Tag Archives: garden

'Add colour to your garden': Best plants & garden tips to make you feel like you're abroad

The Growers is an online plant retailer that has just launched a new collection of plants. Hoping to help Britons recreate a much-deserved holiday abroad in the comfort of their back gardens, the company has introduced a new range of “summer destination” plants.
Customers can choose to be transported to stunning European hotspots including Santorini, Barcelona, Provence, and more – depending which plant box you buy.

Each destination has its own colour theme, enabling you to make your garden look more interesting and unique.

Orange Begonias and leafy Coleus will take you to the white sandy beaches of Madeira, while Dahlias and Geraniums will remind you of the warmth and humidity of the buzzing streets of southern Spanish cities.

Geraniums and Petunias, among other flowers and plants, are often seen growing in Mediterranean countries, but they also grow well in Britain due to their modified leaves.

Andrew Fuller, Head Growing Guru and gardening expert at The Growers, told Express.co.uk more about the colourful plants and how to best keep them alive and well in your garden.

He said: “All of the plants found in our Growing Somewhere Nice destination collections give an amazing pop of colour to your garden.

“Geraniums, Dahlias, Osteospermums and Petunias in particular are available in a range of colours, from pink and yellow to purple and orange, which will give an amazing vibrant splash of colour to your outdoor space,” Andrew added.

“Dahlias have masses of petal-loaded blooms which will help to brighten up your outdoor space, and their compact yet bushy nature will fill your container without crowding out other plants.

“Osteospermums also open to reveal an array of soft tones, with each flower differing slightly in pigment to produce a truly stunning display in your garden borders, containers, and beds.”

Andrew shared his favourite plants in the Growing Somewhere Nice collection, which are the Dahlia Labella Medio Fun Golden Eye, the Fuchsia Jollies Miravel, the Geranium Savannah TexMex Hot Pink, and the Osteospermum Flower Power Pink.

The gardening expert explained that plants need plenty of water to help their growth, saying: “In general, we suggest watering your plants every day.

“However, you should check daily to see how the plant is doing, whether it has too much water or is too dry, and then determine whether or not to water each plant individually.”

He said: “Usually this means your plant is drying out, so if your plant is underwatered, then it definitely needs a good drink of water. You should ensure that water reaches the roots.

“Underwatering can be a cause of brown leaves in outdoor plants, but could equally be caused by scorch from the sun. In this case, if the plant is in a pot, look to move it to a more shaded area of the garden.

“Some plants are more tolerant to direct sunlight than others. If your plant is indoors and you find it frequently dries out, I’d suggest moving the plant to a different space or room, as it could be getting too much sunlight or need more room to grow.”

When it comes to looking after houseplants, as well as watering, Andrew said that “temperature, humidity and ventilation” should also be considered.

He said: “Make sure your houseplants are getting sufficient light, and choose a pot that is an appropriate size for your plant.

“Some summer plants can also be brought indoors for the colder months.

“Plants such as Begonias, Coleus and Geraniums can be kept indoors, in a conservatory for example, over the colder winter months and then all being well, can be planted back outside once the spring frosts have passed the following year,” Andrew added.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Fury as man's private garden paved over by Labour run council

Will Howell, 49, owns a flat on a block of council-owned homes and, until three years ago, had his own garden along with his neighbours in the council-owned flats. However, Birmingham City Council has since paved over the gardens to create a communal space, something it says other residents have enjoyed.
The dad had only agreed to it on the basis he would get a new garden – but that still has not happened, despite the work being carried out in 2018 after a consultation.

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Mr Howell said: “A council officer said it was obvious I didn’t mow my garden and asked why I would miss it, and what the problem was with making it a communal garden.

“I conveyed to him the garden is part of my property – it is registered with the land registry.

“It’s my own private garden. The kids used to play in it.

“Just because my garden is overgrown doesn’t give Birmingham City Council the right to take my garden and turn it into a communal area.”

Mr Howell, a performance manager in the building industry, moved into the property with his partner at the time along with their children  – now 19 and 17 – in 1997, before purchasing it in 2003.

At the back of the property in Shard End, Birmingham, were six separate gardens with six sheds made out of brick, measuring around 2m x 2m x 1.5m, he said.

Mr Howell added: “You could fit the kids’ bikes in there and my own cycle in there. They replaced that with a one-metre cubed box.

