Exercise is essential to everyday life. However, going to the gym every morning just isn’t possible for many of us. To keep fit and healthy, all you need is 30 minutes of non-stop activity a day…
That’s right. Just 30 minutes (or longer!) of gardening a day is enough to keep the doctor away. Activities such as weeding, mowing the grass, and planting bulbs can do wonders for the old ticker. Not only does it raise your heart-rate and gets your body pumping, but it also helps you get much needed fresh air and vitamin D.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, just 30 minutes of pushing the lawn-mower around the garden is just as vigorous as riding a bike or playing doubles in tennis. Perfect for those not used to more intense of a work out.
Like any workout, you want to make sure you’re taking the necessary precautions before pottering in the garden. This includes light stretching and building up your activities from light to moderate to ensure you don’t hurt or injure yourself. Any sudden movements or twisting of the body can cause more harm than good.
Gardening is a great form of exercise, and any amount of time you have in the garden is time well spent. Be safe when starting any task and always ask for help if you feel that you’re over-stepping your abilities. Better to be safe than sorry later!
Whatever the size, our gardens can help the environment in lots of ways. To help reduce the human impact on the environment and the world we live in, here are some fantastic environmental gardening tips to bring into your outdoor space.
Helps tackle pollution
Planting particular trees has been shown to improve local air quality. Garden trees do a great job trapping pollution particles, absorbing toxic gases and producing oxygen; this helps to mitigate the harmful air pollution that’s released from the engines of our cars and machines. The best trees to plant to help reduce pollution are maples including ornamental acers, silver birch, alder and conifers. Acers are a great choice for those with little outdoor space, as dwarf varieties are perfect for patios and pots.
Reduces noise pollution
Since many homes in the UK are close to busy roads, we have a few methods for soundproofing your garden and reducing unwanted noise pollution. Planting shrubs is one of the effective ways to lessen the noise in your garden. For instance, shrubs like Hollies and Junipers have thick branches at ground level, which can help reduce traffic noise. Once these shrubs reach maturity, they will create a barrier to stop noise travelling.
Why not try encouraging wildlife into your outdoor space? Plant pollinator-friendly plants and you’ll be joined by an abundance of pleasant, natural sound — which is a great distraction from external noise.
Protects natural habitats
Birds and squirrels need a natural habitat in which they can thrive — and the garden can be the perfect place for them. Planting trees and hedging is an easy environmental gardening technique to create natural homes for all the small local mammals. Fragrant flowers like spring-flowering Muscari or Roses also attract butterflies and bees, which are great pollinators who benefit the environment.
Reduces urban “heat islands”
As cities grow, natural greenery is replaced with concrete. These building materials become impermeable and dry, which causes cities to heat up, creating “heat islands”. Since gardens in London are 26% smaller than the national average, according to the Office of National Statistics, many city dwellers need to be practical when it comes to gardening. A rooftop garden can have amazing environmental and social benefits. Green roofs provide shade, remove heat from the air, and reduce temperatures of the roof surface. Using green roofs in built-up environments with limited vegetation can moderate the heat island effect, particularly during the day.
Loved by beginners and experts alike due to their superb flowering potential and minimal effort, it’s the well-loved Amaryllis bulb. Hippeastrum or Amaryllis bulbs are very easy to plant and will flower indoors during the winter months, producing spectacular showy flowers in a huge range of colours and shapes.
Indoor Amaryllis makes an excellent potted plant and are available in two different bulb sizes – the standard 26cm+ bulbs which will produce two stems per bulb, or our giant 34cm+ Amaryllis bulbs which are the largest on the market and will produce three stems per bulb.
We have a wide range of popular Amaryllis bulbs to choose from, which you can find here.
How to Plant Your Bulbs
To plant your indoor amaryllis, all you need are rocks for drainage, multi-purpose compost, a medium to large sized pot, and the bulb itself. Place your rocks at the bottom of your pot. All you need is a shallow layer which helps with drainage. Next, fill your pot with soil halfway and pop your bulb into your pot.
Put compost around the bulb so that it’s anchored in place, but don’t fully cover the bulb. Leave the tip poking out the top so that it grows properly.
Once you’ve planted your bulb, try not to over water it. This will cause the bulb to rot. After the amaryllis has stopped flowering, it can be made to flower again. Cut the old flowers from the stem after flowering, and when the stem starts to sag, cut it back to the top of the bulb.
Follow our simple step by step guide here or click on the link below to watch our garden expert Jeff Turner in our video tutorial on planting these winter flowering beauties!
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.
The housing market is quickly rebounding post-lockdown, with house sales running 28% above pre-lockdown levels according to the latest Zoopla House Price Index, and the need for outdoor space has come a popular trend for buyers and renters.
