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Have you seen our new Gardening With Children Competition in the Family Zone?

Vegetable face

When we were young many of us will have been told not to play with our food, well now you can and you might even win a prize.

Create a face on a plate using fruit and vegetables; it can be sad, happy or just silly it doesn’t have to be a person it can be an animal, bird, creature, an alien or a figment of your imagination, why not experiment you can send in as many entries as you like.

An Illuminated Minibeast Centre

The Illuminated Minibeast Centre - Solar Insect Theatre

Not only is it great for collecting and studying insects, it also features a solar light which glows in the dark and can attract moths.

The centre can be used in 3 ways

  1. For insect sample collection/ field trips
  2. General Insect Study
  3. Moth Study

Your minibeasts can be placed inside the study centre either via the opening top or through the opening side ports with the perspex windows, twigs and flower stems can also be put inside to provide a temporary habitat whilst you study your bugs and beasties. A rope handle makes the Minibeast Centre easy to carry so you’ll want to take it out and about to collect interesting creatures.
On the top of the Minibeast Centre is the solar lamp this is perfect for attracting night flying insects and bugs such moths and night flying beetles, make sure that the rechargeable battery gets a good charge by leaving the minibeast centre out in bright light during the day, in the evening open the side windows to allow the insects attracted by the light to enter the study chamber, release your creatures as soon as you have studied them.

The Minibeast Centre is made of slow-seasoned FSC timber so will be durable and not require any chemical treatments.

Take a photograph of your creation and send it to us with your details on the entry form (click here) to gill@gardeningwithchildren.co.uk or by post to Gardening with Children Family Competition, Gardening Works, Unit 1, Bee Mill, Ribchester, Preston PR3 3XJ by the closing date of Wednesday 31st August 2016.

Have fun

Gill

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We have had lots of entries to our March April School Competition to win a Wooden Raised Bed Kit containing:

Twin Standard and Deep Tall Post Raised Bed

Wooden Raised Beds With Tall Posts - Deep

3 x 1.5m Cloche Hoops, 12 Cloche Clips and Enviromesh Extra Fine Netting

It is a fantastic prize worth over £100 and perfect for growing a wide variety of vegetables which are easy to plant, tend and pick.

As with most competitions there can only be one winner and the winner is: Fleming Fulton School in Belfast.

Fleming Fulton is a school for children with physical disability, they plan to put the Wooden Raised Beds in the Early Years Nursery outdoor learning space and grow a variety of vegetables to help the children learn about where food comes from, the different heights and depths of the beds will allow all of the children including the little ones and those who need a special chair or walker to reach in and get mucky and dirty like children should!

Congratulations to you, we would love to hear how you get on and see photographs of your progress and your crops.

Here are some suggestions of what you can sow and plant in June:

Sow outdoors: Beetroot, Pak Choi, Carrot, Broccoli, Kale, Courgette, Squash, Peas, Radish, Salad Leaves, Spinach, Spring Onion, Swede, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Turnips, French Beans, Runner Beans, Broad Beans

Plant out: Broccoli, Summer Cabbages, Cauliflower, Kale, Leeks, Celeriac, Celery, Cucumber, Squash, Pumpkin, Tomato

Click here for more ideas of things to do in your garden in June.

For fast results why not order a vegetable, fruit or herb garden pack containing ready to grow plants delivered to your door click here for details

Have fun

Gill

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A big thank you to everyone who entered the March April Family Competition we had lots of entries, the winning entry was from Lily Fisher aged 7 from Exeter who correctly identified the Wild flowers, she has won a fantastic

Kids Wooden Raised Bed Growing Table

Kids Wooden Standing Raised Bed Growing Table

and a Selection of Seeds.

SCHOOL ZONE COMPETITION DEADLINE FRIDAY 27TH MAY

Don’t forget to enter the School Zone Competition time is running out for a chance to win a Wooden Raised Bed Kit for your School containing:

Twin Standard and Deep Tall Post Raised Bed

Wooden Raised Beds With Tall Posts - Deep

3 x 1.5m Cloche Hoops

12 Cloche Clips

Enviromesh Extra Fine Netting

THIS IS A FANTASTIC PRIZE WORTH OVER £100

What you have to do

Join our Club – become a member of the Gardening with Children Club its FREE, members receive special discounts and offers on gardening equipment and wildlife products as well as Seasonal Newsletters containing fun activities to make, cook and do and their own unique membership number which you will need to enter this competition.

