Lay of the Land
We thought it would be good to offer some insight into our thoughts, and explain why we’re not opening more fully.
We will be open for limited browsing from Monday 18 th of May, by appointment only.
In the meantime we continue serving customers over the phone, email, Facebook, and soon on our website. We will continue to provide local delivery and contactless collection for the foreseeable future.
Why? On Monday the government very quietly announced that garden centres could open. We are concerned about how manageable this will be at the peak of the gardening season whilst maintaining everyone’s safety, but we are also keen to allow those who desperately want to get out, and browse our plants, to do so, and do so safely.
We encourage as many people as possible to use our home delivery and contactless collection services where possible.
Please can we ask that people don’t visit the garden centre for the safety of all our customers and staff. Despite shut gates and signs we have had a number of people try and come in, doing so puts both our staff and yourselves at risk!
Gardens aren’t just for gardeners – gardens are for everyone.
What is a garden? Well, one often used definition is that of “an enclosed space near a house used for the planned growing of flowering plants, fruit or vegetables”. However, I have a few issues with that. For a start half the gardens in Settle aren’t anywhere near the house they belong to. Then again many gardens aren’t really planned in anyway – they have just sort of evolved. Gardens can be near a house, or not. They can be tightly planned and controlled, or not. They can be large or small, private or public, formal or informal, but the one thing most gardens are is contained or enclosed, even if the extent of the garden is a pot on the windowsill!
If you followed my advice last year and bought a pot grown Christmas tree, or have previously done so, sooner or later you’ll be looking for a space in your garden for it, and all gardens benefit from a tree or two. All trees, whether Christmas or not, are wonderful for wildlife, and make great places to hang bird feeders. The regular branch spacing of fir trees renders them particularly suitable. This time of year the wildlife needs a little help, so feeding the birds is a good thing to do. If you do it regularly you’ll attract more birds, and a greater variety, particularly if you vary the feeder types and food. This has the bonus of enabling you to study these fascinating creatures as well as looking after the eco system.
A few do’s and don’ts. Clean feeders regularly to avoid spreading disease, and position out of reach of marauding cats. Choosing feeders wisely can determine the types of birds attracted. An open, accessible feeder may only ever attract voracious starlings or crows, which frighten away the smaller finches and tits. Use decent quality feed if you can afford it, as the cheaper ones have a lot of inedible “filler” in them which chokes up the feeders, whist food scraps are often unhealthy for the birds, and can attract vermin, particularly if simply thrown on the ground.
So that’s it, treat the birds this winter. Even if you don’t have room, a feeder, nest box or bird table makes a great present for someone who does.