Gardening site of the month

Some of the best gardening sites on the web.

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Featured sites

  • March 2013: The Welly Shop -as winter continues to wear on with snow in many parts of the country, we think this is a must see resource, with wellington boots of every shape size and colour, and with gift ideas from £15

  • June 2012: Chelsea Fringe -running until 10th June is the alternative to the Chelsea Flower Show, with a range of events across London. Events range from performance at the Old Vic Tunnels to Living Medecine Workshops. The festival ends with Open Squares Weekend on 9th/10th March.

  • May 2012: Mel Bartholomew -in the anticipation of some good weather, do browse this blog by the inventor of the square foot garden, and whose book is apparently the biggest selling gardening book ever. The blog is a little random in arrangement, but there is loads here so just dip in and see what you find.

  • April 2012 Naturewise -community group established in London in 1990 to raise environmental awareness and support sustainable urban livelihoods, they have developed the first urban forest garden and run permaculture courses in London and West Wales.

    March 2012 Charles Dowding -the leading exponent and auther of 'no-dig' gardening, Charles runs courses from his farm in Shepton Montague in Somerset. The site contains a wealth of useful information on vegetable growing -learn how to save effort and grow fantistic crops.


    December 2011: Westonbirt Arboretum -at the end of the International Year of Forests we feature the Arboretum for a second time, Home to Britains National Tree Collection they have one of the finest collection of trees to be found anywhere, At this time of year, as the Autumn walks give way to winter, they put on their enchanted Christmas illuminated trail through the old Arboretum.

  • November 2011: Jill Fenwick -designer contemporary gardens that are organic and low maintenance. Her gardens reflect a deep interest in sustainability, maximising bio-diversity, using local or recycled garden materials and by creating fruit and vegetable gardens to lower food miles and increase the garden's productivity. Jill has a close link with The Centre for Alternative Technology in Mid-Wales where she has a Show Garden designed for sustainability.

  • October 2011: Trees for Cities: an independent charity first established in 1993, which inspires people to plant and love trees worldwide. Trees for Cities expounds the social and visual benefits of tree planting, community-led design, education and training initiatives in urban areas. As well as managing projects in the UK and Ireland they work internationally in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Ica, Peru. Together with Time Out they jointly publish Great Trees of London.

  • September 2011: Ecocentrus -originally conceived of as a University project by web-developer Alistair Macdonald and landscape gardener Matt Morton, this is an online project to monitor biodiversity by sharing garden data. Sign up for a free account to register your garden -you can upload photos of your garden and the species you sight.

  • August 2011: Willowbank -specialists in living willow structures -create a living screen, den or dome for the kids. Grow for a windbreak or simply use for firewood. They even run courses at their farm in gloucestershire, or bespoke courses on your own site.

  • July 2011: Swim Natural -eco swimming pools that blend with the landscape. They do not use chlorine or other chemicals, but rather rely on a natural ecology to balance the water -imagine swimming at eye level with dragonflies and water lillies.

    June 2011: London Wildlife Trust -a charitable organisation dedicated solely to protecting the capital's wildlife. They  manage more than fifty London reserves and campaign to save important wildlife habitats through access to nature reserves, volunteering programmes and education work. They publish a monthly magazine, Wild London, past editions of which are available for free download.

  • May 2011 -The Balcony Gardener -a beautiful range of ready made container gardens for delivery to your home. A variety of themes include large and small gardens, screening plants, edible garden, English country garden and evergreen garden.

Our pick of the best from the past:

  • May 2008 -Wiggly Wigglers -just about everything you can imagine to do with composting, wormeries and gardening with wildlife -they even do their own podcast on the subject of natural gardening.
  • April 2008 -Patrick Whitefield Associates -Patrick and Cathy Whitefield run courses in Permaculture based in Gloucestershire and Somerset.
  • March 2008: Woodland Improvement and Conservation Ltd -has possibly the largest selection of trees for sale in the UK, with a very good illustrated guide to selecting the right tree for your situation as well as planting and caring for trees.
  • February 2008: The Monty Project -Growing Out of trouble -Monty Don began this project in 2004 with West Mercia Probation Service and the West Mercia Trust help drug addicts reintegrate and conquer their addiction by working with the natural world.
  • January 08: Old Garden Tools -a fabulous collection of traditional garden tools -generally available for hire by tv companies.