“They said they would replace it like for like. You couldn’t fit a kid’s bike in it, just a couple of Wellington boots.”

The garden itself was 8m x 5.26m and had a picket fence surrounding it. Mr Howell said it was overgrown because he didn’t have time to tend to it due to work.

He said he was promised the garden would be reinstated following the work – and Mr Howell agreed to it at that point.

But after work finished in 2018, he did not hear from anyone about when a new garden would be put in place, and despite chasing – it is still not in place today.

He said: “They seemed to make promises when they needed to do the work and they went missing afterwards.

“I wasn’t asking for anything over and above. I was just asking for my garden to be put back the way it was. You can’t go round making promises to people and then take their garden away.

“That garden was seriously missed during the Covid period.

“My niece and nephew don’t like it out the back because it’s open to anyone. There are dogs chained up and there’s no private area.

“I just want them to do the right thing. They had their chance at the beginning and made their excuses. They have just left me in the lurch.”

He has also been told by the council he owes £25,000 for the rest of the refurbishment work to the building carried out at the same time, including insulation, rendering, a new roof and an air intake system.

This has now been registered against his property, meaning he would have to pay it off from the proceeds of the sale of the flat.

He said: “That’s more than I paid for the property in the first place.”

Birmingham City Council, controlled by the Labour Party, said it would be working with Mr Howell on a “suitable solution”.

A spokesperson said: “The improvement works were completed to the block as part of a Capital Improvement Programme – as part of any improvement work, consultation does take place with residents who are contacted throughout the process.

“In relation to the Heath Way, the area was identified for major refurbishment, as the gardens at the back were significantly over grown, and unusable to families and residents within the blocks.

“Whilst we do ensure we take into account individual concerns as part of the overall consultation a wider decision has to be made for the benefit of the whole block.

“The work that took place significantly improved the lives of residents in these blocks and the feedback that was gathered from the wider community has been extremely positive.

“In relation to Mr Howell’s concerns a member of the homeownership team will be contacting him to discuss his individual issues further and work with him on a suitable solution.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed

Toddler suffers kidney failure after eating seagull droppings while out playing in the garden

Author: Vanessa Chalmers
This post originally appeared on Health News – The Sun

A TODDLER has suffered kidney failure which docs said was due to eating seagull droppings while playing in the garden.

Jaydon Pritchard, of Amlwch in Anglesey, Wales, spent 19 days hooked up to a dialysis machine and although is now home, he is “still not out of the woods”.

Jaydon Pritchard, of Amlwch in Anglesey, Wales, spent 19 days in hospital hooked up to a dialysis machine after getting E. coli from eating seagull droppings


Jaydon Pritchard, of Amlwch in Anglesey, Wales, spent 19 days in hospital hooked up to a dialysis machine after getting E. coli from eating seagull droppingsCredit: Arwel Pricthard/Daily Post

The youngster was diagnosed with an E. coli infection, which can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

Humans can pick up the bug from food or water that is contimated with it.

But Jaydon’s grandfather, Arwel Pritchard, told North Wales Live: “The doctors diagnosed him with kidney failure and told us that he had E. coli poisoning from having ingested the seagull faeces.”

Jaydon’s ordeal started on Tuesday, April 6, when he was taken to the doctor after being unwell for two days.

He was suspected to have a virus by doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd and sent home to recover, where he lives with grandparents Arwel and Christine and mum Tiffany.

But Arwel said the next day he “didn’t do anything apart from sleep and be sick”.

Later in the evening the family heard a “horrible noise coming from his cot” and were shocked to discover he was having a fit. 

They immediately called for the ambulance, but Jaydon suffered another four fits before he arrived at hospital. 

Arwel said: “It was like he was looking through you. He didn’t recognise anyone.

“There was a point where we really thought we were going to lose him. It was horrific.”

Jaydon was suspected to have a virus and was sent home to recover, where he lives with grandparents Arwel and Christine (pictured) and mum Tiffany


Jaydon was suspected to have a virus and was sent home to recover, where he lives with grandparents Arwel and Christine (pictured) and mum TiffanyCredit: Arwel Pricthard
Arwel said: "We were fearing the worst at the time, seeing his little body hooked up to the dialysis machine and his face turned yellow"


Arwel said: “We were fearing the worst at the time, seeing his little body hooked up to the dialysis machine and his face turned yellow”Credit: Arwel Pricthard/Daily Post

What is E. coli and what are the symptoms of infection?

Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria common in human and animal intestines.

While most types of E.coli are harmless some can cause serious food poisoning and infection.

E.coli bacteria is a common cause of cystitis – an infection of the bladder.

Some types of E.coli can cause gastrointestinal infections.

As the bacteria can survive outside of the body, its levels serve as a measure of general hygiene and faecal contamination of an environment.

A common mode of infection is by eating food that is contaminated with the bacteria.

Signs include:

  • Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody
  • Stomach cramping, pain or tenderness
  • Nausea and vomiting, in some people

After being rushed to Ysbyty Gwynedd, a team from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool were sent to pick up Jaydon within a few hours.

In most cases, people recover from E. coli within a week.

But some E. coli strains produce toxins (Shiga toxins) that can cause severe illness, which is extremely rare in England and Wales.

Sometimes these severe cases of E. coli can lead to a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

The bacteria lodges in the digestive tract and produces toxins that enter the blood.

These toxins destroy red blood cells and block the kidneys filtering system, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Last summer, Public Health England said it was investigating a spike in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections focused in the Midlands.

It said it could be due to warmer weather.

Jaydon is "still not out of the woods" but is doing much better


Jaydon is “still not out of the woods” but is doing much betterCredit: Arwel Pricthard/Daily Post

Jaydon was hooked up to a dialysis machine which filters waste and fluid from the body when the kidneys are not working. He also received three blood transfusions during his stay.

Arwel said: “We were fearing the worst at the time, seeing his little body hooked up to the dialysis machine and his face turned yellow.”

The ordeal has been “traumatising” for the family.

But Jaydon is doing “much better now than what he was a couple of weeks ago”.

His grandmother said she was “apprehensive” over leaving him in the garden again, where he is suspected to have first eaten the seagull faeces. 

She said: “I clean the patio every day, but it’s difficult because the seagulls are nesting nearby and it’s a constant mess to clean up.

“Poor Jaydon is on all sorts of medications now, we just hope that he’s not suffered any permanent issues. He’s still not himself, he’s still quite grey, but he’s getting there slowly.”

The grandparents issued a warning to others to “make sure that their children are playing in a safe environment, particularly when they’re outside”.

Jaydon faces a series of visits to Ysbyty Gwynedd over the coming weeks before he is taken to Alder Hey again for another check-up.

Gogglebox Lee 'thanks Boris' for beer garden pint with partner Steve

Author: [email protected] (Lucy Marshall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

Like the rest of us, Hull’s very own Gogglebox star Lee Riley has been enjoying the glorious weather and a pint at the pub.

Lee was seen on Friday night’s episode of the show with Jenny, where the pair discussed Line of Duty and The Duke of Edinburgh‘s televised funeral.

But he spent his Saturday away from his best pal, to spend time with partner Steve Mail.

The pair, who have been together for around 27 years, were heartbreakingly kept apart during the past year due to Steve living in Cyprus.

They managed to spend some time together this weekend and shared thanks to PM Boris Johnson on social media.

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Lee had to leave boyfriend Steve in his ‘idyllic hideaway’ to film for Gogglebox

Lee shared a photograph of the pair enjoying a pint in a local pub.

He said: “So happy to be out socialising again thank you Boris.

“We can’t wait for the drinks to be flowing back home in sunny Cyprus.

“Not too long now #homewardbound.”

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A number of fans commented to wish them well on their weekend together.

One fan said: “Lovely photo!! And great weather for a few beers!”

Whilst another added: “Adorable couple love it.”

A third said: “Do you live there?”

Lee and Steve’s romance is stronger than ever after 27 years

The couple had to endure six months apart from one and other.

In March of last year, when coronavirus restrictions were first implemented, the pair spent half a year apart; Lee was in England and Steve in Cyprus.

At the time, Steve posted on Instagram more than three months ago a picture of the two of them with the caption: “Our last snap together before Lockdown.

“Hope you can get out of England soon and come home. It’s been far too long.”

The series of Instagram posts showed that Lee eventually made it to see his boyfriend after months in lockdown.

During lockdown Lee and bestie Jenny have kept up entertained with their funny antics every Friday night.

The pair will appear in the next episode of the Channel Four show together next Friday, as the episode ten of series 17 airs.

