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Saturday March 06 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

RHS Wildflower Plants for Pollinators List Released

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pollinator4The RHS has recently released an additional plants for pollinators list - this time focusing on native wildflowers - many of which are also good for inclusion in our gardens.

The plight of our pollinators was highlighted in our recent Pledge for Pollinators article. We are passionate about trying to help our pollinators who are in serious trouble right now and whilst the reasons for their decline are varied and complex part of the problem can be attributed to the reduction in the abundance of wildflowers in the countryside.

The new list contains over 200 wildflower plants and the cultivated garden plants list that we linked to in our previous article has now also been extended to include over 400 plants.

Our gardens are becoming increasingly important in the fight to help our pollinators and we can make a real difference by including as many plants as possible in our planting schemes that are good sources of nectar and pollen.

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Plant Pot Amnesty

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plantpotsIn our last newsletter we asked our Coventry based Blue Daisy clients to take part in a plant pot amnesty.  Thank you to all who took part – it is very much appreciated!  We now have a new selection of plant pots to use when potting up and growing on new seedlings and cuttings and if we can recycle pots it means that we can also keep the price down even further when we sell the plants on.

Apart from keeping plant prices down for you, there is also a bigger, very real reason why we asked you to do this – it's estimated that there are 500 million plant pots introduced into circulation every year, and as yet, there is still no real way of dealing with them once they've been emptied. 

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Horticulture – Dead End Job or Dead Good Job?

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NickiJackson8-223While I wouldn't exactly say I came to horticulture 'late in life' I have come to it after spending many years as an HR professional first.  I'm now loving my new job and in the words of the RHS and Alan Titchmarsh I am honestly just as 'proud of my new career' as I was when I was doing my first one.  I worked just as hard to qualify as a garden designer as I did to achieve my HR qualification – and I still have much to learn in my new chosen field.

Perceptions of Gardeners

It saddens me then to hear and read that the majority of young people's perception of a career in gardening is as one only to be considered if they have 'failed' academically.  In Victorian times gardeners and head gardeners were held in high esteem – it was their knowledge and skill that delivered one of the most coveted of status symbols: a beautiful and bountiful garden. How things have changed.  Nowadays we seem to think that anyone can pick up a lawn mower and it makes them a gardener.

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Pledge for Pollinators

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pollinator3Here at Blue Daisy we’re really passionate about saving our humble British bumble bee and other pollinating insects like the hoverflies, moths and butterflies.  The decline in our pollinating insects especially bees has been noticed through various studies over the last 50 years or so, the reasons are far reaching but one been the reduction of our wild-flower meadows through the use of chemicals.  Recently it has become a hot topic with the many organisations including the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) taking up the mantel led by Sarah Raven to help gardeners identify the best plants in garden centres.  They have introduced a badge called ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ which will be on plant labels all good garden centres.

Why are we interested in pollinating insects?  Well in brief, they transfer the pollen from one flower to the next allowing it to be fertilized, which means it will have the ability to set seed or produce fruits.  This is really important for us all, if plants aren’t able to set seed we risk reducing the amount of plants we can have as theycould become endangered or extinct. The worst case scenario is that the pollinated flowers don’t turn into fruit which means it could have a huge impact on what we are growing and eating, or not eating as the case may be!  The pollination would need to be done by hand, it would be such a laborious task taking so many hours that the products themselves would be so highly priced the average person in the street may not be able to afford them.

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A House with Kerb Side Appeal

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kerbsideappealSounds lovely doesn't it?  It conjures up all sorts of warm images that you really want your prospective purchaser or tenant to have about your property.  We all remember, from various TV programmes, their suggestions of how to make someone have that warm and cosy feel about your home consider baking bread or a putting a pot of coffee on so the smell emanates through all the rooms.  But what about the gardens, what about kerb side appeal and what about a wonderful view from the lounge, kitchen or dining room window?

How many times have you heard friends or relatives saying they went out looking for a new house and did a 'drive by' (viewing that is, not shooting!!)?   Nothing says 'first impressions count' more than this for the initial view of your home.  Here are a few things you can do to enhance that kerbside appeal and the view from inside your home over the rear garden:

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