Chickens aren't difficult to look after, all they require is a constant supply of water and regular food. As Martyn Loach explains, you should keep an eye open for any ailments, and they'll need to be cleaned out once a week.
With a La Hacienda chimenea or firepit providing light and heat whatever the thermometer says, David Coton discovers that you can continue savouring an outdoor lifestyle even in late summer and the cool of an autumn evening.
Chimeneas are reputed to have originated hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago as a vessel for cooking and baking as well as heating. They've become very popular in the States and now over here, attractive garden ornaments as well as practical patio additions.
For something as genuinely Mexican as a Tequila Sunrise or a battered sombrero, our inclement weather may come as a surprise but these classic designs will reliably withstand harsh conditions and use wood as fuel.
Displaying complete authenticity are the chimeneas hand crafted from clay. There's an impressive range including the 'Calida' and the 'Lumbre', and these are both well chosen names as they mean warm and fire in Spanish.
Other examples of traditional style are the El Sol, Campanero and Algeria chimeneas together with the Flower Star which, along with selected others, is available in a range of sizes to best suit the location.
Of similar appearance but constructed from steel with different colour finishes and fired by charcoal or wood are the Leon Bronze Steel Chimenea and Murcia Black Steel Chimenea. Again, there are several sizes from which you can choose.
Towering above them all is the Mega Chimenea with Grill, another which is well named as it stands nearly 7ft tall. Murcia and Arriba chimeneas are two more from this traditional styled collection. They are all extremely durable, easily cleaned and maintained.
Colorado chimeneas, in an assortment of sizes, and the Circo Steel Chimenea with an integral wood store, are striking designs. You may think they resemble rockets made from matt black powder coated steel taking off from the Nevada desert but they will certainly be attention grabbling focal points in anyone's garden.
La Hacienda's contemporary firepits have become extremely popular over recent years, exuding heat and a warm glow that everyone can sit around and enjoy.
There's a plethora of styles from the simple but very effective bowls of the Pittsburgh, Boston, San Diego and Stamford models to the fabulous Horse and Dragon fire globes that produce flaming silhouettes.
The beautifully coloured Kala and Fasa firepits will introduce an eastern ambiance with their presence while their oxidized metal appearance is replicated by several others including the very impressive Moho and Ruga firepits and upright Ochiba and Teya designs which all have space for logs underneath their bowls.
There are fire baskets such as the Vancouver and Alberta with open sides through which air rushes to fuel the flames in addition to the Casablanca and Minnesota versions which are good examples of enclosed fire baskets with flames dancing behind decorated laser cut grills.
Gas fuelled firepits including the Daytona, Sarasota and Orlando tend to have a more substantial character due to discreetly hidden gas canisters, but there is no doubt that they are eye-catching and intriguing designs.
Many of the firepits such as the Moresque, Camping and bright orange Globe Enamelled Firepit, come supplied with cooking grills so they can be used as a mini-barbecue for any foodstuff that benefits from the smoky heat of a log fire.
There's also the specially designed Pizza Firepit with a steel stand with a cordiente stone that can handle high temperatures and on which the pizza cooks under a steel lid.
And any firepit can be turned into a grill with La Hacienda's Tripod with Hanging Grill. This can be quickly assembled and hanging from a central point is an adjustable chrome grill that can be positioned over the flames. It's a wonderful centrepiece and will produce fantastic food.
Robert Hall reviews the new Halls Qube Greenhouse, stating that; this is a major evolutionary step in greenhouse design. Read his full review of the new range here.
GardenSite were once again pleased to support the Boldmere Community Festival which took place on 18 November, with the Christmas Lights switched on by Alan Gardner, well known for his appearances as TV's Autistic Gardener.
Whether it's a bleak December or the more mild weather we are becoming used to, you can still spend useful time in the garden during the last month of the year. David Coton suggests some garden jobs that can occupy the short days.
An iced over pond will have a detrimental effect on animal and plant pond life, although fish and amphibians will survive under a frozen surface for some time, ice traps gases escaping from decaying material and prevents oxygen from entering the water.