Category Archives: Industry News

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How Gardens Have Changed in the Last 100 Years

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Gardens have always been an important part of our homes – whether we’re looking at 100 years ago or 1 year ago. These days, many people see their garden as another room, serving as an extension to the main house.

Nowadays, a garden could be the reason why a house is sold quickly or left on the market for years – but has this always been the case?

How much have gardens changed? Do they serve a different purpose now? We’ve taken a look at just some of the many ways that gardens have evolved over the past 100 years.

Gardens Were Used as a Food Source

In the past, it’s fair to say that gardens were mainly used as a way to provide food for the entire family. Whilst growing food is now viewed as a hobby for some, if you look back over 100 years ago, having a food source in the garden wasn’t a choice, it was essential.

This was especially true during the years that the country was at war and food was hard to come by. People needed to rely heavily on anything they could grow themselves, more specifically potatoes and vegetables. This was vital in keeping their loved ones healthy.

These days, gardens tend to be more decorative and ornamental. Of course, some people still enjoy growing their own food, but this is something that is becoming a lot less common.

People Now Have More Leisure Time

Spending time in the garden has definitely become a leisure activity for a lot of people. People have a lot more spare time than was available to previous generations, which makes gardening for fun a lot more viable. This is definitely evident in the way that garden design is now very much influenced by interior design.

Take a look at gardens around you and you’ll find that they are now a lot more stylish and modern. Fountains, ponds and statues are seen a lot more frequently, proving that with more time on their hands, people are turning their land into something a lot more attractive.

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A Wide Variety of Plants

Although plants grown today are very similar to those grown almost 100 years ago, there is now a much wider variety available, thanks to advanced plant breeding and selection. This means that our gardens are now a lot more colourful – people have the choice to be more selective, choosing the plants and flowers that they prefer.

Advanced Garden Machinery & Technology

Machinery and technology has undeniably adapted to suit our needs over the past 100 years. People want technology that will make their gardens easier to maintain without having to put in hours and hours of hard labour.

Battery powered garden machinery such as mowers and strimmers mean that almost anyone can keep their garden in good shape in an easy (and affordable) way.

Looking back, gardening was a far more physical and demanding job. Without the help of the machinery that we have today, a lot of gardening was done by hand. Therefore, it was done as a necessity rather than something enjoyable.

An Extension of the Home

As we mentioned at the beginning, many now view their gardens as being an extension of their home. This means they expect a lot more from it than people would have years ago.

The main example of this is privacy. The average back garden fence is now 6ft – providing people with a secure and safe place to spend time with their loved ones without the interference from neighbours.

This is the reason for why more and more people are choosing garden fence alternatives such as Colourfence. Available in heights of up to 2.1m, it’s the perfect option for those looking to keep the world from looking in. The entire installation process is also handled by a trained professional installer, saving you a lot of time and effort.

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So, What About The Future?

There is no telling how much gardens will continue to evolve over the next 10, 20 or 30 years. As more people look to save time on physical labour, it’s likely that we will see a bigger rise in cost effective garden solutions, such as artificial lawns, and cost effective products, such as Colourfence.

Modern and stylish features that incorporate colour, water and greenery are guaranteed to be the foundations of future gardens. We’re also looking forward to seeing what new technology comes along – it’s fair to say that technology will soon shape the entire way that gardening is carried out.

MAY - AUGUST 2016

Time To Enjoy the Great Outdoors; What’s On This Summer

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Spring is finally here, and that means summer is just around the corner! There’s lots of things to do and see this season, so we have compiled a collection of our most-anticipated flower shows and gardening events for 2016. Whether you go to all thirteen, or just make it to the one, it will be a summer well spent!

May

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5-8 May | The RHS Malvern Spring Festival

Start your summer with a ‘bloom’! Get yourself down to the Three Counties Showground at Malvern, Worcestershire before the weekend is up.

6-31 May | Family Explorers: We’re going on a bug hunt at Stowe House, Buckinghamshire is a great day out for the whole family. You can enjoy the exquisite grounds of the Grade I listed country house, and the kids can enjoy getting their hands dirty with the creepy crawlies – the perfect opportunity to get them away from the television!

