Heat oven to 200°C. Brush 1 sheet of puff pastry dough with melted butter, then gently press into a 9-inch tart pan, letting ends extend over edges of pan. Fold in edges of dough, slightly pinching sides to form crust.
Arrange the Pears
Arrange pear slices in decorative circles on the prepared crust. Sprinkle top with sugar, spices and cubes of butter. Bake 45 minutes until crust is deep golden brown and pear topping is cooked. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack; leave oven on.
Make the Caramel
While your tart is baking, in small saucepan over medium heat, heat sugar until dissolved. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, carefully swirling pan, until sugar begins to caramelize and turn amber in colour. Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt until combined. Stir in heavy cream. Continue to cook sauce for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and smooth. Remove from heat.
Decorate and serve
Carefully and quickly brush top of tart with caramel sauce. Be sure to brush both crust and pear topping. Bake the tart for another 10 minutes until caramel is melted and just begins to bubble. Return tart to cooling rack. Let it cool before slicing.
When should you pick pears?
It’s best to pick pears when they are mature but not fully ripe and let them ripen in the home. Simply, cup the fruit in your hand, tilt horizontally, and it should come away easily. You can then leave them indoors at room temperature for a week to ripen.
How do I store fruit tarts?
This pear tart is best served the day it is made; cool or room temperature storage is fine that day, but be sure to refrigerate the leftovers.
To celebrate October, we’ve been hosting a pumpkin hunt! We hid 5 pumpkins in the spring bulbs section of our online shop, and the first person that found all 5 would WIN A £100 VOUCHER! However, our eagle-eyed customers found our 5 pumpkins so quickly, we’re going to finish off the next two weeks of the competition with another round!
Our 1st winner is…🎊🏆
Kira.P. Congratulations on having such lightening fast pumpkin hunting skills! Kira has won our amazing £100 voucher prize to spend in our online shop.
Time for the answer list. The 5 pumpkins we’re hidden on:
When the days get colder and darker, nothing warms the soul more than bright and cheery indoor flowers. Perfect for showcasing around the table in the festive season, the elegance and delicate fragrance of indoor daffodilsare simply unmatched.
Grow time: 8-10 weeks
Soil: Peat moss-based potting mix
Temperature: After the cold treatment, keep cool, approx 16°C, while plants are in bloom.
When should I plant them?
Typically, indoor daffodils take between 8-10 weeks to bloom. For specific times, stick to this planting schedule:
For Christmas blooms: plant mid-October/early November
For January blooms: plant mid-November
How to Plant in Pots
Choose a wide pot about 6 in (15 cm) deep with drainage holes in the bottom. Cover the bottom of the pot with potting soil. Now, pop in the bulbs; they can be placed tight, side by side. Cover the bulbs with additional soil, leaving the top third of the bulb above the soil. Water well.
The Growing Process
Move pot to a dark, cool location such as a basement, unheated garage or refrigerator. Keep them in cold storage for about 8-10 weeks. Keep the medium barely moist.
When shoots reach about 5cm tall, bring the pot out of cold storage and place the growing daffodils on a bright windowsill. Rotate the pot daily for even growth.
Daffodils in Bloom
When in full bloom, keep potted daffodils in a bright location out of direct sun. Make your daffodils last longer by keeping the pot in a cool room.
With the leaves changing colour and birds singing, autumn is the perfect season to go and enjoy the wonderful beauty of nature. So if you’re looking for a nice place to go and wander, here’s our favourite natural beauty spots in the North of England to go to this autumn.
Dunham Massey, Greater Manchester
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and head to this delightful village for a breath of fresh air. This easy walking route follows a circular route around the impressive grounds of Dunham Massey Hall. Spend a frosty morning or sunny autumn afternoon trailing through the magnificent deer park with its 17th century mill and the tranquil Island and Smithy pools.
Allen Banks Ancient Woodland, Northumberland
Set on the steep valley sides of the river Allen, go on a spontaneous day out and explore the woods and see what wildlife you can spot on this gentle riverside walk. It’s the largest area of ancient woodland in Northumberland and has been here since at least medieval times.
Formby Woodland Walk, Merseyside
Take a leisurely stroll through the pine woodland of Formby. With many different paths to take, look out for red squirrels, sweeping coastal pinewoods, prehistoric footprints and dramatic sand dunes are just waiting to be discovered.
Wallington River Walk, Northumberland
Enjoy the river walk around the beautiful Wallington Hall grounds. With the trees changing colour, take a tranquil walk along the banks of the River Wansbeck, crossing over bridges, stepping stones and enjoying the local wildlife as you go. The perfect walk for any season.
Alderly Edge Woodland Walk, Cheshire
There are many different walks to take around Alderly Edge. Enjoy the stunning views from The Edge while avoiding the crowds at this popular tourist spot, or head south from Alderley Edge and explore quiet lanes, mixed woodland, field paths and find the remnants of the Birtles estate.
Do it yourself projects are on the rise this year. With many of us spending a lot more time around the home, sales within household goods stores were 9.9% higher in August 2020 than February 2020, mainly due to a rise in the desire for home improvement items, according to The Office for National Statistics. So, with lockdowns still present all over the UK, why not bring the DIY trend into the garden with these autumnal DIY gardening crafts.
Pick up a pre-made birdhouse from the craft shop or build your own. Then, paint it your favourite colour at home and hang it out in the garden. Avoid hanging your birdhouse in a spot that receives strong sunlight, rain and wind.
Tip 💡 For decorating, why not try painting your birdhouse in polka dots, stripes, or flowers!
Pallet Compost Bin
Composting is a cheap and easy to way to create your own nutrient rich compost to add to your garden plants in the springtime. Using leftover wooden pallets are perfect for those of you who are new to composting. To make a pallet compost bin you’ll need four pallets of matching size. Join together four pallets to create the back and sides, then stand them up and screw them into place. Now, you have your completed pallet bin!
