The Secret Garden

Children love mystery and magic of fairy tales or great stories.  One story that is known the world over is the English classic, The Secret Garden.

It is about a young girl, Mary, who is discovering her way in life after growing up in India.  She doesn’t like her new home too much and there is a very sad boy who lives in the house.  Upon adventuring around the grounds she stumbles upon a locked door in the garden.  She is determined to break through and eventually discovers a secret garden.  The story is based around bringing this garden back to life and making the boy better by sneaking him outside.  It is purely delightful and worth a read.

Our garden’s can often be less than magical but that doesn’t mean, with a little creativity, we can’t take a leaf out of Mary’s book and give our children something amazing.

[Photo courtesy of Leah Kelley/pexels.com]

Think about what you want to achieve, a secret hidden away cove behind her wall of roses?  Perhaps a tucked away fruit garden for your kids to discover and delve into? Or even a real modern rockery with water features or even an inverted fish tank.

Before you get stuck in it’s worth giving a termite treatment now.  Prevention is better than cure and discovering you have a problem after all your landscaping could lead to disappointment.  Once you have the all clear and advice on how to avoid any invasions, get to work.

Little girl breaks the flowers

[Photo courtesy of Kaboompics // Karolina/pexels.com]

Busy families mean keeping on top of a garden can be quite demanding.  But if you enlist the help of your little ones then not only will you have them outside creating, you will also have some keen green fingered workers to help you with digging and planting.

A fun and unique twist on a garden, if you have little or no outside space, is the brilliant living wall.  This is an eco wall of oxygen promoting plants.  You can have them indoors our outdoors and they will purify the air of pollutants.  In fact growing an eco wall in urban areas has quite a positive effect on the environment.

Herbs are a really simple grow and offer a variety of scents which your children can enjoy.  Fruits produce both flowers and then edible delights! Roses can hide fences or walls under their beautiful large petals or you could go with another great kid pleaser, the towering sunflower!

Get creative with your outdoor space and encourage the children to play.  Dedicating a little area all of their own will make them feel like they have a little hideaway and also kick start them off on the road to enjoying creating things.  Bringing a plant to life is one of the most humbling things we can do with simplicity.  Just make sure to teach the children any potential dangers of playing outside in the garden, such as eating fruits they don’t know.  A little bit of mud is good for the immune system, but washing hands is vital after handling plants!

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Don’t Miss Your Garden This Winter!

One of the worst things about the winter months is the little time we get to spend outside in our garden. After all, gardening is one of our favorite hobbies to do in the backyard. But with the weather beyond freezing, it can stop us from spending time in the garden. And it feels like it’s forever until spring and summer arrive! However, you don’t have to give up your garden entirely during the winter. Therefore, here are some surprising tips you need to ensure you don’t miss your garden this winter.

Barbecues, Grill, Grass, Dinner, Meat

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Bring the BBQ inside of your home

It’s always lovely in the summer months when you can have your family around. And you all enjoy a BBQ in the garden. As well as the amazing company, the food can be fantastic as well. After all, food can have a delicious taste once it’s been cooked on the barbecue. Therefore, it’s common to miss this grilled food during the winter months. But you don’t have to miss out on the delicious food during the cold months. There are many portable grills you can buy for your kitchen which you can use to recreate that BBQ taste. And food tends to be a lot healthier if it’s grilled!

Start growing plants inside your home

There’s something so therapeutic about looking after your plants. In fact, so many people use gardening as a stress-reliever. Also, it’s a massive achievement when you manage to successfully grow a plant. Therefore, in the winter months, you can miss taking care of your beloved plants. However, you don’t have to wait until spring before you start growing plants again. You could grow them inside to ensure you can carry on with your gardening all year round. Find them a spot in your home which has plenty of sunlight throughout the day. You can also consider getting some LED grow lights from companies like Lumi Growth which will ensure your plants grow properly while they are inside. And then you can tend to them every day to still enjoy gardening during winter. Once the sun comes out, you can always move them outside to ensure they enjoy some natural sunlight.

Plants, Grow, Bulbs, Spring, Sunny

[Photo courtesy of andbjo/pixabay.com]

Invest in a beautiful indoor water feature

A lot of people love having a water feature in their garden. Not only can it be a relaxing feature, but it can also help your garden to stand out. And it’s a natural way to boost wildlife to your garden. During the winter months, a lot of people miss the calming sound of running water which they get when they are in their yard. But you can have the sound inside your home if you go for a beautiful indoor water feature. They can be a lovely addition to your home and will help to create a calming atmosphere. Put it in the hall or the lounge so that you can hear the feature around the home.

And you could even get a fish tank for your property if you are missing your pond! After all, you can watch the fish and enjoy the sound of the tank in your home!

