Growing your own fruit and vegetables needn't be just a dream and when you get it right there's nothing better. If you have access to a balcony, a patio or are lucky enough to have space for a raised bed, you already have everything you need to start growing your own.
Start by Growing the Healthiest Foods
Knowing what to grow first or what to concentrate your efforts on from the outset means you'll be getting the benefits sooner.
Fresh fruit and vegetables in general are good for your overall well-being and specifically:
Good for a healthy heart A strong immune system Reducing risks of cancers Boosting essential vitamins
Of course individual vegetables and fruits have their own benefits. Beetroots and carrots, containing red-pigments, are especially associated with reducing the risks associated with some cancers.
Video - Growing Vegetables
If you have room in the garden this video gives some great information on what to grow, soil types and much more. Click the button below to play now...
Whatever the time of year you can benefit from the warmth of a high quality patio heater. There's also the advantage that if you buy out of season you can often bag yourself a bargain and have your pick of the stock.
Athena Gas Patio Heater - Warmth and Good Looks
The Athena pumps out some serious heat but best of all is simply looks great so you can impress your friends and family. Click on the video below now...
This stainless steel patio heater will run on either LPG gas or propane gas. It's easy to operate with simple push button battery powered ignition.
Athena Patio Heater highlights:
Beautiful stainless steel tower design stands at 2.24M Safety mechanism and wide base avoids tipping High 9.3Kw output keeps you really warm Variable flame for efficient 360 degree heat Easy to operate and cheap running costs Quality construction will last for years
The stainless steel construction means it can withstand the elements and an outdoor weather cover is also available for ultimate protection when not in use.
Great for party-goers, special occasions and astronomers when studying the sky at night.
There are a few candidates for the world's largest Christmas tree but this contender in Rio certainly gets my vote - It floats as well...
This massive floating Christmas tree was first put up in Rio de Janeiro in 1996 by Brazil's biggest insurance firm. It is officially entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest floating Christmas tree. It's now one of biggest global tourist attractions due to its huge size and spectacular lighting.
The tree is decorated based on a theme of the four seasons of the earth. The seasons are represented with spring flowers, summer with gold ribbons, autumn with images of leaves and winter has snowflakes. Most of all the Christmas tree stands for peace in Rio.
Want to build your own? You'll need an 85 metre high tree, 3.1 million light bulbs and somewhere to float it - and that's just to equal this 542 tonne behemoth.
Here are some great tips for forcing winter bulbs into giving you some much appreciated colour indoors.
The look and scent can really give you that uplifting feeling. Click the link below to watch the video...
What You'll Need to Make Your Indoor Winter Bulb Container
An attractive container for the bulbs Winter bulbs Narcissus Grand Soliel d'or Simple bulb fibre compost Small watering for the soil Newspaper to protect worktop
Narcissus Grand Soliel d'or is being used here because of the beautiful yellowy orange blooms they produce. They also have a superior scent over something like Paper Whites Bulbs that can seem musky and overwhelming to some.
Creating the Narcissus Bulb Container
First choose your favourite bowl or container to compliment the yellow orange hues of the Narcissus Grand Soliel d'or. Use a simple bulb fibre compost especially if using a container without any drainage holes.
If necessary prepare your work area and lay down some newspaper to protect the work-surface from any escaping soil.
Fill your pot two thirds full with soil and water in. Set the bulbs on top of the compost using around 5 or 6 bulbs to fill out the container. Make sure they're not touching then fill up with some more compost leaving around a 1 or 2 cm gap from the rim of the container pot.
Make sure that the tips can still be seen through the top of the soil. Water in again so the soil is nice and moist. If you've used a pot without drainage holes you need to pour off any excess water by turning the container on its side.
To encourage flowering you need to give them a period of 8 - 10 weeks in the cold and dark. Put them into the shed or garage if you can. Otherwise simply place the container into a black polythene bag and put it outside the backdoor.
Check up on the pot every now and again to ensure the compost doesn't completely dry out, or go too soggy, as this is a common cause for forced bulbs not to be successful. They need around 8 weeks to form good roots and flower buds.
