A Huge Thank You To WoodblocX

WoodblocXWoodblocX donated two raised beds for Maggie Simkiss’ Croatian inspired garden, featured in episode six. Assembled by the on-site team, the beds were placed alongside the gorgeous pencil cypress trees and English lavender to create a stunning display.

WoodblocX kits are simple to build, family-friendly and will last for 20 years or more. As there is no heavy lifting or sharp tools needed helpers of all ages can get involved too, so you could have a garden as wonderful as Maggie’s in no time at all!

WoodblocX are available exclusively online, browse the different kit selections or design you own! If your design is complicated or you need some help, WoodblocX offers a free design service. www.WoodblocX.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Protek Wood Stain

Revolving Vantage SummerhouseOur friends at Protek have supplied most of the paint and treatment for every series of Love Your Garden and we are so grateful for their generosity. They are a small family run firm, who produce wood stain and treatments in a huge range of colours. There is no need to have a boring shed or fence when you can have Protek!!!

For episode 7, they supplied us with Somerset Blue, Mendip Mist and Cornish Cream paint – incredibly for Enid and Robbie’s garden in the west country!!!

It’s not just exterior paint they do – there is a large range of interior colours plus natural stains to preserve and enhance your timber.

Please visit their website and check out the full range available

www.protekwoodstain.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Thank You Black Dog of Wells

IMG_2879Black Dog of Wells, the designers of handmade decorative terracotta wall plaques very kindly donated some beautiful tiles for our idyllic Croatian dream garden in Hull.

The tiles were displayed around the garden; on the walls and tucked in to Maggie’s brand new shelving. The beautiful designs reflected Maggie’s love of animals; including her favourite butterflies! As well as reflecting the sunny Mediterranean theme running throughout.

IMG_2881The company who are based in Wells, Somerset craft a range of unique and personal tiles out of clay for decoration in gardens and homes around the country. Philippa Threlfall, the designer creates a variety of popular designs, whilst also offering a personalised service where you can make them your own!

For more information on where to find these products, see: www.blackdogofwells.com

By alantitchmarsh

Thank You Macmillan & NHS Trust

A MASSIVE thank you to Macmillan who nominated Maggie and who tirelessly care and support people affected by cancer. For more info or to find out how you can help them, please go to www.macmillan.org.uk

Also Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust who helped us set up Maggie’s surprise and finally, the Croatian National Tourist board who supplied images for the programme.

By alantitchmarsh

Trompe L’oeil

During the programme this week Frances was tasked with creating a special kind of outdoor mural called a Trompe L’oeil. A Trompe L’oeil is a landscape painting (either painted directly onto a garden wall or hung on one) which tricks the eye into believing the image is real and you are actually looking a stunning view of the countryside instead of a blank wall!

Trompe L’oeil artist, Anna Starling, kindly provided Frances with some top tips and tricks of the trade. Anna is the creative force behind “Mural Design”. For more information about Anna and her work please visit http://www.muraldesign.co.uk/

trompe-loeil

We saw several other fine examples of this imaginative form of Art during the show including designs by Michaela Kelly (http://www.art-by-kelly.co/) and Gordon Collett (http://www.muralartist.co.uk/)

By alantitchmarsh

Absolute Bollywood

Towards the end of tonight’s show you will have seen a troupe of amazing Bollywood dancers performing in the Iqbal’s newly revealed garden! Absolute Bollywood, are a London based professional dance company who choreographed a dance routine especially for the event. The company provide dancers for all occasions but are also a full-service entertainment company, hosting Bollywood hen parties, pre-wedding dance lessons for couples, individuals or groups. They perform all over the World, including at this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival. For more information and to see them in action please visit: www.absolutebollywood.co.uk

absolute-bollywood

By alantitchmarsh

Mary Seacole Statue Appeal

ITV's Love Your Garden

Mary Seacole Photo courtesy Winchester College

More often than not, our garden owners have been through tremendous personal hardship or tragedy and are nominated by their loved ones for a garden to bring some kind of respite to their lives.

Some times though, we just like to reward genuinely selfless individuals, who have spent their lives looking after others and helping those less fortunate.