Gardening: How to attract birds to your garden and provide them shelter

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed

Having more birds in your garden not only enables you to discover more about the UK’s bird species, but they can also be helpful in reducing the damage caused to your plants by insects, as birds like to eat various different invertebrates.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has shared advice on how to attract birds and other wildlife to your garden.

To feed birds, garden experts recommended using wire mesh feeders for peanuts and seed feeders for other seed.

Fat balls, on the other hand, can be placed in wire cages instead of plastic nets, as some birds can get caught in the nets.

The RHS advised making your own fat balls by melting suet into moulds, such as coconut shells, or into holes drilled into logs.

READ MORE: Dusty house? How to make your home dust-free – and KEEP it that way

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Piers Morgan mocked by fans after posting photo of luxury garden

It is safe to say we are all enjoying soaking up the beautiful sunny weather right now – and former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan is certainly no exception.

Since his controversial exit from the popular morning show, the Daily Mail coloumist has remained active on his social media.

He uploaded a picture of his “favourite breakfast spot in the world”, also known as his back garden, on Saturday morning (April 18) to his 1.6 million Instagram followers, Essex Live reports.

The millionare’s fancy garden, which even has an outdoor swimming pool, is at his home in Newick, East Sussex.

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Piers Morgan’s garden in East Sussex

The host which people love or hate, has been spending some quality time off after his high-profile Good Morning Britain exit in February.

But despite his dinky outdoor breakfast spot, Piers’ followers couldn’t help but point out something else – the stained garden furniture.

Celebrity friend Vernon Kay commented jokingly on the post: “I’ll jet wash that patio for you for a glass of red [wine] and a cooked breakfast!”

Piers took his pal up on the offer saying “Done!”.

Presenter Vernon was not the only one to pass a comment at the state of Piers’ garden, as some fans also made cheeky comments about the wooden table and chairs.

One commented: “Beautiful now get sander wood stain out and preserve that lovely table and chairs will look like new.”

Another remarked: “It is time you re-treat the table and chairs you have no excuse you have plenty of time on your hands.”

Piers has been mocked for his untreated furniture

Giving some advice to the star, another fan told Piers to “pressure wash the furniture then treat it”.

Not to be outdone by another who wrote: “All that time off, you could re stain your garden furniture.”

[email protected] (Rafi Maurio-Benady, Rafi Maurio-Benady, Lucy Marshall)

This article originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

B&M brings back luxury garden item and shoppers go wild – ‘Absolutely love it!’

B&M delighted shoppers when they shared a preview of the luxury gazebo on Instagram. The post reads: “Make socialising outside in all weather conditions easier than ever with our Luxury Steel Framed Gazebo for only £100. “It is 100 percent shower-proof and will also provide you with a spot of shade when needed… because we can never be really sure which way this glorious weather will turn.”
The gazebo retails for £100, which compared to some gazebos, is a bargain.

Shoppers quickly came to the post to share how much they loved the product. One person said: I have this with my bar underneath. Absolutely love it!”

Another replied: “I got mine last week. Can’t wait to put it up.”

A third added: “This is amazing I got one for us and for my mum. It is fabulous value as always.”

READ MORE:Morrisons shoppers erupt over ‘intimidating’ packaging

Current government guidelines state that outdoor gatherings- including in gardens- are allowed with up to six people from two households. 

Hospitality venues are also open for outdoor service, such as beer gardens or terraces. People can purchase food and alcohol and there will be no 10pm curfew this time.

People still need to stay two metres away from anyone they do not live with and those outside of a support bubble.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Tools Up! Garden Party – Episode 1: The Tree House Available Now

Welcome to the tree house! It’s spring and time to get gardens back in order. Put on your straw hat, roll up your sleeves, and let’s get to work!

In Tools Up!’s new DLC, Tools Up! Garden Party has tons of new mechanics, tools, and exciting levels waiting for players to uncover through three separate episodes. Each episode will also feature a challenging opponent. In the first episode, keep a look out for a trickster raccoon — you’ll have to beat more than just the clock now! What else is waiting for you in Episode 1?

Tool's Up! DLC

For a good start, grab a shovel in your hand! When you’ve got a bare patch of dirt there’s lots of work to be done. Better get a shovel because before you’ll be able to plant beautiful new plants or some seeds, the soil will need to be prepared properly.

