St Dwynwen’s Day

by Julia Bradley on January 22, 2014

In Wales, St Dwynwen’s Day is celebrated on January 25 to commemorate the patron saint of friendship and love.

Little is known about the occasion in the rest of the UK, so we’re putting that right with this guide to what it’s all about.

History

The story of Dwynwen is not exactly Mills and Boon, but is inspirational nonetheless.
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Twelfth Night but the Holly days continue

by Julia Bradley on January 6, 2014

Twelfth Night is traditionally the day that Christmas decorations are supposed to come down.

But the January 5 occasion has been colourfully celebrated in London with actors decoratively dressing up, including a Holly Man donning a green gown and evergreen foliage.

Crowds lined the banks of the River Thames near Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre to witness Sunday’s mix of modern festivity and ancient tradition.
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What to do with your Christmas tree

by Julia Bradley on December 28, 2013

If you were lucky enough to have a real tree this Christmas, what can you do with it now the festive season is over?

Replant it

If you bought a tree that has been grown in a container or potted with its roots intact, you can plant it in your garden after the festivities are over.
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Poinsettias brightening up campus

by Julia Bradley on December 27, 2013

Horticultural experts in Northern Ireland have immersed themselves in the festive spirit by growing some of their very own bright red poinsettias.

The plants, which are a relatively new Christmas decoration in the grand scheme of things, have been produced at the Greenmount campus of the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE).

It is part of a project that teaches students about a species that is native to Mexico and also allows the students to raise money for a final year study trip by selling the poinsettias to colleagues and staff on campus.
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Apps with Flower Power

by Julia Bradley on December 20, 2013

Did you get a smartphone or tablet from Santa? Here’s a guide to some of the best gardening and flower-related apps on the market.

RHS Grow Your Own (iOS) (free)

If you’re keen to grow your own fruit and veg but aren’t sure where to start, the Grow Your Own app from the Royal Horticultural Society is just what you need.
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Real life Christmas display for Interflora flower shop

by Julia Bradley on December 17, 2013

An Interflora flower shop in the Scottish Highlands has received an unlikely lodger for the winter.

The Flower Box in Grantown-on-Spey is now home to a friendly Robin, known as Batman, much to the delight of owner Maria Norman.

He used to pop into the shop for daily visits but has since decided to take up residence for the months ahead, nesting atop a Christmas tree.
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Christmas gifts for flower lovers

by Julia Bradley on December 15, 2013

If you’re not sure what to buy your green-fingered friends or relatives for Christmas, don’t worry because help is at hand.

This guide offers a few suggestions for presents that flower fans and gardeners will be hoping to unwrap on Christmas morning.

Gardening book

Any budding Alan Titchmarsh will be sure to appreciate a book showing them how to keep their garden looking good throughout the seasons – complete with stunning pictures to give them inspiration.
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Homemade Christmas decorations

by Julia Bradley on December 13, 2013

Holly, ivy and mistletoe are all synonymous with Christmas, so why not use them to make some wonderful homemade festive decorations?

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Christmas wreath

You can welcome guests to your home this festive season by making your own beautiful wreath using a combination of holly, ivy and mistletoe.

Holly is traditionally hung on doors and windows to ward off evil spirits, but it can be used to adorn any part of your home.
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Deck the halls – with £2.8m wreath?

by Julia Bradley on December 8, 2013

Keeping up with the neighbours’ Christmas lights and decorations can cost a small fortune.

But the hundreds of pounds spent by some people on getting into the Christmas spirit is just small change compared to the cost of the world’s most expensive wreath.

On the market for just over £2.8 million, the wreath is studded with 32 diamonds and 16 rubies, totalling more than 138 carats.
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Tree Dressing Day

by Julia Bradley on December 5, 2013

Never heard of Tree Dressing Day? Worry not, because we have everything you need to know about it – and it doesn’t just involve putting a couple of baubles and tinsel on a Christmas tree.

Taking place during the first weekend of December, Tree Dressing Day sees people throughout the UK celebrating the wonders of trees by decorating them in public places.
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