Recent extremes of weather in some areas of the country have shown the need to conserve water in the garden. One way to conserve water is to mulch borders with chipped bark, do it after a downpour, hoe out the weeds then apply about 5cm of chipped bark. Evergreen Mini-chip Bark in store is 2 x 50ltr bags for £10; normally £5.99 per bag. If you hold a Rewards card they are 3 bags for £12.

Salvias are a great drought tolerant plant; they love a sunny spot on poor well draining soils. Available in a fantastic palette of colours; electric blue, scarlet, hot pink and white or in pastel shades they are worth a spot in any garden.

When it’s raining cats and dogs collect it in a water butt to see you over the dry spells; they easily attach to a downspout and are available in slim-line versions for small gardens. If you are on a water meter why waste precious mains water on the garden.

Mixing water retention gel into the compost as you plant up your containers keeps the compost moist and cuts down on the chances of your bedding plants drying out. All you need is about a teaspoon full in an average size hanging basket.

This weeks recipe is a bit of a challenge, try baking a cake on your BBQ. This lemon drizzle cake is everyone’s favourite and so easy:

Why not have a go at our Veggie BBQ Recipe competition and win yourself a new charcoal BBQ or some accessories:

There’s still plenty of fine weather to come so time to enjoy a new set of garden furniture; check out our outdoor furniture sale pages for a bargain:

Now that the temperature is rising its time to think about saving water in the garden and the automatic watering systems from Hozelock are just the thing. There are leaky hoses to lay just underneath the soil surface of your herbaceous beds, sprinklers for the lawn and individual drip irrigation for the containers and hanging baskets.

If you are continually forgetting to water your houseplants then consider cactus and succulents, they are not all vicious and spiky and they range from soft pale blue to dark green. They don’t mind a baking hot spot and forgive you if you forget to water.

Save water and drink gin. We have plenty of flavours to choose from in the Food Hall here in store, from such artisan producers as 6 O’clock Gin, Lakes Distillary, Mint Drinks Company and Lakeland Liqueurs.

Ever wanted a pet sheep? We have masses of garden sheep in stock priced from £6.99 to £89.99, they don’t need feeding, watering, exercising, worming or their hooves trimmed! Made from ceramic, resin and slate; the small £12.99 slate sheep are due in around mid-August.

This week’s recipe is the delicious, super-quick King Prawns with chilli, garlic and lime, ideal as a starter for your guests to nibble on while they wait for the main event. We cooked them in the Weber GBS wok but they can just as easily be cooked on a griddle plate or in a veg basket.

Don’t forget we are demonstrating the Kamodo Joe BBQs in store on Sunday 21st July; it’s ongoing from 11 – 4 and there’ll be nibbles and tips on getting the best from your grill.

There’s still time to grab a bargain in our outdoor furniture sale; whether it’s a simple table and chair for enjoying your morning coffee or a large dining set for entertaining family and friends we have something to suit: ONLINE ONLY

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