Almost anything can be turned into a fun, unique planter. Tin cans and buckets can be painted and upcycled into fun small garden planters for patios. Whereas larger items such as tyres, chest of drawers and wheelbarrows can be given a new lease of life as a planter to create a feature in the garden.
A great one for the kids, these festive autumn front door wreaths will give your home serious autumnal curb appeal. All you need is a wire circular frame, some moss to form the base, and a bunch of your favourite flower and foliage. Simply bundle your foliage, cover the frame, and attach using floral wire all the way around the wreath.
With Autumn well and truly here, this month’s competition is celebrating the spooky season with an online pumpkin hunt!
This October, we are hiding 5 pumpkins in the spring bulbs section of our online shop. 5 products will have pumpkins in the product images and the first person that find all 5 will WIN A £100 VOUCHER! 💰
What do I need to do?
Locate all 5 pumpkins hidden in product images in the bulb section of our website.
All throughout September, we have been running our NHS Green Garden Giveaway. During this unpredictable year to thank our NHS, we asked you to nominate your local NHS hospital and we would select 3 to donate £100 worth of plants/bulbs to.
We want to thank everyone who joined in with the fun, we received over 200 entries from customers giving praise to their local NHS hospitals.
So without further ado, here are the winning establishments:
Its raspberry season, so what better time to make a deliciously decadent raspberry cheesecake? This rich and tasty no-bake cheesecake is incredibly easy to make, so it’s the perfect dessert to whip up on a weekday to impress the family without putting in loads of effort.
Combine most the raspberries (leave some for decoration later), sugar and lemon juice/zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, while stirring, until it is thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Pour into a heatproof bowl and cool in the fridge.
Make the base
Crush the digestive biscuits into a fine crumb (it should look like sand). Melt the butter on a low heat on the hob until it becomes liquid. Take off the heat and stir in the crushed biscuits until combined. Transfer the mixture into the cake pan and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan with a spoon to form the cheesecake base. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Make the filling
Place white chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan with simmering water. Melt over low heat. In a large bowl mix the double cream and cream cheese until smooth (use an electric whisk if preffered). Add powdered sugar, and vanilla extract and mix to combine. Mix in melted chocolate and set aside.
Arrange the cheesecake
Pour the filling over the prepared base, use a spatula to spread it evenly. Cover the cake pan in cling film and chill the cheesecake in the fridge for 6 hours (or overnight).
Decorate and serve
After the cheesecake has chilled, drizzle the coulis over the cheesecake and top with the remaining raspberries. Now you’re cheesecake is ready to serve!
Make it the day before you want to eat it – this cheesecake needs around 6 hours (up to overnight) in the fridge to chill and set.
To create a raspberry swirl effect in your cheesecake, after pouring the filling onto the base, pour some of the coulis onto the hot filling and use a chopstick to swirl the coulis into the filling.
For an extra zingy taste, add a teaspoon of lemon juice into your cheesecake filling.
If you’re harvesting your own raspberries this autumn, remember to pick on a dry day, then either use them fresh or freeze them for later use.
Did you make this recipe? Share your photos with us on our instagram page!
The king of spices. As the world’s most expensive spice, Saffron is celebrated around the world for its versatility in gourmet cooking. Originating from the filaments of autumn-flowering Crocus sativus, discover how to grow and harvest your very own gourmet saffron spice in the garden.
Steps for planting Saffron
Plant Crocus sativus bulbs anytime between August to late September. Space the bulbs around 6 inches apart and 4-5 inches deep in the ground.
Tip 💡 – Approx. 50-65 flowers will produce 1 tablespoon of Saffron.
Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 1
Saffron is so easy to harvest. Harvest time is in October/November once Crocus sativus start to bloom. Using tweezers, extract the red filaments of the stigma. After extraction, dry the saffron out in a warm, dry room.
Steps for harvesting Saffron – Part 2
Dry out the filaments for around 15-20 minutes and then vwala! You have grown your very own saffron, ready to use in your favourite recipes straight away.
Tip 💡 – If you don’t fancy using your fresh saffron straight away, store away in an airtight container for later use.
Bulb planting season has finally arrived. Create a beautiful garden, path or walkway with a profusion of spring-flowering bulbs. To spark some green-fingered inspiration, here are some stunning spring flower combinations that will shine in any outdoor space.
Crocus and Snowdrops
A beautiful early spring combination. These hardy, frost resistant blooms are perfect for adding life to the bare late winter garden. Snowdrops and Crocus are both naturalising bulbs, so you can enjoy their beauty year after year. Plant around shrubs, trees or scattered in the lawn for a natural effect.
Create this look with:
Alliums and Tulips
A bright and bold mid-late spring partnership. The statuesque blooms of Alliums pair wonderfully amongst the jewel-like tones of Tulips. This charming combination will create an explosion of colour for weeks on end.
Create this look with:
Daffodils and Pansies
This early spring combination is a breath a fresh air. These hardy flowers are perfect for creating a colourful display in the frosty air of early spring. Yellow daffodils and rich purple pansiesmake a striking partnership in beds, borders and pots.
Create this look with:
Hyacinths and Pansies
Looking to fill your garden with fragrance? Hyacinths provide colourful, fragrant blooms in mid spring. Paired alongside some beautiful bedding pansies, plant this combo along pathways, near a patio or in pots around a doorway to fully enjoy their beautiful scent.
Create this look with:
Tulips and Muscari
Tropical and exciting. A combination of Tulips and Muscari are the perfect late-spring partners. Underplant the tall stems of Tulips with the low growing blooms of Muscari for a hint of fragrance and to create a vibrant, clustered display.