One such person is Joan Myers, the recipient of a garden makeover in tonight’s episode.  Although leading a busy life in healthcare, Joan is also ambassador of a charity whose aim is to erect a statue to another leading figure in Nursing.

Born in 1805 in Kingston, Jamaica, Mary Jane Grant she was an extraordinary woman. A lady who rose above prejudice to help hundreds of soldiers on the front line in the Crimean war with her expert Creole herbal treatments, nursing care, compassion and her indefatigable spirit. Mary’s achievements were recognized by Queen Victoria and the Surgeon General of the British Army as well as ordinary soldiers, who would stop ‘Mother Seacole’ in the street to offer their thanks.

Joan is helping The Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal as it strives to raise £96,000 to fund a memorial to this amazing woman in the grounds of St. Thomas’ Hospital, London. The statue would be the first of it’s kind to a named black woman in the United Kingdom – extraordinary considering we are in 2014.

 Mary-Seacole-logoThe Appeal has many supporters including the Jamaican High Commission, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, Unite, the TUC, NHS Employers, NHS Confederation and a number of army units.

If you would like to support the appeal, you can donate securely online at www.justgiving.com/maryseacolememorial/donate & you can tick GiftAid for it to be automatically reclaimed, increasing the value of your donation. Or send a cheque [made out to MSMSA] to: Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal c/o Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN. You can also now text a donation without charge to the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal by texting: MARY11 £[amount] to 70070

For more information, please visit www.maryseacoleappeal.org.uk or join in with things on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SeacoleStatueAppeal or on Twitter via: @seacolestatue

By alantitchmarsh

Get kids off gadgets and onto gardening with Hozelock

ITV's Love Your Garden

Get your child to ditch the gadget with Hozelock

If you’re a parent of a school age child, you have probably been ignored more than once while your formerly eloquent child stares intently at their pc/handheld/laptop seemingly unable to see you, hear you or speak to you.

The Playstation, Xbox, Ipad and a host of other gadgets have reduced our once active children to zombies and with the rise of childhood obesity it’s time to take action.

But how to encourage them to switch off Minecraft, Splashy Fish or Candy Crush?

According to a new survey, gardening could be the perfect answer for parents struggling to get their kids off their electronic games gadgets and into the great outdoors.

The survey of 2,000 parents, commissioned by British gardening manufacturer Hozelock, reveals only four out of 10 children regularly play outside and that the majority of parents (seven out of 10) say they can find it a struggle to get their youngsters out of the house and into the garden.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Make gardening fun with Hozelock

In fact two thirds (60 per cent) admit their children now reach straight for their gadgets to beat boredom and one third (30 per cent) confess their youngsters now spend less than two hours a week playing in the garden.

However three quarters (75 per cent) of parents say their children are more likely to want to go outside if they can join them in with gardening jobs like watering the plants or sowing seeds.

Lisa Jordan, UK marketing manager at Hozelock, said: “With a little encouragement from their parents, youngsters can be tempted away from their gadgets to lend a hand in the garden.

“Hozelock has a wide range of products to help children enjoy the garden – take our newly launched Pico Reel for example – this compact watering hose weighs less than two bags of sugar and will help children make light work of watering the garden.”

Hozelock’s ‘Gardening for Life’ campaign aims to encourage parents to get their children to enjoy and appreciate outdoor life during the summer.

TV gardener, David Domoney, who is fronting Hozelock’s ‘Gardening for Life’ campaign to try to get more kids playing outdoors and interested in gardening, said: “Youngsters are playing indoors much more than they used to a generation ago, and many spend nearly five times more time on computer games than playing outside. It’s so important for children to get out in the garden during the summer and get some fresh air and exercise, and if we’re not careful a whole generation will miss out on the joys of the great outdoors.”

David Domoney added: “Despite these findings, there still is some hope that children will want to get out in the garden more this summer. Children love simple activities like sowing seeds, planting flowers, picking fruit and watering the garden. Plus they love getting their hands dirty! A lot of children said they would spend more time in the garden if they could help out with an activity, such as watering the plants. Nowadays there are loads of products on the market which are ideal for little hands to use.”

