My wife Pat and I are involved in ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ along with 37 other groups, we are known as Forest Road Greenbelt Garden’s. This competition was set up to encourage the improvement of our community gardening through innovative use of trees, plants and shrubs.
Our wildlife area, that we set up early on in the year, is well established. It is completed with a blue tit’s nesting box and we have seen a lot of fish in the stream along with 2 king fisher’s that we have not seen for a long while. 2 families of duck’s have also been raised on the stream which we have fed with corn and they have got quite used us. I have also built a bug house and bee hive that I built for our ‘wildlife haven’.
We have also had plenty of bees and butterfly’s on the wild flowers.
I have also been trying out Thompson & Morgan’s Incredibloom® and the plants are thriving. I have never had so many flowers, the climbing petunia’s and begonia’s love it as you can see.
We have also set Bob the Builder’s wheel barrow with it.
We have planted our Begonia Whoppers in the front garden and everybody just loves them.
Al the Best
RHS launched National Gardening Week three years ago and has since grown into the country’s largest celebration of gardening. With a variety of events, there will certainly be something for you to dip into and enjoy the spirit of this celebration.
2014 sees the 50th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom. To celebrate the UK’s biggest volunteering project National Gardening Week will be centred on ‘communities’. Every year is great success with charities, retailers and organisations coming together so why not you? Whether you decide to be creative and host your own event, or simply visit a local one, get involved and become a vital part of this tremendous week.
You may be putting your creative caps on and thinking of what you can do, so here are some ideas to get you on your way;
- Create a sensory garden – Would your community benefit from a tantalising garden for your children? Sunflowers are ideal for sensory gardens as they are bright
- Plant a tree – Encourage our wildlife and make an aesthetic area for a new tree in celebration. Native trees are best for encouraging wildlife such as Hawthorn and Oak. However, if you fancy something more ornamental try one of our Crab Apples or Cherry Trees.
- Create a local competition – Bring your community together and register your event on the National Gardening Week website
For more ideas visit: http://bit.ly/PQkGJW
Dig deeper and find an event near you: http://www.nationalgardeningweek.org.uk/Events.aspx
Please keep us here at Thompson & Morgan updated with your adventures this week via our facebook and twitter pages. We would love to hear about your gardening adventures!
Win a Wildflower Collection plus 10 packets of Wildflower Seed worth over £40
This competition is now closed. We’re delighted to announce that the winner is Emma Squire from Leicestershire. Please visit our main competitions page for more chances to win prizes.
Win wildflower plants and seeds
This week is National Gardening Week and to celebrate we’re giving one lucky reader the chance to win a Wildflower Collection. Wildlife is on the decline and creating your own mini meadow will attract beneficial insects and birds to your garden, many of which will act as pollinators and natural pest control!
The Wildflower Collection contains 20 Postiplugs™ – 2 of each variety – of foxglove, self-heal, lady’s bedstraw, ox-eye daisy, cornflower, ragged robin, field scabious, common knapweed, meadow buttercup and teasel. PLUS you’ll receive 10 packets of Wildflower Seed worth over £40!
These wildflowers will come back year after year and create a riot of colour and interest in your garden. Sprinkle the packets of wildflower seeds amongst the plug plants to create the perfect meadow.
For more information on the Wildflower Collection please click here.
How to enter
To enter the competition simply post a comment on any of our blog posts. The competition closes at midnight (BST) on Sunday 21st April 2013.
Entry into this competition is free. By entering this competition you agree to the competition terms and conditions detailed below.
There is one prize of one wildflower collection plus 10 packets of wildflower seeds worth £40 each.
The competition closes at midnight (BST) on Sunday 21st April 2013 and the winning entry will be drawn on Monday 22nd April 2013. The winner will be notified by email by 5pm on Monday 22nd April. All entries received via comments on the blog between now and the closing date will be included for a chance to win. No cash alternative available. Thompson & Morgan UK accepts no responsibility/liability for any and all electronic, network, computer or other technical malfunctions or any human error that may occur on collecting, processing and transmission of data. In the event that comments entered for the draw become corrupted or are deemed to be unsuitable for publishing or spam, these comments will be excluded from competition. Entrants agree to be bound by these rules.
National Gardening Week starts next Monday and focuses on growing wildflowers…
Support wildlife by growing wildflowers
Wildlife in gardens has been on the decline for the last 50 years, mostly because of a reduction of wildflowers in the countryside.
The aim of this year’s National Gardening Week is to encourage people to grow more wildflowers in their own gardens and to create wildflower ‘meadows’ – you can do it in a small patch of garden, it doesn’t have to be a large space!
Events are taking place across the country, including garden tours, activities for children, ‘mini-meadow’ workshops and many more. You can even register your own event – click on the links on the National Gardening Week website to find out how to organise an event.
Plants for pollinators
RHS Perfect for Pollinators – look out for this logo
Look out for the ‘RHS Perfect for Pollinators’ logo in Thompson & Morgan’s catalogues and in its online range. The RHS also has a page dedicated to plants that attract wildlife.
Plants for wildlife
Cornflower ‘Blue Diadem’ – attracts bees, butterflies and birds
Find out more about growing plants to attract wildlife – our ‘Plants for Wildlife’ page features a wealth of information on what you can sow and grow in your own garden to help beneficial insects and birds.
You’ll find lists of spring-flowering, summer-flowering and late summer/autumn-flowering plants to help you choose the right plants for your garden at the right time.
Honeybee populations at risk from neonicotinoid pesticides
Neonicotinoid pesticides taken off the shelves…
Bee numbers have been in serious decline for some time now and neonicotinoid pesticides are thought to have contributed to the worldwide fall in numbers.
According to recent news reports, 5 more major garden centres have agreed to stop selling products containing neonicotinoids. This brings the total of retailers removing these insecticides from their shelves to 8 and includes B&Q, Wickes, Homebase and Notcutts.
Following extensive research into the effect of neonicotinoids on bee populations, the EU has proposed a 2-year ban on the use of the pesticides on flowering crops across the continent. However, the UK government is openly opposed to the ban, claiming that there isn’t enough evidence to prove that the chemicals are to blame.
But it’s not all good news for bees – Asian hornets, 3cm long beasts that prey on bees, are set to invade Britain. Native pollinators including honeybees and wasps are at risk from these hornets, which pose a threat to honey and crop production and have the potential to devastate hives.
You can help bees in your own garden, by growing bee-friendly flowers that will give them a year-round supply of food. You can also build a simple bee house out of old flower pots and bamboo canes. Click here to read our article on saving bees.
Also in the news this week, clopyralid (found in some weedkillers) has been found to remain in compost and and cause damage to garden vegetables. The use of clopyralid is banned in many US states, but is still available to amateur gardeners in the UK, in the form of weedkillers such as LawnClear 2 and Verdone Extra. The main concern with using these weedkillers is that gardeners are then adding treated grass clippings to their compost, which in turn gets used on vegetables. Clopyralid remains active for many years and can severely damage crops, even in small quantities. Tomatoes, peas, sunflowers, potatoes lettuce and spinach are particularly susceptible. The fear is also that it could endanger the status of any organic farms using contaminated manure or compost.