Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Andy Taylor explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.
'Grow Your Own' magazine, the UK's best selling kitchen garden magazine, has just announced its Great British Growing Awards, and Nathan James Dodd has been looking through the winners.
The magazine's readers have been voting over the past few months and winners' certificates will be presented at the Edible Garden Show that takes place at the Alexandra Palace in London between 20-22 March.
'Best Greenhouse Brand' was won by Halls Greenhouses who have an impressive range of all types and sizes of greenhouse, from the compact 6ft x 4ft to a cavernous 8ft x 14ft model. They offer superb value for money, traditional or 'curved' designs, lean to's and wall gardens with various glazing options and a milled aluminium or powder coated green finish
Perhaps surprisingly as it concentrates on ornamental flowers, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show won 'Best Gardening Event'. In second place was the RHS Hampton Court Show that we reported on in July of last year. However, cut flowers can be an attractive addition to an allotment and many will attract pest predators and pollinators.
Thompson and Morgan was successful in the 'Best Vegetable Seed Range'. They recommend these top varieties to try this coming season: Strawberry 'Sweetheart', Raspberry 'Ruby Beauty', Courgette 'Shooting Star', Onion 'Hylander' and Broccoli 'Sibsey'.
The readers put Spear and Jackson in first place for 'Best Garden Tools'. Buying the correct tools is very important but maintaining them is just as vital. When you finish working in the garden make sure all the dirt is washed off and regularly oil and sharpen blades.
Ecologically aware gardeners, will be interested that the Organic Slug Pellets from Growing Success scooped the Best Eco-Friendly Vegetable Growing Product. The manufacturers also emphasized the benefits of reducing water usage by not watering in the middle of the day, digging in plenty of organic matter and mulching.
Best Community Growing Project went to Incredible Edible Todmorden who have turned an ordinary space into an enjoyable area for everyone. Crops include everything from corn to strawberries, so why not approach your local council and offer to undertake a similar transformation?.
Finally, disappointingly 'The Gardener' did not win 'Blog of the Year', this went to www.allotment_garden.org, but there's always next year!
Nathan James Dodd
You might not be familiar with the UK Men's Sheds Association but this is a fast growing organisation that, as David Coton discovered, encourages camaraderie and a sense of achievement among its members.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation recently purchased several animal ornaments from GardenSite and David Coton, one of our partners, thought that this charity carried out such terrific work that we made a charitable donation to assist with the cost.
With high winds increasingly affecting most parts of Britain, many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.
Here in Birmingham, the weather has been as changeable as ever, very warm just before Easter followed by a cold spell only last week. During May the threat of further frost will largely pass and, with spring well under way, Robert Hall is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.