Garden Tips from
July is the month of high
summer and the garden comes alive during hot lazy
afternoons to the sound of bees buzzing, gathering
pollen from all the plants that you have lovingly
nurtured and cared for that are now in full flower.
It’s the time of year that gardens or patios become an
extension of our day-to-day living space as we use them
for entertaining and relaxing in. When it comes to
patios, the real plus side to them is that they are
ideal for masses of pots of colourful summer flowers.
These pots can then be extended through the Winter and
into Spring with bulbs and Winter bedding to give your
patio a longer lasting all-year-round appeal. Do
remember though that the more containers you have, the
more watering you will have to do during hot periods and
the more dead heading and trimming you will need to do –
but it’s definitely worth it.
A great idea for patios is a small water feature - and
if you’re short on time or space then a container pond
is quick and easy to make. It creates a different
dimension to any small space, bringing the cool, calming
presence of still water to the garden, attracting lots
of wildlife and giving you the chance to grow a whole
new range of interesting aquatic plants.
Simply fill a watertight container with rainwater, plant
a mix of aquatic and oxygenator plants such as water
lilies and water soldiers. Once the pond is set up it’s
easy to look after - the plants keep the water crystal
clear so other than an annual clean up there is very
little to do.
With everything now in full bloom, it may now be
possible to cut flowers from your garden to have in the
home and Dahlias are a popular choice for this. Their
warm vibrant colours mean that they are often grown
specifically as cut flowers and they regularly feature
at local horticultural society shows due to their summer
Originally from Mexico, Dahlias flower from July through
to the first frosts in the Autumn and range from dwarf
bedding varieties to the popular giant flower heads that
adorn gardens around the country. Dahlias thrive in any
well drained soil and like plenty of sunlight but will
need Winter protection in most parts of the UK.
The key to success for July is maintenance and good,
effective watering. Your local garden centre can give
you tips and advice on Summer tasks, but here are some
‘must do’ jobs for the garden this month.
July Garden Checklist
· Water tubs and plants,
but be water-wise.
· Hoe any sun loving weeds.
· Place conservatory plants
outside now that it is warm.
· Deadhead plants to ensure
· Keep ponds topped up and
clear of algae.
· Order catalogues for next
year’s spring-flowering bulbs.
· Give the lawn a
quick-acting summer feed and mow regularly.
· Give outside woodwork a
lick of paint or preserver, while the weather is dry.
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Launches Productive Indoor Tomato Plants
It's a dream shared by many people –
growing your own tasty fruit and vegetables, but not
everybody has a garden or the required space to do so.
Now a new unique and super-productive indoor tomato
plant is being launched by Tesco aimed at helping people
living in urban areas without gardens.
The mini tomato plant has been naturally developed over
the last five years by produce experts who have bred
together varieties to come up with one that is small,
compact and most importantly very productive.
By following the care instructions the small, but
powerful plants can each produce up to 150 delicious
tomatoes with minimal fuss.
Tesco herb and vegetable buyer Phoebe Burgess says, “We
hope this remarkable little powerhouse of a plant will
help all those people eager to grow their own vegetables
but don't have a garden or adequate growing space to do
“It really is the gift that keeps on giving and will
help bring not only an abundance of delicious tasting
tomatoes but a lot of fun in producing one of the UK's
favourite salad foods.
“Tomatoes are among the most popular fruit and
vegetables to grow at home, but as even the most
green-fingered of Brits know, the success of garden
growing is often down to the weather, which in the UK
can be quite unpredictable.
“The beauty of the mini tomato plant is that it's so
small it can fit on a small, sunlit window sill and
doesn't grow much over one foot tall.”
The popularity of fresh growing herbs and vegetable
plants is on the increase in the UK with demand rising
by nearly 10 per cent at Tesco in the last year.
Phoebe Burgess adds, “Picked off the plant when
perfectly ripe, the bite-sized tomatoes are juicy with a
classic sweet flavour.
