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We’re heading into November; the season of bangs and bangers – and colder weather. Some take this as a sign to hibernate but if you wrap up and prepare your garden with some lights and a source of heat, like a BBQ or bonfire, you’ll be surprised how much fun you can have outside.

Here is my pick of activities to warm your heart and soul … including how to look after our great British garden wildlife …

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Winter BBQs are a ‘thing’
Don’t just roast those chestnuts, be inspired by bonfire BBQs across the country; invite the family and friends around and rustle up some home-made fayre to cheer even the feeblest couch potato.

Watch this great video from Weber, which shows you how to make the ultimate juicy burgers … they’ll be in demand!

If you really want to show off, you can even join a Weber 3-hour BBQ class, with instruction from a Weber Certified Grill Master. It’s on at Longacres Garden Centre, Bagshot, on 18 November. They reckon you’ll gain BBQ skills for life and food includes Smoked fish chowder with twisted cheese straws, Chestnut and sausage stuffed roast with mulled wine sauce and spice pumpkin skewers – and Winter cake with spicy chocolate sauce.

Click here for details.

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Bushy Beverage of the month

If you’re still wondering what to do with all those windfalls, Spiced Hot Apple Cider is beautiful this time of year. Recipes like this one from YummyMummyKitchen are easy to follow and will make the kitchen smell like Autumn … mmm…

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Help the hedgehogs

Here’s a bit of a shout out for our beloved prickly friends. Hedgehogs eat snails, slugs and insects, so are a gardener’s mate. They usually hibernate between November and mid March and must have enough fat reserves to survive hibernation. Here’s some advice from Surrey Wildlife Trust …

Check compost heaps before digging in a fork. Also check your bonfire for hibernating hedgehogs before lighting it – a good tip is to leave it until the last minute or ring the pile with chickenwire.

Read about feeding etc from Surrey Wildlife Trust here. 

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Brilliant birdseed ornaments

The whole family can look out for garden birds and have fun at the same time by making your own decorative bird feeders. They’re easy to make. You just need about 500g birdseed, 100g flour, 3 tablespoons of corn syrup, 2 teaspoons of unflavoured gelatin, 100ml water.

Make a paste out of the flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup and stir in the birdseed. You can make shapes out of the mixture using cookie cutters coated with a bit of oil. Make a hole in each shape and leave to harden overnight. Hang the ornaments by putting string through the holes – et voila!.

November is often the time when people start to forget about their gardens but it’s the perfect time to embrace them, as I’ve illustrated. It’s also the time to think about how you want your garden to be next year; if you’re stuck for inspiration why not talk to us? 

Read about our consultancy service here.

Until next time, have a great month!

Chris Stone
Head of Beautiful Gardens

Fun in the garden