Website for the over 60s  May 2017
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Garden Tips from
National Garden
Gift Vouchers

A great plant to get you into the summer gardening spirit is the pretty Petunia

May is a great gardening month and probably the last month you can plan for your summer colour in the garden. For those with limited space, bedding plants will give you maximum effect and can really make a statement. If you are taking a long-term view then a garden full of reliable flowering shrubs is also an option

For a bit of inspiration and because it’s one of the best garden show in the world, you could always visit Chelsea Flower Show (23rd-27th May). At Chelsea you can see garden designs and planting ideas for all budgets and all spaces - from the minimalist and ultra modern to country cottage and rural retreat.

Whatever garden you have, watering and weeding are the key watchwords for May. It’s essential to water newly planted fruit trees, roses and shrubs regularly to help their root systems get established. It’s also the time of year when many plants’ demand for water increases as they start their major growth period.

Top watering tips include – every time you plant something water it in well, make a moat of soil round newly planted plants so that water doesn’t run off and goes to the roots, water pots and containers so that water appears right to the top of the pot and get a water butt. If you have a drainpipe you have a natural water supply so a simple garden solution for May is ensure that you have adequate water storage.

A simple project for this month would be to buy and fit a water butt that will provide you with water for the garden in an environmentally friendly way and on a regular basis.

Annual weeds will be popping up now, so weeding borders once a week to prevent weed seedlings establishing is a good idea. The problem with the most common weeds such as nettles, dandelions and bindweed is that they are very, very tough. They can continue to grow in conditions that make most garden plants simply fade away – and they do it, in part, by using the moisture, nutrients and light of the plants around them. The best thing you can do with weeds is to use them and make them into compost to benefit the plants that you really want to live with.

A great plant to get you into the summer gardening spirit is the pretty Petunia – perfect for containers and hanging baskets and a great choice for instant colour. It can flower all summer long, providing you deadhead regularly, and comes in a variety of colours to suit any garden palette. Petunias are also available in different blooms including single, double, ruffled or smooth petals. They can be striped, veined or solid in colour and most sold today are hybrids developed for specific design purposes such as fragrance. They need full sun and can’t tolerate frost but can grow in a wide range of soils and thrive in multipurpose compost when planted in containers.

Keeping on top of garden maintenance is crucial in May. The garden is coming alive so there is plenty to keep you busy. Here are some jobs you should be thinking about this month.

May Garden Checklist

· Plant out seedlings and young plants.

· Watering and weeding.

· Start spraying roses to stop black spot and mildew.

· Fast growing hedges will need a trim.

· Plant hanging baskets and containers.

· Plant salad leaves seeds.

· Tie up climbers.

· Feed spring bulbs for next year.

· Plant out tomatoes.

· Mow the lawn.

National Garden Gift Vouchers

National Garden Gift Vouchers can be bought and redeemed at over 2,000 outlets in the UK, with more than 90,000 garden plants and products on offer.

Visit to see the outlets that sell and accept them.

You can become a fan and buy vouchers on Facebook by clicking on:  

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Prepare Your Greenhouse for the Summer

Nicola Simpson, Head of Marketing at Forest Garden

 Nicola Simpson, Head of Marketing
                    at Forest Garden

With the weather across the country starting to get warmer, preparation of your greenhouse now will ensure strong and healthy plants this growing season.

According to Nicola Simpson, Head of Marketing at Forest Garden - UK’s leading manufacturer of timber sheds, summerhouses, garden structures and fencing panels - you need to follow some simple tips to make the most of your greenhouse this Spring/Summer:

· De-clutter and thoroughly clean the greenhouse. This will create the best possible growing conditions for your plants and crops. Make sure the glass is clean inside and out to maximise light.

· Ventilation is key. Insufficient ventilation can result in plants suffering from diseases so ensure there are adequate openings on your greenhouse that allow good air circulation throughout the greenhouse.

· Maintain pathways and staging, if necessary wash over with a non-toxic disinfectant.

· Extend your growing season by considering heating options. If the greenhouse has a power supply, a purpose designed greenhouse heater is a good option. This will also increase the range of plants you can grow.

· Maximise the space you have to work with, particularly if you have a small greenhouse. This can be easily achieved by installing adequate staging and shelving.

· If you haven’t already, install a water butt to collect rain from the greenhouse. It not only helps the environment but plants benefit much more from rain water than tap water.

· Plan things out. Before you start growing it's a good idea to make a plan for what you're going to grow and where.

“Now is the time to reorganise your greenhouse. One of the key benefits of a greenhouse is that it allows you to grow plants and crops that need more shelter and higher temperatures than are found in the open garden,” adds Nicola.

