Top 10 Garden Resource Blogs 2011

By Arron on Apr 27 2011 | 1 Comments

 

 

With the summer sun well upon us, it's time for the avid green fingered gardeners to prepare their garden.

In order to find the best community base to prepare us for the summer, we have launched a competition to find out the best gardening blog of 2011!

After months of research the following 10 blogs & communities were identified (in no particular order):


1) The Guardian Gardening Blog

The Guardian's Gardening blog has been around for many years, and is regularly updated by popular gardening editors with useful gardening related content.

Find one of their recent posts here.


2) Digging

This United States based gardening resource is owned by Pam, a Texas based gardener. She has developed her garden environment for many years, and regularly posts content on her gardening journey.

Find one of her recent posts here.


3) Veggie Gardening Tips

Veggie Gardening Tips is a gardening portal for useful tips and advice on how to grow vegetables naturally and organically, the blog has some excellent guides on how to grow certain vegetables effectively.

Find one of their recent posts here.


4) Gardeners World Blog

Gardeners World is a BBC owned gardening portal. World gardening experts regularly update the blog with essential tips and advice for gardening related matters, making it a very trusted resource for gardening enthusiasts.

Find one of their recent posts here.


5) GrowsonYou

GrowsonYou is a gardening based community & blogging resource where members can share their gardening tips and tricks with one another.

Find one of their recent posts here.


6) Guerilla Gardening

Guerrilla is an interesting community base, which encourages the creation of gardening in public areas such as on side streets and roundabouts. The blog is frequently updated by members who have come across attractive looking public gardens and flower patches.

Find one of their recent posts here.


7) Cold Climate Gardening

Cold Climate Gardening is a unique gardening resource which offers tips and advice for gardeners who live in cold climates. The blog has a wide range of posts relating to cold climate gardens and how they can be brought to life despite their unfortunate cold temperatures.

Here is one of their recent posts here.


8) Gardening Gone Wild

Gardening gone wild is an internationally recognised gardening blogging community in which aims to 'inspire and inform' its readers with a global perspective on all things gardening.

Find one of their recent posts here.


9) A Way to Garden

A Way to Garden is maintained by garden enthusiast Margaret Roach, she was earlier awarded best garden book of the year in 1998, and her success has continued with her gardening blog, which has a high number of regular subscribers.

Find one of her recent posts here.


10) Garden Rant

Garden Rant is a well known gardening blogging network which has won a number of best blog awards in the past. The blog is regularly updated by four gardening editors who have created a huge following among the gardening network.

Find one of their recent posts here.


To cast a vote for your favourite gardening resource, simply use the form below to vote.

The end date for the competition is  29th June 2011, so make sure your vote counts! Once the results are collected, the top garden blog of 2011 will be revealed!

 

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Categories: Garden , gardening , General , Summer

Winter Care for Garden Birds

By Arron on Oct 14 2010 | 0 Comments

Winter months can provide difficult times for many insects and wildlife that visit our gardens, food can be particularly hard to come by as the cold and frost starts to bed in. These gloomy conditions are particularly harmful to many species of birds; the outcome of these conditions can be fatal.  Recent studies have shown that birds can use up to 10% of their body fat during a cold winter’s night, meaning that an early morning scurry for food left out on the lawn to be essential to their survival, unless able to feed well every day to replenish lost body fat, a long drawn out cold spell can be disastrous for our feathered friends.

What to feed

Food should be put out on a daily basis to give birds the best possible chance of survival.

-          - Feed twice daily; first thing in the morning and early in the afternoon this is when the birds will crave food the most.

-          - Introduce hanging feeders to hold various seed mixes such as; peanuts, sunflower seeds, and nyjer seeds.

-          - Utilise a bird table for bread, scraps, cheese, and pastry.

-          - Ensure a fresh water supply is available

-          - Bird cakes and fat balls – very good because they provide high fat content, giving birds the energy they need.

