The benefits of gardening to your health
1) Spending time in the garden provides sunlight which in turn gives you some much needed vitamin D.
2) Gardening for several hours a week could help you to lose weight. It is said that you can burn up to 500 calories per hour of gardening depending on the activity.
3) Being out in the garden and exposed to different microbes helps to build up your immune system which in turn helps you to fight colds and flu.
4) Gardening is great for relieving stress and is a great distraction from the day to day stresses in life.
5) Growing your own vegetables, herbs and fruit is not only rewarding but is great for your diet too.
Posted 1st May 10:34am
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Jobs to do in the garden this May
1) Plants should be staked before they become too big and start to flop. Methods to use include pea sticks, bending the tops across at the top to form a canopy, upright canes around each clump with twine tied around the canes, wire netting supported by canes in a cylinder around tall plants, or tall plants tied to individual canes of the ultimate plant size.
2) Still time to plant container roses to replace those that have deteriorated over winter, or to fill that hole in the border, Water new plants thoroughly. Spray against greenfly in early morning or evening, but not when wet. Check for specific advice on sprays against black spot and other diseases.
3) Apply a balanced fertilizer around shrubs and water shrubs which have been spring planted and will still have limited root systems. May is a good time to plant evergreens if there is significant rain or water will need to be applied. Keep new growths of wall plants tied which help when pruning in late June. Prune clematis montana types quite hard after flowering to ensure a good show next year.
4) Keep weeds down by hoeing or chemical weed control, use Roundup against perennial weeds. A 10cm layer of mulch (mushroom compost or well-rotted garden compost ) will
supress weeds and help conserve moisture.
5) Complete the planting of root-balled or pot grown evergreen hedges, water the hedge line the day before planting and again when planting is completed. When conifer hedges have reached
the required height, cut back the leader shoot to 6” below this height to encourage branching lower in the stem and a neat compact top to the hedge.
6) Pick off dead flower heads of Rhododendrons and Azaleas to allow new growth to develop and mulch with leaf-mould.
7) Clip Lonicera nitida hedges monthly to maintain a good shape. Clip Privet regularly. Clip Forsythia and flowering Currant hedges after flowering. Weed and hoe under hedges.
8) Feed top fruit and soft fruit and use nets to protect bushes from birds as flowers develop.
9) Cut back Ivy and Ceanothus which has finished flowering.
10) 1f you have not used weed-killer to treat the lawn this spring, use the grass mowings to mulch trees and hedge plants.
11) Some plants like Forget-me-nots can spread very rapidly, to contain them pull up the plants as soon as they finish flowering to prevent them seeding every-where.
12) Watch out for the vivid red Lily beetles which will be apparent from mid-month, hold a hand underneath them when trying to catch them as the try and drop to the ground. They lay their
eggs under the leaves and the grub covers itself with its own faeces. SQUASH them!
13) Trim lawn edges frequently when dry to develop a firm edge which will not sink when walked upon.
14) Set the mower blades to their final height for the summer, and apply a top-dressing of a nitrogen fertilizer in late May. Water when conditions require it, don’t under-water, but make
sure that water is getting to the roots of trees and bigger shrubs.
Posted 1st May 10:28am
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Great plants to encourage children to garden
Want to get your kids excited about gardening? Here are our top six plants
1) Echinacea Magnus – its bright pink flowers are sure to attract bees and butterflies, which is great when teaching your child all about pollination. They will also look great in a vase on the window sill once picked.
2) Sunflowers are great to grow from seed. Not only do they germinate quickly, but you can start the seed growing inside. This is the perfect flower to grow with siblings as you can have competitions to see whose grows biggest.
3) Stachys, also known as lambs ears, are known for their soft woolly leaves, making them a must0touch plant for your child and a great addition to a sensory garden.
4) Planting Bulbs like daffodils, tulips and crocus is not only an easy task to get your kids involved with in the autumn, but it will also be great for them to see come spring when they bloom.
