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Blooming great plants for autumn

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Crocus, cyclamen and pansies have been named amongst seven of the best plants for blooming autumnal gardens.

The gardening gurus at GardeningExpress.co.uk have revealed their top plants for brightening up autumnal days.

Others include heather, dahlia, winter aconites and aster.

Whilst spring and summer are the seasons most closely associated with gardening, British households can still enjoy thriving backyards throughout autumn and well into winter if the right plants are chosen.

From delicate pansies to bold and low-growing heather, these are the plants you should opt for to keep your garden looking fresh and inviting as the temperatures drop.

A spokesperson for GardeningExpress.co.uk commented: “As the days start to get shorter and a little bit colder, this doesn’t mean that we have to stay cooped up in the house and neglect the outdoors – at least not just yet.

“There are some tough little plants and shrubs that can survive the changing weather, braving the cold and wind to bring a splash of colour and brighten breezy autumnal days.

“Choose the right plants, and autumn gardens can be a spectacular sight.”


With pink, white or purple petals, heather is a brilliant plant for low-growing texture and it looks great in pots too. They handle bad weather particularly well and have a long flowering season, from November to March.


The autumn weather forces crocus blooms out through the fallen leaves among the lawn and their upright, cup-shaped flowers look great in pots and borders. Still, occasionally they can be spoiled by autumn weather so plant them beneath trees and shrubs where they will be protected from heavy rains.

Winter aconites

These cheery plants look a lot like buttercups with their lovely yellow flowers and are suited to growing underneath deciduous trees and shrubs. They prefer rich, moist soil in shady parts of gardens.


Pansies are a gardener’s staple all year round. Many varieties stop blooming when it gets really cold, but then you can opt for special winter-flowering pansies which will keep going until late spring. These are ideal for filling pots and window boxes for a flash of colour to be seen from indoors.


The striking blooms of these plants start to open in summer, but are at their best from August to September, bridging gaps in borders as other perennials begin to tire. Dahlias are best for working in borders and as they come in a range of sizes and exotic colours, they’ll work with almost any colour theme.

Aster ‘Little Carlow’

Sprays of small lavender-blue daisies throb in late summer and autumn, particularly in evening light. They like lots of sun and good, well-drained soil.


Cyclamen are well-loved heroes that can be brought to flower from autumn all the way through to spring. The flowers come in red, pink and white shades and look fantastic in pots or planted under trees, but cyclamen hederifolium is the usual choice for autumn flowers. Its silvery, marbled leaves follow the sugar pink and white blooms, remaining unscathed through winter weather before dying back for a dormant summer.

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Charity fashion show for Tenovus Cancer Care

Posted By Robert Lloyd

A charity fashion show is being organised by the Rotary Club of Pembrey and Burry Port.

The ladies fashion show will be held at The Ashburnham Hotel, Pembrey, on Wednesday, October 16.

The event will feature fashion wear by Nanette Fashion, of Gwendraeth Store, Kidwelly.

Tickets are £5 and include a drink on arrival.

Proceeds go to the local branch of Tenovus Cancer Care.

Tickets are available from The Ashburnham Hotel, Pembrey, telephone 01554 834455, Nanette Fashion, telephone 01554 890206, or from any Rotary Club member.

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Press releases

Society welcomes court decision to protect journalists’ notes

Posted By Robert Lloyd

The Society of Editors has welcomed the decision by the courts to refuse to order journalists to hand over their notes to counter-terrorism investigators.

The Met Police had sought an order for material from the Times, Sky News, ITN and the BBC from their conversations with 19-year-old “Isis bride” Shamima Begum after she was discovered in Syria earlier this year.

But an Old Bailey judge has ruled that the news providers cannot be compelled to hand over their unpublished notes to the police.

“This is an important decision in protecting both the rights of journalists to protect their sources but also to ensure journalists are not put in increased danger when they are pursuing stories where there is a risk of reprisals,” comments Ian Murray Executive Director at the Society of Editors.

“Anyone giving an interview or information to the media should do so in the knowledge journalists cannot be forced to reveal sensitive information they discover. Journalists also need to be assured they will not be seen as seeking information to then pass on to the security forces.”

At a hearing at the Old Bailey last month, lawyers for the Met applied to have unpublished material from interviews carried out by The Times, BBC, ITN and Sky News handed to counter-terrorism command under the Terrorism Act 2000.

All of the outlets resisted the application, arguing it would undermine their journalists’ ability to cover foreign conflicts.

Gavin Miller, for Sky, ITN and The Times, said the order would deprive journalists of their neutrality and place them at risk by making them de facto actors of the state.

