Composting, Conservation, Planting, Stuart, Wildlife

Earth Day – 22nd April 2021

Marking the birth of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day is an excellent annual reminder of the importance of Mother Earth. We can all do our bit to help the planet, but everyone needs to join in to give Earth its best chance.

Here are a few ideas to give a go this Earth Day, from composting to planting trees and a few things in between.

From household binning to composting

Green Johanna Compost Bin

If you’ve got a garden – don’t throw your food waste into a regular waste bin. Make the most of a compost bin (if you have one) and start making your own plant food. If not, you can either get one or make your own with pallets, old bins or buckets.

With any luck your local council authority will provide food/garden waste bins to use if composting isn’t an option, but if they don’t you can contact your local councillors to convince them to move with the times.

Check here to read a beginner’s guide to composting.

Local clean up

OCG group cleaning up a beach

Grab a bin bag, throw on some marigolds and get out there, grabbing any plastic, crisp packets and discarded rubbish you can see. Fill a bag, fill two bags – whatever you can clean up out of nature will save some wildlife down the road.

Most plastics, metal and glass won’t break down in the wild, proving a threat to all sorts creatures (including humans) for hundreds of years unless cleaned up and processed.

Switch to the Ecosia search engine

Ecosia Logo

This one’s the easiest of them all, and one simple change can start planting loads of trees. If the average person searches 3-4 times a day, within 10 days they can have helped plant a tree through Ecosia.

It’s just as good as Google at your everyday searches, so add it to your chrome or change your bookmarks to get Ecosia-ing and start planting trees every day.

There’s even a nifty little counter that shows how many trees you’ve helped plant:

Ecosia Tree Counter

It might not seem like a lot, but that’s 9 trees that wouldn’t have been planted if this writer had stuck with Google or any other search engine.

Take care of garden visitors

Supporting the ecosystem keeps the world turning, and there are lots of steps you can take to look out for whatever wanders through your garden.

Digging a pond, putting down a hedgehog home, hanging bird feeders and installing pollinator-friendly habitats will all help  your garden visitors thrive, which in turn will help our planet stay in balance for as long as possible.

“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now”

Flamingo Willow

It might be a slight paraphrase, but this Chinese proverb has never been more apt. Every little bit of greenery you can get in the ground will push back against deforestation, whether man-made or through devastating blights and pests.

Get a tree, dig a little hole, add a bit of compost, put in the tree then fill the hole back in. Water well and then you’re on your way to a brand new tree and a bit of Earth-saving.

Earth photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash
Clean-up photo by OCG Saving The Ocean on Unsplash  

Animals, Birds, Conservation, Wildlife

From the 29th to the 31st of January the RSPB is holding its 2021 Big Garden Bird Watch – your chance to discover the wildlife on your doorstep. And all it takes is an hour of your time. 

All you need to do to take part is :

  1. Choose a time 
  2. Count the birds you see in your garden over an hour period
  3. Submit your results here 

It’s the world’s largest bird survey and by getting involved, you are helping to uncover the secret lives of British wildlife. 

Why You Should Get Involved

British birds are in decline – since 1979 the Birdwatch has recorded the decline of several bird species. By getting involved, you can help track the trends and help conservationists reverse the trend. 

It’s a fun way to get in touch with wildlife –  Every garden is different, and getting to know the unique wildlife in yours is a great way to getting the most out of your outdoor spaces.

What might you see this year?

  

House Sparrow

 

One of the most common birds in the UK.  Found in 63% of gardens

 

Robin

 

The most recognised bird – 83% recorded seeing one in 2019

 

Dunnock

 

Only found in 43% of gardens, this beautiful bird is in decline. Can you help find where it’s thriving?


 

Waxwing

 

One of the more elusive birds in the country, the waxwing is out there, but can you find it?

 

 

 

Goldfinch 

 

 

This small bird is common but hard to spot. Can you be one of the 34% who did see one last year?

 

Blue tit

 

Seen by 77% of people, this common bird is drawn to a well-stocked bird feeder.

 

Starling

 

The fantastic speckles of the starling might not be around much longer. They’ve seen an 80% drop since 1979.