Where to place a bird table in your garden

First of all it is essential to place the bird table away from fences or large hedges where cats can easily get to. The table should be placed near a small bush towards the rear of the garden, this will allow the birds to be undisturbed and give them avid space to lookout for other birds on the lookout for food. If possible bird tables should be placed as high as possible to avoid cats and other wildlife climbing onto it, to further avoid the risk of other wildlife attacks, prickly bushes should be placed around the bottom of the table.

Plant wildlife-friendly vegetation, such as prickly bushes and thick climbers in the garden to provide secure cover for birds. These should be close enough to where birds feed to provide cover, but not so close that cats can use it to stalk birds.  This kind of planting may also provide food and nesting sites.

The Need for Water

Like all living things, birds need a regular supply of water to survive. A bird bath mounted on a plinth, a ceramic water dish, or hanging water dishes are some of the most common uses to hold water for birds. It is also important that the edges of each of the equipment are slightly sloping with rough sides to help them grip on.

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The Benefits of Beekeeping

By Arron on Aug 18 2010 | 0 Comments

The thought of beekeeping seems somewhat strange when we think how irritating these insects can be when their buzzing around us in summer. However the act of beekeeping has been around for centuries. Beekeeping (also known as apiculture) was first introduced by the Egyptians who would consider honey one of their favourite foods; they would keep many colonies of beehives in order to produce honey which they would consume on a daily basis.

Bees are not only useful for their honey, but notably for agriculture, bees provide high value pollination to plants and flowers around the garden environment. Without bees there would be a considerable decrease in the way common crops grow, and they would more often than not die due to a lack of pollen. Garden enthusiasts will tell you that having one or two beehives in the garden would see a considerable improvement in the way crops grow throughout the summer.

Notably, other obvious reasons for beekeeping is for their production of beeswax and royal jelly, both have high commercial values, and can be useful for many everyday resources, such as; shoe polish, candles, and cosmetics.

Beehive Storage

An apiary or (bee yard) is where the bees store their honey, and is their colony, this is essentially where the bees work their magic in producing these highly useful resources. The first steps for creating the apiary is to utilise wooden boxes which contain wax sheets, the bees will use the wax from the sheets to create their honeycomb. Typically, the queen bee will sit within the colony and order her worker bees to produce the honey. Beforehand, special scents are used in order to

attract queen bees to the nests. Throughout the course of the day, bees will collect pollen and nectar from flowers to keep them nourished for carrying out their working tasks. The nectar they collect is then reused and stored within the honeycomb, in order to produce honey.

Beekeepers Beware

Before starting your beekeeping hobbies, it is strongly advised that you take professional advice from your local community and authorities. As well as being quite rewarding, beekeeping can be a danger to humans in particular. The correct clothing should be worn at all times when near a colony, as the consequences could be quite uncomfortable, and in some cases fatal. Storing equipment within a garden shed will ensure you can easily find your protective clothing when needed.  It is also advised to use a smoker; this will prevent the queen bee from sending out signals to other bees to start feeding, and will allow you to perform inspection and maintenance work on the colonies.

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The Potting Shed Resource

By Arron on Jul 22 2010 | 0 Comments

Most avid gardeners will agree that having their gardening resources stored in one place, to be a very efficient way of ensuring gardens are kept uncluttered and organised.

To keep your garden environments free of untidiness, you should consider purchasing a potting shed. These garden structures allow for effective methods of storage, from typical garden tools such as trowels, shears, and spades, to much larger items such as tractors and mowers, depending on the size of your potting shed.

As well as storing everyday gardening equipment, the potting shed can be a place for common gardening tasks such as; re-potting plants ready for the summer months, and all round seasonal care such as dead heading, pruning and watering. The potting shed can be a very effective and time consuming purchase for any keen gardeners, all excess soil and mess can be cleaned up with minimal effort. Those gardeners who suffer from bad backs will tell you that it’s much easier to clean a potting shed, rather than having to scramble around the garden with a brush.

