Plants in the office help you

This is an interesting read for those (like most of us) who work in an office.

Reposted from the daily mail.


How plants in the office help workers to flourish: Greenery in the workplace can increase production by 15%

  • Staff concentration and satisfaction increased once plants were introduced
  • This may be because foliage absorbs pollutants, dust and bugs from the air
  • Some studies suggest pot plants can reduce number of sick days taken

Putting plants in the office makes workers more productive, a study shows. Psychologists found that introducing greenery to spartan workplaces led to a 15 per cent rise in output.

Staff concentration and satisfaction increased and they said the air quality had improved. This may be because foliage absorbs pollutants, dust and bugs from the air.

Researchers from Cardiff University monitored two large commercial offices in the UK and Holland. After plants were brought in, overall productivity improved by 15 per cent within three months, they report in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

The study reported: ‘Data from the present findings indicate that a green working environment is consistently more enjoyable for employees, more conducive to concentration, and more productive for the business than its lean equivalent.

‘Indeed, simply enriching a previously spartan space with plants served to increase productivity by 15 per cent.’

Lead researcher Marlon Nieuwenhuis, from Cardiff University’s school of psychology, said: ‘Our research suggests that investing in landscaping the office with plants will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity.

‘Although previous laboratory research pointed in this direction, our research is, to our knowledge, the first to examine this in real offices, showing benefits over the long term.

‘It directly challenges the widely accepted business philosophy that a lean office with clean desks is more productive.’

I agree with this wholeheartedly. I feel 10X better when I can work around plants and flowers. If you have a stale looking office I urge you to give it a try. It’s great mood lift.


How to Grow African Violets

African violets are purple flowers with a fleck in their centre. These sensuous and graceful flowers are from Africa, growing mainly in Tanzania, and other tropical ecosystems.

Even if you are a complete amateur in gardening, the basic techniques for growing and blooming African violets are not hard. Below I have outlined a step by step guide for growing these lovely little flowers and ensuring they bloom.

Continue reading “How to Grow African Violets”

Best fertilizers for fruit trees

May is now upon, and gardens around the United Kingdom now explode with life. Many of our members gardens contain fruit tress, therefore we though it would be prudent to share some fruit tree advice.

I have a good friend who’s a owns a tree surgery company, and he has helped me with this article. If I ever need advice about anything tree related to help my garden, i contact him. If you are reading this Keith, thanks for the help. The lemon trees you helped me pick have benefited greatly from you depth of knowledge and advice.

Anyway back to the article. Onward…

If your garden boasts a fruit tree, fertilizing it is an essential part of its care and maintenance. Not only does it encourage healthy growth, thus leading to the production of flourishing fruits, it gives your tree all of the vital nutrients it needs to stay stable and strong. Luckily, fertilizing fruit trees is a simple and easy task that, when done correctly, will give great results and ensure a healthy tree all year round.

Continue reading “Best fertilizers for fruit trees”

How to grow miniature African violets

Miniature African violets can be grown in 2 to 2 ½ “pots and attain a height of not more than 7 inches.

Miniature African violets are the smaller versions of the full sized African violets. They are characterized by small leaves and blooms, and spend most of their time in pots making them the best variety flowers to grow in small spaces. These miniature flowers require the same growing conditions as the full sized African violets.

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Hedgehog Awareness Week 2016

This post has been reposted by me, as I’m a big fan of the BHPS. As most of us reading this are keen gardeners we need help our prickly endangered friends. We all have gardens so we can all do our bit.

Thanks to my friends at Leaf Tree Surgeons in Stockport for emailing me this. Otherwise I’d have forgotten all about it.



Hedgehog Awareness Week runs from 1st – 7th May 2016 and hedgehoggy events are being organised all around the country already!

Hedgehog Awareness Week is organised by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and takes place every year. It aims to highlight the problems hedgehogs face and how you can help them.

This year efforts are focussed on strimmers and cutting machines – every year we hear of many terrible injuries and deaths caused by garden machinery. BHPS is asking people to check areas carefully before using any machinery. They have produced a sticker to be placed onto machines and are asking councils and tool hire companies to get in touch and request the free stickers for their machines.
As well as checking areas before cutting there are other things we can do to help too:

Ensure there is hedgehog access in your garden – a 13cm x 13cm gap in boundary fences and walls.