“The plant already comes with about 10 tomatoes growing
on it but my tip is that when the yellow flowers of the
plant start to open, tickle them with your fingers to
replicate pollination which will then encourage further
The mini tomatoes are ideal as a healthy lunchbox
snacking food, and are perfect in fresh summer salads or
delicious pasta sauces.
The Mini Tomato Plant goes are priced at £4 and are
available in more than 300 Tesco stores across the UK.
For details visit
a Beautiful Super Flower for You
Bloom & Wild claim peonies are much more
than just a flower, offering a range of other benefits
Bloom & Wild name the peony as a super flower
It can be used to heal inflammation
As well as being a tasty and nutritious
Forget super foods. Say hello to the super flower: the
peony. Flower experts Bloom & Wild peonies are the
flower that can do it all: revitalise your garden, heal
inflammation, serve as a tasty snack and help you show
gratitude and love.
More than just a flower
While peonies transform a garden with their scent, rich
colour, and size, there is more to the herbaceous bloom
than first meets the eye.
Peonies suit every occasion and they help in lots of
different ways, including:
The name peony is drawn from the Greek god, Paean, who
was the god of healing. One species of peony, paeonia
lactiflora, has been used in Chinese medicine to treat
rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus,
hepatitis, dysmenorrhea, muscle cramping, spasms, and
Research looking at the anti-inflammatory effects of
paeonia lactiflora found that it inhibits the production
Prostaglandin E2 - helps reduce fever
Leukotriene B4 - promotes insulin
Nitric oxide - helps cells communicate by suppressing
the increase of intracellular calcium ion concentration
Can peony petals be eaten?
The Chinese are thought to boil and fry peony petals for
a crunchy and sweet snack. They add them to summer
salads and mix them into punches - and for good reason:
the peony is thought to help people with cholesterol
problems or diabetes, as well as reducing the risk of
certain cancers and heart disease.
Always consult an edible flower expert before
eating any flower, and remember that plants and flowers
could pose a choking threat to young children and
Do not feed peonies to dogs and cats as they are known
to be poisonous to them.
Use peonies to show you love someone
Want to tell someone you love them? Give them a peony
flower. Pink peonies are associated with love, romance
and affection and would make a great wedding decoration.
If you’re arranging a wedding bouquet or table setting,
consider pink peonies as they are the most romantic form
of the flower.
Psychologist Sharon Stiles says, “Culture plays a big
part in how we interpret colours so this also has an
impact on the colour of flowers that are chosen for
About Bloom & Wild
Bloom & Wild are experts in delivering flowers. We
believe that giving and receiving flowers should be as
elegant as the stems we deliver. No more last minute
supermarket dashes, or disappointing deliveries.
For more information visit the website at
Create a Happy Home with 'Hygge'
Happyologist Susanna Halonen
The Happyologist®, Scandinavian
happiness expert Susanna Halonen
has created 15 Hygge Happy
Bubbles at Danish furnishing
group JYSK’s stores across the
UK to get Britain on track for
its happiest summer yet.
Now she shows us how to master
the art of Hygge – the Scandi
art of making the space around
you into a happy place – she’s
back in town to explain how to
use your garden furniture…..as a
power for good.
Hygge is the Scandinavian way to
let your house make you happy,
and it’s sweeping the UK.
Susanna says that making small
changes in life, your
surroundings and your approach
deliver big on happiness. A lot
of our happiness starts at home,
and Hygge is a big contributor.
Scandinavian countries top the
world rankings for happiness
year on year. So, once you have
your Hygge space outside Susanna
has a few tips on how to use it
to channel positivity and a
feeling of wellbeing.
First: the space
Even if it’s just a little
corner of the garden or a tiny
back yard, Hygge is achievable.
Find your space and define it
Make sure that everything in it
either makes you smile or makes
you comfortable – or better
Keep things natural – solar or
candle light are soft and
welcoming, cuddly throws and
cushions to tuck around yourself
for a snug nest as the evening
wears on feel great, a few
pretty focal points to draw the
eye and something comfy to sit
on while everyone socialises
complete the preparations.
