Embracing the Great British Weather: Rediscovering the Joy of Staycations

Embracing the Great British Weather: Rediscovering the Joy of Staycations

Staying in the UK this summer?  Embrace the unpredictability of the British weather, seize the opportunity to explore, and make the most of every moment. After all, the best adventures are often found right in our own backyard.
Nourishing the Soul: The Vitality of Self-Love and Self-Care in a Busy World

Nourishing the Soul: The Vitality of Self-Love and Self-Care in a Busy World

Incorporating self-care rituals into our daily lives is essential for nurturing our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  Take a moment to pause, breathe, and indulge in the simple pleasures that bring joy and nourishment to your heart and soul.
Bridging the Miles: The Importance of Mental Health Awareness and Connection

Bridging the Miles: The Importance of Mental Health Awareness and Connection

In a world where distances seem to shrink as technology advances, it's easy to assume that staying connected with loved ones across the miles is a breeze. Yet, amidst the flurry of emails, texts, and social media updates, we often overlook the importance of genuine connection and its profound impact on mental health. 
Celebrating National Pet Day: Cherishing Our Furry Friends and Promoting Their Well-being

Celebrating National Pet Day: Cherishing Our Furry Friends and Promoting Their Well-being

In the spirit of National Pet Day, what better way to show appreciation for our four-legged friends than by treating them to something special?
Unlocking the Charm of Online Shopping: Supporting Independent Retailers in the UK

Unlocking the Charm of Online Shopping: Supporting Independent Retailers in the UK

In the dynamic landscape of retail, online shopping has emerged as a game-changer, offering convenience, variety, and accessibility like never before
Easter Weekend Fun: 5 Exciting Activities for Small Children + Gift Ideas!

Easter Weekend Fun: 5 Exciting Activities for Small Children + Gift Ideas!

Easter weekend is upon us, and it's the perfect time to create unforgettable memories with your little ones.
Time to Get Real - Focus on the Job at Hand

Time to Get Real - Focus on the Job at Hand

The last day of January!!  Thank goodness!

January is possibly my least favourite month of the year,  except for 1993 when my first born arrived - that was a good year!  It's the barrage of self-improvement, do this, don't do that, messages combined with dark mornings, dark nights and generally gloomy weather that does nothing to revive my spirits for the start of the year ahead.

Tomorrow will be different.

Already the days are getting longer.  It's a lovely feeling to leave work and it's not pitch black.  You know that in a few short weeks the weather will improve, buds will start to show and moods and spirits will lift in anticipation of Spring.  As Love Unlimited sang, "It may be Winter outside, but in my heart it's Spring"!

The promise of warmer days, more time outdoors gets me to planning.

Not planning dry February, or 100 press ups a day, I start planning my garden.

What will I grow this year.  Is it worth fighting the grubs for my organic veg?  Is the work planting from seed better than just buying trays of bedding plants?  What colour am I painting fences and furniture?

It's now that I start my check list, feel free to use mine if it's of interest!

Plant Regeneration

Trim back hedges and shrubs to avoid those ugly woody stems that develop over the years.  Prune back old stems to encourage new shoots in the spring.

Roses are an example of a plant that benefits from regeneration (but not all roses).

Winter Tip: When all the leaves have fallen make time to clear unwanted or poorly looking plants and feed the soil.  It might be a good time to plan your display for spring on this new blank canvas?

Did you know? All wild nesting birds are protected by law. These means that you cannot deliberately disturb a wild birds nest between 1st March and 31st July. For many woody plants, winter is the best time for pruning and it avoids disturbing wild bird nests.

Know your plant before you prune!  Different trees, shrubs and climbers all have different needs and at different times of the year:
Winter pruning often involves cutting back woody growth and therefore takes longer and results in large amounts of cuttings. By getting these jobs out of the way in the off season you’ll be free to concentrate on the planting and maintenance in the spring and summer.  Your garden will look better and you’ve spread the workload and cost over the year.

General Tidy Up. British winters can be cold, windy and frosty but we can also get quite warm spells too and weeds will continue to grow during a mild winter. By clearing the debris of leaves and broken and damaged plants you will improve the look and well-being of the garden. Good garden hygiene also helps to reduce diseases. Sweep away leaves and moss from paths and hard ground.  Leaves will fertilise weeds allowing them to establish themselves in cracks and paths.  Regular weeding means less weeding.

Winter Planting. Some plants (like roses) lie dormant in the winter and so can be moved.  As long as the soil is not frozen or waterlogged, these dormant plants can be planted before they 'wake-up' in the spring.

Bulbs such as crocus, tulips and iris are often planted in late autumn. Herbaceous plants (Daffodils, cyclamen and periwinkle) are often divided and replanted in early spring depending on your local climate.

Only heavy frost and snow will stop a keen gardener!

Soil Preparation

Winter is a good time to re-design ready for spring.  If you want to add a new border, feel free to leave the soil in clumps as the cold, wet and frost will help to break it down naturally, it will also kill off any pests by exposing them to natural predators such as birds and the hedgehogs you’ll attract using the seeds from the Spring Seeds, Winter or Nature Seeds gift boxes.  The same rules apply to any vegetable plots.

Is your lawn a state? Often if you have pets and/or kids your lawn area will take a hammering over summer and so the winter is a good time to remove sections of turf, add/remove soil and relay. Lawns can be reseeded and grass grows if the temperature is above 5 degrees.

Landscaping Repairs

Now that you can see your garden in its bare bones, what repairs are needed?

- Repair any leaks on sheds and greenhouses

- Invest in a water butt

- Create or purchase a compost bin

- Repair and paint fences and furniture

- Repair any loose paving slabs

- Pressure wash paths and patios

- Build or buy a bug hotel

When you have a list of hard graft jobs like this to consider you certainly don't need a January exercise plan!

Check out our Garden Collection for gifts that will inspire your green fingered loved ones!  You'll also find some garden inspired gifts for Mother's Day too.

 Spring is about to spring - and I for one can't wait!

 

Heartfelt Gestures: 5 Ways to Show You Care Without Breaking the Bank

Heartfelt Gestures: 5 Ways to Show You Care Without Breaking the Bank

Most meaningful gestures often come from the heart, not the wallet. In this blog post, we'll explore creative and thoughtful ways to show you care without spending a lot of money.
Embracing New Beginnings: The Power of New Year Resolutions

Embracing New Beginnings: The Power of New Year Resolutions

New Year resolutions are like a blank canvas—a fresh start that allows us to envision a better version of ourselves and strive towards personal growth. It's a ritual deeply embedded in the human psyche, fuelled by the innate desire to improve, evolve, and make positive changes in our lives.
Unlocking Savings: The Advantages of Online Shopping in the January Sales

Unlocking Savings: The Advantages of Online Shopping in the January Sales

From the comfort and convenience of your home to the global marketplace at your fingertips, the online realm enhances the traditional sales experience. Embrace the digital era to unlock savings, access exclusive deals, and make the most of the January sales without the hassle of in-store crowds. Happy shopping!
Embracing Tranquility: A Guide to Relaxing Over Christmas

Embracing Tranquility: A Guide to Relaxing Over Christmas

This Christmas, give yourself the gift of tranquillity and embrace the magic of the season with a calm and open heart.
Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Christmas Gift Ideas for Couples

Christmas is a wonderful time and there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the smile on your loved ones faces when they open a well thought out gift box