  • Move piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it.
  • Ensure netting is kept at a safe height.
  • Check compost heaps before digging the fork in.
  • Stop or reduce the amount of pesticides and poisons used.
  • Cover drains or deep holes.
  • Ensure there is an easy route out of ponds and pools.
  • BHPS Chief Executive, Fay Vass, Said “We are asking people to pledge to do at least one positive thing for hedgehogs during the week and if possible let us know, send us pictures of the hedgehog hole or home you create, or from the event you organise!”

Here are a few more ideas of how you can get involved:

  • Contact your local council or tool hire shop and ask if they will use the free stickers from BHPS on their machines.
  • Organise an event such as a cake sale, fun day, sponsored event, coffee morning or jumble sale.Display information (BHPS can provide) in your local Garden Centre, School, Library, etc.
  • Contact your local newspaper or radio station and ask them to help hedgehogs by printing a letter from BHPS (we can provide a letter to the editor on request) or by arranging an interview with us during the week (ask them to call 01584 890 801).
  • Post leaflets in your area letting people know how they can help hedgehogs (BHPS can provide leaflets).
  • If you are organising an event PLEASE let BHPS know as soon as possible so that we can keep a comprehensive list of events across the country.

We are hoping to raise £1,000 during Hedgehog Awareness Week 2016, texting HHOG16 £3 to 70070 will donate £3 to this appeal. (You can change amount to £1, £2, £3, £4, or £10 to donate those amounts).

Leaflets and posters are available on our website or we can post copies out on request.

Click here to view the Hedgehog Awareness Poster


11 Steps to Propagate African Violets

Despite the fact that African Violets are native to Tanzania, they have become a house hold name in homes across the world. These cheerful plants come in an array of colors, including: dusty lilac, light and deep violets.

They are commonly grown in pots, kitchen window sills and on tables away from direct sunlight. Just like any regular plant, African violets, will thrive in some conditions and perish bin others.

As you learn how to propagate African violets, it’s also important to ensure that they grow in the right conditions to achieve optimum brilliance and beauty.

Continue reading “11 Steps to Propagate African Violets”

How to plant and care for Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon is a fast growing bush that flowers in late summer, and is considered a member of the hibiscus family; flower colours can include pink, purple, white, and blue.

Here’s a good video explaining the process visually:

Generally, these bushes are considered easy to nurture and grow and, once established, require a relatively low level of care. However, as with any plant, there are still some important initial steps you need to take if you are thinking of including one of these into your garden; I am going to give you the basic, easy instructions that you need in order to ensure you achieve the most flourished Rose of Sharon you possibly can.

Initially growing Rose of Sharon

Naturally, Rose of Sharon is grown from seed, but can also be grown yourself from cuttings:

  • It is best to select a stem from the top of the shrub; cut about 7 inches from the end and cut away the bottom leaves from the cutting
  • Lightly dip the end of the cut stem in some rooting hormone, then place at a 4 inch depth into your soil-filled pot, ensuring that the soil is firm and secure around the stem
  • Place the pot in a location with easily accessible sunlight, and keep your pot covered with something as simple as a plastic bag until roots develop
  • Once roots have developed, your new young bush can be relocated outside

Where and how should I plant Rose of Sharon?

Plant your Rose of Sharon in spring. It thrives best in a location with both a mixture of light and shade – full light and partial shade is preferable

When digging the whole, dig up to 3 times the width of the pot your Rose of Sharon is currently in, and ensure to dig to the root growth depth.

Gently take the plant out of its pot – carefully tapping the pot on the ground to loosen up the roots and soil will help with this. Lower the plant into the hole in an upright position.

Refill the hole with the soil you originally dug out, ensuring that the Rose of Sharon is secure and stable within the soil. Water the entire area, allowing the plant and soil to become drenched for full absorption

Caring for and pruning Rose of Sharon

Once Rose of Sharon has been planted with established root growth it requires little care, thus it is a relatively low-maintenance plant whilst still looking impressive and floral – perfect if you are a keen gardener that needs to spend their time caring after other plants!

However, here are just a few top tips regarding the low amount of after-care that you can still do:

  • Your Rose of Sharon does not need to be watered daily, but when it is still young I recommend watering it 3 times per week to promote continues root growth; when it matures, reduce this to 2 times per week. It is important to not over-water your plant as it could cause root suffocation.
  • When pruning, whilst little is needed, pruning in early spring is generally the best time. To encourage larger and more robust flowers, prune the plant back by up to 3 buds per branch, and of course remove any diseased or dead branches if you come across any.