Concentrate on lighting, what
you’re looking at and how soft
and comforting your throws and
cushions feel as you settle into
With the Hygge scene set, it’s
all about the journey to
happiness. Now try these Ten Top
Smile - Smiling triggers your
brain’s reward mechanism, making
it produce happy hormones. These
happy hormones are what make you
feel good and make you want to
smile even more. Smiling is also
contagious so others will also
feel better if you’re smiling,
and, best of all, even a fake
smile can trigger those happy
hormones turning it into a real
Breathe - Your breath sustains
every cell in your body so take
the time to take some deep
breaths. Every inhale energises
you and every exhale relaxes
you. Learning to take deep
breaths helps you to tap into
your parasympathetic nervous
system, calming your whole body
down and bring relaxation in.
Connect with others - We humans
are social creatures. We need
each other not only to survive
but also to thrive. Invite the
people who support you and
encourage you into your happy
hygge corner to make it even
Appreciate - Every day, finish
the day by saying thanks for
three specific things that
happened in your day. This will
turn gratitude into a habit and
help you to see the world
through a whole new lens.
Recharge your batteries - Take
the time to nurture yourself –
because nobody else will take
care of you for you. Take a
moment to relax, to switch off,
and to do something that
recharges your batteries – like
chilling out in the garden.
Make the time to reflect -
Seconds turn into minutes,
minutes into hours, hours into
days, days into decades. Stop
time by taking the time to
reflect. Think of your proudest,
best moments over the last week
and reminisce about them to
boost your feel good vibe.
Do a digital detox - Remove all
the technology from around and
live the real life around you.
Notice the soft cushions, the
birds chirping and the sun
setting. Being in the present
connects you to yourself in a
way that brings out your best
ideas and your best self.
Observe the beautiful things
around you - Looking at
beautiful things make you feel
good. Make sure your space is
beautiful and comfortable so
that happy hygge times become
second nature to you.
Simplify - Simplify your life
and your space. Fill your space
with beautiful things that
comfort you and make you smile.
Get rid of the things that
don’t. Your life and mind is too
crowded to have things that
don’t make you feel good.
Just be -You are a human
‘being’, not a human ‘doing’.
Learn to simply be and enjoy the
moment for what it is.
The Happyologist® Susanna
Halonen is working with
furnishing store group JYSK to
bring Hygge – the Scandi style
that makes you happier by giving
you a ‘hug’ when you get home –
to local households.
With a Masters of Science in
Applied Positive Psychology, The
Happyologist® is an expert in
what makes us happy, and how to
make happiness happen. She’s
also Scandinavian and a huge fan
JYSK is Danish-owned. The Danes
are happy with Hygge – in fact
they’re often reported to be the
happiest people in the world.
So, working with JYSK, Susanna
has created a Hygge Happy Bubble
in each store and has some tips
on how to achieve the look – and
feeling – of Hygge at home.
“Together we’ve been looking at
how everyone can achieve a long
happy Summer of ’17 full of
Hygge. The easiest place to
start is in the garden, so I’ve
created a Hygge space inside
each store that will show people
exactly how they can make the
Summer of ’17 a happy one,” says
The Happyologist’s® blueprint
for a Hygge garden space from
JYSK, Your home of Hygge
Hygge is big on comfort,
cosiness and snuggling. Great as
you sit round the embers of your
BBQ with friends and family and
enjoy a drink.
Hygge is also about an approach
to life. Multi-tasking … isn’t
very hygge. Instead, being
present in one moment is.
Doing nothing can be very
productive in the right
environment – clear away the
technologies and allow the mind
to roam free. Find contentment
in the moment.
Choose your garden furniture for
Scandi-style comfort and arrange
it so it’s social. Outdoor
lounge sets are great for this.
Everyone has somewhere
comfortable to sit and relax.
Use fabrics that feel nice and
offer warmth. How they feel to
your touch affect how much of
that hygge cosiness you feel.