NB As there is not much time to process new club applications and issue membership numbers before the competition closes, competition entries will be permitted from non club members who by entering this competition will automatically be made members and later issued with a membership number, please state ‘NEW MEMBER’ on the entry form.

Then answer the following questions

Why would you like to win the Wooden Raised Bed Kit for your School?

What would you grow in it?

Send in a photograph of something that you have grown or are growing at School.

For full details and an entry form click here, the closing date is Friday 27th May 2016.

Good Luck

Gill

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Spring is here and there are lots of flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables to sow, plant and grow now but sometimes there simply is not enough room to grow everything that you would like to, the answer it to add a Wooden Raised Bed.

Wooden Raised Beds are perfect for growing fruit, flowers, herbs and vegetables, they provide good drainage, can be filled with good quality compost, will easily accommodate fleece, film and netting to protect your crops and are at a height that makes sowing, planting, harvesting and watering easier.

Why not have a go at our competitions on the Gardening With Children website, for a chance to win a Wooden Raised Bed for your garden:

 

In the School Zone you could win a Wooden Raised Bed Kit containing:

Twin Standard and Deep Tall Post Raised Bed

Wooden Raised Beds With Tall Posts - Deep

3 x 1.5m Cloche Hoops

12 Cloche Clips

Enviromesh Extra Fine Netting

What you have to do

Join our Club – become a member of the Gardening with Children Club its FREE, members receive special discounts and offers on gardening equipment and wildlife products as well as Seasonal Newsletters containing fun activities to make, cook and do and their own unique membership number which you will need to enter this competition.

Then answer the following questions

Why would you like to win the Wooden Raised Bed Kit for your School?

What would you grow in it?

Send in a photograph of something that you have grown at School.

For full details and an entry form click here, the closing date is Friday 27th May 2106.

 

In the Family Zone/Kids Zone you have the chance to win a fabulous

Kids Wooden Raised Bed Growing Table (one supplied)

Kids Wooden Standing Raised Bed Growing Table

It is the perfect size and height for younger children to have their own real vegetable and flower garden and is ideal for growing Strawberries, Herbs, Lettuce, Spring Onion, Radish, baby vegetables including Beetroot, Turnip and Round Carrots and some of your favourite flowers.

and a Selection of Seeds (Beetroot, Carrot, Sorrel, Strawberry)

What you have to do

Correctly name the Spring flowers pictured on the competition page using the following options:

Catkins          Pussy Willow          Daffodil           Bluebell           Primrose

For full details, an entry form and to view the pictures click here, the closing date is Saturday 30th April 2016.

 

Good Luck

Gill

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Wooden Raised Beds are perfect for growing fruit, herbs and vegetables, they provide good drainage, can be filled with good quality compost, will easily accommodate fleece, film and netting to protect your crops and are at a height that makes sowing, planting, harvesting and watering easier.

We have launched two new competitions on the Gardening With Children website, giving you the opportunity to win Wooden Raised Beds for your garden:

In the School Zone you could win a Wooden Raised Bed Kit containing:

Twin Standard and Deep Tall Post Raised Bed

Wooden Raised Beds With Tall Posts - Deep

3 x 1.5m Cloche Hoops

12 Cloche Clips

Enviromesh Extra Fine Netting

What you have to do

Join our Club – become a member of the Gardening with Children Club its FREE, members receive special discounts and offers on gardening equipment and wildlife products as well as Seasonal Newsletters containing fun activities to make, cook and do and their own unique membership number which you will need to enter this competition.

Then answer the following questions

Why would you like to win the Wooden Raised Bed Kit for your School?

What would you grow in it?

Send in a photograph of something that you have grown at School.

For full details and an entry form click here, the closing date is Friday 27th May 2106.