“Gardening is a great hobby for people of all ages however, for children it’s particularly beneficial. It’s a fun, healthy activity plus the sense of satisfaction children feel when they watch something they’ve had a hand in growing is immeasurable.”

For tips on getting children involved in the garden, and details of the full range of gardening products, check out the Hozelock website www.hozelock.com, and watch this great video about the Pico Reel. For more information on David Domoney, check out his website at www.daviddomoney.com

Hozelock have been instrumental in making sure that all our garden builds on Love Your Garden 2014 have been well watered, and provided much equipment to make watering the gardens easier for our garden owners in the future.   Thanks guys!

ITV's Love Your Garden

By alantitchmarsh

Outdoor Dining with Style

With temperatures set to beat the caribbean this week we all want to get out and enjoy as much fresh air and sunshine as we can.  This means meal times al fresco, and there has never been a better choice of grills around.

Napoleon logoHere on Love Your Garden this series, we’ve been lucky enough to have the support of the lovely people at Napoleon Grills who have supplied BBQ’s to more than one of our garden makeovers.

It’s very rare we get a wishlist for a new garden which doesn’t include somewhere to cook and eat out. Family times around a table outside or inviting friends over for an impromptu burger are so much easier when you have a proper grill, rather than the disposable type which can incinerate food and still manage to leave parts uncooked!

We asked Napoleon for their own list of top tips for outdoor dining, so for how to achieve chargrill heaven..

ITV's Love Your Garden

Napoleon Triumph grill, supplied to the McGinns in Episode 3 of Love Your Garden

NAPOLEON® GRILLS 5 RULES OF OUTDOOR DINING

1. Safety First: Chances are there will be little ones around when you use your BBQ.  Always supervise children but make sure you let them know first that the BBQ is very hot and not to be played near.  Keep flare from flames down to a minimum by not using too much fat and by cooking with the lid closed as much as possible.

2. Stop Prodding! Contrary to popular belief, food on a bbq does not need constantly prodding and poking! Simply adjust the heat, keep the lid down and let the grill do it’s job. Turn food when it is cooked on one side rather than every 20 seconds – this will help you maintain a consistent cooking temperature and prevents flare-ups. It also means you’re free to join the party!

3. Keep It Juicy: Following on from not prodding and poking too much, ensure the grill is fully heated before you put the food on. This will sear the meat and keep in more of the juices.  Always let meat stand for 10 minutes following cooking (keep it under foil) so that the juices can be reabsorbed into the meat.

4. Bag your space: Create a dedicated sheltered space for cooking and preparation, it is much more likely to entice you outdoors and also allows you to extend the cooking season beyond sunny days and balmy nights.

5. Get creative! Don’t be limited by the predictable – there is life beyond bangers and burgers. Fish, vegetables, coke can chicken  – heck, you can even cook your Christmas turkey on the BBQ and save on precious oven space! So get creative and start thinking outside of the box to get more mileage out of your bbq.

TriumphT495NapoleonGrills

Visit http://www.napoleongrills.co.uk or call 01676 522788 to find your nearest Napoleon Grills stockist. Twitter: @NapoleonGrills Facebook: Napoleon Grills UK

Napoleon Grills Triumph 495 gas barbecue was the unit supplied to episode 3 of Love Your Garden, and enjoys some great features and refinements which makes it just that little bit different.

It has four bottom burners and also has porcelain-enamelled cast iron grates which help to distribute the heat evenly and will last the McGinns for years. Both features help to provide excellent cooking control for grilling, roasting and baking pretty much anything, plus there’s is an additional side ring for saucepans.

The JET-FIRE ignition system makes firing up easy every time and an integral thermometer shows you how hot you’ve got. Too hot, turn the heat down by adjusting the burners, too cool, crank them up!  It couldn’t be simpler.

It’s pretty much like a cooker and if you can use one of them you can use this barbecue!  The bonus is that the food you cook on your Triumph 495 comes with that tantalising barbecue flavour which you certainly won’t get from your oven!

For more information on Napoleon Grills, please visit www.napoleongrills.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh