All posts filed under: The Great Outdoors

Growing Veggies – It’s Easier Than You Think!

Most people have been making an effort to cut back on their carbon footprint for some years now. However, in the last few years, there has been a more significant push to have less single-use plastic, less fast fashion purchases, and more ‘self-sustainability’. And that in itself is very cool. Recycling, using the car less when possible, cutting back on cleaning chemicals are all great efforts. And, even the smallest eco-goal is one worth making. But, managing to produce a range of fruits and vegetables is an excellent addition to your efforts. It’s easier than you think! Photo by Sven Scheuermeier on Unsplash Start Small You might be tempted to rush out and buy as many seeds and small plants as possible. But you should start smaller. Think about what you currently eat, and what would be beneficial for you and your family. Laying the groundwork is going to be vital. The basic soil makeup to grow tasty veggies is plenty of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In most bags of soil, you will get a …

Creating a Child-Friendly Garden

When there are young children in a family the garden needs to be a safe environment for them to play in. Being outside in the fresh air has physical and emotional benefits, for people of all ages, including children. Turning your garden into a safe haven for your kids need not be difficult, you just have to consider them with every step you take. Artificial Grass All parents should consider the benefits of artificial grass when they are trying to make their garden child-friendly. It is tough and durable and makes playing outside all year round much more of an option. The kids will not have muddy patches to slip over in and will not get grass stains on their clothes. Artificial grass looks good in all weathers and helps to keep your garden low maintenance. It does not need to be mowed, watered or fertilized. If you go away for a couple of weeks holiday it will not have grown a few inches by the time you get back. Some people are dubious about …

Which Wildlife Should You Encourage to Live in Your Garden?

As tempting as it may sometimes be to keep your garden free from bugs and animals, a lot of creatures are actually beneficial to the garden and indeed the bigger picture.  From bees, which are important pollinators of various plants and fruiting trees, to ladybirds, which feast on aphids, together with Dobies, retailers of flowering plants, we take a look at the wildlife that you should be more welcoming to and why. Butterflies and Bees Butterflies and bees can be great additions to your back garden. They are natural pollinators, which means that they help spread your flowers around the garden and encourage growth.  Encouraging bees and butterflies into your garden is easy, simply opt for a selection of bright, colourful flowers and let nature do the rest. Beneficial Insects Not all insects are a annoying – some have their uses and can actually protect your plants from infestations of smaller creatures.  Aphids, for example, are a problem for many gardeners.  The small insects, also known as the greenfly and blackfly, suck saps from plants …

How Your Garden Can Help Combat Climate Change

Climate change and its devastating effects are hot topics now more so than ever before, with seemingly every environmental phenomenon attributed to global warming, including the recent spate of sunny weather and high temperatures in the UK.  As a nation, we are constantly being urged to take steps to reduce the amount of rubbish we generate, including rejecting plastic straws and utilising reusable cups in coffee shops, but is there more we can do at home?  Or, more specifically, in our gardens? Size Doesn’t Matter According to the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), with more than 85% of the British population living in towns and cities, our gardens make up a quarter of total urban areas in many cities, so you may be able to do more with your garden space than your realise.  When it comes to cities and large towns, domestic gardens can act as air-conditioning systems.  Trees and hedges can help to provide insulation during the winter months, cutting energy consumption, too.  Place your evergreen shrubs and bushes carefully around your property to …

Active Kids = Happy Kids

With childhood obesity still a major national problem, keeping our children active feels more important than ever before.  I am lucky that my two, particularly my son, are naturally active and energetic but I do still nurture and facilitate their love of activity by giving them opportunities to play outdoors.  Every day after school they are either playing in the park (football, climbing trees, racing around) or they are at a club (dance, football, basketball, rounders, swimming, gymnastics…).  Either way, I ensure that they get at least an hour of exercise every single day. Admittedly, it is more difficult in the winter months, though we do still get outside as often as possible.  If it is very wet or very cold, we are a bit more stuck and it really shows in my children’s behaviour, particularly if they have endured wet play at school too.  Sadly, there are only so many times you can go swimming or to soft play before it either gets boring or too expensive!  At times like this, I rely on music …