When you see a stem tip rise to about 5 cm high that's the time to bring them indoors.
When indoors place them somewhere cool, out of direct sunlight, and not above a radiator. The aim is for the flower stems to come up slowly and steadily. Once they do come up, and if they're not as straight as you'd like, you can insert some supporting sticks and twigs to add to the overall look and to give support to the stems. Tie with a ribbon or coloured string to secure the stems.
Finish with dried leaves on top of the soil for a more colourful and textured effect.
Now you can enjoy your new winter flowering Narcissus bulbs for many weeks to come.
Here are some great tips on how to create your own Christmas wreath. Follow this simple video guide - Click the button below now...
Here’s What you'll Need for Your Christmas Wreath -
A floral oasis available from a florist or garden centre – Cost around £4
Evergreens from your garden - Collect cuttings of any firs, holly trees or hedges
Pine tree branches & cones
Artificial poinsettias and holly stems & berries
Green garden wire, pruners and gloves
Decorative ribbon to finish
How to Make the Christmas Wreath for Your Front Door
Many of the materials for your wreath can be sourced from your own garden, a friendly neighbour, or bought inexpensively from your local garden centre.
First soak the oasis ring in water so it can feed the plants for several weeks over the Christmas holidays.
Collect up any evergreens from your own garden if you can and cut off lower branches from your Christmas tree to use on the ring.
Start on the outside lower edge of the oasis ring working your way around to complete the first layer. Then complete the inner circle with smaller branches. Leave gaps for later into which you will put your artificial decorations.
Move to the next layer filling with smaller branches that are shorter than the first layer to form a tiered effect.
Use some gardening wire or an old coat hanger wrapped around the ring so you can hang it from your door. Twist the wire at the top of the ring so it will hang just how you want it to.
Place the poinsettia flowers at the bottom of the ring. Real poinsettias will only last a day or two when placed in a ring so artificial is OK. Artificial poinsettias are vibrantly coloured, don't cost a lot and will last for as long as you need them to.
Use a bushier evergreen to fill the wider gaps around the facing edge of the oasis ring.
Place alternate evergreens around and opposite to each other on the ring for a nice variation of colour and texture.
Use the holly next with real berries for a vibrant red contract if you can. Use artificial holly berries if need be.
Use pruners to shape a trim the holly and evergreens as you a constructing the display.
Next use your garden wire to attach the pine cones to the ring. Large open cones look so much nicer but if you have some that are closed, just pop them into a hot oven for about 5 minutes and they should then open up.
Really try to pack the ring with evergreens and contrasting berries, leaving no gaps, for the best looking display.
Finally add a decorative ribbon to the bottom of your Christmas wreath.
The last job is to hang your beautiful Christmas wreath on your door. To extend its life you can water the oasis ring every few days or so and it should then last you a good number of weeks. Merry Christmas!
Here are some great tips for creating a simple winter hanging basket.
Tips and Plants Used for the Winter Hanging Basket
The materials you'll need to follow this winter planter is as follows:
Wrought iron basket with hanging chain
Old ceramic pot to aid filling the basket
Moisture control gel with plant food
Winter Cyclamen Campanula
Trailing winter ivy
Putting the Planter Together
Stand your basket on top of an old crock pot to make filling a little easier. Mix an appropriate amount of multi-purpose compost together with some moisture control plant food. Half fill the basket with some multi-purpose soil.
Once you've placed your plants to your liking start to back-fill with your compost leaving at least an inch from the top. This will ensure that when you water the plant the moisture won't run straight off.
Finally place the finished basket underneath the eves of your house to protect it from wind, rain and frost. Water 2 - 3 times per week and feed every 7 - 10 days.
Want to see some really astonishing plant world records?
Claim your own record now... Like the 'Most Sunflower Seeds Fit In Mouth At Once', 'Tallest Dandelions Grown In An Electromagnetic Field', 'Most Potted Plants Held At Once', 'Most Pokes Of A Cactus' and more.
Here are some of the most unusual records - all recorded on video - for you to marvel at ;-)
Click the image below...
Have you any plant world records you'd like to attempt?