Archive for February, 2010

The Garden Grobox is a great growing experience to brighten up any garden

It’s a time saving, convenient way of gardening whilst working in harmony with the environment.  ….And it produces great results every time, in just a few simple steps.
The biodegradable box is planted in the ground, or in a tub or window box.  The box contains carefully selected plants (either bulbs or seeds) that have been carefully arranged and spaced in the boxes inner compartments by horticulturist, Jayne Lawton.   In this way the plants are given the optimum space for growth.
We currently have three Garden Groboxes to choose from. 
The   Grobox Garden contains a selection of flower bulbs.
The bulb varieties vary depending on the season in which you buy your grobox, but each variety offers beautiful flowering results year on year.
The Grobox Organic Vegetable Garden in a box  contains a variety of vegetables, which varies depending on the season but typically includes onions, peas, beans, lettuces, rocket, cabbages, courgettes and carrots. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Grobox Sunshine Garden in a Box is a growing experience to brighten up any summer garden and contains Anemones, Crocosima, Narcissus, Oxalis and Puschkinia
The GroBox is made from recycled cardboard and acts as an insulator for the plants, protecting them from prolonged cold, ground frosts and pests.  The cardboard also contains a conditioner so when it degrades it releases nutrients increasing the fertility of the soil around the plants. This means that it can be planted almost anywhere in the garden regardless of soil quality, drainage or fertility.
Soil quality in Britain is in decline even though there is a government strategy in place to try and protect it.   Being organic the GroBox is an environmentally friendly EcoBox which improves the fertility of life-soil whilst giving great crops of flowers and vegetables.

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This is the week in the year when gardening really becomes fun and starts to entertain us daily at the very least until harvest time.


The next few weeks will be interesting if only for the variety of weather typical at this time of year. We can reasonably expect sunshine, gales, rain, more sunshine, ice and even snow. It is such a formative time for the garden.

Keeping an eye on the weather is great fun, whether or not you are a weather spotter.  …And for an interesting project at home or in the classroom take a look at these digital weather stations.

Studying the weather not only helps to plan your gardening activities but also links well with the National Curriculum topics of Mathematics, Science and Information & Communication Technology.  …And practical projects like these will inspire budding meteorologists in a way that only hands on experience can. 

The Weathereye Advanced Weather Station combines the various instruments necessary for you to monitor a wealth of weather information.  The outdoor sensor measures Temperature, Humidity and Atmospheric Pressure and transmits the data wirelessly to the stylish display console indoors. The attractive console has clear and easy-to-read numbers and icons providing access to all information at a glance.

A user defined warning alarm can be set for maximum and minimum temperature. This can be set, for example, to alert you to extreme outdoor temperatures that could damage delicate plants.  Clever weather forecasting symbols also display the forecast and weather tendency.

And the Weather Eye Professional Touch Screen assembly measures Temperature, Humidity, Atmospheric Pressure, Rainfall and Wind Speed and Direction and transmits the data wirelessly to the stylish display console indoors


The data can be used to make charts and graphs which are perfect for classroom study.


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For complete indulgence on Pancake Day, why not make a Pancake Cake?

Follow our recipe below to make your pancakes.  Then make a pile of pancakes, spreading your favourite fresh fruit and honey between the layers.  Make into a deep cake and cut into slices.

…Also good with fresh strawberries and cream.  Alternatively try fresh berries, creme fraiche and a drizzle of chocolate sauce…yum! 

Ingredients for the Pancakes

300ml of full-fat milk
2 medium eggs
125g plain flour
25g melted butter
Extra butter to cook the pancakes with


  1. Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and beat well.
  2. Place 125g plain flour into a bowl and make a hollow in the centre
  3. Gradually pour the egg and milk mixture into the centre of the flour, whisking just in the centre as you pour.
  4. Keep whisking so you gradually draw in the flour from the outside of the bowl – this will hopefully keep your mixture lump free!
  5. When the flour is fully mixed in, whisk the melted butter into the batter, cover the bowl and put in the fridge to rest for half and hour or a few minutes if you are short of time!
  6. Heat frying pan on a medium heat
  7. Add small amount of butter and let it melt to cover the base of the pan
  8. Give the batter mix a quick whisk
  9. Ladle some batter into the pan, and tilt the pan so the batter mix covers the base
  10. Put the pan back onto the heat and leave to cook for 1–2 minutes.
  11. Flip the pancake when the underside is golden brown
  12. Remove the pancake from the heat when both sides are golden brown
  13. Repeat until you have enough pancakes for your cake!
  14. Add your favourite toppings and enjoy

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2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and people all over the world are being encouraged to look at ways to safeguard the variety of plants and animals on their doorstep. 

…And in this special National Nest Box Week, which runs from 14th to 21st of February it’s time to provide homes for the dozens of species of bird in Britain … be they blue tits, robins, chaffinches or cheeky house sparrows.

