Hang Your Gardening Memories in Chelsea History

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Hang Your Gardening Memories in Chelsea HistoryVisitors at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show are invited to play their part in Chelsea history by leaving a lasting memory in the Hillier show garden.

At the heart of one of the must-see exhibits will stand a unique tree, fluttering with something quite unusual. Hillier is opening part of its prestigious show garden to the public and is inviting show visitors to attach their favourite garden memory to its ‘Memory Tree’.

Chris Francis, wholesale and retail director of Hillier, commented: “At Hillier, we have decades worth of great memories connected to Chelsea. The Memory Tree in our exhibit is a way of celebrating this and also inviting others to share their garden related memories. Visitors to our exhibit are welcome to add their memory to the book that we will keep below the Davidia involucrata, and to also sign and hang special copper tags on the tree. By the end of the show week, we hope to have a book packed full of gardening memories and a tree covered with tags.”

The Memory Tree itself is a Davidia involucrata, commonly known as the ‘Pocket Handkerchief Tree’, ‘Dove Tree’ or ‘Ghost Tree’ because of its amazing white flowers. The tree is at its most striking in May and June, when its stunning flowers hang from the underside of the branches gently swaying in the breeze. On the Hillier stand, it will offer a moment of contemplation among the bustle of the busy Chelsea showground – an opportunity for visitors to reflect on the past and share a treasured moment spent in the garden; or ponder on what is was that first sparked a love of gardening.

The Memory Tree is an initiative being supported by Hillier’s charity partner, the Wessex Cancer Trust. Its long-term supporter, gardening legend and Chelsea Flower Show favourite, Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL, will be the first person honoured with placing their garden memory on the tree. Other famous faces, garden designers and personalities will also be invited to leave a memory on the tree on unique wooden tags, which will be auctioned after the show to raise funds for the Wessex Cancer Trust.

For more information, please visit To join the conversation, search on Twitter using #HillierChelsea17 and follow @HillierGarden.


Photo - Alan Titchmarsh, long-term supporter of Wessex Cancer Trust, will hang the first commemorative memory tag on Chelsea Press Day

Warning Home Owners: 'Opportunistic' Thefts Increase By A Quarter As Clocks Go Forward

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Romsey Home & Garden News | Warning home owners: ‘Opportunistic’ thefts increase by a quarter as clocks go forward | Romsey & VillagesCo-op Insurance is warning home owners to be more vigilant in light of their latest claims data released recently.

The findings reveal that two fifths (42%) of home thefts occur after the clocks go forward and of these, over a quarter (28%) are categorised as opportunistic.

When looking at over ten thousand customer claims, the data reveals that the number of opportunistic thefts increases by a quarter (27%) when the clocks go forward, highlighting a trend of homeowners relaxing home security in the lighter months of the year.

This is in stark contrast to the darker, winter months as from October to March, just a fifth (22%) of break-ins are described as opportunistic.

Furthermore, claims data reveals that the number of thefts as a result of homeowners being ‘distracted’ increases when the clocks go forward and account for 9% of break-ins with examples including thieves posing as builders and engineers, to gain access to properties.

When delving into the days where people are most vulnerable, majority of home thefts take place on Fridays (16%), whilst Tuesday is the least popular day with just over a tenth (12%) of break-ins occurring on a Tuesday.

The data also reveals an increase in opportunists taking their chances just after the weekend, with 1 in 7 (14%) of break-ins occurring on a Monday.

For that reason, Co-op Insurance is offering home owners advisory tips to ensure security remains on the agenda as the clocks go forward.

The Co-op Insurance’s home security tips:

Remain vigilant and keep homes secure during the lighter, summer months.

Keep windows and doors locked

Where possible, invest in a CCTV system

Check on vulnerable neighbours

Refrain from positing your location on social media platforms

Set your home burglar alarm

Ensure outbuildings and sheds are locked

Refrain from leaving valuable items on display

Don’t leave car keys within reach of a letterbox

Jonathan Guy, Head of Claims at the Co-op Insurance said:

“Whilst generally, less break-ins occur when the clocks go back and evenings are lighter, what we’re seeing during this time is a trend of home owners relaxing their home security and opportunist thieves striking.

“At the Co-op we’re keen to keep and make communities safe and so we’re urging people to continue to be vigilant and think carefully about the safety of their property all year round.

“Nobody should have to go through the trauma of having their property burgled and there are some key things that homeowners should be mindful of to ensure any opportunists cannot be tempted.”

Lynn Farrar, chair of Neighbourhood Watch, said:

“These findings from the Co-op Insurance further highlight the need for people to look out for one another.

“With 1 in 10 break-ins being as a result of homeowners being distracted, it’s really important that we look out for our vulnerable neighbours. Our advice is if people aren’t sure who is at the door, don’t open it. Most genuine callers will have a pre-arranged appointment.

“Also if you see a neighbour’s home where it seems a window has been left open, a back gate or a shed left unlocked for example, check on them and let them know.”

Bird-Brained Brits Can't Tell a Tit from a Chaffinch, New Study Reveals

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romsey Home News | bird brained brits can't tell a tit from a chaffinch | Romsey & VillagesCLICK THE PICTURE FOR A QUIZ

Millions of Brits admit they're bird brains when it comes to our feathered friends -- with over half unable to identify a SPARROW.

More than a quarter think penne is a bird rather than a type of pasta and two in 10 think male and female mallards are completely different ducks.

And a fifth of respondents aren’t aware a red kite is a bird - with some believing it’s a baddie from Batman and others under the impression it’s a FISH.