In the Family Zone/Kids Zone you have the chance to win a fabulous

Kids Wooden Raised Bed Growing Table (one supplied)

Kids Wooden Standing Raised Bed Growing Table

It is the perfect size and height for younger children to have their own real vegetable and flower garden and is ideal for growing Strawberries, Herbs, Lettuce, Spring Onion, Radish, baby vegetables including Beetroot, Turnip and Round Carrots and some of your favourite flowers.

and a Selection of Seeds (Beetroot, Carrot, Sorrel, Strawberry)

What you have to do

Correctly name the Spring flowers pictured on the competition page using the following options:

Catkins          Pussy Willow          Daffodil           Bluebell           Primrose

For full details, an entry form and to view the pictures click here, the closing date is Saturday 30th April 2016.

Good Luck

Gill

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The weeks prior to Christmas are often very busy and hectic at home and at School with Christmas Concerts, Nativity performances, shopping trips and of course planning for the big day, if you haven’t had chance to enter our two free competitions on the Gardening With Children website, here is a little reminder, you could win some great wildlife prizes.

In the School Zone

Send in to us a picture of a Robin, it can be painted, crayoned, drawn in pencil or a collage and you could win for your School

a Square Ground Bird Table

Square Ground Bird Table

and a Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder (supplied with a jar of bird peanut butter with mealworms)

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

Click here for full details and an entry form.

In the Family Zone

Simply tell us which is the most interesting bird you have seen in your garden, park or on a walk and you could win

a Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder (supplied with a jar of bird peanut butter with mealworms)

Wooden Peanut Butter Feeder

and a Birdie Bistro Seed Feeder (one supplied)

Bird Bistro Feeder

Click here for full details and an entry form.

The closing date for both competitions is Thursday 31st December 2015.

Good Luck

Gill

 

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A 'Christmas' Robin

As I sit writing this blog I can see a Robin in the garden perched by the bird feeders, we do not get many Robins in the garden, they tend to appear when the weather turns colder and there is less natural food available, on the allotment though they are about throughout the year often watching and waiting for insects and grubs that have been disturbed whilst digging and sitting on the handle of my spade when my back is turned.

The Robin has long been associated with the festive season, this could be because we see them more in Winter but it may also be because the Robin, also known as the ‘Robin Redbreast’, gave its name to the first postmen who wore red jackets and became known as ‘Robins’, some suggest this is the reason why Robins appear on Christmas cards.

Robins sing all year round, they are one of the few birds that can be heard singing during winter, both the males and females maintain territories for feeding during this period, these may be later become their breeding territories.  Robins can be quite tame during the colder months and with a lot of patience they may eat out of your hand, but despite their cute appearance they are quite aggressive with intruders who enter their territory. Around Christmas-time they begin looking for a mate, by mid-January they will have paired up and the females then stop singing. Male and female birds look identical, young Robins are spotted with golden brown they do not have a red breast until they are 2/3 months old, Robins eat insects, worms, seeds and fruits and are very partial to mealworms.

Open Fronted Teapot Bird Nester and Nest Box

Robins are well known for nesting in unusually places including sheds, greenhouses, plant pots, hanging baskets, under car bonnets and in farm machinery, to encourage Robins to breed in your garden put up an Open Fronted Robin Nest Box or a Teapot Bird Nester, they can be sensitive to disturbance whilst nest building and laying so it is best to stay away at this time, they will lay a clutch of 4-6 eggs, which once incubated by the female will hatch in 13 days, both parents feed and care for the chicks that then fledge at 14 days old even though they are still unable to fly for another couple of days, the parents will look after the chicks for another 3 weeks, Robins normally have two broods a year.

This year for the first time the people of Britain were asked to vote for Britain’s National Bird, it may come as no surprise that the winning bird was the Robin; in total more than 224,000 people cast their votes, the Robin came out top with 75,623 votes, followed in second place by the Barn Owl with 26,191 votes and the Blackbird in third place with 25,369 votes.

This Christmas why not give someone a gift of a Nest Box for the Robins in their garden?

Gill

P.S. Don’t miss out on our two free competitions on the Gardening With Children website in the School Zone and the Family Zone, for a chance to win some bird feeders for your garden, the closing date for both competitions is Thursday 31st December 2015.

 

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