17th May 2017
We'll be at the lovely setting of Rode Hall in Cheshire on Sat 20th May for the Specialist Plant Fair organised by Flower Power Fairs and Plant Heritage. For those of you living locally we hope to see you there.
11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
24th April 2017
Many people imagine that the only way to tackle a shady patch is to turn it into a foliage garden filled with box, ivies and ferns. But too many dark greens can make a shady area look gloomy. Instead, use them for background structure and texture, then bring the area alive by making use of pale, pastel colours. White, cream, pale yellow, lilac, light mauve and pale pink show up best. Add variegated plants for splashes of cream, yellow and white.
21st March 2017
There really is no foolproof way for keeping
slugs and snails away but one plant they
don't like is Geranium Rozanne
20th March 2017
If you don't want a pond or don't have
room for one, a bog garden is a great alternative.
20th February 2017
The lovely 'Bressingham White'
Tough, vibrant and easy to grow
bergenias are wonderful plants for
this time of year says Alice Bowe
of The Times
16th January 2017
If you need easy hardy reliable plants
that can withstand unpredicatable cold
weather plant now and beat the cold snap.
Great article in The Times featuring
Alice Bowe's top choices including the
lovely Peony Duchesse de Nemours.
25th November 2016
Bees need flowers whenever they
are active and unfortunately there
are very few winter-flowering plants
growing wild in Britain so without
our gardens the bees would starve.
A good one to plant is Pulmonaria -
great for the bees but also provides
much-needed colour in the darkest
21st November 2016
Many of your herbaceous perennials
will benefit from a good chop around about now
24-30 Oct 2016 is Wild About Gardens Week
Wild About Gardens Week runs from 24-30 October 2016.
This year well be looking at steps we can take to support bats and other wildlife. There are lots of things you can do right now to support wildlife in your garden or community green space. http://www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/about
8th October 2016
Look after the bees in Autumn ...............
In autumn, old bumblebee colonies die and newly-mated bumblebee queens find places to hibernate. They may choose a hole in the ground, a compost heap or a spot under piles of autumn leaves. Late-flying species, such as the common carder bumblebee and the solitary ivy bee, may be seen. Honeybees only come out to feed during warm, sunny weather.
Kate Bradbury explains how you can help bees at this tie of year by providing food and shelter, in this lovely article at
10th August 2016
Did you know its National Allotment Week so what better idea than to rope the kids in during the Summer holidays great article packed full of ideas
15th July 2016
Interesting article on last week's Countryfile ? Presenter Tom Heap looking at calls to ban the import of pot plants into Britain for fear
of the bugs and insects that could be hiding out in the soil
Help reduce soil-borne problems and Buy British
12th July 2016
Bees Needs Week 9th - 17th July see how you can help with this great article
Show Season has nearly finished and already we are booking up for next year. A lovely new one for our calendar will be the RHS at Chatsworth Hall in Derbyshire - 7th - 11th June 2017. Tickets are already on sale
But in the meantime don't forget for those of you that live locally we are at Rode Hall Farmers' Market on the first Saturday of every month.
24th May 2016
Any garden created for wildlife must provide shelter and food for local fauna. It should include a good mixture of plants, including shrubs, trees and grasses, and nectar- and pollen-rich flowers.
As a general rule, native shrubs and trees offer the best choice for wildlife providing caterpillar foodplants for a variety of moths, and berries and seeds for birds and small mammals. Both native and non-native flowers appeal to bees and other pollinators, as long as the pollen and nectar is made available to them. Choose only single-flowered plants, which have an open habit. Many double flowers are inaccessible to insects, or have small amounts of nectar and pollen.
9th April 2016
Take off your running shoes and slip on your wellies, because doctors say taking up gardening is just as good as going to the gym.
Half an hour of digging burns 150 calories, the same period raking a lawn burns 120 and pushing a lawn mower for 30 minutes burns 165.
23rd March 2016
How to improve your soil - lets take a look
10th March 2016
Great news that Mary Berry and Alan will headline RHS Malvern Spring Show 5th - 8th May
17th February 2016
Have you ever wondered what happens to the butterflies when its cold and wet ?
8th February 2016
Lovely article from Gardeners' World on how to breed your own hellebores
24th January 2016
Jobs for January
Some great tips in this article from The Telegraph
Remember to put water out for the birds - it's their ideal Christmas present! It's especially vital on cold days when their usual water supplies have frozen up.
Visit the Wild About Gardens website for more seasonal tips:
Looking for an easy, low-cost planting solution? Try bare-root planting.
Here are 10 bare-root perennials to plant right now as recommended by
Gardeners' World Magazine
Dividing perennials regularly will ensure healthy, vigorous plants that will continue to perform year after year.
It also offers the opportunity to multiply your plants
great article from the RHS
Lets Go Wild About Gardens ...........................
Wild About Gardens is a joint initiative by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts and this year also involving Hedgehog Street to encourage people to support local biodiversity in their gardens. This is more important than ever. Two years ago,research compiled by 25 wildlife organisations found that 60 percent of the 3,148 UK animal and plant species assessed have declined in the past 50 years for a range of reasons including loss of habitat. Many of our common garden species hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings and common frogs, for example are becoming much less common. This is where gardeners can make a difference, by making their own gardens and the green spaces in their communities more wildlife friendly.
Organise an eventWhy not organise an event during Wild About Gardens Week to support hedgehogs and other wildlife in your neighbourhood. Post your event on the Wild About Gardens Week website so that others can find out about it and get involved.
For ideas about what you could do to help hedgehogs have a look through our resources at http://www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/downloads.
If you create a hedgehog hole, make sure you add it to the Hedgehog Street maphttp://bighedgehogmap.org
Ways to help save our honey bees
Adopt a beehive: The British Beekeepers Association has a fundraising Adopt A Beehive scheme for people who want to be involved in beekeeping but are not able to have a hive of their own. You receive honey-based products, a newsletter and information about local beekeeper events. Visit http://www.adoptahive.co.uk/
Make a bee-friendly space: Plant flowers such as asters, hollyhocks, foxgloves and sunflowers to attract bees to your garden and shrubs such as buddleias, hebes and hydrangeas. Flowering herbs such as rosemary and mint are also good and fruit trees are bee magnets.
Buy local honey: Local honey is much better for you than foreign supermarket honey because the flavour reflects your local countryside and the money you spend will be spent on beekeepers' costs so their honey bees can carry on pollinating local crops.
Let out your spare grounds: If you are lucky enough to have a big garden, especially in an urban environment, many would-be beekeepers will happily manage a beehive for you. The bees will do wonders for your garden flowers and fruit - without you having to get involved at all.
Become a beekeeper: Find a beekeeping taster course or become a beekeeper's buddy to decide whether you want to take up beekeeping. If you do, there are plenty of courses available to allow you to become a Master Beekeeper. For more information go to
To see butterflies in your garden, you need to entice them with the right flowers. Adult butterflies feed on nectar that they will take from a wide variety of wild and garden flowers, particularly those growing in warm sheltered places. Butterflies can be encouraged to visit gardens by growing a range of suitable flowers from March until frosty weather ends the butterfly season in October-November.
The RHS has a wealth of advice on their site at https://www.rhs.org.uk/Advice/profile?pid=649
RHS Plants for Bugs Project: a study into the garden plant origin preferences of invertebrates. The results are in and the RHS first paper focusing on pollinators has been published. Native plants alone may not be the best option for supporting pollinating insects in UK gardens!