Lighting is incredibly
important. Solar lights give a
lovely soft glow as the sun dips
– and you don’t have to lift a
finger. Candles in wind-proof
lanterns are not only cosy,
they’re very relaxing too.
Together, these things create a
very peaceful ambience.
Scientists at University College
London found that even just
looking at beautiful things
makes us happier by stimulating
dopamine – Danes get a happy,
Hygge fix just by walking into
their beautifully decorated
gardens and settling down to
Getting your garden Hygge isn’t
difficult or expensive and my
Happiness ‘Bubble’ at JYSK is
full of inspiring tips and
Please yourself. You are allowed
to and will be happier for it.
Invest in comfort, connect with
nature, love your garden and
create cosy social spaces for
more joy this summer.
Hygge is ‘cosiness of the soul’
says Meik Wiking, chief
executive officer of the
Happiness Research Institute in
Copenhagen, and for the Danes
it's a way of life. He’s right.
Create a soul-warming ambience
with lighting, accessories,
comfy blankets and cushions and
the arrangement of seating - and
you’re on your way to a Scandi-inspired
For more information about JYSK
garden products click on
Plan Ahead for the Fruitful
With rivers running dry through
lack of rain, summer 2017 looks
set for hosepipe bans yet
surprisingly, many gardeners are
still not prepared and have no
measures in place in some areas
should a ban kick in.
A recent online survey conducted
by Irrigatia - the brains behind
the only fully automatic solar
powered garden watering system
in Europe – found that of the
361 people surveyed, more than
50% said they have not planned
for any potential hosepipe ban
this summer, mainly because they
think it is unlikely to happen.
When asked what gardening tasks
they considered a priority when
planning for spring/summer,
clearing up flower beds and
borders (73%) and cleaning the
greenhouse (69%) were top of the
gardening agenda. Planning for
garden irrigation featured in
third place (44%) underlying the
lack of preparation by many
gardeners with 31% also stating
they dislike watering.
“The likelihood of a hosepipe
ban is real and planning ahead
is essential. Invest in water
butts now and ensure you have
enough rainwater to get you
through the gardening season,”
says Erick Mackay, sales and
marketing director of the North
Yorkshire based Irrigatia.
Largely, saving water was
considered an important issue
according to the survey
findings. More than 70% of the
respondents listed it as a key
priority with 48% indicating
automatic irrigating systems
that use rainwater from a water
butt as their primary method to
water plants and crops.
Not surprising then, that almost
all the respondents said they
plan for garden care before they
go on holiday with an increasing
number choosing a solar powered
watering system to take care of
their plants while they enjoy
some time away. Others still
rely on their friends and
The majority reported they begin
preparing for spring/summer two
to three months in advance with
only 45% saying they have a
specific routine for the order
in which they attend to their
garden tasks, mainly depending
on the weather.
Painting the fence, lawn repair,
tidying the garden, pruning and
clearing weeds were some of the
garden tasks listed, which with
the best intentions, respondents
said they just never quite get
around to doing.
“Irrigatia’s unique solar
powered irrigation system takes
the hard work and risk out of
watering and uses up to 90% less
water than a hose or sprinkler.
It is designed to apply water
accurately, directly where it is
needed and slowly enough for it
to soak in,” explains Erick.
“Unlike electronic timer
systems, that deliver water at a
set time, regardless as to
whether the plant needs it, the
Irrigatia solar powered package
automatically judges how much
water plants need and waters
every three hours. The longer
the daylight hours and the
greater the light intensity in a
day, the more the system waters.
And if you don’t have a water
butt then you can purchase a
built-in mini reservoir with the
Irrigatia is ideal for vegetable
gardens and allotments, house
plants, containers, hanging
baskets, pots or plants and
shrubs planted out in the garden
and under glass.
All that is needed is an
adjacent water supply and
somewhere to hang the solar
panelled control box to capture
maximum sunlight which it stores
in rechargeable batteries.
They work anywhere including
balconies on high-rise buildings
or allotments where no power –
other than natural sunshine – is
For more information about
Irrigatia visit the website at
Perfect your Posture
Now that the warmer months are
well and truly here, being out
in the garden will be second
nature to a lot of people.