The Forest Garden range of wooden greenhouses all feature innovative designs to maximise space and light. All timber is FSC certified.

For more details visit the website at 

 Stylish Products for your Garden

Large Wooden Bothy Pot from Garden Trading

Garden Trading offers a stylish selection of products for both your home and garden.

This traditional Large Wooden Bothy Pot is crafted from beautiful Paulownia Wood. The traditional brown-grey colouring is perfect for displaying lavenders and colourful flowering plants. Available in a selection of sizes. Price is £18.00 for the large pot.

Barrington Aged Weathervane from Garden Trading

Give your home some rustic charm with the Barrington Aged Weathervane. Made of cast iron that has been deliberately aged, this classic weathervane is suitable for both flat and pitched roofs.

It will transform any home or building into a landmark that will be noticed and remembered. Price is £60.

Strand Down Light in Charcoal from Garden Trading

Add a touch of nautical style to your home with the Strand Down Light in Charcoal.

Designed for outdoor use, the classic caged design emulates similar styles seen in coastal towns and on naval ships.

With a powder coated steel exterior the light is weatherproof and the bulb is protected by the glass shade. It sits perfectly either side of a doorway or popped onto the potting shed or outbuilding for an extra bit of light. Price is £50.

For details about The Garden Trading Company visit

Homes & Gardens


Be Kinder to the Environment with ecofective Products

ecofective Wonder Feed

A completely new range of environmentally sensitive feed, weed and control products from one of the world’s leading plant technology companies has been launched, making the best professional technology available to British amateur gardeners.

The ecofective range, from Milan based Sipcam, has clear objectives to:

· Be kinder to the environment compared to conventional products;

· Include ingredients with favourable eco-toxicological and health and safety profiles and, preferably, using naturally derived ingredients;

· Demonstrate excellent efficacy in use.

ecofective Rose Defender

The range includes a non-pesticide ecofective Rose Defender to control aphids and powdery mildew with an added foliar feed. This is available in 1 Ltr RTU and as a 100 ml concentrate. Weed Blast has a patented natural formula that gives visible results after one hour. This is available as a one litre and four litre RTU.

Other products in the ecofective range include a Path & Patio Weed and Moss Killer, a Bug Killer which is used extensively by organic farmers and growers, a non-pesticide Plant Defender and a 100% natural and organic Wonder Feed for tomatoes which is preferred by commercial organic growers. The vast majority of ecofective products are manufactured in the UK.

ecofective Wonder Feed

Sipcam is a €0.5 billion family owned business that has been trading for 70 years. Sipcam UK has a team of eleven and the Home and Garden sector is headed by Matt Jones who has spent a career in the domestic pest and weed control market. He was previously managing director of Doff Portland. The technical team is led by Dr Anne Noble and Bob Hand specialists in plant nutrition and regulated products.

“Our technology has been developed following many years of strategic R&D in cooperation with leading international universities”, explains Matt Jones.

ecofective Rose Defender

“All research shows that British domestic gardeners seek environmentally responsible ways to help them. ecofective makes the bio-technologies we have developed available to them in attractive and easily useable forms. This is particularly relevant now as an increasing number of well-known branded pesticides, active ingredients and conventional chemicals are being withdrawn from the worldwide market, often due to environmental concerns. Ecofective fills that void in the market.”

ecofective products are all produced to the highest international standards including ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 and meet all relevant EU and international requirements. The full technical resources of Sipcam locally and internationally will be available to support new UK customers.

ecofective container and Basket boost

The new range is available from garden centres, Homebase and online.

To find your local stockist, please visit


CJ Wildlife Webcams Follow our Beautiful Nesting Birds Live!

Watch the CJ Wildlife Webcams Live

Watch the webcams here!

Winter is over and spring is here, although it is still a little cold and dark, nature is certainly well on its way to preparing for a new season. Spring flowers can be seen everywhere and the sound of birdsongs are loud and clear.

It is the time of year that we see lambs and other baby animals starting their new lives. What isn’t as obvious to the eye are the baby birds that will be hatching soon. Many birds have been busy building nests, breeding and laying eggs.

Watch the storks on the CJ Wildlife webcams

CJ Wildlife is lucky to have the benefit of an ‘eagle eye’ on several different bird species whilst they are going through the most important time in their lives, reproducing.

The live webcams run 24 hours a day and let us take a very up close and personal look into the nests of Peregrine Falcons, Little Owls, Tawny Owls, Barn Owls, Storks, Herons, Swifts and Kingfishers.

Watch the Peregrine Falcons on the CJ Wildlife webcams

Last year the cameras drummed up a lot of interest on social media from people who are new to bird watching as well as the dedicated ornithologists. They were also a big hit with parents and children, and this year we hope they will be just as popular.