The research of 2,000 adults was commissioned by pre-school series Twirlywoos, who have teamed up with the RSPB to encourage people to take part in their Wild Challenge.

A spokesman for Twirlywoos said: “The UK has around 250 different species of birds so it is understandable people struggle when it comes to their bird knowledge.

“However you don’t need to know all there is to know about birds in order to appreciate all that’s great about them.

“The UK has some great locations for seeing some amazing birds and other wildlife too so it’s well worth spending some time together as a family to see what’s out there.”

Over a quarter of respondents couldn’t say for sure they’ve ever seen a blue tit and one in 10 haven’t heard of a swift.

Around three in 10 don’t know a waxwing is a bird - with some responents believing it’s a type of waterproof coat.

A third of people aren’t aware a merlin is a breed of bird and some think a kingfisher is a TV crime drama – although nine in 10 correctly identified it.

And 90 per cent correctly identified a bearded tit - however some thought it was a heavy metal band. Almost a fifth of people identified a chaffinch as a song thrush and over half couldn’t identify a buzzard.

And 38 per cent of respondents think male and female blackbirds are entirely different species of bird.

Four in 10 people either haven’t or don’t know if they’ve ever seen a chaffinch - and more than a quarter said the same when asked if they’d ever spotted a mallard.

Ten per cent of UK adults couldn’t confirm they’d ever seen a blackbird and a quarter couldn’t say for sure they’d ever seen a starling.

When asked what the dawn chorus is some said it was name of Gareth Malone’s latest choir and one in 20 think a whippet is a type of bird.

However 41 per cent of UK adults consider themselves to have a ‘good’ knowledge of Britain’s feathered friends and three in five said they are interested in birds.

Nine in 10 parents said they want their children to learn about birds and British wildlife in general.

Each week the average UK family spends two hours and 57 minutes outside visiting wild places such as the countryside, national parks and beaches.

And three quarters of mums and dads said spending time with their children outside and interacting with nature is a fulfilling way to spend time with them.

RSPB spokesperson James Harding-Morris said: “Wildlife has always fascinated people whether it’s the thrill of seeing your first robin at a garden feeder or a red kite in the wild. “This survey shows that parents want their children to learn more about birds and be able to identify the wildlife on their doorstep.

“We hope this partnership will give families the confidence to get outside and enjoy nature with their improved wildlife knowledge.

“The opportunity to connect with nature should be a part of every child’s life and the RSPB’s new Wild Challenge is here to help every family go on their own wild adventure.”

Anne Wood, co-creator of Teletubbies and Twirlywoos, said: “I am particularly delighted to endorse this campaign as I have been a member of the RSPB for many years.

“I am fortunate that I have a large garden with shrubs and trees that attract birds of all kinds. “Last year when I was gardening I was thrilled to spot a tree creeper which I had never seen before. “Listening and looking for birds when I am gardening is a constant pleasure and I am sure the Twirlywoos would agree with me.”

Twirlywoos, follows four bird like creatures who love to explore the world around them and airs every weekday at 9.25am and 1.25pm on CBeebies.

Visit for helpful activities and information on RSPB’s Wild Challenge for you and your children.



Hairdressers Given TV Licensing Reminder

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Romsey Lifestyle News | Hairdressers given TV Licensing reminder | Romsey & VillagesSalon managers who attempt to cut corners when styling hair by not buying a TV Licence could be risking having a ‘brush’ with their local magistrate, which is why TV Licensing is urging managers to ensure their business is correctly licensed.

With businesses keen to keep their clients happy and entertained whilst having their hair cut and styled, many salons are providing customers with individual wall-mounted screens in front of each chair. Some forward-thinking salons are even offering customers to watch TV on tablets, as well as demonstrating new potential looks and styles.

Salons need to be covered by a TV Licence for businesses if they provide a TV or tablet for customers or staff to watch live TV programmes or BBC programmes on iPlayer. If the salon does not have a licence then the business risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

In 2016, 10 salons across the UK were prosecuted for licence fee evasion, and in the last Financial Year, TV Licensing enquiry officers visited more than 36,000 unlicensed businesses, including hair salons and barbers shops.

Jason Hill, TV Licensing spokesperson said:

With many salons mounting small TV screens by each chair or providing handheld tablets so customers don’t miss a minute of their best-loved TV shows, hairdressers are making sure TV is more accessible than ever before. But it’s important salon owners and managers take a few moments to review and update their licensing requirements.

Cutting corners, rather than hair, could land the owner in court and facing a fine of up to £1,000. A TV Licence is just a 'snip' at £145.50, and there are many ways for businesses to pay – including BACS electronic transfer, Direct Debit or cheque. A TV Licence for businesses can be bought in minutes online.

Hilary Hall, CEO of the National Hairdressers’ Federation, added:

Reading a magazine in the chair is still very popular, but some clients enjoy watching TV while they’re having their hair cut or styled. If someone is having a treatment they can be in the chair or under the dryer for a couple of hours, time the customer could spend with Sherlock, Strictly Come Dancing or Planet Earth II. The National Hairdressers' Federation regularly reminds salons that if anyone will be watching TV in the workplace they need to have a TV Licence.

To help businesses and staff understand the legal implications of watching programmes live at work, TV Licensing has produced a downloadable 'TV Viewing in the Workplace' guide. The guide allows managers to outline whether the business is covered by a TV Licence and whether staff and customers are allowed to watch TV in the workplace.