 

Wren

 

You’ll hear the wren before you see it, and only 21% did in 2019 – spot them near woodlands.

 See what you can find this year, and see how your garden stacks up against the rest of the nation.

Sign Up Now 

 

Animals, Gardening & Landscaping, Gardening Year, Indoor, Wildlife

Winter gardening; think all activity is halted? Think again! Now is the time to prep your landscape and watch it thrive. Tending to the foundation as you build your place of solace, will bring you so much joy in 2021. From city-dwellers to countryside lovers, green areas vary in size up and down the country, but we have curated the latest trends for 2021 to help you create a garden to get lost in. 

Tiny Gardens 

“It’s all about making the space look bigger.” 

You can update any compact space and turn it into a sanctuary of goodness. Whether you are sprucing up a balcony garden, a petite patio, or tiny terraces, we can help with small plants and Tall planters to compact furniture, helping you invest in greenery and lush items to help you enjoy your petite place of zen, and watch it bloom in full when Spring finally arrives. 

White & Grey Gardens

Over the last few months, white gardens have been growing in popularity, and there is no sign of them slowing down. The key to this trend is choosing a dark background, varying foliage and changing sizes and shapes, and finally adding some eye-catching white flowers to make your garden pop. 

Want to try something a little different and a bit more subtle? Why not opt for a grey garden? It’s an easy transition, with grey paving, fence paint or gravel and paths, this trend provides a  neutral backdrop which helps colours such as scarlet and purple pop.

House Gardens 

“Gardening provides a tranquil challenge with tangible results.”

You might not have a sprawling space, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow fresh plants and flowers in your home. With so many of us now working from home, it’s been proven that plants can improve air quality and bring energy into your environment. A windowsill garden is ideal for growing plants that will add a little extra to your cooking — especially if you don’t have a garden. Think herbs, chilli, kale, baby beetroot, pea shoots, onion and spinach. Adding your very own home ingredients to your meals never tasted better! 

 

Wild Gardens 

Don’t be fooled, it may seem like an easy win, but wild gardens also need hands-on attention to get that mysterious, yet enchanting, unkempt look. However, It’ll be time well spent, creating the perfect ‘imperfect’ outdoor space. Invest in pieces to keep the wildlife happy and content within the beauty of your wild garden.

And a final trend that became none of us can ignore moving into 2021 is the online garden centre. Yes, it’s a different experience from venturing to a physical store, but it also comes with many advantages; comfort, doorstep delivery and variety. Why not try it out for yourself as you invest in one of our chosen trends and tag us in your garden of 2021.

Animals, Blog Series, Gardening, Gardening Year, Gary, Wildlife

Garden Weeds

September is the time of the year where things start to cool down, the wind picks up and the days get shorter. This is the month to get started on your preparation for spring whilst enjoying your garden as much as you can before the frosts come in. 

General 

 

  • Net ponds – protect your pond before leaves begin to fall 
  • Clean out water butts – keep your irrigation in the best condition in preparation for autumn rains 
  • Clean ponds and water features of weeds – Remove duckweed, pondweed and algae from water features and ponds
  • Collect and bin brown apples and pears – reduce the spread of this fungi and protect your good crops 
  • Order bare-root fruit trees – to plant later in autumn or winter

Plants 

  • Divide herbaceous perennialsensure healthy, vigorous plants in the spring
  • Collect and sow seed from perennials and hardy annuals opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs –  daffodils, crocus and hyacinths are a priority for the end of the month 
  • Sow hardy annuals –  cerinthes, ammi, scabiosa and cornflowers should be planted now  for flowers early next summer
  • Deadhead container plants –  encourage more blooms and keep your patio displays longer into the Autumn 

Wildlife 

  • Wash and disinfect bird feeders and tables – maintain good hygiene on your tables and you will see birds throughout the winter
  • Plant nectar-rich bulbs –  crocus, snake’s head fritillary, alliums and grape hyacinths can be planted now to feed next year’s hungry emerging bees
  • Start putting out fat balls – help those birds staying for the winter
  • Leave garden borders intact – don’t cut these back in autumn. Try to leave at least one border intact where seedheads can provide food for birds and fallen stems can create shelter for amphibians, insects and small mammals