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Archive for December, 2014

Xmas Tree Decorations

By now many of you will have put up your Christmas decorations and most importantly your Christmas Tree it is the focal point in any home, decorating it is usually a family occasion with everyone helping.

The tradition of the Christmas Tree as we know it dates back to the mid-1800s, in 1821 Queen Caroline had one at her royal palace which was decorated for the children’s parties that were held there, In 1841 Queen Victoria and German-born Prince Albert stood one at the gates of Windsor Castle, a drawing was later published in 1848 in the Illustrated London News showing them celebrating around an indoor decorated Christmas tree, this was a tradition that Prince Albert had enjoyed in his childhood in Germany, this tradition became very fashionable and soon every home in Britain had a tree decorated with candles, ribbon, sweets, fruit and homemade decorations.

Candles are of course a fire hazard; today we use coloured electric lights, tinsel, foil wrapped chocolate shapes and baubles to decorate our trees, the first manufactured Christmas tree ornaments were sold by Woolworths in 1880. A star or an Angel is usually placed at the top of the tree; the Angel represents the Angel that brought glad tidings of great joy to the shepherds in the fields.

One of the most famous Christmas Trees in Britain stands near the statue of Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square, London it is decorated with great ceremony each year, the huge Norwegian Spruce is a gift from the people of Oslo, Norway to thank the British people for their help during the Second World War.

There are many different types of real Christmas Trees: Norway Spruce, Frasier Fir, Noble Fir, the most common is the Nordman Fir, many people choose to have an artificial tree to ‘save the earth’ or buy a living potted tree which can be brought in and decorated then put outdoors after Christmas to grow.

After 12th night, when traditionally all Christmas decorations are taken down, your Christmas Tree can be recycled, many councils will accept them at recycling centres or collect them on your green bin collection day, they then turn them into valuable nutrient rich compost or mulch.

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year and look forward to sharing my gardening and nature blogs with you in 2015.

Have a wonderful time.

Gill

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We had a brilliant response to our October November Competitions, unfortunately there can only be one winner for each Zone, the lucky winners are:

In the Family Zone

John Stowe, Hampshire

In the School Zone

Fulbrook Middle School, Bedfordshire

both winners will receive:

Hogitat Hedgehog Home

The Hogitat Hedgehog House

A perfect winter retreat for your prickly garden friends

guide to Hedgehogs

Field Guide to Hedgehogs

and a pack of Hedgehog Food

Hedgehog Food

Well done to both of you and I hope that you soon have a Hedgehog making its home in your Hogitat

Look out for our next competitions in the New Year

Gill

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When I was a little girl my dad gave me a small vegetable patch in the garden, I remember growing lettuce, beans, radish and carrots, it was my very own garden where I sowed, planted, weeded, watered and picked my precious vegetables and flowers, I can still picture it now although the garden has changed quite a lot.

This was the start of my love of gardening; my dad was my inspiration and my mentor, as I got older I outgrew my vegetable patch and was then able to help in the ‘big’ garden to grow the vegetables that we regularly picked, cooked and ate and to tend the flower beds.

 MyReal Potting Tabe/Raised Bed Combo

If you are looking for a Christmas gift that is just that little bit different that will last for many, years instead of just a few months like so many of this years ‘must have’ Christmas presents why not treat that special person to a Raised Bed, whether it’s for a child or an adult gardening is a hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, when they unwrap their present they may not get excited at the sight of wooden posts and boards but once assembled and filled with rich compost when those first few shoots start to appear I can guarantee they will be hooked, as their interest in gardening flourishes and grows, one raised bed can become two, three, four or more by simply adding extra modules, don’t forget those all-important garden accessories, quality raised bed tools, a good pair of gloves, a watering can, seeds, labels, a gardeners note book to record the gardening year and cloche hoops to support fleece, film or netting to protect plants from bad weather and unwanted pests. Wooden Raised beds are available in different designs, sizes and depths if you want to grow a variety of different crops I would recommend a depth of 45cm.

The Economy Plot Wooden Raised Bed

Children love being outdoors and getting hands on, gardening helps them connect with nature and teaches them where food comes from and how it grows, nothing beats the taste of freshly picked produce, as well as the health benefits of fresh food gardening can help keep you fit both physically and mentally.

Carrots

When I visit my dad he is often in the garden, we always talk ‘gardening’ discussing plant pests/problems/diseases, which crops have done well, are tasty and worth growing, gardening ideas and new gardening products that we have seen, there is always something new to learn, discover and grow – gardening is a wonderful hobby.

Why not inspire someone you know this Christmas, click here to have a look at the full range of Raised Beds.

Gill

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