January is an interesting time to look for birds in the garden, as days are short and the availability of natural food is limited. This brings more birds into gardens, for whom a reliable source of supplementary food can be a lifeline.
Whether it’s damp and mild or icy and cold, keep an eye on unusual visitors that may pop into your garden this winter. As well as the common species such as tits, house sparrows, blackbirds and robins, you may spot more unusual visitors as both countryside birds and winter migrants come into gardens in search of food. If conditions are cold then birds that usually don’t use gardens may come in for some sunflower seed or to drink from your supply of fresh water.
The blackcap is a British resident although rarely comes into gardens, and overwinters in the Mediterranean. However some German blackcaps overwinter in the UK, and are more likely to visit gardens, particularly in cold weather. Greyish all over, only the male has a black cap, the female’s is chestnut brown. Blackcaps feed on berries and – unlike other garden birds –seem to like the berries of beauty berry, Callicarpa bodinieri. They have a reputation for being a bit of a bully at the bird feeder, chasing off other birds and not letting them feed. So if they come into your garden you will know about it!
The UK’s smallest true thrush, the redwing is mostly a winter visitor from Scandinavia although there is a small number of breeding pairs in the far north of Scotland. It has a creamy strip above its eye and orange-red patches under the crease of its wings. It typically gathers in flocks, often with fieldfares, and roams the countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows on berries and windfall apples. It rarely visits
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African violet is perhaps the only full-blown paradox that can survive on a windowsill. On one hand, it is a celebrated show plant, with new cultivars eagerly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts. It has its own organization, the African Violet Society of America, and its own magazine, African Violet. A quick Internet search reveals that there are almost as many African violet sites as there are pages for sex and dieting. And yet, these plants are mass-produced by the hundreds of thousands and are readily available for a minuscule price from mom and pop garden centers, enormous mega-merchandisers, and a host of medium-size vendors.
Named for Karl August von Bergen, 1704-60, German botanist (Saxifragaceae). These hardy perennial herbaceous plants with large evergreen leaves were at one time called megasea, and were at another time included with the saxifrages. The flowers which come in early spring are showy in white, pink or red-purple, borne in large heads on long stems. The large leathery, glossy leaves are also decorative, especially as in some kinds the foliage is suffused with reddish color in winter.
In the ever-evolving tapestry of horticulture, 2024 brings forth a new chapter as gardens undergo a transformative journey guided by the latest trends. From the integration of nature into outdoor spaces to the tech-savvy approaches that are revolutionizing horticulture, this year's garden landscape is a canvas of innovation and sustainability. Join us as we delve into the heart of these trends and explore how they are changing the way we imagine, cultivate and experience our gardens. Step into a world where sustainability meets aesthetic expression, where technology blends with the natural, and where each garden becomes a unique testament to the creativity and conscientiousness of its caretaker. Welcome to the garden trends of 2024 – a celebration of greenery, diversity and the limitless possibilities that bloom in the outdoors.
The All About Plants category debuted in the Great Pavilion at RHS Chelsea 2022. This year, six gardens supported by Project Giving Back and designed in collaboration with a UK charity, will be on display. A grief garden, a skate park with a focus on edible planting, and a vibrant design that champions good gut health are just a snapshot of the gardens putting plants at the forefront of the design and keeping hard landscape at a minimum.
Some people get their kicks from designer labels, others from rummaging through flea shops, or collecting obscure Japanese comics, vintage tractors, handbags, dolls, beer-mats, Star Wars merchandise or whatever else. Me, I get mine from ordering seeds.
The Main Avenue of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the heart of the iconic event. An extraordinary opportunity for talented newcomers and experienced designers alike to showcase innovation, creativity and the transformative power of a garden space in the heart of the city and watched by an audience of millions. Tom Massey is back after his 2023 Chelsea Flower Show success, this year partnering with Je Ahn, and familiar faces Ann-Marie Powell, Matthew Childs, Tom Stewart-Smith and Robert Myers are designing show gardens supported by Project Giving Back.
With lockdown slowly easing there is a sense of hope in the air. The vaccination program is going really well in the UK and everyone over 50 has been offered their first jab. We’re all under 50 in our household, so our time hasn’t come quite yet, but hopefully will soon.
Last September my husband and I fulfilled a long-held dream of visiting Australia, when we decided to take a road trip from Brisbane to Sydney. When you look at the map, our trip marks only a tiny slice of this massive country, but we knew we wanted to take it slowly and really soak up the countryside and enjoy the places we did have time to see.
From the traditional bunch of classic red roses, to a theatrical spectacle of fern fronds and striking blooms, a bouquet of flowers can be a timeless or show stopping gesture of friendship, celebration, or romance. Yet, not all bouquets are created equal. Sustainability credentials, community impact, artistic craft and founder vision may be paramount considerations when choosing where to source your flowers, but we’ve taken the thorn out of the task by rounding up a list of pioneering florists around the country who are creatively inventive, sustainability-minded and will deliver a bouquet worthy of any special occasion.
Discover a gardening haven at diygarden.cc. Get inspired with our expert tips, DIY projects, and innovative ideas to create a beautiful and thriving garden. From plant care to landscape design, our articles, guides, and videos have you covered. Join our community of passionate gardeners and share your success stories. Find tranquility and harmony with nature as you nurture your garden. Let us be your guide on this rewarding journey.
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