Sure, a stuffed-out, summer-flowering hanging basket in full flow is a joy when hanging from a secure bracket on a well-maintained fence. But once autumn arrives, the plants fade and are consigned to the compost bin, what happens then? Of course, you can replace it with a winter basket. And that will last until spring, then begin to look a little tatty before summer bursts back on the scene. Or...you can plant up one basket to last the whole year round.
A good-sized basket is best. The compost doesn’t dry out as quickly and you can get more in there! Then a little bit of planning and planting and a 12-month-of-the-year display is possible:
After last summer’s project, your back garden now boasts a magnificent run of fencing; six-foot fence panels, gravel boards, matching fence posts and even finials beautifully frame your lawn, flower beds and vegetable patch. How about your front garden though? A threadbare garden hedge that’s been there for as long as you can remember? Clearly its time for an upgrade – wooden fence panels are the solution.
Featheredge and close board fencing
Perhaps you live on a main road and have children or pets to look after? The best fe
Everyone likes the idea of a bit of GIY (grow it yourself) but some are put off by lack of space. And a shortage of time. After all, allotment waiting lists can be long and a dedicated two days a week to keeping a plot ship-shape unfeasible. Never fear - if you have a fence panel you can be a top GIY-er. Honest.
A sturdy fence panel is the perfect support for runner beans. Planted in the ground or into large pots, plants will scramble and twirl in and out of slats and sections of a fence panel. Same thing goes for climbing French beans. Oh, and cucumbers, pumpkins and indeed anything that either climbs or usually flops on the floor.
As children, building dens in the garden was an instinct – blankets across the washing line, cardboard boxes upended and filled with cushions, and hollowed out hideaways under bushes. As grown-ups, have much better ways to create those special places from which to make the most of our garden. When it comes to truly maximising enjoyment of our outdoor space, a permanent garden shelter is simply a must. Easy to erect and near maintenance-free, these shelters offer a beautiful standout garden feature, without significantly increasing our workload.
So, which sort of shelter is right for your garden?
The chances are that it will either be an arbour, pergola or gazebo but, to make an informed choice about which one to purchase, it’s important to consider exactly what you intend to use it for and to understand their different
Imagine being an outcast on a desert island. All you can take are eight songs, a book and a luxury. Now the songs part is easy, the book simple, but the luxury? Hmmm, obviously (obviously!) it’s between a concrete or a wooden post. Now there’s a dilemma.
Concrete will weigh in heavier. A six-foot fence panel requires a heavy frame of concrete and they do need a couple of people to handle, manoeuvre and get in place. And once in place there is absolutely no tweaking or phrases like ‘don’t worry, the screws will bring it all together.’ Once in place that is the place. Forever. Wood, however, is slightly lighter, still heavy mind you, and - as with all posts and fencing - a helper is still a great idea. There is a bit of tweak-room with wood as it is a natural material and will be slightly more forgiving of a millimetre tolerance or two.
A short while ago, we caught up with Luke Jones, Project Manager of Energy Garden, to talk about the Energy Garden project, what it is, and how it is helping bring colour and life to some of London's busiest areas. Check out our interview below!
Our interview with Energy Garden
1. What would you say the main aim of the Energy Garden project is?
Energy Garden aims to bring communities together using the power of community gardening and community energy. We install environmental infrastructure and small renewable energy systems on the platforms of the London Overground and hand them to the local community. By doing this we are re-invigorating the civic pride that used to be commonplace in the communities around these public spaces.
2. The focus of the Energy Garden project is to provide on-site renewable energy for small scale station amenities. How do you work towards this?
Featured image: Darren Ema and Nicky planting some purple sprouting broccoli in the greenhouse
We caught up with Ken over at People and Gardens to find out more about their work and some of the projects they are involved with, how gardening can provide substantial health benefits, and who they work with within the community for their projects and wider aims. Take a look at our interview below.
Our interview with People and Gardens
1. People and Gardens was set up to help people with learning disabilities and mental health issues to develop work and social skills. How does your work benefit them?
The work enables them to achieve participation, presence, competence, choice and respect, which leads to the participants taking control over their own lives, and to feeling that they are valued members of society.
Last month, we caught up with SweetTree Farming for All to find out more about their Care Farm project and some of the other work they do with the community. Check out our interview with them below.
Our interview with SweetTree Farming for All
1. SweetTree Farming For All runs a range of activities and training for adults and young people. What sort of activities and training do you provide?
We run a few different projects, some at our own Care Farm in Mill Hill, SweetTree Fields Farm, and some are outreach projects around Watford and Hertfordshire. At our Care Farm, our ‘Let it Grow’ project for adults with a wide range of health/social support needs offers animal husbandry, horticulture, outdoor cooking, natural arts and crafts, shelter building and other bushcraft. It’s our own farm so we can do almost anything, and have our own sheep, donkeys, chickens, ducks and rabbits, with wooded areas, a warm and cosy yurt and an
Featured Image: Flagship Pond site Strensall Common is home to Pillwort and many other special pond plants and animals
Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to catch up with Becca Williamson, Communications Officer at Freshwater Habitats Trust, to find out more about their Flagship Ponds Project. Check out our interview below:
Our interview with Freshwater Habitats Trust
1. The Flagship Ponds project works with local communities and organisations to protect important freshwater pond sites across England and Wales. How many pond sites are you currently working on?
Freshwater Habitats Trust is working on 70 of the hundred or so Flagship Pond sites we have identified in the UK. These are the most important pond sites, the top 0.2% of ponds. They support some of our rarest freshwater plants and a
We managed to speak to guerilla gardener Steve Wheen from The Pothole Garden about his work, how he finds inspiration and why he creates pothole gardens, as well as the benefits of gardening. Check out our interview below!
Our interview with The Pothole Gardener
1. Your project involves planting miniature gardens in potholes to create unexpected moments of happiness. How do you think this helps to create happiness?
The project is all about turning something that annoys people and making it a little bit brighter. Potholes annoy everyone – cyclist, drivers, and pedestrians. My little gardens surprise people and make them smile.
2. What has the general reaction to your pothole gardens been?
In a big city like London,