Before making any decisions to acquiring a potting shed it is advised that you analyse what space you have free in your garden, and where the best possible place for it to be situated should be. Placing your potting shed in a well lit area during the summer months is essential if you want plants to grow in there.

The majority of potting sheds nowadays come with at least one shelf giving you the advantage of sorting items instantly. Other useful resources such as workbenches and storage cabinets will allow your potting shed to be well equipped for both storing items, and for working on general gardening tasks.

Greenhouse Vs Potting Sheds

When we compare the greenhouse and the potting shed, there isn’t too much difference between them. When analysing the usability of the greenhouse it has only one main task, a storage point for plants to grow. Whereas the potting shed can infact perform this task and be a useful storage and working area for avid gardeners as well.

It has said to divide opinion which structure can store plants more efficiently throughout seasonal change; I would like to say however that a potting shed could infact sustain the growth of plants much better than a greenhouse throughout seasonal change. Some gardeners have found that winter care for plants in greenhouses to be more difficult as plants need to be covered with fleece on a regular basis, on the other side potting sheds have been found to be more effective in cold winter months, by utilising propagators and heaters to keep the shed temperatures warm on a regular basis.

Look here for a range of potting sheds

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Deforestation - The Impact On Our Environment

By Arron on Jun 30 2010 | 0 Comments

Deforestation

Less than 100 years ago we would see vast areas of green land and outspread woodland areas where families and couples could enjoy their summer weekends, without the hustle and bustle of loud communities, and heavy roadside usage. Now it seems these days are somewhat outdated, and a continuation of environmental and technological change is increasingly upon us.

For centuries now we have seen forests all over the world becoming victim to deforestation. The changes to these climates are having a huge effect on our environment, and many people are still unaware as to the consequences.

Deforestation has been apart of the way we live for centuries now, but over recent times it has caused massive concern all over the world. The state of our environment is vastly becoming taken for granted. It is thought that 30 percent of the earths land is covered by forests, but for how much longer?

What are the causes of deforestation?

  • We are the basis of our own downfall when it comes to deforestation, the main causes include;
  • Agriculture & Cattle - cut down to create areas of land for grazing cattle
  • To grow crops - Used by farmers to grow their own produce
  • Used for Urban and Construction Purposes- Used for building materials such as paper, furniture & log cabins etc
  • Fuel - Used for firewood and charcoal for heating and cooking purposes.

So what are the effects of deforestation?

One of the main threats to the world is the greenhouse effect - in which gives out harmful gases to the atmosphere, namely Carbon Dioxide .Deforestation subsequently helps these harmful gases swarm around our environment.

Trees as we know are important to our environment, without them, we wouldn’t have paper, oxygen, & everyday resources that we use day in day out.

But there is underlying reasons why forests are essential to our well being. One of which is Photosynthesis. Forests absorb a large number of sunlight & carbon dioxide which in turn can be used for Photosynthesis, not only this but, deforestation actually harms the environment because it allows carbon dioxide to be let out into the environment. Trees themselves take in carbon dioxide and release Oxygen which is essential to all living things, also burning down forests can emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is locked in the trees wood.  

Other effects such as washing away of soil & Biodiversity contribute heavily to the act of deforestation.

What does the future hold?

It is thought that approximately 13 million hectares of the world's forests are lost due to deforestation, and these numbers don't seem to be halting. Deforestation is of major concerns to most countries in the world, and its constant increase over the last 20 years has done our climate more harm than good,

But due to its effect on people's livelihood and money, it’s hard to see it dropping anytime soon.

The tropical rainforests are infact the main heartbeat for human well being; since all modern medicines come from these environments - It is somewhat hard to believe that we will see a distinct difference any time soon, but if the growth of deforestation continues, it could infact kill us.

One aspect that could help the threats of global warming & the green house effect is planting new trees when old ones are destroyed, this in turn could balance the act considerably. However no formal procedure has yet been discussed. Consumers have however been advised to purchase products like wooden garden sheds, toys and materials from companies that source their wood from sustainable sources.

 

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Categories: gardening