News - Page 39

Planting trees can cut urban air pollution by up to 24%

Planting trees can cut urban air pollution by up to 24% according to a new study by US think tank The Nature Conservancy.

Planting Trees

Researchers measured microscopic particles of pollution near trees and compared them to particulate counts in areas where there were no trees growing. They found levels were between 7% and 24% lower near trees. The study also found that trees caused a ‘cooling’ effect, reducing air temperatures nearby by up to 2°C.<<span class=more>...

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Results from this year’s Big Butterfly Count are in

Results from this year’s Big Butterfly Count are in – and the majority of butterflies are continuing to struggle with populations of most species falling, and some at their lowest numbers since the count began.

Big Butterfly Count

More than 36,000 people took part in the count this year, spotting about 390,000 butterflies over the three-week recording period in midsummer.

The Gatekeeper, Comma and Small Copper butterflies experienced their wor...

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Force Witloof chicory in the dark

Force Witloof chicory in the dark for one of the most delicious gourmet treats of the winter veg garden. Witloof chicory produces torpedo-shaped pale yellow ‘chicons’ or chicory hearts in just four to six weeks after harvest. They add crunch and sophistication sliced sparingly into winter salads, or if you want to tone down the bitterness even further, try braising them gently in the oven with shallots and thyme.

Witloof Chicory

Sow your chicory in e...

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What to do in the garden in November

As winter starts to bite, it’s time to batten down the hatches and make sure the garden is shipshape ready for the bad weather to come. Here are some of the jobs you can be getting on with this month.

General tasks:

  • Wrap tender plants with hessian wrapped around a thick layer of straw to protect stems from frost damage.
  • Plant bare-root hedging as soon as you get saplings home: if it’s too wet or frosty, heel them in temporarily till co...
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The new cosmos variety ‘Cupcakes White’ has won the People’s Choice Award

The new cosmos variety ‘Cupcakes White’ has won the People’s Choice Award following a summer of trials at RHS Garden Wisley.

New Cosmos Variety

More than 1000 members of the public voted for their favourite from more than 85 different varieties, on trial to mark the Year of the Cosmos in 2016.

‘Cupcakes White’ has a unique flower shape with its petals fused together to form a cup. It has an elegant, pure ice white colour, with some flowers blu...

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Plant blueberries in containers

Plant blueberries in containers ready for a bumper harvest of mouthwatering slatey-purple fruits next summer. Blueberries make fantastic ornamental shrubs as well as adding to the fruit harvest: as well as white blossom in spring and those gorgeous fat berries, the foliage turns vivid red each autumn before it falls.

Plant Blueberries

They do however need very special conditions to grow well. In the wild, blueberries grow in swampy American and Scott...

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NOVEMBER – HTA PLANT OF THE MOMENT A CELEBRATION OF COLOURFUL CORNUS

To create a beautiful garden with year-round appeal it’s essential to pick the best plants, and few celebrate the seasons more than colourful cornus. Commonly called dogwoods, these reliable and hardy shrubs provide a luscious leafy backdrop to summer flowers.  As a final fanfare their foliage is transformed into a rainbow of colours through autumn before fluttering away to reveal brilliant wand-like stems.

This seasonal transformation is just the start...

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The most expensive Halloween pumpkin in history

The most expensive Halloween pumpkin in history has weighed in at a record-breaking 1,333.8lb (605kg) – the heaviest pumpkin ever grown outdoors in the UK.

A Pricey Pumpkin

The pumpkin scooped first prize for biggest outside grown pumpkin and second prize overall at the 2016 Jubilee Sailing Trust Autumn Pumpkin Festival in Southampton.

The pumpkin was grown from the world’s most expensive pumpkin seed, bought by seed merchants Thompson & M...

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A small town in Northern Ireland has been crowned Britain in Bloom’s 2016 Champion

A small town in Northern Ireland has been crowned Britain in Bloom’s 2016 Champion of Champions. Ahoghill in County Antrim was one of only six areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the category.

Britain In Bloom

Another competitor in Northern Ireland, Castlecaulfield in Ulster, was a joint winner of the Best Village award with Elswick, Tyne and Wear. Coleraine, also in Ulster, won best Large Town. Best Small Town was Freckleton, Lancashire, a...

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It’s Wild about Gardens Week this week

It’s Wild about Gardens Week this week – your chance to do your bit for the wild creatures which share your outside space with you.

Wild About Gardens Week

The week-long celebration of wildlife-friendly gardening is led by the Royal Horticultural Society and the Wildlife Trusts, who set it up four years ago after research showed about two-thirds of Britain’s plant and animal species including common garden species like bats, hedgehogs, house sparrows...

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Dry tomatoes and other fruits

Dry tomatoes and other fruits to keep them in perfect condition for deliciously nutritious snacks right through winter.

Dry Tomatoes

Dried tomatoes are a classic of Italian cuisine and for sheer tastiness there are few better ways to preserve your surplus tomato crop. You can also dry apples, pears and apricots; and you can wow the kids by drying berry fruits into ‘fruit leathers’, perfectly preserved strips of dried fruit you can ro...

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Clear away plant supports

Clear away plant supports as part of your end-of- season clear up and store them carefully for next year.

Clear Away Those Plant Supports

Whether they’re bamboo canes, hazel rods, or metal plant grids and obelisks they’ll do sterling service for years to come if you treat them well now.

Untwine old plant stems and cart them off to the compost heap as long as they weren’t diseased (in which case put them in with the green waste collection or bu...

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