Ms Begum was one of three girls from Bethnal Green, east London, who left the UK aged 15 in February 2015 and travelled to Syria to join Islamic State.

She was tracked down when nine months pregnant with her third child by Times correspondent Anthony Loyd in a refugee camp in northern Syria.

Ms Begum, who has since been stripped of her British citizenship, later gave interviews to broadcasters including the BBC, ITN and Sky News.

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Press releases

Seven tricks and tips to help kerb appeal . . .

Posted By Robert Lloyd

While most Brits will spend the majority of their hard-earned cash and spare time on their back yard, homeowners are being encouraged to invest in their front gardens too.

Outdoors experts at BillyOh.com have compiled a list of seven tricks and tips to help homeowners reinvent their front yard, maximising their property’s kerb appeal – and potentially its value.

Seven Tips to Maximise Kerb Appeal

Homeowners are being encouraged to make the most of their outdoor space by investing in their front gardens.

Most Brits will spend the majority of their hard-earned cash and spare time in the back yard, whilst front gardens are left neglected and unloved.

So outdoors experts at BillyOh.com have compiled a list of seven tricks and tips to help homeowners reinvent their front yard, maximising their property’s kerb appeal – and potentially its value.

Advice includes adding a gate for extra security, painting the front door to add personality and utilising space by using wall climbers.

Researchers have found that planting greenery can help combat pollution and increase the value of property. This trend is replacing the paved driveways which is a common site nationwide.

A spokesman from BillyOh.com explained “The first impression of a house is the front garden, so is a great opportunity for homeowners to show individuality and personality.

“Paved driveways without greenery lack identity and can make a house feel cold and unwelcoming

“Increasing kerb appeal does not have to be stressful and can be achieved easily, a new lick of paint and introducing a variety of plants can do wonders, with little cost or effort need.

“Homeowners should first know what image of themselves they want to present to the world and then translate that when planning the garden.”

Here are BillyOh.com ‘s seven top tips for maximising kerb appeal:

Add a gate

Placing a gate at the entrance of the garden alongside being an additional security measure can also add a warm and welcoming for guests and sets the tone of the garden.


Rather than putting in a new pathway a cheap and quick alternative is to instead use a power wash to give the existing footpath a good scrub. Add gravel to hide paths that are past saving.

Enhance with an Arch

Putting an arch over the pathway is enticing and adds dimension to the area. Train plants like beech or hornbeam to make an evergreen arch, in winter the bare branches provide a strong structure.

Variety of greenery

When deciding on greenery, include a mix of different leaves and foliage to add dimension and interest. Stick to low maintenance plants such as hostas and lady ferns which thrive in shaded areas. Perfect for all seasons so no risk of looking bare or dull in colder periods.

Utilise space

For residences with a smaller front garden such as townhouses, wall climbers should be considered. Taking no floor space and growing directly onto the outer walls of the house. Greenery can be introduced no matter how small the area.

Harmonise colours: When adding colour into the garden from front doors to plants and flowers choose complementary colours to unify the garden as one whole. This is an incredibly effective and easy way to add kerb appeal.

Upgrade the door :

The main focal point of the house is the front door; a lick of paint refreshes the home and draws the eye alongside polishing existing hardware. Before going for a bright colour consult with residents and ensure that it is appropriate for the location.

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Press releases

Ditch artificial and go natural for fresh smells

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have revealed the best sweet smelling plants.

Among them are mint and lavender which last longer and are cheaper than air fresheners.

In a bid to turn Brits against artificial air fresheners, five of the best smelling plants have been revealed.

Experts from GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have compiled a list, including mint and lavender, of plants which will help keep houses smelling fresh for longer – and cheaper.

Air fresheners are believed to be causing adverse health effects such as migraines, asthma attacks and earache, causing many people to look for a natural alternative.

By swapping air fresheners for flowers, not only can it stop these harmful side effects, but plant can help improve mood and have positive effects to mental health.

A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “The side effects of air fresheners are not well known and can have an extremely negative impact on health.

“By swapping them with fresh flowers you are reducing the amount of chemicals people in the house are being exposed to, whilst achieving the same end goal.

“Just like air fresheners there’s a wide choice of scent meaning personal preference can play a large part in which plant you choose.

“Colours and the amount of space you are able to provide means that you can also add a decorative touch to rooms.”

This is GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk ‘s list of best smelling plants:


Famous for its remedial smell, Lavender is thought to have a calming effect which causes many to fall asleep. It has a distinct smell and has recognisable purple tipped flowers. Although it is famous for its soothing effect, it is still unknown how it works.

Lavender requires plenty of sunlight, so the window sill is the best place to leave it when growing indoors.