2007

  • December 07: LILI -Low Impact Living Initiative are a non-profit organisation whose aim is to help people reduce their impact on the environment, improve their quality of life, gain new skills, live in a healthier and more satisfying way, and have fun, and save money!
  • November 07: Room in the Garden -bespoke 'rusted' iron trellises, pergolas, fruit cages and gazebos hand crafted in Sussex by Jan Howard.
  • October 07: Bristol Street Trees: campaigning organisation that aims to stop the felling of large trees in our streets, and lobbies for the replacement of felled specimens
  • August 07: Postcode Plants Database -find tailor-made lists of local plants, hospitable to wildlife and suitable for gardens within your postal district.
  • July 07: Design to Grace -beautiful, elegant outdoor art from RHS Silver medal winner Natasha Webb.
  • June 07: MyLandscapes -site of Amir Schlezinger, designer of contemporary gardens and roof terraces in London -Islington, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, Chelsea, Fulham, Wandsworth -some very nice clean elegant designs.
  • May 07: The Natural Gardener -specialists in biodegradable and natural gardening products -peat free compost, seaweed granules, biodegradable pots, plugs, natural pest controls.
  • April 07: Blue Forest -an amazing range of bespoke treehouses and eco-lodges -this is just the site to dream of childhood fantasies.
  • March 07: Heligan -the fascinating story of Tim Smit's restoration of the Lost Gardens at Heligan, now open to the public after years of neglect.
  • February 07: Clear Water Revival -Bristol based company specialising in the creation of natural swimming pools and ponds to support wildlife habitat.
  • January 07: Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens -charity that supports, promotes and represents city farms and community gardens throughout the UK -members range from organic community orchards to pockets of urban space saved from development to well-established city farms.

2006

  • December 06: Alternative space -a family run business specialising exclusively in the design and construction of high quality Garden Rooms using environmentally sustainable materials.
  • November 06: Green Gardener -specialise in the natural biological control of slugs, vine weevil, aphids, leatherjackets and chafer grubs -also offer a range of wormeries, worms for the garden, home composters and wildlife products.
  • October 06: The Treehouse Guide -huge amount of practical advice and information on building treehouses, with lots of examples from around the world.
  • September 06: Chelsea Physic Garden -founded in 1673, as the Apothecaries' Garden, this 'secret garden' is a centre of education and relaxation, as well as carrying out research into the properties of 5000 species of medicinal plant.
  • August 06: Odd -makers of Odd's Old Rocker -a traditional garden swing seat inspired by the maker's Great Aunt Trix's ancient upholstered swinging sofa -just the thing for those long summer evenings.
  • July 06: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew -housing the largest living plant collection in the world, Kew Gardens also undertakes research and is home to the Electronic Plant Information Centre as well as being home to the millenium seed bank.
  • June 06: Mark Bolton -we chose the website of Bristol based photgraher Mark Bolton for its clean, simple and elegant presentation of Mark's beautiful images.
  • April 06: Modern Garden -designer furniture for the garden and poolside.
  • March 06: British Trees -the definitive guide to British tree species from the Woodland Trust and donated by Bill Unsworth in 2004.
  • February 06: William Pye -a fantastic site to find inspiration on using water in the landscape, with animations of many of the sculptor's water features.
  • Jan 06: Veddw Garden -the garden in Devauden, Monmouthshire created by writer Anne Wareham and garden photographer Charles Hawes is a great place to find inspiration.
2005
  • Dec 05: Natural Driftwood Sculptures -based in Bournemouth, Colin Harding's business specialises in importing large items of natural driftwood from British Columbia for use as garden sculptures.
  • Nov 05: The Garden Escape -timber garden offices, featured in Grand Designs Magazine and Channel 4's Property Ladder.
  • Sept 05: Breeze House -award winning hand made garden shelters inspired by the African continent.
  • May 05: Alan Titchmarsh -the website of the presenter of Ground Force -gardening advice, pictures and personal profile.
  • April 05: Westonbirt Arboretum -the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire is renowned worldwide both for its tree and shrub collection and beautifully landscaped grounds. Today the collection contains around 18,000 numbered specimens covering some 600 acres of Grade 1 Listed Landscape.
  • March 05: Timber Decking Association -everything you need to know about decking, including Diarmuid Gavin, of BBC TV's Home Front in the Garden, answering some Frequently Asked Questions on timber decking.
  • Feb 05: Urban Jungle -based in Norfolk, this nursery specialises in exotic, tropical, rainforest and desert plants.
  • Jan 05: Rosetti Design -unique bespoke timber designs based in Sidmouth, Devon -their specialist joinery range includes a green oak half timbered playhouse., hand made arches, arbours and playhouses.
2004
  • Dec 04: Reckless Orchard: a design lead garden design consultancy based in the Wye Valley with a deserved reputation for community design projects.
  • Oct 04: The Lost Gardens of Heligan -next best thing to being there -great use of virtual reality images.
  • Aug 04: Henry Doubleday Research Association -the site for organic gardening -everything dedicated to researching and promoting organic gardening, farming and food.
  • May 04: Sensory Garden -a photographic virtual guided tour of a specially designed garden aimed at the local and worldwide Multiple Sclerosis communities, people with other disability or chronic illness, elderly people, their carers and people who are interested in various aspects of Natural Health. In addition the unique fundraising initiative brings together communities who are also interested in Art & Craft, Music, Peace, Organic Gardening & Wildlife and generates funds through donations, events and sponsorship.

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Featured books:

eco chic
Garden Eco-Chic: Reusing Found Objects to Create Decks, Paths, Containers, Lanterns and More
Matthew Levesque
Paperback - Oct 2010
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