The Office for National Statisticsuggests that around 1.7 million people have been working mainly from home during lockdown, and since many people have not had the luxury of escaping into a garden, there is now a surge in people looking to move out of the city to more rural areas and get closer to nature. According to Rightmove, rental searches for gardens were up 16% this June compared to the average seen in January and February, which shows that the need for outdoor spaces has become an important factor for many people looking to move home.
Does a Garden add Value to a Property?
According to PropertyPriceAdvice, the potential value of a garden on property value can be up to 10%. Whether your property has a garden, decking or just a patio, with some simple maintenance you can transform your outdoor space into an asset for your property.
How can I add value with my
According to new research from Post Office Money, landscaping your garden could increase your property value by 77%. So to help grab attention from potential buyers, here are some simple home improvements to upgrade your garden
1. Cut the grass
A simple, freshly cut lawn is a great way to make a good first impression with potential buyers. Since the lawn is the first thing anyone sees when stepping on to a property, a tidy, well maintained lawn gives the impression that the whole home is maintained.
2. Potted plants
Versatile and mobile, potted plants are great for giving any garden a face-lift. Give your garden a fresh and presentable look for showing with bright, fresh flowers like whiteTulips in the springtime, or grow modern foliage Hostasfor summer pots.
When showing a garden, presentation is a priority. Make sure to clean up the garden by tidying up and pulling out any pesky weeds to keep your garden looking its best.
4. Create garden zones
If you have enough outdoor space, why not create some secluded zones to add a unique touch to your garden. By adding a garden shed or throwing up an outdoor screen to create a seating area, you can transform a standard garden into an interesting space for relaxation and entertainment.
5. Keep it Simple
According to Garden Design, low maintenance plants have become a big trend in 2020, especially foliage plants. Plants like Heucherasand Fernsare ideal for amateur and experienced gardeners alike as they require very little maintenance, as well as less watering and pruning than other plants.
Do you find watering the summer garden time consuming? With British summers getting hotter and drier, drought tolerant plants are the answer to growing a beautiful garden that can withstand the summer heat.
What are drought resistant plants?
Drought tolerant plants are specific varieties that are suitable for planting in dry conditions. They are perfect for planting in bright, sunny spots in the garden. Many drought tolerant plants have silver or grey-green leaves, their light leaf colour reflecting the harsh rays of the sun. Some have a coating of fine hairs on their leaves or stems, helping to trap moisture around the plant tissues.
Check out our favourite drought tolerant plants that will best adapt to the prolonged dry season.
Growing a sensory garden is simple way to create a space that’s not only amazing to look at, but great for mental well being. In our blog post, we’ll share what a sensory garden is and which plants we recommend to start off your very own sensory garden.
What is a sensory garden?
Sensory gardens should be filled with plants that activate all our senses; touch, smell, sound, sight and taste. To create a sensory space, focus on:
Scents that fill the air: Daphne, Philadelphus and Honeysuckle
Plants you can smellup close: Hyacinths and Muscari
Plants that make sound in the wind:Grasses and Bamboo
Plants that add texture: Eremurus, Gypsophila and Wisteria
Plants you can taste: Edible aromatic plants like Wild Garlic
Our Sensory Garden Starter Pack:
We’ve selected our special sensory favourites from our online range to start off your sensory garden journey.
Easy to grow and versatile spring plants. Enjoy the lovely fragrance of these pale blue, pea-like flowers in patio pots or around trees and shrubs.
Finding plants that can thrive in shade can be tricky, but there are plenty of beautiful options available. Instead of you searching the internet for shaded plants, we’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a selection of our favourite shade-loving plants.
From colourful bloomers to fresh foliage, discover our top five plants to brighten up those difficult shaded corners of the summer garden.
Many Viburnums are perfect for shady spots. They’re great for wildlife, produce gorgeous flowers and fruit and make a fantastic focal point in beds and borders.
2. Hardy Fuchsias
HardyFuchsiasare a hanging basket staple in the summertime. Their elegant drooping blooms brighten up baskets and window boxes, and thankfully, they can be planted in shade! Since they don’t like too much heat, these tender perennials can be placed in partial/full shade.
These fabulous shade-tolerant beauties are some of the best-kept secrets in the garden. You can easily set a shady spot alight with colour by planting bright and beautiful Heucheras. What’s more, these foliage plants perform all year round too, making them a magnificent choice for so many spots in the garden.
Can Hydrangeas grow in shade? Absolutely. In fact, many of the most common varieties of these bright and beautiful shrubs, like mophead and lacecap, are perfect for shaded environments.
Ornamental foliage plants have become a big trend in modern gardens. Low maintenance and high performing, they add bring a fresh and natural look to the summer garden. Ferns thrive in the shade, so they’re the perfect plants for growing fantastic displays in pots and borders.