There is always something going on, whether it is a Little Owl’s lunchtime feast, a new egg or some adorable allopreening.

Watch the owls on the CJ Wildlife webcams

Log on to the CJ Wildlife website to catch all the action, with some of the birds having already laid eggs, and some have hatched, you won’t want to miss out!

The best time to watch is now until the 1st July when the most activity will take place.

 How to Watch the Webcams

Watch the CJ Wildlife webcams live 24 hours a day

To watch the webcams please click on this link

You can also follow CJ Wildlife on Twitter @CjWildlife and
Facebook to keep you up to date with all the latest news from the nests.


Sophie Allport Gardening Collection

Oilcloth Pruning Bag from Sophie Allport

Sophie Allport offers some fabulous products for the garden and home. We love this Oilcloth Pruning Bag which features cute bunnies racing around after wheelbarrows, watering cans, cabbages and small seedlings on a pale cabbage green background.

A handy product for any gardening enthusiast. It folds into a bag and opens up into a flat circle (diameter: 75cm). The perfect solution to gather up all those pruning clippings and carry them to your compost area. Diameter is 75cm. Price is £25.00.

Oilcloth Half Apron from Sophie Allport

This practical Oilcloth Half Apron is fantastically useful for keeping those tools close at hand while gardening. Made from matt oilcloth (PVC) the apron is durable and water resistant. It has four handy pockets at the front to keep all those gardening essentials easily accessible - secateurs, hand tools, pruning knives, spools of twine, and seed packets.

The cotton straps can be adjusted to fit gardeners of all shapes and sizes around the waist. Made from matt oilcloth in Sophie Allport's Gardening design, it features bunnies, wheel barrows, watering cans, cabbages and small green seedlings on a pale cabbage green background. Price is £15.00.

'Green Fingers' Fine Bone China Mug from Sophie Allport

This lovely 'Green Fingers' Fine Bone China Mug will appeal to any gardening enthusiast. It features Sophie's illustrations of wellington boots, trowels, vegetables, watering cans and herbs.

Made from fine bone china, it comes in a gift box. Perfect for a cup of tea or to display cut flowers. Dishwasher and microwave safe. Price is £11.00 for the standard size and £14 for the large size.

For more information about Sophie Allport visit the website at


    Millennials Learn
  Older Generation's
 Secret to Happiness

Millennials learn the older generation's secret to health and happiness

A recent study unearths fact that younger people are tapping into the wisdom of their elders and finding peace outside.

A third of young people aged between 16 and 30 are getting into gardening, agreeing with older age groups that reaching for their trowels offers them a greater sense of wellbeing.

A new study of 1,200 people in the UK by landscaping specialist Marshalls has found that youngsters are taking inspiration from the older generations, with 25% of millennials revealing that gardening improves their sense of wellbeing and over a third (35%) saying that just by having a garden they feel better in themselves.

These findings highlight a recent trend of younger people enjoying more relaxed leisure pursuits, reinforced by the fact that one in seven (15%) surveyed said that they would rather spend time in the garden than partying.

The data also suggests that as people get older they draw more positivity from their gardens, with more than 60% of over 55s stating that having a garden makes them happier.

On average, millennials are spending at least one hour in their gardens every week, with more than a quarter (28%) growing their own fruit and vegetables. The older generation lead the way, however, spending double the amount of time in their gardens each week.

In the over 55s category, 40% of respondents said they grow their own fruit and vegetables, with many feeling happier as a result. Among the over 45s, 80% said they would like to follow suit by living the Good Life and growing their own produce.

All age groups share a desire for a low maintenance garden that can be enjoyed by the whole family

All age groups share a desire for a low maintenance garden that can be enjoyed by the whole family, with the over 55s having the strongest preference for a space they can enjoy with the minimum of fuss. The research also revealed that the garden is increasingly being seen as an extension of the home in terms of providing a social space to spend quality time with friends and family – despite the unpredictable British weather.

In terms of regions, people in Wales and London were the most likely to spend time socialising in the garden at just under 26%. Those living in the North East were less inclined to venture outdoors at just 12%.

Brighton leads the way in terms of cities which embrace the outdoor life, with a whopping 36 per cent seeing the garden as a space to socialise. Newcastle residents were again the most reluctant to socialise outside.

While they may share a love of spending time in their outdoor space, when it comes to thoughts on what makes the perfect garden, millennials clearly have very different ideas to their elders. A barbecue was top of their wish list, followed by outdoor furniture, a treehouse, a hot tub, a swing and a pool. More practical items featured on the over 55s' wish list such as outdoor furniture, a bird feeder, garden path, water feature, and a pond.

