Clocks, Decoration, Heated Clothing

Christmas Inspiration

Well, it’s already 12th December! Half way through the month ‘til Christmas, eek! We all know someone who is particularly difficult to buy presents for – either they don’t want anything, or they’re fussy about what they get or they’re one of those lucky people who seem to already have everything… If you’re stuck for inspiration this Christmas, here are a few gift ideas:

Heated Clothing – Gloves, Socks, Jackets and More

Desperately needed at this time of year, our range of heated clothing will keep you even warmer than standard scarves and gloves thanks to the additional battery-powered heating elements. Stay toasty this winter whatever the weather with heated gloves, scarves, insoles, socks, gilets, jackets, leg warmers and much more!

LED Candles

LED battery candles are a smart alternative to traditional candles with real flames. They flicker like real candles but are flameless and completely safe. Attractive and long-lasting, they’re great value for money and can be placed anywhere. These practical candles come in a multitude of styles and functions, look great and create a wonderful atmosphere. I personally have a set of Two LED Colour Changing Real Wax Candles With Remote Control which sit on a bookshelf, posing no threat to my books, and I have great fun picking colours with the remote control!

Garden Clocks

Practical and attractive, a garden clock is an ideal present. With a range of designs, including wall clocks and bracket mounted, double faced clocks, our beautiful clocks are easy to read and make a delightful gift.

Meerkat Ornaments

Meerkats are overwhelmingly popular, thanks to the TV advert – and now you can fill your home and garden with the cheeky chappies! If you know someone who’s tickled pink by the cute critters, make them laugh this Christmas with an adorable meerkat ornament – from meekats with solar lights (which really work!) and golfing meerkats, to James Bond Meerkat and Meerkat planters, we have the one for you!

Water Features

I know what you’re thinking – water features are for summer, not winter! But now is a great time to grab yourself a bargain and many features can be used both indoors and out, so there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy one in your home during the colder months and move it outside if you wish once spring rolls around. Relaxing to the gentle sound of trickling water is a great way to de-stress after the hustle and bustle of Christmas!

Bird Baths, Insects, Pest Control

Bugs Galore!

How typical! It is exactly at this time of year, when all we want to do is enjoy some time in the garden – planting, lounging and gorging on barbecues – that all those bugs and creepy crawlies seem to have the same idea and come out to spend some time in the garden with us or even try to steal a bit of bbq sauce!

Obviously, some bugs can be very beneficial to gardeners, for example without the hard work of bees, our flowers wouldn’t be pollinated; but if you are starting to feel a bit overrun with creepy crawlies, there are a variety of ways you can control their numbers.

Insects and other bugs form a large part of many birds’ diet. Therefore, as logic goes, increase the number of birds in your garden and the number of bugs will decrease. You can do several things to encourage birds back into your garden: get a birdbath to provide them with a ready source of water; bird houses offer welcome shelter; leave some seeds on a bird feeder and watch the birds flock to it!

Another way to dispose of these unwanted pests is to invest in a trap or insect killer. Bug zappers use UV light to attract flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects before killing them quickly when the unfortunate bug gets close enough. However, if this sounds too cruel and you prefer a more humane solution that doesn’t kill the critter, try using citronella. This scent is pleasant to humans but pungent to insects and will have them flying or crawling away as fast as possible! Handily, you can find candles infused with citronella so for a bargain price you can add a little atmosphere to your garden at the same time as keeping those creepy crawlies at a safe distance.

Clocks, Lighting, Solar Lighting

Spring Time And Solar Power For The Garden

At last, the sun is shining! We’ve had a couple of weeks of wonderful weather already lately, which I have been thoroughly enjoying, as I hope you are. Now is the perfect time to get planting ready for summer and strawberries are a great investment of your time at the moment. Not only do you get the satisfaction from seeing them grow well, but once the berries are ripe, they are also delicious (particularly in a cheesecake!) This year we are growing our strawberries in one of these strawberry
barrels
, although we’ve also got some in a couple of hanging baskets. Fingers crossed they’ll be a success, we’ll let you know!

Of course, gardens are more than just a place to grow things, they’re also places to sit down, relax and enjoy the beauty around us. At this time of year, one of the best ways to enhance your garden’s natural charm is by taking advantage of solar power. Many garden features and decorations can be powered by the sun and this has a lot of knock-on benefits, for example lower costs as solar energy is free unlike electricity. Solar products can also be placed anywhere outside (as long as the panel is in the sun) whereas mains powered products need to be placed near the house to be connected to the electricity.

Solar lights are one of the most attractive and varied solar garden products available. Some, like the colourful butterflies in the picture, are very pretty and unusual, but if you prefer something a little less extravagant, this set of four lamps is classy and also ideal for lighting up a path or patio area. From table lights to light strings with 50 LEDS, there is such variety available that there will be something for anyone’s taste.

Solar doesn’t just stop with lighting, however. Many water
features
come with a solar option, but if you already have a water feature that runs off the mains, you can still save some money (and the environment!) by turning it solar with a solar pump kit.

In addition to decorative items, energy from the sun can also be used to run more practical items. An outdoor clock is perfect when you need to keep an eye on how much time you’ve spent in the garden, but solar clocks that absorb the sun’s rays can often provide an extra power supply for LEDs on the clock, so it can still be used on balmy nights when the sun has gone down. Even pest control devices which chase away those pesky cats or moles can be powered entirely by solar energy!

So versatile, so eco-friendly, so cost-effective – have you tried solar yet?

Ponds

Tips For Keeping Your Pond Healthy And Clean

Now that the days are becoming longer and warmer and the winter is officially behind us, it’s a great time to make sure that your garden pond is healthy and clean. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:

Hoover up any dirt or debris with a handy pond vacuum – all you have to do is attach it to a hose, stick it under the water (making sure the bag is completely covered by water) and watch your pond become clean again. Pond vacs are an efficient and very easy to use pond tool, (not to mention affordable).

If the pond water is prone to algae and is tinged green, you can turn the water clear again by adding barley straw flakes which create an environment that is harder for algae to grow in and which, incidentally, are non-polluting and are safe for fish, wildlife and even children!

It is important to keep the water moving in the pond to prevent it becoming stagnant. A good pump will do the trick, although a handy way to keep oxygen levels up in the water is to use a pond aerator. Even pond fountains can help since they constantly turn over the water by drawing it up and then releasing it in a cool jet.