Gift, Leisure & Entertainment

Hedgehog Day

21 November is Hedgehog Day. Rapidly in decline, this small spiny mammal needs your support to survive. Here are five simple ways in which you can help. 

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Hedgehog day

21 November is Hedgehog Day. Rapidly in decline, this small spiny mammal needs your support to survive. Here are five simple ways in which you can help. 

In the last 10 years, Hedgehog numbers have fallen by 30 per cent. Today there are estimated to be fewer than 1 million hedgehogs left in the UK. The reasons for this dramatic decline are thought to be reduced hedgerow quality; the over-management of parks and green space; loss of gardens to paving/decking; pesticides and increased fencing.

The best Christmas gifts for gardeners

No matter if the gardener in your life is passionate about wildlife, fanatical about veg growing or simply loves cut flowers, Gardens Illustrated has found the best Christmas gifts for gardeners. 

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Best Christmas gifts for gardeners

No matter if the gardener in your life is passionate about wildlife, fanatical about veg growing or simply loves cut flowers, Gardens Illustrated has found the best Christmas gifts for gardeners. 

Finding the perfect gift for friends or family is no easy task, which is why Gardens Illustrated has created a guide to help you find the best Christmas gift for the green-fingered gardener in your life. 

 

The wildlife gardener

Clockwise from top left

Sedona terracotta bird house, £28, Anthropologie

Apple and tamarind chutney

Think ahead and pickle yourself the perfect chutney ready for Christmas. 

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Apple chutney

Think ahead and pickle yourself the perfect chutney ready for Christmas. 

How to make Apple and tamarind chutney

 

Food writer and allotmenteer Jojo Tulloh makes a home-made pickle now, which will be ready to eat in a month’s time (for Christmas). The sweet apple benefits from the tang of the tamarind, the sour pulp extracted from the bean of the tamarind tree.

Ingredients

Ideas for Halloween pumpkins

Halloween is just around the corner and with the rise of social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, the pressure is on to create a show-stopper of a pumpkin. Here's a few ideas to get you started. 

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Halloween pumpkins

Halloween is just around the corner and with the rise of social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, the pressure is on to create a show-stopper of a pumpkin. Here's a few ideas to get you started. 

With the abundance of squash ready to be harvested in the garden, the creative fun of halloween can be a welcome way to use up surplus crops. Originally the Pagan festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in), the holiday marked the official end of the harvest season. Samhain also marked the time of year when the veil between the two worlds was particularly thin, allowing the dead spirits to cross into the world of the living.

Celebrate Apple day

Celebrate one of Britain's best loved fruits, the apple. Launched in 1990 by Common Ground, Apple Day on 21 October is now an annual autumn event. 

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Apple day

Celebrate one of Britain's best loved fruits, the apple. Launched in 1990 by Common Ground, Apple Day on 21 October is now an annual autumn event. 

The apple is a firm favourite in the British fruit bowl, but peel back it's humble exterior and you'll realise that the apple has a huge part to play in our culture and the ecology around us. Set up in 1990 by the charity Common Ground, Apple Day was intended to be both a celebration of the fruit's diversity and a demonstration of the variety of apples we are in danger of losing.

9 of the best fire pits

Enjoy autumn evenings with one of these stylish fire pits. 

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Firepits (Arpe Studio)

Enjoy autumn evenings with one of these stylish fire pits. 

Fire pits are the new 'must-have' in any garden; you can have a bonfire without burning the grass, keep kids entertained with roasting marshmallows or just enjoy wrapping up in a blanket and socialising with friends. Here are nine designs for you to choose from. 

 

HAND-FINISHED STEEL

National Honey Week 2015

The British Beekeepers Association is hosting National Honey Week, 25-31 October 2015, to both celebrate the honey harvest and to keep reminding us of the importance of the honey bee. Read our ten interesting facts about these dedicated winged workers. 

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Honey Week

The British Beekeepers Association is hosting National Honey Week, 25-31 October 2015, to both celebrate the honey harvest and to keep reminding us of the importance of the honey bee. Read our ten interesting facts about these dedicated winged workers. 

Our relationship with honey is long-lived and as a result, a deep respect for the honey bee has developed. Honey is used in many different ways, from baking to beauty and is believed to have many healing properties because of its anti-bacterial qualities.

Pots of style: Ferns

Brighten up autumn's darker days with a container display planted to highlight the season's most interesting plants - here we use ferns for some late season freshness. 

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Planting ferns

Brighten up autumn's darker days with a container display planted to highlight the season's most interesting plants - here we use ferns for some late season freshness. 

Indoor ferns always add a slightly exotic feel to conservatory displays. I love their graceful elegance, and frequently use them for displays in the house and – before frosts bite – sheltered parts of the garden. This arrangement features a collection of ferns presented in a vintage wooden dough bowl found at a plant fair.

How to make the most of shady corners

Shade is sometimes seen as a problem but it is the natural habitat for a host of beautiful woodland flowers, ferns and mosses that can create a wonderfully magical atmosphere. Designer Sarah Price shows you how to make the most of shady corners. 

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shady corners

Shade is sometimes seen as a problem but it is the natural habitat for a host of beautiful woodland flowers, ferns and mosses that can create a wonderfully magical atmosphere. Designer Sarah Price shows you how to make the most of shady corners. 

8 design ideas for shady places

 

Crepe paper art

Artist Aimee Baldwin creates beautiful, hand-crafted crepe paper studies of plants and birds in her home studio near San Francisco. We find out more about what it takes to create such intricate pieces of art. 

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Crepe paper art work

Artist Aimee Baldwin creates beautiful, hand-crafted crepe paper studies of plants and birds in her home studio near San Francisco. We find out more about what it takes to create such intricate pieces of art. 

The art of bringing paper to life

 

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