14-15 May | The RHS Plant Heritage Spring Fair

Take the trip to Devon to experience the lush Rosemoor Gardens in all their glory! This event has expanded massively since the first show over a decade ago, so get yourself down to see for yourself how much it had ‘grown’.

24-28 May | The RHS Chelsea Flower Show

If you don’t make it to any of our other suggested fairs, make this the one you do see. The television coverage just does not do this astonishing event justice!

 

June

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3-5 June | Scotland’s Gardening Festival

Hit the highlands this summer to find the best plants and best landscape designers to bring your garden ambitions to ‘fruition’, at the Royal Highland Showground, Edinburgh.

4-5 June | Toby’s Garden Festival at Bowood House

After a successful first year in 2015, Toby Buckland is back in the stunning backdrop of the Grade I listed Bowood House, Wiltshire. This year it’s set to be bigger and better, with more specialist nurseries, live music, local food and presentations from the green-fingered experts.

16-19 June | BBC Gardeners’ World Live

On Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th, the kids can visit for free, so get this date in your diary! The popular event, at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, offers something for everyone, from the BBC Good Food Show to the NEW Rose Festival event!

24-26 June | GROW London

You won’t leave this contemporary garden and lifestyle fair without some ‘budding’ inspiration! Expect expert-led talks, gardening workshops for you and the kids, as well as free garden design consultations and of course food and drink at this unique event at Hampstead Heath.

 

July

 Kew Gardens

2-3 July | Kew Gardens Wild Food Festival

Excite your taste buds as well as your eyes whilst you enjoy the gorgeous wild landscapes at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Mum will enjoy sampling the stalls to collect together the picnic, Dad will be busy sampling the exotic spices and craft beers, and the kids will be running truly ‘wild’ in the famous Coronation meadow!

10-12 July | Kent County Show

This is the showcase event for everything farming, countryside and rural life – but if its flowers you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed! The Flower & Horticulture Tent is bursting with dazzling floral arrangements. The exhibition gardens are built over a week leading up to the show and the hanging-basket and child-friendly flower competitions are a highlight!

18-21 July | Royal Welsh Show

Encompassing the best of Welsh livestock and quality food and drink with a taste in Welsh farming and rural life. From activities like forestry, horticulture, and crafts to countryside sports, this is the outdoor event for the adventurous gardeners!

 

August

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14-15 August | Shrewsbury Flower Show

This year will mark the 129th Shrewsbury Flower Show, making this the longest-running event of its kind! Celebrate in style and good company – the headliners this year include celebrity gardener Sarah Raven.

20-23 August | Southport Flower Show

Another historic show, this event offers lots of opportunities for you to get involved! Exhibit your beautiful bouquets in the largest amateur grower’s competition in the country, or why not enter your photos of the gorgeous show gardens you visited this summer in the Stefan Buczacki Photography competition?

There’s lots more to see this summer than your own garden, so make 2016 your year to get out and enjoy the Great Outdoors at some of the country’s biggest and best flower shows!

Garden Shows

World Naked

World Naked Gardening Day (7th May 2016)

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“So what should you do? First of all, on the first Saturday of May, find an opportunity to get naked and do some gardening. Do so alone, with friends, with family, with your gardening club, or with any other group collected for that purpose”

World Naked Gardening Day lands on the first Saturday in May – in 2016 that’s the 7th. The movement, (acronym WNGD) was founded and organised by Mark Storey, consulting editor for Nude & Natural magazine and permaculturalist Jacob Gabriel, as a project of Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC). They also have links to the World Naked Bike Ride Day, and the fun and subversive guerrilla gardening movement.

