017.

They will join 76 other finalists and were chosen for their commitment to environmental responsibility, high levels of community participation and outstanding gardening achievements.

This month, the finalists are being judged and the winners will be announced at the Britain in Bloom Continue reading “RHS Britain in Bloom Awards 2017”

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”

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?”