National Nest Box Week is organised each year by the British Trust for Ornithology, Britain’s leading bird research charity. 

They recognise that the natural nest sites on which many of our bird species depend, such as holes in trees and buildings, are fast disappearing as gardens and woods are ‘tidied’ and old houses are repaired. 

It is now estimated that there are between 5 and 6 million nesting boxes in gardens across the UK and they are having huge benefits for our bird populations.

So why not support National Nest Box Week and put up nest boxes in your local area.  You’ll be doing your bit for the conservation of our breeding birds and wildlife.  …Plus in a few weeks time you will have all the fun of watching as bird activity in the garden goes into overdrive with the arrival of young and all that that entails!

Take a look at our great range of nesting boxes.  For the perfect nest box for robins & wrens there is the Robin & Wren Nest Box.  Made from FSC wood, this attractive, flat based open nest box has been designed specifically for these types of birds.

The Birch Log Hole Nest Box, looks beautifully natural and its 32mm hole makes it suitable for species including Great Tits, House Sparrows and Nuthatches. 

 To clean, simply unscrew one side of the lid. As this is a natural product there will be some variations in dimensions.

Made from FSC wood

The Open Birch Log Nest Box is made from a single birch log and is suitable for attracting Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds. 

Also made from FSC wood.

The Tall Oval Nesting Pouch  is for all small birds providing essential protection on cold nights to preserve body fat and enable survival.

It also provides nesting space for small birds mainly Wrens and Goldcrests.

Made from natural durable materials, these nests come complete with fixing wire and detailed instructions. The nests are light and easy to fix in hedgerows, ivy, on pergolas, fencing, walls and small trees or bushes.

Comes with hanger and instructions.

…And for watching all the action as it unfolds take a look at the versatile Wildlife Surveillance Camera .

It features a superb colour/ infrared, weatherproof camera unit in an FSC timber housing for additional protection and security. Complete with audio and integral infrared lights (invisible to the eye and animals) the camera automatically swaps from colour during daylight, to infrared (black and white) in low light conditions.

Ideal for bird tables and feeders, it’s also perfect for making night-time observation of badgers, foxes and hedgehogs. The kit comes complete with a long screened extension cable, low voltage power unit and scart adapter to plug directly into your TV or recorder.

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Leeks are still at their seasonal best in February.  If you are lucky enough to still have some in your garden try harvesting a few for our fabulously tasty, cheeky leeky soup. 


If not you will find lots in the supermarket, and because they are in season they will be well priced and hopefully from a local supplier.

Growing your own vegetables is fun and there is nothing better than the taste of something you have grown yourself.  …And with the trip from plot to plate taking no time at all, you get to enjoy the full flavour and nutritional goodness of every mouthful!  For lots of gardening goodies – raised beds to compost bins, patio gros to potato bags take a look at www.recycleworks.co.uk.


4 medium leeks
3 large floury potatoes
olive oil
75 cL vegetable stock
25 cL milk
Salt and pepper


  1. Peel the leeks and potatoes and chop
  2. Fry the leeks in a dash of olive oil until soft
  3. Add in the potatoes, plus a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well
  4. Heat through gently for a few minutes
  5. Add the stock and milk, turn up the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes until the potatoes are cooked
  6. Allow the soup to cool a little
  7. Blend until smooth
  8. Add a little more water if required for your desired consistency
  9. Serve with a teaspoon of cream drizzled on the top along with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

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The Vitogrow and Octogrow are amazing portable gardens, propagators and mini greenhouses all in one.  They are so simple to use and give extremely good growing results every time. 

Voted “Best Buy propagator” by BBC Gardeners’ World, they are perfect for serious gardeners, but their simple, effective design and their flexibility to be positioned just about anywhere also make them a good choice for schools and children’s nurseries.

The Vitogrow

With its clever self-watering systems the Vitogrow gives fabulous salad and herb crops every time.

Ideal for inexperienced gardeners and professionals alike, just keep the water reservoir topped up and the Vitogrow does the rest.  Clever Capillary Strips distribute water where it is needed whilst the Feeder Tray separates the water from the plants, meaning that plants are never stood in water (which could lead to rotting and suffocation).

Perfect for growing salad crops

Plants are healthier in a Vitogrow because they are provided with constant access to water and nutrients without the plants sitting in water

Crops can be cultivated anywhere and the kit is available in two sizes.  Vitogrow contains everything you need to get growing.  Just add compost and sow your seeds.  No experienced required.

The self watering system gives the plants perfect growing conditions

The Octogrow

..And if you want great crops of tomatoes, chillies, beans and peppers the Octogrow is definitely for you.  With automatic watering that uses a reservoir and clever feeding mechanism the system continually provides your vegetable plants with the water and nutrients they need. …So they quickly produce strong and healthy crops.

The Octogrow is designed by horticulturists and is easy to set up and use.  Simply add compost, your plants, water and the plant nutrients into the reservoir.  Then sit back and watch the plants flourish!

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