Citrus Plant

The sweet smells emitted from lemon, lime and grapefruit trees can help anyone relax, but can cause a lot of maintenance issues when grown inside. Needing at least eight hours of sunlight a day and a large water once a week, the plants survive best in the sunnier climates of Spain. A sourness can be created in the fruit, and smell, of the plant if enough sun isn’t received.


The flower is a regular ingredient in many perfumes, even if it isn’t found in the name. The sweet-smelling aroma can help keep houses and rooms smelling fresh for months. The plant will survive well under bright light and with a water once a week.

Scented Geranium

These plants can be chosen in unique scents, including apple, lemon and strawberry which can add a natural fragrance to any home, saving money on air fresheners. They can be split into seven main categories depending on their smell: rose, lemon, mint, fruit and nut, spice, pungent and oak. The plants also don’t take much looking after, with potted geraniums needed to be watered once every four weeks.

Mint Plant

If you’re not a big fan of flowery fragrance, fresh mint plants will give your house a clean smell without being overly floral. The most popular scents are peppermint and spearmint, which can also be used in the kitchen. The plant does need watering at least three to four times a week.





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Press releases

Lifetime Achievement Award for Kate Adie

Posted By Robert Lloyd

Former BBC news correspondent and leading journalist, Kate Adie, will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society of Editors’ 20th Anniversary Conference in November.

Kate Adie’s career as BBC Chief News Correspondent covered the most important dispatches of the age, including both Gulf Wars and coverage throughout the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland, as well as the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

Her most memorable broadcasts include her overseas assignments from the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing in 1989 and the final NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999.

She has served as Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent for many years, alongside writing several books – one of which documented her life as a female war correspondent.

Receiving a BAFTA Fellowship and CBE last year, Adie’s ground-breaking news reporting has garnered recognition across the world as her contribution to journalism continues to be valued.

It is expected that Adie, who was appointed Chancellor of Bournemouth University in January, will address conference members at the Gala dinner on the evening of November 12 when she will receive her award.

Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors commented: “Kate Adie is one of the most influential journalists of our age. Her record speaks for itself and her dedication to our profession and the high standards the public demands of it is legendary.

“I’m delighted that the Society is able to recognise Kate’s achievements and her on-going commitment to our profession with a Lifetime Achievement Award.”

The Anniversary Conference has already secured a line-up of key industry figures including the UK’s Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham and national newspaper editors James Harding (Tortoise), Ted Verity (The Mail on Sunday), Alison Phillips (Daily Mirror) and Chris Evans (The Telegraph).

A panel scrutinising the survival of investigative journalism has also been announced with Claire Newell (Daily Telegraph), Paul Henderson (Daily Mirror), Jane Bradley (BuzzFeed) and Tom Bristow (Archant Investigations Unit).

More details of the conference programme and speakers are soon to be announced.

Kate Adie’s career . . .

Kate grew up in Sunderland and gained her BA from Newcastle University where she read Swedish.

She became a familiar figure through her work as BBC Chief News Correspondent. She is considered to be among the most reliable reporters, as well as one of the first British women, sending despatches from danger zones around the world. Kate is also the long-serving presenter of Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and a presenter or contributor to many other radio and television programmes.

As a television news correspondent, Kate’s memorable assignments include both Gulf Wars, four years of war in the Balkans, the final NATO intervention in Kosovo and elections in 2000; the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster at Zeebrugge, the massacre at Dunblane, the Selby rail crash, the SAS lifting of the Iran Embassy Siege in London, the Bologna railway station bombing and the Tiananmen Square protest in Beijing in 1989.

Kate carried out numerous assignments in Northern Ireland throughout “The Troubles” as well as reporting on the referendum to ratify the Good Friday Agreement.

Kate covered the Lockerbie bombing and reported from Libya after the London Embassy siege of 1984, reporting from Libya many times thereafter, including the bombing of Tripoli by the US in 1986. She also covered the Rwandan Genocide and the British military intervention in the Sierra Leone Civil War.

She has served as a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, now the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the Whitbread, now the Costa Prize, and recently, the RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Kate has also served as a trustee of the Imperial War Museum and is a trustee of Sunderland Football Foundation.

Kate has honorary degrees from universities including Newcastle, Bath, Nottingham, Cardiff and St Andrews and is Honorary Professor of Journalism at Sunderland University.

Kate was honoured with a Bafta Fellowship in 2018.

Other awards include:

Royal Television Society Reporter of the Year 1980, for her coverage of the SAS end to the Iranian Embassy siege.
Winner, 1981 & 1990, Monte Carlo International Golden Nymph Award.
The Richard Dimbleby BAFTA Award 1990.

Kate received a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2018.

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