Plants for a Christmas winter garden

It's amazing to think that it's possible to have a garden that has plants in full bloom on Christmas Day, at the height of winter, with such short, cold days. Here is some plants that are perfect for a winter garden. 
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Introducing the Perfect Solution for Creating a Beautiful Garden Pond this Christmas

As Christmas approaches, many people are searching for unique and meaningful gifts for their loved ones. This year, why not give the gift of nature with a preformed pond?
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The Garden and Nature Quiz Book

The Garden and nature Quiz Book is a selection of quizzes about gardening and nature.
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What are the benefits of having a water butt in autumn and winter?

Although the main benefit of having a water kit is to save water in summer, to water the lawn, veg patch and flowers. They do have some benefits in the autumn and winter months when there is a lot more rain.

Firstly, if you have a water meter installed, you will want to use the mains taps as infrequently as possible, to save money. So, you can use the water in your water butts to fill buckets to hand-wash the car, or for mopping floors, cleaning greenhouse glass panels, patios etc.

Another more communal benefit, is how it can slow the flow of water going down drains during periods of heavy rain, which can increase flood risk, and also use of sewage outflow pipes into rivers. (During high rainfall periods, these pipes are used to prevent waste water backing up pipes.) 

An Olympic swimming pool holds 2.5 million litres of water. If 6,300 homes , of a small town, all installed a 200 litre water butt double kit, (400 litres total), it would save 2.52 million litres from going straight into the drain network, during a heavy downpour. With an Olympic swimming pool worth of water saved in the water butts, this could lower the risk of some local flooding, and reduce the use of a nearby sewage outflow pipe into the river.

200 litre water butt double kit, available to buy here;

Image - Wiki creative commons / Kallerna

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How to grow citrus fruits in a cold climate

Citrus trees are not as cold hardy as most fruit trees, but there are a few varieties that can withstand colder temperatures. The cold hardiest citrus trees are the Kumquat, Satsuma mandarin, the Meyer lemon, and the Kaffir lime. These trees can tolerate temperatures as low as -9c (15F). Full article via link below.

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NEW! 100% natural plant essential oils


New aromatherapy gift set, that includes 12 different essential oils, made from plants. An ideal gift for Christmas.

Gift box includes

- 5ml Ylang III Essential Oil

- 5ml Lemon Essential Oil

- 5ml Tea Tree Essential Oil

- 5ml Lemongrass Essential Oil 

- 5ml Eucalyptus Essential Oil

- 5ml Lavender Essential Oil

- 5ml Rosemary Essential Oil 

- 5ml Bergamot Essential Oil 

- 5ml Citronella Essential Oil 

- 5ml Orange Essential Oil 

- 5ml Patchouli Essential Oil 

- 5ml Sandalwood Amayris

- 2x droppers

aromatherapy gift set

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Dried decorative plants now available

Autumn and winter are very quiet months for businesses selling garden products. This year is selling a range of natural products for the home and gifts, to try and be a bit busier during this period. Here are two types of dried plants that are great for interiors. Also a range of ceramic vases for dried flowers. All now available to buy.

Rayung grass

Cantal grass

Dried flower ceramic vases

cantal grass

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Easy to freeze fruit and vegetables

Here are ten garden or allotment fruit and veg that can be frozen quickly and easily, without needing to blanch before freezing. 
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Cabbage Palm / Cordyline australis

Cordyline australis, more commonly known as Cabbage Palm, is a great plant if you are creating an exotic /  jungle type garden, in temperate Britain. Although not a palm tree, it does have a palm tree 'effect', and looks great in a vibrant coloured border, or planted amongst other exotic, leafy plants. It is hardy to down to about -5c, so is fine for growing in coastal areas, or cities. The best place for them in the garden is a sunny position, and they are drought tolerant. If you would like a Cabbage Palm in your garden, but live in a colder part of the country, it's still possible for them to grow successfully outdoors, but if the winter is colder than average, make sure it is protected with some insulating fleece, to help it get through the coldest nights. You could also consider growing in large containers, and in winter store in a greenhouse, and then bring outside onto the patio or decking in spring.

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10 Roses for a Victorian Garden

If you live in a Victorian terrace or larger Victorian home and are looking for garden ideas, why not create your own beautiful Victorian rose garden
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