Christmas is almost upon us! The cold temperatures make gardening a difficult task, but the beautiful crisp mornings and cosy festive jumpers help make up for it.
Our Sale starts Monday 23rd September! There will be fantastic discounts on our most popular greenhouses as well as across our accessories range.
Last minute Christmas presents or time for a New You, our Rhinos are so excited to become the newest member of your family. From dainty 6ft x 4ft, to statement-like 12ft x 20ft greenhouses, we've got sizes for any garden. They're stylish and strong, and our customers think so too! Check out our Feefo reviews to see what they really think or find us on social media and speak to customers for yourselves.
Our blogging family is growing again! Michelle Gersh is The Green OT and she is a Rhino owner who specialises in using gardening as occupational therapy. Michelle has a big heart and a beautiful smile (as you can see in the picture above) and she has some wonderful ideas to share. She brings nature, art and mindfulness together and I'm so excited to see what else she comes up with. In her very first blog with us (can be found on the garden blog page), she introduced herself and talks about Kokedama. Kokedama are a kind of indoor plant or microgarden from Japan, but I'll let her tell you the rest.
In January, we will also begin sharing blogs from the lovely Fran Phillips. Fran is a flower farmer; she runs La-Di Dardy Flowers and is a member of the co-operative, Flowers from the Farm. Fran will be sharing her knowledge about seasonal flower growing and floristry and we are very excited to see what she gets up in the new year!
Underland by Robert Macfarlane tells the stories of the secret places that are beautiful and fearful. Using history, myth and personal experience, Macfarlane takes us through the worlds that lie beneath our feet. It is about untameable nature and its primordial governance over the land, and the dark magic that lurks down the bottom of the rabbit hole. Macfarlane has ha dsedy written several popular titles, including The Old Ways and The Wild Places. He also published his first work of fiction this year, Ness.
I have recently been a little obsessed with Celtic history and traditions. I have always been a fascinated by the mythology of ancient cultures; the embedded ideologies of self and community; the wisdom and reverence with which the natural world is imbued, and the magic that brings the spirits of people and nature together. Celtic history, despite being close neighbours of ours, isn't taught much at school. We learn about Greek, Roman, Norse myths, but Celts barely feature in the curriculum. The reasons for this stem from biases in our own culture and the history we have inflicted but wish to hide from ourselves. But the distinct lack of Celtic sources is also because of its oral traditions. Where Greeks were prolific writers of their own stories, the Celts place great importance on verbal storytelling. The life of druids was shrouded in mystery as well - both on purpose and by consequence of the oral tradition. All this means that the myths and legends of the Celts aren't easily found and collections that exist today are fragmentary, contradictory and sparse. I am nevertheless eager to learn as much as I can about the myths of these wonderful people and found The Encyclopaedia of Celtic Myth and Legend by John and Caitlin Matthews. This collection takes the majority of its stories from Ireland, but has been collated by English people (I'd prefer it came from the horse's mouth, but collections like these are not easily found, so beggars, choosers, etc.).
I adored the His Dark Materials series when I was a teenager, and the latest TV adaptation is raking in millions of views on the BBC right now. After an almost 20 year hiatus, Philip Pullman has returned to this universe with The Book of Dust. It will become another trilogy, of which 2 have been published so far. I am reading the first volume, La Belle Sauvage. The Secret Commonwealth is the second volume, and was published earlier this year. Which means I am seriously behind!
New York to California by Jeremy Page is about how Page made a long walk through East Anglia - and yes, the title is misleading! He walked from a tiny village in the Fens called New York to a place on the Norfolk coast called California. Page has written fiction titles in the past, but this is his first non-fiction. this change is reflected in the pages of the book, as he makes a journey that will help him This book is published by Propolis - the publishing imprint of The Book Hive, the independent bookshop in Norwich.
If you are local to Norwich, I would highly recommend visiting The Book Hive. It is a truly idiosyncratic bookshop, that thrives on the idea of organised chaos. Unlike your highstreet chains, books are not entirely organised by genre or by alphabet. Free association is key. Henry, the owner of this lovely literary madhouse, believes that the human mind doesn't work in careful compartments, so neither should our book shopping experience. The tables in the front area are a glorious patchwork of titles. Political essays - feminist fiction - dystopia - environmentalism - nature - mythology - poetry - contemporary fiction - economics - philosophy - music - autobiography.
I'm one of those people who always gives books as presents for Christmas. I love to read and I want to share that gift with the people around me. What are you reading this Christmas?
MONTHLY GARDEN JOBS
Winter is now truly upon us. Crisp frosty mornings, hard ground and woolie hats. Lots of the jobs for the garden at this time can be done throughout the winter months, so just keep on working through that checklist and get ready for a fantastic spring! Being ready for spring is the best way to ensure a long and exciting growing season, so while they might not be so exciting as watching the flowers blossom, preparing the soil and cleaning the greenhouse are all very important thigns to keep on top of.
- Mulching - a good thick layer of mulch, in whatever you choose, is essential for nourishing the soil and getting nutrients in for your plants next year.
- Cleaning the Greenhouse - if you have plants overwintering, you'll want them to get as much sunlight as possible, so keep the glass clear.
- Protecting Vulnerable Plants - staking against wind, fleecing tender foliage
- Harvesting Winter Vegetables - the ground is getting hard and cold, so take care when extracting them. Leeks, kale, potatoes, artichokes, winter cabbages, parsnips... Root vegetables are king!
- Pruning trees and shrubs
- Planting spring bulbs
What is happening in your garden? We'd love to hear from you.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
May your homegrown sprouts be all eaten up and your snowman's nose be freshly picked from your own garden.
If you're a Rhino Owner with an interesting story to tell, we'd love to hear from you.
You can get in touch with us on social media or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org