The research also discovered that millennials are spending an average of £215.92 each per year on their gardens – surprisingly more than the £193.27 spent on average by over 55s. This cost excludes major garden projects but includes decorations, plants, general upkeep and garden parties.

Sophie Rowe, PR Executive from Marshalls says, “Gardens have always been a place where we go to get away from it all and it seems younger people are learning from their elders when it comes to the strong link between gardening and wellbeing.

“There is certainly a trend towards mindfulness. You see people using colouring books on the bus and train and more people taking digital detoxes where they switch off from social media, so it's easy to see why the garden is attractive to those who want to de-stress and get away from their screens.

“A lot of people might think that you need a big blossoming garden to get the most out of it, but the majority of people we surveyed had low maintenance gardens or wanted a garden that required less work. These tend to strike a balance between having a space where you can relax and an attractive garden that doesn't need a lot of upkeep.

“The study also underlined the fact that we're increasingly seeing the garden as an extension of the home – a social space where we can enjoy time with friends and loved ones. It's interesting to see the generational gap when it comes to the ingredients of the perfect garden, however. For millennials this means a barbecue area and hot tub, while for their elders it's more likely to include an attractive path and water feature.”

For more information about Marshalls click on

* Survey carried out by Censuswide in March 2017 on 1,200 respondents aged 16+.

Thompson & Morgan urges Brexit Brits to Grow their Own

Thompson & Morgan urges Brexit Brits to Grow their Own

As Britain’s formal exit from the European Union begins, various companies including a major Dutch bank, have reported concerns over prices of fruit, vegetables, flowers and olive oil rising by as much as 8%.

In its report, Weighing up Future Food Security in the UK: The Impact of the Brexit on Food & Agribusiness in Europe and Beyond, Rabobank, the second largest bank in the Netherlands, specialising in food and agriculture financing and sustainability-oriented banking, said that although details of British trade agreements are unknown, the cost of exports will undoubtedly increase.

Whether you’re for or against the UK’s exit from the EU, there’s no doubt that Brexit will have implications on our imports of fruit and vegetables and other foodstuffs. According to Rabobank, the UK is only 60% self-sufficient in terms of food. The report suggests that administrative border checks alone could lead to a hike in prices of between five and 8%.

What can the British consumer do?

“We’ve said it before and we’re saying it again”, says Paul Hansord, Thompson & Morgan’s commercial director, “grow your own!”

“It’s a no-brainer as far as we’re concerned and we’re here to help with lots of ‘how to’ videos and advice on our website. People are so used to getting all their food from shops and supermarkets, but if prices go up as suggested, due to import costs once we’ve left the EU, we’ll need to grow a lot more of our own produce.”

“The fact is that it’s really not difficult to grow at least some of your own fruit and veg. Home-grown is always going to taste better than shop-bought and when you grow your own, there’s no need to worry about pesticides, food miles, the weeks that some shop-bought fruit and veg spend in cold storage; you just pick it or dig it up, and enjoy it – fresh and wholesome – straight from your garden or allotment.”

Grow your own carrots

For help and guidance on growing your own fruit, vegetables and flowers, read these guides:

Gardening Guides

Gardening for Beginners

How to Garden

About Thompson & Morgan

Based in Ipswich, Suffolk since 1855, Thompson & Morgan is the UK’s most successful horticultural mail order company. It is the only mail order seed and plant specialist to develop its own plant lines in the UK.

Due to the continued success of its breeding programme, the company has introduced more species and varieties to the British gardening public than any other mail order company in the industry.

Its product range includes an award-winning choice of seeds, young plants, bulbs, seed potatoes, onion and garlic sets, soft fruit and fruit trees, as well as an extensive range of gardening equipment and supplies.

See the full range on Thompson & Morgan's website  at

     House work?
   No Prob-Llama!

Llama Duster from Prezzybox

House work need not be a bore anymore. With the bright pink Llama Duster from Prezzybox you now have a friendly companion to help you on your way to a dust free home.

The flexible duster bends every which way, to get into all those nooks and crannies! Reach high surfaces and awkward spaces, for speedy and nuisance free cleaning. Once finished, the duster bends back into its animal shape.

Llama Duster from Prezzybox

The soft polyester fibres ensure with every sweep maximum dust is collected, and the llama duster can be used on any surface.

For swift spring cleaning, get this quirky and cute duster - a perfect moving in gift or just a nice treat for yourself to brighten up your cleaning time and make you smile.

Naming your cute llama is optional but highly recommended.

Llama Duster from Prezzybox

Lust over your next dust ... this funny face will ensure your chores are done!

Presented in an eyecatching gift box, treat yourself or give it to a friend as a fun and friendly present.

The Llama Duster is available to buy now from Prezzybox. Price is £11.95

For more information about Prezzybox click on