Gardens

Villa Della Pergola English gardens at Alassio

Enjoy travel to Italy then don't miss the Gardens of Villa Della Pergola at Alassio on the Ligurian coast. So vibrant and green, nature is managed yet wild. Feel at one with beautiful gardens full of wisteria and agapanthus

Garden rooms: more living space for your home

Moving house is formidably expensive and building an extension is time-consuming and disruptive. Hence the march of the ready-made garden building to fill the gap, which is a far cry from the humble shed of yesteryear.

Turn your garden into a luxurious haven in 5 steps

Having an attractive outdoor space is a very desirable feature in a property, which is why gardens can add a lot of value to a house. However, while having a good-sized garden is great, it can become very off-putting if it’s not taken care of and is left to grow out of control. So while it may take a bit of time and money, turning your garden into a luxurious haven is well worth the effort. Here are five simple things you can do to achieve this.

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King crimson: poinsettias, the perfect Christmas plant

Poinsettias are the second best-selling houseplant in the UK (after the enduringly popular Phalaenopsis orchid), and this year it's estimated w'll be buying some eight million of them over the Christmas period.

Plant peonies for a garden full of colour

peonies are lovely colourful flowers that are easy to grow in UK gardens

King crimson: poinsettias, the perfect Christmas plant

Poinsettias are the second best-selling houseplant in the UK (after the enduringly popular Phalaenopsis orchid), and this year it's estimated w'll be buying some eight million of them over the Christmas period.

Poinsettias, which hail from Mexico, have become the festive houseplant and you can do a lot with them from having a large plant in a pot, to cutting the stems to use in a floral display or incorporating into a wreath. They also make a perfect gift for men and women of all ages.

 

 

Feed the birds

RSPB wildlife advisor Charlotte Ambrose says as winter approaches, so birds become vulnerable: 'Up until now they've been able to feed on insects and seeds, but the cold weather means they move into our gardens to find refuge. You can make a real difference and improve their chances of survival, as well as being rewarded by great views of wildlife in your garden or outside space.'

Ground screws: an eco-friendly alternative to concrete foundations

Concrete is an absolutely essential material for the building industry and it's unlikely a future Shard or the Burj al Arab will ever sit on ground screws. But the manufacturing of cement to make concrete accounts for five cent of global CO2 emissions and it ranks third in the production of manmade CO2 emissions worldwide after transport and energy generation; and as such there is a need to use alternatives to concrete foundations for smaller building projects.

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