Whether you’re a keen gardener
tending to plants, trimming
hedges and rustling up delicious
delicacies from the vegetable
patch; or a first-timer,
learning the tricks of the trade
and how to look after that
little green haven.
Although gardening is often
cited as a relaxing pastime, it
can still put quite a bit of
strain on the body and leave you
with a few aches and pains the
day after. But fear not, the
team at Flymo has some top tips
to help your favourite hobby
stay as relaxing and pain-free
Accessing your Tools
First things first – if you have
a shed or garage where all your
tools are stored, it’s worth
assessing how easy it is to gain
access to the items you use most
regularly. If you’re constantly
having to climb over other
tools, lift and move heavy items
or contort yourself into a
manner of different positions in
order to get hold of something,
it might be time to have a bit
of a clearing out, rearranging
and organising session.
Keep shelves low and easy to
reach, hang bigger tools where
possible and keep any cords
neatly wound away to minimise
tripping hazards. Anything you
use on a regular basis is best
kept at the front, with
lesser-used tools stored away
neatly towards the back. Ensure
there’s a clear pathway to
everything so you’re not having
to over-stretch or risk
something dropping on you.
Mowing the Lawn
With the most strenuous tasks,
posture is a key word to keep in
mind to avoid injury when mowing
the lawn. Keep a straight back,
try not to hunch over, raise
your head and avoid arching your
spine when pulling the mower
backwards. Aim to keep your arms
straight as well to ensure even
tension throughout the upper
When turning the mower, it’s
best not to twist your body –
slow, gentle and fluid movements
are ideal (especially if the
mower is heavy.) If you have a
particularly large lawn, plan
the task so it stretches over a
couple of days rather than
tackling it all at once.
Another top tip to consider is
investing in a Flymo
– lightweight, compact and easy
to manoeuvre, it’s a worthwhile
purchase to help you
effortlessly breeze through
mowing the lawn!
Once you’ve completed your
mowing, it’s time to empty the
grass box. Lift using your leg
muscles; keep your weight
balanced with your feet apart
and your arms and elbows close
to your body; if you need to
turn, do so with your whole body
– don’t twist whilst carrying;
to lower and empty the box, use
your leg muscles again and try
not to stoop.
Tending to your Borders or
Wherever possible, sit or kneel
when you’re looking after
plants, flowers or vegetables in
your borders or vegetable patch,
weeding or sowing seeds. A small
stool or kneeling pad is a great
addition to your gardening
accessories collection and will
be a purchase you won’t regret.
This will save the strain on
your back from the constant
bending over – it’ll also give
you a bit of time off your feet.
The Bigger Jobs
Raking, digging or hoeing can be
equally as demanding on the back
as mowing the lawn. Be mindful
that you’re not gripping the
handle too tightly, therefore
causing unnecessary pressure.
Avoid over-reaching and
twisting, and try to be as fluid
as possible with your movements,
decreasing the risk of any
tension and pressure building up
in your body as you work.
Make sure you give yourself
plenty of breaks when spending
time in the garden and don’t
overdo it. Plan them in between
tasks and make sure you
re-hydrate as often as possible,
especially on particularly hot
and sunny days. This will also
give you the opportunity to
admire your handy-work and soak
up a bit of Vitamin D!
Lastly, if you’re looking to
invest in a more lightweight
lawnmower, Flymo launched its
first ever Lithium Ion battery
mower this year – the Mighti-Mo
300 Li. Compact, lightweight and
quiet with the capacity to
effortlessly mow a lawn up to
the size of a tennis court on a
single charge; this lawnmower is
ideal for those looking for a
fuss-free, easy to use piece of
You can enjoy the freedom of
cordless mowing – no more
battling with extension cables –
and once finished, the Mighti-Mo
can be neatly folded away and
stored, truly highlighting the
brand’s ‘Easier by Design’
Of course, Flymo also has a
variety of hover mowers
available which are known for
their easy manoeuvrability, as
well as hedge trimmers and
strimmers that feature ergonomic
qualities to promote better
handling and comfort.
