Garden news

Special offers on flavour-packed blueberries and Alan Titchmarsh's new series of gardening books. Plus garden events and wildlife gardening tips
Blueberry Earliblue
© T Kusibab

Flavour-packed blueberries


Full of health benefits, these three delicious blueberries have a fine fresh flavour and have different ripening times to give you a crop through the summer. They are perfect for deep freezing, and they retain their fine taste.

Earliblue is the earliest to crop with heavy yields of medium sized fruit and will be followed by the flavoursome Bluecrop - the main variety grown worldwide. Brigitta is easy to grow with large firm light blue berries with incredible storage ability.

One plant in a 1 litre pot costs £11.95 or you can buy all three for the price of two at £23.90, saving £11.95.

Credit card order hotline: 0870 950 5914, quoting R19851WE. Or order by post with cheques made payable to Mr Fothergill’s Seeds to The Standard Blueberry Offer (R19851WE), Rookery Farm, Joys Bank, Holbeach St Johns, Spalding, PE12 8SG.

Delivery within 28 days. Prices include UK p&p. Offer ends: 31 May 2009.

Alan Titchmarsh

New books from Titchmarsh


Britain’s best-known gardener Alan Titchmarsh has a new series of books out. He says of the how to guides: "I hope people find them useful. They look small and economical, but there's a lot of information and value for money.” The titles are Gardening in the Shade, Vegetables and Herbs, Garden Design, Lawns, Paths and Patios, Container Gardening, Pruning and Training.

Titchmarsh defends himself against comparison with the legendary Dr Hessayon, who has sold 50 million copies of his 50 gardening books. "This is my 50th book so I have a reasonable amount of experience too. They're bound to be compared to Dr H, but to me the only similarity is they're of comparable size."

Readers can buy any of the How to Garden books by Alan Titchmarsh (RRP:£6.99) for the special price of £5.99 each including free UK p&p.

To order, please call 01206 255 800 and quote ref. "Evening Standard".

Louis Vuitton gardens at Westfield

Louis Vuitton urban gardens


Turner prize nominee Jeremy Deller has created a series of urban gardens in west London. Deller has been commissioned by designer store Louis Vuitton – which opened in the Westfield shopping centre on 19 May – to come up with the innovative city gardens for its new store. The artist will have just two days to build his gardens in the store and around the shopping centre, helped by young landscape architects.

“A good garden is a work of art in itself and the British love of gardens extends from the practical allotment to the manicured lawn,” explained Deller. “In London we have to appreciate nature wherever we can find it and my installation will reflect this.”

Octagonal glass dome
The gardens – which will be created in transportable pots - will be plotted within the Louis Vuitton store and sporadically placed around the luxury Village area of the mall. Following the installation, the gardens will be donated to the Hammersmith Community Gardens Association, which will re-locate the mini-plots in a local school or community green space.

Plant display


Tipple Containers has launched a chic alternative to the mini-greenhouse. The five-foot octagonal glass dome on top of a tree-sized oak barrel looks perfect on a terrace filled with fruit and veg plants. It costs £465, delivered to your door.

Tipple Containers: 01465 778138; info@tipplecontainers.co.uk; www.tipplecontainers.co.uk.

Rustic oak bench

Bespoke wood furniture


The Dalerush Workshop, an English outdoor furniture company, hand-makes pieces from sustainably sourced or reclaimed rare wood that is of impeccable quality and built to last a lifetime. Dalerush woodworkers have specialised in bespoke and functional woodworking and some of them have been honing their skills for over 40 years.

Dalerush will be exhibiting at Chelsea for the first time this year until 23 May. See www.thedalerushworkshop.co.uk.

Flower arrangement

Events


Free masterclass in summer decoration with bulb flowers
The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Centre and up-and-coming lifestyle designer Donna Brown are hosting a free masterclass in summer decoration with bulb flowers on Wednesday 3 June from 3 – 5pm at the Garden Museum in London. Contact The Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Centre on 020 7915 4776 to reserve a place; www.gardenmuseum.org.uk/visitingthemuseum/how_to_find_us.html.

Summer open garden weekend
The beautiful half-acre wildlife garden at Lambeth charity, Roots and Shoots, opens under the National Gardens Scheme on 6 and 7 June. This inner-city oasis, set back off Kennington Road, takes the visitor back to the kind of bio-diversity Lambeth would have known when William Blake and Captain Bligh lived nearby two centuries ago.

There is much for adults and children to enjoy. Attractions include the summer meadow, observation beehives (with beekeeping demonstrations), sprawling scented old roses, soaring echiums and the Lambeth Dragon’s den (where story telling takes place). Visitors can expect to see many butterflies, birds, bees, toads, newts and other wonderful and surprising creatures which make their way to this quiet corner of south London.

Admission: Adults £2, children free. Refreshments available. Address: Fitzalan St, London SE11 6DN. For information, call 0207 587 1131 or visit www.rootsandshoots.org.uk.

May walking weekend
On 30-31 May London Parks and Green Spaces Forum is organising Walk London's May Walking Weekend at 40 gardens and parks around the capital. Call 0870 240 6094 or see www.walklondon.org.uk for details.

What to do: wildlife garden


The RHS Chelsea Flower show includes a wildlife theme at stands such as Jekka’s Herb Farm and the British Bee Keepers Association. Tips to attract birds and bees are:
1. Compost garden wastes; composting is a source of food and shelter for many creatures.
2. Delay cutting down the stems of herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses until spring to provide shelter for insects over winter.
3. Choose flowering and fruiting shrubs such as Buddleja, Pyracantha and Mahonia for the benefit of insects and birds.
4. Plant traditional annual bedding plants such as Nemesia, cherry pie plant (Heliotropium), and nasturtium. They are rich in nectar and pollen, attracting hoverflies and butterflies, as well as being colourful and especially appreciated by children.
5. Try to leave zones of undisturbed leaf litter and stacks of twigs, sticks and logs to provide food and shelter to wildlife.
6. Creatures that might seem insignificant are important: ants are eaten by woodpeckers; caterpillars and spiders feed blue tits and robins, and over 50 per cent of a hedgehog’s diet is made up of beetles, beetle larvae, caterpillars, earwigs and earthworms.
7. A pond with shallow edges can attract damselflies, dragonflies, amphibians and mayflies.
8. Consider hedges instead of fences; these provide shelter and nesting sites for birds and corridors for wildlife to move about.
9. Encourage bumble bees by leaving undisturbed areas of soil and grass as many bees will make their home in the ground. A shady bank is also perfect for bumblebees.
10. Try to find room for at least one tree or large shrub as these are especially valuable for the survival of garden wildlife.

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