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Winter Doesn’t Last Forever: Get Your House Ready For Summer 2017 Now

You may think that the winter season is never going to end, but there are only a few months to get ready for the summer, and this is without mentioning any bikini figure! You need to think about getting your house ready for the hot season, and this isn’t something that you can delay too much. It is important to start planning right now with this list of summer essentials for your to go through.

Make Sure You Have All You Need To Keep The House Fresh

It might seem odd to think about keeping cool when the weather is still cold outside, but now is the right time to check the state of your air conditioner system, fans, and your swimming pool. If you don’t have any air con, it is time to consider an A/C installation to prepare for summer. As you still have a handful of months left before the hot months arrive, it is good to get in touch with expert engineers to service your pool and keep your cooling systems up to date before the summer rush begins.

Look After Your Garden Now To Find Freshness In Summer

You’re sitting inside, looking through the window to see only cold, gray rain. Taking care of your garden might well be the last thing you want to do with your time. But it is essential to maintain your trees and plants throughout the cold months to help them be strong and healthy for when you will need their shadow and their freshness. While you don’t need to spend every week kneeling outside in the wet grass and the mud, a monthly list of maintenance tasks should include:

Summer Garden, Garden Bench, Green Lawn, Iron Trellis

[Photo courtesy of jensullivan113/pixabay.com]
  • Mowing the lawn,
  • Trimming the trees so that they can grow strong and high in summer,
  • Pruning flowers and fruit trees to ensure a beautiful and vibrant garden,
  • And protecting your precious plants from the frost and the rain.

Prepare For A Change Of Interior Décor

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Winter is naturally characterized by a change of décor inside your house: A warm blanket lies on the sofa to keep you warm in the evening; a series of tall mugs is piled up in the sink for a hot cup of tea; and every room has received a touch of warmth with scented candles and fluffy cushions. Everything is there to provide a cozy sensation. But soon the time for bbq parties and summer drinks will come: You need to rethink your décor to bring back a sense of sunny freshness inside your home. There are many options to do so on a budget: You can choose to hide all reminders of the winter months away, such as blankets, heating units, and candles, or you can decide to bring touches of bright colors inside the house with picture frames, funky cushions, and decorative plant pots. Just remember to check every room to make note of the wintery elements to store away during summer. And why not already plan your first bbq party of the warm season? Maybe you could celebrate the arrival of spring around a grilled burger with friends, so if you start now, you could prepare your DIY décor.        

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Creature Comforts: Be A Friend To Wildlife This Winter

Winter can be tough for all of us it’s cold, dark and the last thing you want to be is outside when you can see icicles hanging from the trees. However, animals and birds aren’t so lucky so it’s important we do all we can to help them through the colder months. Food is often scarce for many animals in winter so why not help hedgehogs by leaving out some tinned meat? Make sure there’s a small bowl of fresh water visitors can drink from and that visiting birds to your garden are rewarded. By following a couple of the ideas listed not only will you be assisting animals at a difficult time, but be able to enjoy the variety of wildlife snuffling around your garden.

Beautiful Bird Table

Pop a lovely, wooden bird table in the centre of your garden and scatter breadcrumbs, seeds, peanuts, cheese, and fruit you’ll be able to find grocery online as well as buying mealworms from your garden store. Birds often find it hard to get enough food at this time of year as berries, insects, seeds and worms have either died or are covered by a thick layer of snow. Once the word has gotten out that there’s food your bird table will be filled with hungry feathery visitors. However, bear in mind these are all wild animals and will get lazy quickly if they receive regular handouts, which makes them unwilling to source their own food so it’s important to limit how much is given.

[Flickr Image Courtesy of Tony Hisgett]

Help Squirrels Go Nuts

Despite what many people think these fluffy tailed creatures don’t actually hibernate instead they collect a store of nuts to munch on in their cozy, dry drey’s, or nests all winter. The gathering starts in early autumn and only ends when they’ve found enough to eat so you can help them out by leaving nuts such as hazelnuts, walnuts and almonds as well as sliced apple, carrot and even spinach or beans. A regular small handful of these foods will see squirrels safely through till spring.

Break The Ice

Many animals don’t possess the strength to make a hole in water that’s frozen over so when people think they’ll be alright often wildlife struggle to find enough to drink. Check your water bowl, or dish regularly as it could have frozen overnight and make sure to refill it regularly as you don’t know how many animals are using this precious water source to survive. If you have a pond you also need to make a hole as overtime toxic gas can build up and harm any fish or frogs living in the water. Don’t use a sharp item as you may injure any fish swimming near by instead take a pan of boiling water and pour it on the surface and the ice will then melt.

Let Your Garden Grow

Now isn’t the time to be doing any weeding, burning or leaf clearing in the winter months simply let your garden rest and grow wild. Don’t worry when spring comes you’ll be able to clean up but for now compost heaps, piles of leaves and even overgrown brambles can become the perfect winter retreat for many a creature.

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