Forest Schools are inspiring places, designed to give children the opportunity to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in natural woodland. Nathan James Dodd suggests ten items that will useful in such an environment.
The weather forecast is for a sizzling summer and David Coton is already looking forward to preparing delicious barbecued food for his family and friends. Barbecues have become incredibly popular over recent years and here is David's guide on what to look out for when choosing one of these summer essentials.
The range of barbecues to choose from can be daunting, and your buying criteria can rest on a variety of factors ie how much use it will receive, what fuel you prefer and your budget, in addition to colour, size, running costs etc. This is our guide to making your decision easier:
Charcoal Barbecues use briquettes or heat beads that provide a more constant heat, or lumpwood that can attain high temperatures and doesn't contain any charcoal additives.
Gas Barbecues run on bottled propane gas
Portable Barbecues are lightweight enough to take anywhere, quick to set up and are therefore ideal for days out in the countryside or on the beach.
Buschbeck Masonry Barbecues can be made from a variety of stone and metal including granite and copper and can run on a variety of fuel. They are semi-permanent and can act as garden focal points as well as patio heaters.
Built-in Barbecues offer value for money and adaptability as they can be placed on a variety of surfaces for example bricks, slabs or concrete. Normally constructed from stainless steel, the latest technology can offer results comparable to full size barbecues.
Although cast iron will maintain heat better, steel grills are easier to clean; porcelain grills won't deteriorate, and are easy to clean, but can chip
This is an indication as to how large the barbecue needs to be for different numbers of people:
(Warming racks will enable these numbers to be increased)
You will need a few accessories to ensure food can be served quickly and with minimum fuss.
Other optional extras allow you to increase the range of food that can be cooked.
Dazzling with colourful interest in the brilliant sunshine, this year's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show will prove to be a tremendous attraction for everyone as it caters for both keen gardeners and families who just what a day out in magnificent surroundings.
After all the dry hot weather that much of the country has experienced over the last few weeks, the lavender in David Coton's garden is at its most colourful and scented, he's cutting the flowerheads to make lavender biscuits or drying them for pot pourri. Here are more jobs you can do in the garden during July.
At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding at our Garden Centre in Birmingham. David Coton will be planting the bedding in containers this month to achieve a wonderful display of colour and here are some other jobs to do in the garden in June.
As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.