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Archive for November, 2011

Baubles are sparkling

It’s been a tense week in the garden centres as we’ve had judges in from the Garden Centre Association inspecting every last bauble in our three Christmas displays for the annual awards, which are due to be announced next week. The team worked hard to ensure every bauble was sparking, every light was twinkling and that the displays looked more dazzling than they have ever looked before – keep your fingers crossed and check back next week to see how we got on.

 

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Also this week we’ve had a visit from 54 members of New Milton and Barton-on-Sea Flower Club. They had a talk from Tony Das, Assistant Manager of the house-plants department, on ‘House-plants for Christmas’, they had lunch and toured the Christmas displays – there were a few funny noises coming from displays so it certainly sounded like they enjoyed themselves.

 

Next on the agenda is the Light up a Life event at Castle Gardens on Wednesday 30th November from 6.00pm, it is free to come along and six trees will be lit to remember loved ones and to raise funds for the Weldmar Hospice Trust so do pop by.

 

Mike

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We’ve got a series of exciting events coming up over the next few weeks, kicking off with a special Christmas Food Festival at Castle Gardens tomorrow evening (Thursday 17 November) from 5pm – 9pm!

Sabin’s Deli from Sherborne are organizing the event – which is free to attend – and there will be food tastings from some fantastic producers in the area, a winter barbecue of festive food, mulled wine and a chance to try, buy and order Christmas food. We’ll even keep our wonderful displays open for you to enjoy once you’ve tried some of the delicious food on offer.

We have two other fabulous Christmas events happening at Castle Gardens as well as our Christmas openings, including;

Light up a Life on Wednesday 30 November from 6.00pm.

Light up a Life will be with us lighting six special trees to remember loved ones. All the money raised will be donated to the Weldmar Hospice Trust.

and…

a Winter Wonderland Drinks Party on Friday 2 December at 7.00pm.

Tickets are available from Castle Gardens and money raised will go to the Flying Colours Appeal. Visit Castle Gardens for more information.

We hope you will be able to join us.

Mike

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Is your fresh Christmas tree going to be recycled? Did you check that new trees were planted to replace the ones cut down to decorate homes this year? Or have you got an artificial tree that is made in an environmentally responsible manner?

As my thoughts turn toward Christmas I am discovering more and more ways to ‘do my bit’ for the environment this year. I don’t have a garden so I can’t compost any leftovers from Christmas dinner but I do have a little space for a wormery – this is particularly good for me as I have a pet hedgehog who will really enjoy an occasional treat! Aside from the odd worm, the concentrated liquid feed and top quality compost from a wormery are the real benefits. In my home the liquid feed and the compost both support an extensive collection of houseplants. For my parents these products are in great demand for the garden.

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Much of the veg for my Christmas dinner will come from my Dad’s garden – he was ‘growing his own’ long before the recent trend made it fashionable. With a bit of effort you can even produce some ‘new’ potatoes for Christmas day.

Another part of Christmas that I am able to do differently this year will be the decorating. As this is the first Christmas I will spend in this house it is time for some fresh dec’s and I have taken great pleasure in picking almost all my baubles from the recycled range. The photo shows how effective the papier mâché baubles look – these are (of course) made from recycled paper. It doesn’t stop with baubles though! Paper chains, recycled glass bowls, baskets from natural materials and wall decorations made from driftwood are just part of the collection. The driftwood decorations are particularly popular with the staff here but that may be because they are hand made in Devon by Daphne – a much loved member of the team at Castle Gardens before she retired to the sea!

To really give things the personal touch this year I plan to take advantage of our in-house experts and learn to make my own wreaths. The fresh moss comes from a local, sustainable source and all of the other ingredients are on hand –including the wire rings and the foliage.

Giving ‘green’ gifts is easy when you are at a garden centre 6 days a week – although they are not all getting the spectacular UK grown orchids or pick of the new season’s rose stock. One of the most commented upon items in the environmentally friendly area of our Christmas display are the wall clocks made from flattened beer bottles, although I can’t say who I bought one for in case he reads this blog!

Steve

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Gluten free event

Next Wednesday at The Apple Tree Farm Shop there will be a great chance to taste some fantastic Gluten free food – Cath has chosen the best of the gluten free selection and we hope you’ll come along and join the farm shop team!

Wednesday 9th November from 10.30am

at The Apple Tree Farm Shop, Brimsmore Gardens, Yeovil

G-Free will be at the Farm Shop too – come along and ask a question, taste some great festive food and even stay for lunch – The Apple Tree Restaurant  will have a special gluten free option on the menu.

You could also choose a hamper full of gluten free food and there will be a gardening talk too in the main Garden Centre at 11.30am

So, drop in next Wednesday to see us!

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