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Plant Hunters lost letters discovered at Borde Hill Garden PDF Print E-mail

Monday, 21 May 2012 16:49

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Caption: Head Gardener Andy Stevens reading the plant hunter’s letters

Plant Hunters lost letters discovered at Borde Hill Garden

The challenges faced by Victorian plant hunters in their quest to find exotic varieties at the other side of the world have been brought to light in lost letters, recently discovered at Borde Hill Garden near Haywards Heath, West Sussex.

Buried in decades of paperwork stored in a barn on the 200-acre Garden and Estate the letters, from such expeditionists as George Forrest, E H Wilson and Frank Kingdon-Ward, show the challenges the explorers faced in remote regions of

China, Burma and Tibet.

 
Keeping up with the Joneses harms Britain’s bees PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 May 2012 17:26

- Suburban obsession with bedding plants and manicured lawns harms Britain’s bee population

- University of Leeds scientists take ‘bee-friendly gardening’ on the road as they prepare to exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show

A new study from the University of Leeds has revealed that poorer neighbourhoods are a bee paradise compared to richer suburban areas where the pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ often means gardens have manicured lawns and rows of regimented bedding plants that usually don’t have any bee-friendly nectar or pollen.

The study, carried out by Dr Mark Goddard from the School of Biology was the first scientific examination of the link between an area’s socio-economic status and wild bee abundance. Mark explained: “Previous studies looking at the prevalence of birds and plant diversity had concluded that the better off the area, the greater the number and variety of birds and plants – this is known as the ‘luxury effect’. The assumption was that the same would be true of bees, but this research suggested that the opposite is true.”

Dr Goddard’s research found that gardens in poorer neighbourhoods had a significantly greater number and variety of bees than those in richer neighbourhoods, despite the fact that richer neighbourhoods tended to have bigger gardens with a greater number and variety of flowers.

Mark commented: “We know that flowers are incredibly important to bees, so we were really surprised with these results. However, when I analysed them more closely we found a likely explanation – not all flowers are equal in the eyes of bees.

“Exotic and double flowers, that is flowers such as peonies which often have anthers replaced by extra petals, are relatively inaccessible to bees and contain little nectar or pollen rewards.  A secondary problem is that many common bedding plants such as pansies, French Marigolds, busy lizzies and petunias are sterile F1 hybrids, and often contain little pollen to attract bees.  Both these types of plants were found more in wealthy gardens, while bee-friendly native plants, such as brambles and white clover, were more common in less affluent neighbourhoods.

“The cumulative impact that garden management has on the overall number of bees in the UK is enormous. Gardens account for a significant amount of green space in our cities. In Leeds for example, gardens make up 30% of the total area. Across England, urban areas occupy 10% of land surface, of which between 20% and 40% is garden.

“The decline of bees in the UK and the knock on effect this has on the pollination of crops and flowers has been well documented. This research shows that if we can persuade individuals to make small changes to the way they garden, it could make a significant difference to the conservation of bees and other pollinators.”

Dr Goddard’s study also examined factors which influence householders’ gardening habits and by far the biggest influence was found to be neighbours and friends. Community pride, fear of what the neighbours might think and the effect on house prices were all important issues, particularly when it came to keeping front gardens neat and tidy.

 
'Queenie Nose She's Picked a Diamond Year 2012' Mug Heads Alternative Memorabilia Trend PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 May 2012 15:48
Artist Jacqueline Hammond depicts the Queen enjoying a private and unusual moment

With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee fast approaching, a public backlash is starting to occur against the hype and twee memorabilia flooding the UK. Renowned Brighton-based fine artist, Jacqueline Hammond, is ahead of this trend and is unleashing a 'commemorative' mug with a difference, featuring the Queen enjoying a private moment… picking her nose. Entitled 'Queenie Nose She's Picked a Diamond Year 2012', the mug is set to adorn the coffee tables of UK citizens who don't want to stand in the street waving flags.
 
Swap Your Blackberry for Bushes: Gardening Can Beat Depression PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 15:37

A top medic has revealed that the best way to beat feeling in a slump and downhearted is to don some gloves and start pottering around in a garden.

Various studies over time have suggested that gardening is good for health and a GP has devised a new treatment to tackle depression and it is to swap the pills for sowing seeds.

Sir Richard Thompson, president of the Royal College of Physicians, has claimed that gardening can be more powerful to rid one feeling gloomy than a dose of expensive drugs and he hopes to prescribe gardening on the NHS as a way to help Britons beat depression.

The expert contends that drug therapy is costly and that gardening is less pricey but just as effective. He hopes that the Government’s health reforms will give doctors more choice in treating patients with depression and allow them to take advantage of the health benefits of horticulture and gardening classes.

