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Bargain Gardening

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When it comes to getting a garden design bargain, we’re all a bit cannier than we used to be. Voucher website's are really popular, TV shows like SuperScrimpers get millions of viewers, and many of us wouldn’t dream of going out for a meal without checking for a deal first. So you won’t be surprised to hear that there are also lots of ways of saving money when it comes to plants. This time of year – early spring – is an especially good time for saving money. Here’s my 5 top tips:

Split up snowdrops that have just finished flowering. This will give you even more flowers next year but cost you nothing! It’s easy to do - just dig up the whole clump, use your fingers to tease out groups of 6-8 bulbs with their green stems and leaves intact, and re-plant straightaway.

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Gardening is Officially Exercise!

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Did you enjoy sport during your school days? It’s true that some kids love sport and want to be the next Jessica Ennis or Andy Murray. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan and many children today agree - competitive sport is seen as boring and un-cool, and definitely not fun. Only a quarter of our children do the recommended 60 minutes of exercise a day.

But one thing has changed since I hung up my hockey boots, and that’s the definition of exercise. It simply means moving more - not coming first in the 100 metres dash. So gardening is officially exercise! Raking up leaves, digging over the borders, sweeping the path - they all get you moving and gently out of breath. Even better, you’re getting some fresh air and (hopefully!) a bit of sun on your face.

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The Garden Design and Architecture of Seville

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Last weekend I went to Seville for a teaching conference. Whilst there I took the opportunity to explore this beautiful city. We didn’t have a lot of time so we headed for the cathedral which we knew was in the centre of the old town. It wasn’t easy to miss as it is enormous, the largest cathedral by volume in the world – it does make you wonder how many other cathedrals are largest by something or other in the world. On part of the cathedral site is the Moorish tower, La Giralda, this can be ascended and has a series of ramps inside, wide enough for two guards on horseback to pass. It was used by the Moors both for calling the faithful to prayer (the traditional function of a minaret) and as an observatory.

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