Monthly Archives: March 2017

Get out in the garden for National Gardening Week – 10th-16th April 2017

The UK’s biggest celebration of gardening is happening in April. The week will see thousands of people, as well as charities, retailers, culture and heritage organisations and groups attending, as well as hosting, their own events up and down the country. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been holding the annual National Gardening Week since 2011, but don’t worry if you have never heard of it before, or are not a knowledgeable gardener. The theme for 2017 is ‘Help New Gardeners to Grow’; encouraging you to get more involved in your gardens. The week will aim to inspire gardeners of all levels so there’s no better time to improve your gardening skills and embrace your green fingers.

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10 a day. Get ready to grow your own vegetables this year

The government is now recommending we have 10 portions of fruit and veg per day, but the costs can add up. So why not try and grow your own veg this summer? Now is the time to get plots ready and plan your crop for the summer. Over the last few years, there has been a tremendous surge in the popularity in growing your own vegetables and the demand for allotments has increased with many councils having long waiting lists. But you don’t necessarily need lots of space to grow your own vegetables, and there are some easier options to get you started if you’ve never tried to grow veg before. Whatever size or space you have whether it’s a small patch in the garden, a container, flat or raised beds getting your soil ready for planting and planning what you’ll sow is vital for success.

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#pondwatch – Day 2

Day two starts with the arrival of some pretty serious kit. We need to clear away all the scrub on the top of the site so we can mark out nice clear outlines. We’ve brought in our friends from Aztec Plant with their 13T excavator and before we know it, the pond is starting to take shape.

Jo spends a couple of hours marking out the adjacent woodland to make sure that any walkers can safely find their way on the footpath. It’s starting to look like the course for a cross country run!

The kites are keeping a watchful eye over proceedings from the safety of their nest in the Willows while the Robins can’t believe their luck as they pick out the worms from the freshly dug soil.

#pondwatch – Day 1

Day one on site begins with a briefing with the client and a chance to ‘walk the course’, assess the ground and any potential changes to the environment as a result of the recent Storm Doris. The plan outlines a pond approximately 40m x 35m with a maximum depth of up to 1.8m.

First job is to remove some branches and tidy up a couple of Crack Willows and clear a stream that was choked up with vegetation and fallen trees. We’ve brought in a team of local tree surgeons for all the tree work.

Once the tree work is done, we start marking out ready for the first phase of excavation work to begin. It’s been a beautiful day and we’ve been watching kites circling and blue tits flitting amongst the willows. I may have even seen a lesser spotted woodpecker – but maybe I was just feeling lucky!

Looking forward to creating something really special here.



Back in October 2016 we were contacted by a couple who had heard that ponds are our ‘thing’ having seen our work in several friends and neighbour’s gardens. They, however, were looking for help to design and create a pond on a significantly larger scale than the water features we are usually asked to build.

Having recently finished the construction of a state-of-the art energy-efficient new home set in five acres of rural Oxfordshire, our clients wanted to complete the project with the installation of a large pond that would provide habitat for wildlife, enhance the local environment and add interest to their large family home.

With the help of one of our Landrovers as a vantage point to take photos from, this blog will track the progress of the project from its beginnings as a corner of redundant agricultural land to what we hope will be a wildlife haven and idyllic feature of a beautiful family home. Watch this space and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.





Butterflies – our secret heroes

Butterflies are often portrayed as the essence of nature or as representing freedom, beauty or peace. For many people, one of the first signs that spring is truly on its way is the fluttering of butterflies in the garden. Butterflies are important for so many reasons: not just aesthetically but also scientifically, for the ecosystem and for our health. We all know how important bees are to the environment but butterflies are the secret heroes, crucial in pollination and a natural form of pest control. So which species should we be looking out for?

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