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!

 

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
Reduce Stress and Gain Back Time.  Ideas and gift suggestions for busy individuals.

Reduce Stress and Gain Back Time. Ideas and gift suggestions for busy individuals.

How do we find that work/life balance and sustain it so that we make time for us, reduce stress and find our inner peace?
How Time Flies - 3 Years On and Gifting has never been so easy.

How Time Flies - 3 Years On and Gifting has never been so easy.

It's been almost three years since we first launched Ooh-Box and it has certainly been a "journey".  In truth, if someone asked me would I do it now - I think I would probably say "No"! but so much time and love and energy has been invested and it's been slow - but then Rome wasn't built in a day!
Top Tips for Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter: A Gift for the Green-fingered

Top Tips for Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter: A Gift for the Green-fingered

Getting your garden ready for winter is a crucial task for any dedicated gardener. These essential jobs not only protect your plants from the harsh winter elements but also set the stage for a successful growing season when spring arrives. So, roll up your sleeves, grab your garden gloves, and get to work preparing your garden for the winter ahead. Your efforts now will be rewarded with a beautiful and thriving garden in the seasons to come.
The Art of Finding the Perfect Gift: A Journey of Thoughtfulness

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It's important to acknowledge that finding the "perfect" gift doesn't always mean finding the most expensive or extravagant one. We all know it’s the thought that counts and why we at Oohbox have gifts for all occasions and to suit all budgets.
Unwrap Joy: Embracing the Delights of Our Online Gift Shop!

Unwrap Joy: Embracing the Delights of Our Online Gift Shop!

In a world that's constantly evolving, convenience has become our steadfast companion. Whether it's streaming our favourite movies or ordering groceries online, technology has beautifully interwoven itself into our daily lives. And when it comes to gifting, we've got the ultimate treasure trove waiting for you right here at Ooh-Box! Let's dive into the sheer delight and boundless benefits of choosing our virtual emporium for all your gifting needs.

 

  1. A Universe of Choices:

Picture this: you're searching for the perfect gift and your options seem as infinite as the stars. From new arrivals and new homes, through engagements and weddings, birthdays and beyond our online gift shop boasts a universe of choices all in one convenient digital destination.

 

  1. From Anywhere, Anytime:

Gone are the days of rushing to brick-and-mortar stores amidst our busy schedules. With our online gift shop, you can indulge your gifting spirit from the comfort of your home, your favourite café, or even during a lunch break at work. The 24/7 accessibility ensures that your thoughtful gestures aren't bound by time or place.

 

  1. Doorstep Delivery:

Imagine the excitement of your loved one as they receive a package right at their doorstep, a surprise that's been carefully selected and thoughtfully sent. With our online gift shop, you can eliminate the hassle of physically delivering presents. Let the magic of doorstep delivery add an extra layer of enchantment to your gifting experience.

 

  1. Last-Minute Miracles:

Life can get busy, and sometimes, gifting occasions sneak up on us. But worry not! Our online gift shop is your partner in last-minute miracles. With expedited shipping options, you can rest assured that your heartwarming gift will arrive just in time to make someone's day extra special.

 

  1. Expert Curation:

Navigating through a world of options can sometimes feel overwhelming. That's where our expert curation comes to your aid. Our online gift shop is designed with categories that make selecting the perfect present a breeze. Not only have we created collections for all events, our gift boxes contain beautiful pre-selected gifts that complement each other wonderfully.  All our selected pieces could stand on their own two feet as a cherished present for your loved one.  Whether you're shopping for a green fingered gardener, student, or newlyweds.  From baby to bath chair, we've got you covered.  All our boxes come wrapped in our signature crisp white wrapping complete with wax seal and option for a personalised card.

 

  1. Enhanced Payment Security:

Concerned about online transactions? Fret not! Our online gift shop takes your security seriously. We employ top-notch encryption and payment gateways to ensure that your shopping experience is not only enjoyable but also safe.

 

  1. Exclusive Deals and Offers:

Who doesn't love a good deal? Our online gift shop showers you with exclusive discounts and offers that'll make your gifting spree even more delightful. This means you can spread joy without worrying about breaking the bank.  Your first order comes with 10% off!

 

In this era of instant gratification and seamless connectivity, our online gift shop emerges as a beacon of convenience, joy, and boundless choices. Embrace the magic of technology and let it elevate your gifting game to new heights. From  tokens of love to doorstep-delivered surprises, every moment becomes a memory when you choose us as your gifting partner. So why wait? Dive into a world where gifting is as joyful for you as it is for the ones you cherish. Unwrap happiness, one click at a time!

Rainy Days, Happy Hearts: Fun-Filled Ideas to Entertain Children in the UK Summer Holidays

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Hello there, parents and caregivers! Are you facing the classic British dilemma of keeping the kids entertained during the summer holidays when the weather refuses to play nice? Fear not! As the rain clouds gather and the skies turn grey, we've got a plethora of delightful activities and handy gift sets up our sleeves to keep those little ones smiling.
Wedding gift ideas

Unveiling the Secrets to Choosing a Great Wedding Gift

Weddings are joyous celebrations filled with love, laughter, and the eternal question of what on Earth to give as a gift. Fear not, for I am here to guide you through the labyrinth of wedding gift selection and help you find that perfect token of congratulations. Let's embark on this delightful journey together!
The Great British BBQ - Ideas for Fun in the Sun

The Great British BBQ - Ideas for Fun in the Sun

When the weekends promise sunshine, what do we do?

Light the BBQ of course!

BBQ’ing is fun, it brings people together and when the weather is playing ball there is something so joyful about eating outside. 

It's Coronation Weekend!  Celebrate like a Royal!

It's Coronation Weekend! Celebrate like a Royal!

It's been 70 years, almost to the day since the last Coronation of a British monarch and I for one am very excited.  Saturday 6th May, with the celebration starting at 11am, this is going to be a memorable event indeed.
It's the season of Bank Holidays....and We Love it!

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We've just had Easter and the long weekend, and now we can look forward to May with the two traditional long weekends but for 2023 the bonus day in honour of King Charles' coronation!  Thanks Charlie xx