A Very Happy Halloween From Gardening Works


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Halloween is celebrated on the 31st October and is an ancient Christian Festival to mark the evening before All Hallows Day and today’s the 31st October so Happy Halloween!

Sylvia with a selection of giant pumpkins

But even before the days of Christianity, there was a celebration at this time to signify the changing of the season, and the preparations for the winter months ahead.

The Celts introduced the idea of wearing masks and costumes to ward off evil spirits at this time, and the Romans included the idea of fruit to the festival…which is still seen today with toffee apples and apple bobbing.

What will you be doing this Halloween? Maybe having a party or carving your own lantern?

Let us know as we’d love to hear from you! PS This picture is actually Sylvia on a past trip to Switzerland and we couldn’t resist showing you the fabulous pumpkins!gardening

Enjoy an Autumn Delight – Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce!


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Autumn is here and along with misty, cobwebbed mornings and crunchy leaves underfoot there are the delights of the orchard fruit season to enjoy.  …and there is no better time to savour delicious English pears.  So with that in mind why not try our deliciously indulgent poached pears.


4 Comice pears
350 g golden caster sugar
400ml water
1 vanilla pod
Some orange zest
Double cream to serve

For the chocolate sauce:

200g dark chocolate
splash of brandy
150ml double cream
100ml milk


  1. Peel and remove the core from each pear, leaving the stalk intact
  2. Slice the bottom of each pear to make a flat base
  3. In a large pan melt the sugar in the water with the vanilla pod and orange zest
  4. Put the pears upright into the pan and poach for about 20 minutes until cooked
  5. Remove them from the pan and keep the liquid
  6. To make the chocolate sauce, heat the double cream and milk in a pan
  7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl above steaming water
  8. Add the melted chocolate, brandy and two tablespoons of the pear liquid to the pan of double cream and milk
  9. Gently heat the mix and stir to make a sauce
  10. Pour chocolate sauce over each pear and serve with cream – yummy!

Hogilo Hedgehog Houses As Featured on BBC Autumn Watch


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The Hogilo is a purpose built nesting box and shelter for hedgehogs which can also be used as a feeding lounge.

It is an ideal house for injured or rescue hogs due to the design of the house, which allows for easy inspection and cleaning. It was featured on the BBC programme Autumn Watch with the Hedgehog Rescue team!

Features include:

  • Manufactured from durable FSC timber & recycled agricultural plastic (By the nature of the re-cycled plastic this may vary in colour tone)
  • Wooden interior for ‘breathability’ and condensation prevention
  • Lid & sides made from recycled agricultural waste
  • Lid easily swivels over to expose large inspection and cleaning hatch
  • Lid incorporates wooden ‘plug’ to insulate hatch aperture
  • Overhanging roof and porch
  • Raised battened feet to prevent rot
  • Predator-resistant entrance
  • Can be used as a safe feeding lounge

Hedgehog houses give protection from predators and provide safe areas for hogs which protects them from strimmers, garden forks and bonfires.

Siting: Locate within cover, out of prevailing wind.  Pile leaves and short grass around the Hogilo and put a couple of handfuls  of short dry grass and leaves inside the box as nesting material. (Gloves should be worn to prevent the transfer of human scent)

Features: FSC timber and recycled plastic, attractive unique design.  British design and manufacture.  Approved for use by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society.

Gardening Works! Love Your Hedgehogs!

Do You Need Lots of Compost? Why Not Order A Pallet!


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Erin Multi Purpos Compost With JI ERMP48_xlIdeal for growing vegetables and salads, this vegetable compost is natural with balanced feed and nutrients to give enhanced cropping and flavour and is now available at Gardening Works.

These 70 litre bags of best quality Erin Excel Multi Purpose Compost and can be ordered as single bags or as a full pallet. We sell our choices of compost as a ‘value added’ service for our customers who perhaps do not have a garden centre they can get to easily on their doorstep or have mobility problems.

Ideal for vegetables such as: Potatoes, Dwarf Beans, Spinach, Courgettes, Lettuces and salads, Tomatoes, Cabbage, Beetroot and Carrots and so many more.

Gardening Works – In Harmony With Nature

Fruit Flavoured Vinegars Make Great Sauces – Easy to Follow Recipe


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Fruit vinegars are usually made from soft fruits such as blackberries or raspberries, bilberries and currants.

To make a wonderful fruit vinegar simply follow this ultra easy recipe. To each kilo of ripe fruit add one litre of best distilled malt vinegar. Place in a porcelain bowl, cover with a cloth and leave to stand for 3-5 days, stirring occasionally. Strain and add 1k of sugar to 1lt fruit vinegar and boil for 10 minutes.

Store in sterilised, glass bottles.

Plums make more robust vinegar good for flavouring meat sauces!

Tips to Help Take Care Of Your Summer Pots


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Pots or Bags - The choice is yours!

Pots or Bags – The choice is yours!

Growing fruit and vegetables in containers is massively popular – many of us do it and many of us know why. It’s easy, it’s accessible, it makes weeding a whole lot easier and, arranged with a bit of artistic finesse, a collection of pots can look mighty fine, too. Of course, there are restrictions and pots do need different maintenance to plants growing in the ground, so here are some pointers: volume is key.The less of it you have the more demanding your potted fruits will be. Very few fruit crops will be happy in small pots – strawberries are the only real candidate. Lingonberries and cranberries might suit, too, but these need permanently moist compost.

Water-demanding crops like pears, peaches and plums require a half barrel as a minimum (dwarf peaches can be given smaller). Choose thick-walled tubs and avoid porous materials like unglazed terracotta.

When in growth your fruit’s roots require constant moisture, plus regular additions of liquid potash. It’s that tricky balance of keeping things damp enough but not waterlogged. Irrigating in the evening will minimise evaporation, as will applying mulch. Make sure there’s a gap of 3cm between the mulch surface and the top of your pot, else the water you do apply will simply spill over the edge.

Move pots into the shade (the leaves and stems can still be in the sun) and avoid windy sites as this can cause rapid moisture loss.


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