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Autumn HelloGarden gardens

The seasons wait for no one, they roll round regardless of us! So too for gardens so though you may only be thinking of beaches, swimming and having fun with family and friends we know all too well that soon it will be autumn. Not that there’s anything to mourn about its arrival, it’s a most beautiful time of the year, as this poem by young Emily shows us:

Fiery, orange
leaves cover
the rich,
grass. A
monarch butterfly
flutters through
the morning air.

So with that in mind we are now selling our Autumn-Winter HelloGardens, six of them themed for Asian, Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, Everyday cooking along with two more: the Greenie for those wanting maximum anti-oxidants in their daily diet, and the Herbarium. Like our summer gardens they each offer a beautiful and nutritious mix of 12 to 14 good-sized organic seedlings with several different salad greens, herbs, and edible flowers. Designed with companion planting they allow several plants in each garden to deter insects that feed on other plants while improving each plant’s uptake of soil nutrients. By attracting beneficial insects and diverting insect pests, all plants in our Autumn - Winter HelloGardens will thrive, giving you a beautiful garden to look at as well as a good range of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

Give a thought to our large street trees

And before autumn colours arrive give a thought to the value of our large urban trees. Online tree app Tree Talk saw a 50-fold increase in its users since Covid-19 arrived as people fell in love with their local "street trees." They were quite right to do so. The wood of street trees stores carbon, while their roots and crowns support wildlife and slow rainfall, reducing urban flooding. Transpiration and shade from their canopies reduces temperatures in heatwaves, while pollution-trapping leaves lower the prevalence of asthma. If these ecosystem services weren't enough, having trees on our streets reduces crime rates and improves mental health and wellbeing. One mature street tree can have a net ecosystem service value of thousands of pounds.

 Size really matters with trees. The annual net ecological benefit of planting a large species tree is 92% greater than planting a small one. Mature street trees do everything from having a positive effect on infant birth weight in lower socio-economic demographics, to increasing resilience to major life events among people who live within sight of them. Consumers spend more on streets that are lined with large trees. Large street trees are the most valuable green infrastructure asset cities have and when that value is overlooked, disasters happen. There is hope for change in the form of tree strategies that set policies to guide development and planning and which require community consultation. They are a valuable tool for stewarding urban trees for future generations.

Vietnamese Mint Noodles

A very simple, delicious recipe using fresh Thai Basil and Vietnam Mint from our Asian HelloGarden. To add some protein, put in some tofu, lean chicken or fresh fish, sautéed until just cooked before adding.

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces rice vermicelli

1 cup Thai basil, fresh

1/2 cup of fresh Vietnam mint, shredded

1/3 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 long red chili finely chopped

½ cup of roasted peanuts

 DIRECTIONS

  • Cook the rice noodles in a saucepan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until soft. 
  • Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.
  • Toss the noodles with the basil and the mint.
  • Combine the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, add to the noodles and toss well.
  • Add the shredded red chilli and roasted peanuts and toss again.

Vietnam Mint Noodles