Tool's Up! DLC

Growing plants need lots of care and watering. One of the fastest ways to get the job done is to use a garden hose, but will you be able to control its attempts to escape? If you go it alone, hold on tight, but it’s even better to do this job with a friend to help you regulate the water’s flow. Thar she blows!

Tool's Up! DLC

Tools Up! Garden Party introduces many novel mechanics and tools to the game. Something that’s new is that there is usually more than one way to complete a task…sometimes even more than two ways! You decide what works best for you—anything goes in the great outdoors! And before calling the job done, you’ll have to uncover the mystery of the tree house. What’s been going on up there? Play all three episodes to find out!

Tools Up! Garden Party - Episode 1: The Tree House

Tools Up! Garden Party – Episode 1: The Tree House

All in! Games

Tools Up! Garden Party consists of three episodes, each with 15 unique levels and a demanding boss to beat. Each DLC episode will be available as a part of our Season Pass. Tools Up! Co. was going home from another successful renovation, when suddenly—an enormous treehouse crashed down in front them! It was falling apart before their eyes. This job was going to take some work! Gather your crew of up to 4 players and put the treehouse in order in Tools Up! Garden Party! We’re in the great outdoors now, so you’ll get to plant trees, water flowers, cut the grass, and much more. But be careful—there might be someone hiding in the bushes! Collect leaves for jobs done well to unlock new levels and skins. There may be more than one way to achieve your goals, but will you be able to beat the clock?
Tools Up! Garden Party – Season Pass

Tools Up! Garden Party – Season Pass

All in! Games

Tools Up! Garden Party consists of three episodes, each with 15 unique levels and a demanding boss to beat. Each DLC episode will be available as a part of our Season Pass. Gather your crew of up to 4 players and put the treehouse in order in this crazy couch co-op! We’re in the great outdoors now, so you’ll get to plant trees, water flowers, cut the grass, and much more. Collect leaves for jobs done well to unlock new levels and skins. There may be more than one way to achieve your goals, but will you be able to beat the clock?

Norbert Litwiński, Marketing Manager, All In! Games publisher
This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Buckingham Palace to open garden to public – stunning pictures inside Queen's residence

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip often stay in the living quarters of Buckingham Palace. The property, based in central London, has a garden which spans nearly 40 acres.
Royal fans will be able to explore the area for the first time between July and September.

While the inside of the palace is currently out of bounds, some things are known about the inside of the 775 room property.

New pictures show inside the Green Drawing Room which features high ceilings with hanging chandeliers.

The regal decor includes a red and gold carpet with emerald green walls and hanging paintings.


Another snap shows the Ballroom which had a dark red carpet featuring a black square pattern.

The large room has two long tables covered in white tablecloths and red sitting chairs.

The room has white walls with gold borders and six chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.

The public will most often get to glimpse inside Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s annual Christmas Day speech.

Other snaps have shown inside the Blue Drawing room, which was previously used as a ballroom.

The large room is decorated in a similar style to other parts of the palace and has a red and cream patterned carpet.

All the furniture is pushed to the side leaving plenty of open space in the middle.

It is lit up by a range of chandeliers and has rows of cream and gold chairs and tables lining the walls.

The royal line of succession – who outranks who?

The line of succession to the British throne dictates the order in which each member of the Royal Family would ascend to the throne.

It is also seen as a ranking of importance with the head of the line, the Queen, taking the place of ruler.

Older children come before younger children. Traditionally boys came before girls, but this law was changed on 26 March 2015 before the birth of Prince William’s first child.

Incredibly, Catholics are still excluded from the line of succession, as are children born outside of wedlock.

The royals, who usually stick to a strict protocol when appearing in public, often arrive at events in ascending order of importance, with the most important royal arriving last.

Prince Charles, 72, is currently first-in-line to the British throne, followed by Prince William, 38, his oldest son.

Then comes Prince William’s children, George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, and they are followed by Prince Harry, 36. Prince Harry is succeeded by his son Archie Harrison, born in May 2019.

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Gardening: David Domoney reveals the three Ds you NEED to do in your garden this weekend

Prune plants about half a centimetre above the bud, to leave it protected.

Prune plants at an angle, especially near to buds.

Make sure to cut dead wood away from the base of the plant, to favour strong shoots.

If two stems are growing close together, prune one to protect them from rubbing and damaging each other.