According to a study published in 2011, half an hour spent working in a garden can burn off 200 calories and it also helps to make joints more supple and is great exercise. So why not head out into your garden this summertime, mow the lawn and plant some blooming flowers. Swap playing on your blackberry and opt to trim the bushes instead but make sure that you have adequate garden lighting to ensure that you can see clearly when working with garden tools.

 
Natural Living PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 14:33

Modern country chic is the inspiration behind Living Naturals, from Cormar Carpets, a brand new collection that epitomises the very best in affordable style in loop pile carpet.

Drawing on a palette of 12 contemporary naturals in ‘easy to live with’ shades such as Quarry and Linseed, Living Naturals is available in three distinctive textures – simple level pinstripe; classic rib and popular basket weave.

Designed to offer a natural look, Living Naturals is made from 50% pure new wool and 50% polypropylene and with a retail price below £20 per sq m, makes it exceptional value-for-money.

“Textured wool carpets are still a popular choice with homeowners but we have seen an increasing demand from price-conscious consumers who are looking for the durability and beauty of a wool carpet on a budget,” said David Cormack, marketing director of Cormar.

“Living Naturals has been designed with this in mind - it is fashionable, practical, durable and affordable. Plus it complements Cormar’s existing portfolio of loop pile carpet – Malabar and Avebury.”

Cormar Carpets are available nationwide – for stockist details call 01204 881234 or visit www.cormarcarpets.co.uk.  Over one million customers choose Cormar Carpets every year.

 
Water Saving Showers... PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 May 2012 15:17

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We are all becoming more conscious of the importance of water conservation and the appreciation of just how precious this often forgotten resource really is.

Saving water can be easy, with little or no inconvenience or pain!  For example: doing one full load of washing rather than two halves, leaving the lawn un-watered and of course taking a shower instead of running a bath.

The average bath uses 80 litres of water whilst a shower just 62. A family of 4 could save a massive 506 litres per week, and 26,312 litres per year, enough to save 20% consumption - and fill a 25 metre swimming pool! 

 
See the light with new window catalogue PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2012 15:41

 

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JELD-WEN, one of the UK’s leading timber window manufacturers, has released an exciting new brochure featuring the very latest window and patio door styles, which are designed to enhance the home and create light, airy interiors.

 
Charles Church reinventing the concept of the unassuming showhome! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2012 14:05

IT’S A SHOWHOME, BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT!

First impressions will definitely last for home seekers when they visit a Charles housing development in Newport, which is offering a colourful new perspective on the concept of a show home.

Charles Church has consigned magnolia paint and biscuit coloured carpets to the dustbin once and for all, after creating an ‘eclectic’ vision for potential buyers to take in whenever they visit to look around.

 
Soooooo many sofas! PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2012 11:21

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Soooooo many sofas!

Sofa Design is an exclusive luxury sofa and chair company at the cutting edge of sofa creation, with truly unique and exquisite designs, bespoke fitting and outstanding service and advice.  Based in Essex, Sofa Design has two showrooms filled with their huge collection of exclusive products; all handmade by their expert upholsterers on-site.

With a bespoke design and made-to-order production, Sofa Design can offer home furnishings that are truly exclusive and tailored to the needs of the individual consumer.  In addition to their  vast range of sofas there are, custom made chairs, chaise longues, ottomans, beds, bed benches and even drapes. Sofa Design has a huge selection of fabrics and leathers to choose from – over 10,000!  The impressive collection includes designer materials from top brands including Ralph Lauren, Designers Guild, Romo and Jab.

The bespoke service that Sofa Design offers is truly bespoke!  Consumers can exactly match their specification needs for a particular room; Customers can take advantage of the “measure-up” service that Sofa Design offer and receive a scale-drawing of the room to see the new furniture in situ.

Some gorgeous examples of the Sofa Design offering are the classic Victorian Deep Buttoned Chaise (from £2,800), a regal style which is a real statement piece and will become the main feature of any room.  For a more contemporary style, the Waltz Chair (from £1,600) offers a glamorous edge, covered in soft velvet; this stylish piece will bring a touch of sparkle.  To really brighten up the room the Patchwork Design Vintage Sofa (from £2,600) is a real head-turner...

 

SD 10 copy SILVER CHAIR ANGLE PATCHWORK SOFA copy

 
“Red, White & Blue!” PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 14:55

Ayers & Graces Logo (smaller)

M5931R Contemporary Red Glass M5931W Contemporary White Glass M5931BL Contemporary Blue Glass

Ayers & Graces’ new patriotic coloured mirrors

 

 

n an exceptional year of nationalistic celebration, Ayers & Graces, the leading mirror and frame specialists, has created a patriotic range of modern mirrors in honour of the forthcoming royal and sporting commemorations…

The Contemporary Glass Framed Mirror from Ayers & Graces is available in the distinctive and striking colours of the Union Jack; red, white and blue.  Its bevelled glass border and bevelled mirror glass design creates a sleek, ultra-modern vibe in the home and enlivens the ambience of the room with its vibrant tones. 

 
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