Since inventing the hover mower
more than 50 years ago Flymo has
become market leaders in the
design and innovation of unique
gardening products. With a range
that now spans from grass
trimmers to robotic lawnmowers,
Flymo is constantly innovating
and striving for the highest
quality from its products.
Available from all good high
street retailers, mail order
companies, dealer networks and
independent garden centres.
For further information on
stockists and the Flymo product
Keep Your Home
Safe While You
are on Holiday
Holidays are a break from the
normal routine and chance to get
away from every day worries. But
for some, leaving home
unattended for weeks at a time
can be a major worry in itself.
There are many proactive and
affordable security measures
that can be put in place before
your holiday, to help prevent
burglaries. Don Shulsinger from
Blinkforhome, manufacturer of
Blink, the video home security
and monitoring system, gives
advice on some simple steps to
Tell Trusted Neighbours and
Let them know you will be away
so that they can keep an eye out
for any suspicious activity
while you’re gone. Leave them
your contact details, a spare
set of keys and the code for any
alarm so that they can drop by
to close curtains, switch lights
on and off, water plants and the
lawn if needed and make sure
there is no post poking out of
the letterbox or parcels left on
Keep it a secret from social
Don’t post travel plans or
photos while you’re away as this
will publicly notify people that
you have an empty home. Be sure
that your kids also understand
that they should wait until
after you have returned home
safely to share those holiday
selfies. Recently the footballer
John Terry was burgled after he
posted holiday photos on his
social media feeds.
Cancel any regular grocery,
newspaper, milk and other
deliveries while on holiday. If
you forget to do this, these
could be left on your driveway
or by your front door, making
your home an obvious target for
Wireless Home Security and Video
Believe it or not, some of the
most sophisticated wireless home
security systems can cost less
than the hotel room you’ve
booked. A home security
monitoring system will provide
an enhanced level of security
and peace of mind while you’re
away. An easy to set up wireless
option is Blink, which sends
temperature and motion alerts
along with recorded or live
video clips to a smartphone,
anytime and from anywhere. You
can be instantly alerted to a
break in through the Blink app
on your iOS or Android device.
You can even find out what the
cat is up to while your family
Hi-Tech Door Locks
Keyless locks offer amazing
security features, like
Bluetooth and the ability to see
who’s knocking at your front
door on your smartphone’s
screen. Many of these locks
allow you to give access by
simply inputting a phone number
or sending a text from anywhere
in the world.
Thanks to automatic switches,
you can make it appear as if
you’re home when you’re not. Set
up some internal and outdoor
lights on automatic switches,
and be sure to pay special
attention to entry points. These
lights are generally inexpensive
and easy to install, but
double-check that they are
working properly before you go.
Check Insurance and Banking
Ensure that your policies are
paid up for homeowners, car, and
medical insurance. If necessary,
advise your bank and credit card
companies that you will be away
so that they can alert you to
any unusual account activity.
Contact Your Alarm Company
If you have the more formal home
(and expensive) surveillance
service instead of a DIY system,
be sure that they have the
current key holder details in
order to prevent any false
alarms interrupting your
holiday. Has the alarm been
serviced? Update the local
authorities if you’ve registered
your alarm with them. And after
you have done all that, go away
and relax, safe in the knowledge
that you have done all you can
to protect your home. Have a
Blink is an affordable, smart HD
home monitoring and alert system
that allows consumers to feel
safe at home no matter where
they are. Launched by Immedia
Semiconductor in 2015 and based
in the USA, with a sales office
in Ireland, Blink is
revolutionising the home
security industry by providing a
completely wire-free system that
delivers instant monitoring from
any location through the Blink
Home Monitor app.
With customisable features, a
sleek design and battery life of
over two years, Blink offers an
easy and affordable security
solution for homeowners, people
renting properties, small
business owners, second home
owners and many more.
For details visit