5) Mint and other herbs are easy to grow in a small pot and can be used in the kitchen.
6) Tomatoes grow very easily from seed and can be grown in hanging baskets if you’re lacking space. It’s fun to watch them grow, and it’s always great to eat freshly-grown veg!
Posted 25th May 10:07am
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Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer
Want to include your child in your next Saturday afternoon in the garden? Here are our top tips to get them interested.
1. Choose flowers that are easy to grow from seed like sunflowers, poppies and marigolds. This will encourage your child and show them how rewarding gardening can be.
2. Pointing out wildlife and pollinators is not only educational but shows just how important they are to us.
3. Grow your own vegetables and let your children pick them ready for their tea.
4. Make gardening fun by creating a fairy garden, a pizza garden or even make a scarecrow – get creative!
5. Choose activities your child can easily get involved with, like watering!
Posted 19th May 10:06am
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To mark National Butterfly Awareness Day on Saturday, Johnsons of Whixley shares six reasons why we should all try to protect our winged friends:
1. Butterflies are great for educational purposes. Their life cycles are fascinating and watching them go from egg to caterpillar to butterfly is incredible.
2. Butterflies have been used scientifically for centuries to investigate many areas of biological research.
3. Butterflies play an important role in pollinating flowers. Pollen collects on the butterfly’s body as it feeds on a flower’s nectar. As the butterfly moves on to a new flower, it carries the pollen with it.
4. Thousands of people travel abroad each year looking for butterflies. Eco-tours bring valuable income to many countries.
5. Butterflies are sensitive to climate change. Scientists monitor butterflies as a method of watching for warning signs of the more widespread effects of the phenomenon.
6. Butterflies are an important part of the food chain, particularly to birds and bats.
Posted 31st May 3:33pm
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Donating plants to two award winning Harrogate Flower Show gardens
We have donated £600 worth of plants to two gold award winning gardens at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
We donated £300 worth of plants to the charity Horticap’s ‘All Characters Great & Small’ show garden, and £300 worth of shrubs and herbaceous plants to Yorkshire Garden Designs for its ‘Eden’ show garden.
Horticap is based in Bluecoat Wood Nurseries in Harrogate and provides adults with learning and other disabilities training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills.
Its garden, handcrafted by students and staff, is inspired by iconic Yorkshire landmarks and is brought to life with well-known characters from across the region including Olympic gold medallist boxer, Nicola Adams, and cricket commentator, Geoffrey Boycott.
A combination of season perennials, shrubs and trees have been used to create the patriotic garden.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire Garden Designs’ show garden is inspired by the Garden of Eden and aims to represent a perfectly balanced eco-system.
Yorkshire Garden Designs worked with Yorkshire stone mason Johnny Clasper and Wetherby-based Aquascapes & Landscaping who used flowing freeform walling to create stone streams complete with water sprouts to represent the four biblical rivers.
The design also incorporates flowers, fruits and edible herbs, along with insect friendly and aquatic plants.
The garden will find a permanent home after the show at Henshaw’s Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough.
We have a long standing relationship with both Horticap and Yorkshire Garden Designs. Students at Horticap have regular visits to the nursery and we have been supplying plants to Yorkshire Garden Designs for ten years.
Ellie Richardson, of Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We have an excellent relationship with Horticap and Yorkshire Garden Designs so we were excited to donate plants to their show gardens at this year’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show.
“The gardens they have created are fantastic and show lots of skill and creativity. We’re looking forward to our continued work with the designers and can’t wait to see what gardens they create in the future.”
Lorna Batchelor, owner and garden designer at Yorkshire Garden Designs said: “The biggest part of putting together a successful show garden is finding the right people for the job, the right materials, the right suppliers and getting everything in the right place at the right time. Johnsons of Whixley never disappoint!”
Phil Airey, assistant manager at Horticap, said: “Our show garden at the Harrogate Flower Show went really well, we’d like to thank Johnsons of Whixley for all of their support.”
Posted 2nd May 11:24am
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