Category Archives: Garden craft

Simple Ways to Incorporate Nature into your Easter Decorations:


While some years we may celebrate Easter before it feels as though the spring has truly arrived, common themes to the celebrations include new life, colour and light. After dark and gloomy winters, the sight of fresh leaves on branches and flower buds in our gardens are a welcome sight.

If you are having family and friends round for Easter celebrations, why not lift everyone’s spirits with simple and decorative centrepieces that embrace what nature currently has on offer. Save egg shells and gather moss, cut spring flowers and the budding branches of deciduous trees and shrubs, and bring them all together for pretty and vibrant displays.

Five Reasons Why You Should Build a Wildlife Shelter

Closing top of insect hotel and wiring top edge -  © GAP Photos

Closing top of insect hotel and wiring top edge -
© GAP Photos

From humble abodes to grand imposing hotels, here are five reasons to get crafty, and make a shelter for the insects in your garden.

1. Wildlife is good for gardens

Bumble bees on Allium fistulosum - Welsh onion or bunching onions - © GAP Photos/Gary Smith

Bumble bees on Allium fistulosum – Welsh onion or bunching onions – © GAP Photos/Gary Smith

Gardens full of wildlife are happy gardens. The animals and insects in our gardens work hard to keep everything in balance – from pollinating our flowers and crops to preying on pesky aphids, to working the soil for us. Creating shelters for them to lay eggs or overwinter will help sustain the populations of these little helpers.

2. They make a fun garden activity for kids to get involved in

Child adding woodlouse into insect hotel - © GAP Photos

Child adding woodlouse into insect hotel – © GAP Photos

Children love wildlife, and creating insect houses together makes a great weekend activity. Have fun collecting the materials and assembling them together, and give your child the opportunity to take an interest in garden wildlife.

3. They can be as simple or complicated as you like

Woman arranging recycled christmas tree branches within bark stakes to create a wildlife shelter - © GAP Photos

Woman arranging recycled christmas tree branches within bark stakes to create a wildlife shelter – © GAP Photos

Insects will shelter happily under simple piles of cut foliage or stacks of wooden logs. Or you can build a multi-storey masterpiece. Ultimately, if you build it, they will come – the level of detail is up to you.

4. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it

Woman adding roof tiles in a stack to insect hotel - © GAP Photos

Woman adding roof tiles in a stack to insect hotel – © GAP Photos

One of the most fun aspects to building wildlife shelters is that you get to be creative with the materials you use. If you have spare roof tiles, why not use them as a roof on your hotel to keep the materials below dry? Do you have an old tea pot that is no longer useful? Sink it under the soil with its sprout protruding from the surface and give solitary bees and wasps a safe place to nest for the winter. So many materials can be repurposed to give insects a home.

5. They add further interest to a garden

Insect hotel created in wire gabion with a variety of building materials and dried plant material - © GAP Photos

Insect hotel created in wire gabion with a variety of building materials and dried plant material – © GAP Photos

In the winter, when borders may look slightly drab, a multi-storey insect hotel can really add some much-needed interest and texture to the garden. And you can keep an eye on who has moved in.

Vibrant Bouquet

A step by step guide for making a vibrant bouquet.

Beginning the construction of the vibrant bouquet with Crataegus monogyna, Dahlia 'Labyrinth', Rosa 'Ambridge Rose', Rosebay willowherb seed pods and Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' - © GAP Photos

Beginning the construction of the vibrant bouquet with Crataegus monogyna, Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’, Rosa ‘Ambridge Rose’, Rosebay willowherb seed pods and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ – © GAP Photos

To create the bouquet the following flowers have been used Wood sage, Euonymus europaeus, Rosa ‘Ambridge Rose’, Dahlia ‘Labyrinth’, Rosebay willowherb seed pods, Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’, Atriplex hortensis ‘Rubra’, Rubus fruticosus, Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’, Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’, Crataegus monogyna and Eschscholzia californica ‘Peach Sorbet’

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