Naturism has experienced a real resurgence in recent years, with London even opening a nude restaurant, Bunyadi. The French Tourist office are offering nude only getaways, there’s a NudeFest in Somerset, and naturist communities continue to open in America. Actress and PETA spokesperson Alicia Silverstone is a big fan of naked gardening, as was Bohemian socialite Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Tips and Tricks

Protect Yourself

“If I’m gardening naked and if I need to have a hat on or shoes on, that’s fine. People are pretty rational about that stuff. This is not a religion.” – Mark Storey, Founder of the movement.

Naturism can mean you get sunburnt is some really interesting and painful places. High SPF sun cream is an absolute must. When it comes to sun (and nettle) protection, even the founder encourages people to wear hats, shoes and gloves if necessary. Bug spray is another near necessity for au naturele pruning and growing.

Respect Others

Some sites, not affiliated with the official WNGD group, suggest doing your naked gardening in your local park or in the street. This is likely to result in a call to the either the hospital or the police, depending on how generous the onlookers feel; depending on the area, people may be more vocal in their complaints!

Remember that public nudity outside of designated spaces is classed as indecent exposure in the UK and you can and will be arrested if you try it. The best place to participate is on private property. Even then, it’s a good idea to consider your neighbours. If you have a high, sturdy fence, go for it! If you have a 3ft fence and next door’s kids have a trampoline, it might not be such a great idea.

WANT TO PROTECT YOUR NEIGHBOURS- (2)

Copy of PET THEFT AWARENESS WEEK

Pet Theft Awareness Week – Prevent Dog Theft with a Secure Garden Fence

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Pet Theft Awareness Week was set up by Arnot Wilson of the Dog Union and Richard Jordan of Viovet, the initiative works to educate the public on theft prevention and lobby MPs to get the law changed so that dog thieves face harsher penalties under law. Gareth Johnson MP and Neil Parish MP have helped lobby for change, and if you want to ask your MP to raise the issue, you can contact them via the “Write to Them” website.

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  • The 3 worst areas for dognapping are Lincolnshire, South Wales and Lancashire.
  • The 3 most at risk breeds are Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Jack Russells, and Cocker Spaniels.
  • Purebreds, working dogs and gun dogs are most at risk.
  • Only 29% of stolen dogs are currently recovered.
  • Only 5% of dog thefts result in prosecution.

 

 

Ways to Prevent Dog Theft

The Pet Theft Awareness team are particularly promoting the use of technology to help track down stolen pets. Pet theft continues to increase 14% year on year, and only 29% of stolen dogs are currently recovered. There are ways to tip the odds in your favour though.

Secure Your Property

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This is especially important if you have a valuable or in demand dog – after all, half of all stolen dogs are taken from gardens. Fit padlocks to your gates, and avoid half-gates that thieves can lean over. Consider installing CCTV and an alarm system. Check fences for weak spots, and consider replacing elderly fencing altogether with more secure metal fencing options.

Once your property is secure, ensure your dog cannot escape the garden. If you are securing a feline, consider special attachments to keep them fenced, or a transition to them being an indoor cat.

Microchipping

Microchipping is now compulsory for dog owners, and is highly recommended for other pets. Rescue animals will typically be chipped and registered to their new owners as part of their welcome package. Otherwise the procedure will usually cost about £15; some charities and non-profit orgs offer it for free.

Once you microchip your animal, ensure the vet has up to date details, and get the chip checked regularly; unfortunately chips can migrate and disappear.

 

Safety Precautions

By Snowacinesy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Strangely, 16% of dogs are stolen during walking. This bizarre form of theft can include straight up muggings (especially with smaller dogs); dogs being taken when an owner is loading their car or even just opportunistic crimes, if a dog slips their lead. Stay mindful of your surroundings and be wary of people trying to distract you.

Another 7% of dogs were stolen when tied up outside shops. It can be convenient to go shopping with your canine friend, but it can be dangerous, particularly if your pooch is one of the high risk breeds. 

 

Final Tips

The main factors that influence a person being reunited with their dog seem to be microchipping; speed of response; and visibility. Do photograph your pet regularly, so if they go missing you can spread the word quickly on social media. There are pages specifically set up to help reunite lost or stolen pets with their owners, and local animal rescues are usually happy to share your pictures and information.

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