Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • The Potty Gardener and Easter Bunnies

    Haxnicks Garden Products can be brought onlineWe all understand that Easter Bunnies don’t like chocolate and are especially keen to give it away at this time of year. I am happy with this arrangement. I am not happy with the flip-side of this arrangement. (In the case of this particular lop-eared bunny I will call it the flop-side.)

    The Flop Side of Easter Bunnies

    The flop-side of this Easter bunny’s game plan is that in return for secretly leaving chocolate she thinks that it’s acceptable to help herself.  She'll grab anything that takes her fancy in the garden, wreaking havoc and causing considerable damage. In this particular case the problem is easily solved by returning her to her secure accommodation. For her wilder and far naughtier cousins the problem must be solved with plant protection.

    Baby Victorian Bell Cloches from Haxnicks

    Growing in pots makes it less tempting and trickier for rabbits to nibble at any new plantings and soft growth.  Those of you growing in rows it may be a different story. Those early shoots that will pop up soon are at particular risk of becoming a bunny salad. So unless you have a rabbit proof fence surrounding your veg plot then some Bell Cloches or an Easy Tunnel pegged over the plants should keep the naughty nibblers at bay and keep the plants cosy and moist too.

    Flexi-Mesh Treeguards from Haxnicks

    At this time of the year there are far more tempting treats than tree bark for bunnies to gnaw on.  However, when other vegetation is sparse beware! If trees are ringbarked (nibbled all the way round) it can kill them. If rabbits nibble the tree all the way round it can kill them. You can protect young trees easily with a tree guard, just make sure that it is over 50cm in height to allow for a giant rabbit invasion, small rabbits on stilts and normal sized rabbits on their hind legs. I have ambitions to grow small trees in pots  which should mean that they are growing high enough off the ground to be out of rabbit reach. Anyway that's quite enough of me rabbiting on, I'm off to hunt for chocolate !

  • Haxnicks finalist at Chelsea Flower Show

    Hello Gardeners,  Preparations are already underway here at Haxnicks for the Chelsea Flower Show and they have been given en extra boost this month with the news that our Big Ben Bean Frame has been chosen as a finalist for the Garden Product of the Year Award!

    Haxnicks Big Ben Bean Frame for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016

    Could our Big Ben Bean Frame be heading for further fame? Well it was designed to attract attention.  And where better to do that than at the fabulous Chelsea Flower show? Just a few miles down river from its iconic inspiration.

    Haxnicks Big Ben Bean Frame is just one of our new and exciting range of architectural growing frames that include Eiffel Tower and London Eye Plant Frames. The range is designed to inspire creative, ornamental vegetable growing.  In addition it also offers the necessary support for climbing veg and makes the most of limited ground space. The officially fabulous Big Ben Bean frame will be on display at RHS Chelsea flower show this year.

    This Grandpa is very proud of the accolade, but not half as proud as he will be if he can manage to grow early enough runner beans to climb up our Big Ben bean Frame in time for the show on 24th May!

    Happy gardening,

    Grandpa Haxnicks

    What they say about the Big Ben Frame.  "The Frame provides an elegant and eye-catching support for climbers with this sturdy, fully galvanised steel climbing plant frame. It has a high quality powder coated finish.  it is also easy to assemble and disassemble for winter storage.  The bean support frame only requires 40cm sq of bed space.  It is perfect for all sorts of climbing vegetables and flowers such as climbing beans, sweet peas, cucumbers, gourds, squashes and melons."

     

  • Haxnicks helps orphans in Zambia to Grow their Own

    Haxnicks Speedhoe in full use in The Heal Project in Zambia

    Hello gardeners,  I Have a heart-warming story to tell this month of an orphanage in Zambia. Haxnicks has been preparing a new vegetable garden far from its homeland in sunny Zambia. Inspired by my great grand-daughter Lali Cardozo and her work with an orphanage near Lusaka, we sent out a team of enthusiastic gardeners.  They were armed with Haxnicks products, a generous donation of seeds from Suttons and lots of energy. Our aim was to kick-start a vegetable garden enabling the children of the orphanage to grow some exciting new fruit and veg.  This will make a refreshing and healthy change from maize and cabbage.

    Seed selection at the orphanage

    Zambian children choosing Seeds given by Haxnicks

    What to plant?

    Lots of children from the orphanage chose their own packets of seeds to plant.  They all wanted to plant cucumbers, strawberries and melons!

     

    Zambian Children at the Heal Project planting Seeds from Haxnicks

    Rootrainers were the perfect solution for planting the larger seeds such as squash, melons and cucumbers and the speciality tomatoes.  When the Rootrainers ran out the children ran off to find any old empty plastic water bottles, or cups to sow more seeds in.

     

    Haxnicks Garden at the Heal Project in Zambia

    Plant Protection

    Easy net tunnels were just the thing for protecting the seedlings in pots. Micromesh fabric was the ideal solution to protect against heavy downpours of rain during the rainy season. Micromesh barriers were put up around the beds to protect them from the cats, dogs, snails and wandering children. Birdscare was used to ward off the birds. Last but not least the ornamental frame of Big Ben was erected at the top of the patch.  It is hoped that eventually peas will clamber up and the children will have great fun harvesting them.

    Seeds appearing in Haxnicks Rootrainers in the Vegetable Garden

    We have Lift off!

    With a downpour of rain and temperatures of 25 degrees within 4 days all the radishes had appeared.  As well as all the squash, melons and courgettes. 100% germination rate in the Rootrainers! As a result, the children are hoping that they will have more than they can eat, and some to sell in the market.

    The orphanage has the space to make the garden bigger and Haxnicks plan to return to help expand the garden.  Ultimately, we plan to build a fence around it with a gate and set up an automatic watering system to start.  Now the gardening team have returned, wondering in anticipation which seedlings are appearing.  Hoping the rain doesn't wash them away or suffering from drought and will mature into healthy bumper crops to fuel the children and a market stall business. Lali hopes to be send some updates and let us all know how things are progressing.  In the meantime she has sent this to tell you a little bit more about her friend Jeannie's orphanage.

    Lali Cardozo teaches at Heal Project School in Zambia

    'My friend Jeannie Mulenga is the inspiration behind The Heal Project, a charity set up in 1999 in Zambia. The Heal Project supports people living with HIV/Aids in Zambia working together towards a better life. Jeannie has 3 of her own children.  As well as thirty children who have nowhere else to turn, all of whom have lost their parents and many of whom are living with HIV. If you have been inspired, as I have by Jeanie and her wonderful children then please have a look at our Just Giving page.'

    I hope to be able to update you all soon with how things are going and growing at the orphanage.  In the meantime,

    Happy Gardening,

    Grandpa Haxnicks

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