1 week to go!

One week to go!

This time next week is Christmas day!

Are you ready for it? For those of you who are not (and there are bound to be a few) Woodmeadow Garden Centre have items that would make good gifts.

We have Yankee Candles in various fragrances and an assortment of decorative items such as Santa ornaments and mugs.



We also have an assortment of greetings cards and ,of course, we still have Christmas trees!



These are selling very fast so if you still need one get yourself along asap – this weekend is the last weekend before the big day!

Why every man needs time in a shed

The humble shed. For generations men have retired there to pot plants, repair lawnmowers, and perhaps escape ‘her indoors’.

Men are getting together in sheds to bang nails, weld metal, shape wood, tinker with engines and drink tea

But now health experts say there is real benefit in letting men escape to their simple sanctuaries, that could even help them live longer.

As a result a network of communal ‘men’s sheds’ that provide a place for them to meet and be – or rather do – is springing up across the English-speaking world.

Men are getting together in them to bang nails, weld metal, shape wood, tinker with engines and drink tea. Talking is optional.

Born in the sweaty heartlands of Australia, the idea has been to create somewhere men might be more willing to listen to a few home truths about their own health than the stifling confines of a GP’s surgery.

Now they are catching on here, with some 20 already up and running across the UK, from the Lake District to south London.

“I think they’ve caught men’s imagination,” said Peter Baker, chief executive of the Men’s Health Forum, a charity involved in the initiative, which is mainly aimed at the retired.

“People have really got behind it. Men like to potter. These are from a generation who, on a Sunday afternoon, like to pull a car apart and put it together with a Haynes manual.”

The covert plan is to get men in one place to target them with health messages. Men, particular those over 60, tend to be slower at going to the doctor for problems that might turn out to be serious.

They are often sceptical and cynical of healthy eating messages, let alone do-gooding advice that they should cut down on the amount they drink.

The result is that men suffer disproportionately from big killers including bowel cancer, lung cancer and heart disease, and not only for biological reasons.

But Baker said: “It’s a myth that men are not interested in their health or health services.

“However, they have to be presented in the right way.

“We have to find creative solutions to these problems. Just doing the old stuff isn’t working.”

“We have to go where men are or create activities that appeal to them.”

Alan White from Leeds Metropolitan University, the world’s first professor of men’s health, explained why the communal sheds were good for men’s health.

He said: “The idea of a shed is something that fits with the male psyche. It’s a very relaxing way of spending time.”

Men found it therapeutic to potter around doing odd jobs, he said.

After active lives spent in work, most did not want to “sit around talking”.

“Women talk to each other; men like to talk while immersing themselves in a task,” he said.

“That’s the way they deal with emotional and practical issues.”

“They know what a shed means and they feel comfortable in that setting.

“Men find doing things relaxing, and that in itself is good for their health.”

He touched on the benefits of communal men’s sheds in an article about men’s health, published today in the British Medical Journal.

They were “an important setting for challenging men’s stereotypical beliefs about masculinity and healthcare”, he wrote.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he continued: “Men are also happier talking shoulder to shoulder, doing a job, than face to face. In that environment men will talk about all sorts of things.”

He argued social care systems had to some extend failed to focus on the needs of older men.

“With more and more working men reaching retirement age, we have got to be thinking how we cater for them,” he said.

Age UK, the charity, has helped set up one men’s shed project in Eltham, south London, that is open three days a week.

More than 30 men from their late 50s to their 80s now attend, making window boxes, bird boxes and garden benches that they sell for charity.

John Fleming, 82, a retired architect, said: “It keeps us out of mischief, and out of our four walls.”

He attends every Tuesday with five or six others, and said he had made some good friends.

He thought the shed particularly appealed to men in urban areas, who might not have a garden themselves.

Pauline Cahill, 40, the Age UK organiser, explained why she thought the shed project, which has been open a year, was proving so popular.

She said: “When people are retired a lot of people feel like they are on the scrap heap. This gives people a new lease of life.”

“It’s so popular there’s a waiting list.

“We’ve had talks on prostate cancer and bowel cancer. It’s a very informal atmosphee. Nothing is forced on the group.

“We give out leaflets and on one occassion a bowel cancer survivor came in as a guest.”

Mr Fleming remained to be convinced about the health talks, however.

“To be honest I’m not very keen on sitting around and talking about whether I’ve got three left legs,” he said. “But I’ve probably learnt something.”

Terry Oliver, 65, described why he came along.

“I come here for camaraderie, and to get out of the housework,” said the retired carpenter.

“There’s plenty to get on with and I’m much more active. If I wasn’t doing this I wouldn’t be doing anything, I’d just be at home, especially during the winter.”

“If an issue comes up, then we sit down and have a cup of tea.

“You do find things out by talking to each other.”



Christmas is coming!

It may have escaped your notice, but Christmas is almost upon us!

The shops are full of decorations, gifts and special offers, children are starting  to get excited (and a few adults too!) and the weather is starting to get chillier as December progresses.

At Taylors Garden Buildings, we are running some promotions that will end on December 22nd, these include our popular Timber Picnic Table (save £10), the Atlas Garden Arch (now only £89), the Artemis Arbour (save £20!) and finally our successful Poseidon Garden Swing Seat which is now only £229.

We have a large selection of Christmas trees now at Woodmeadow Garden Centre. We are selling the Nordman Fir and the Norway Spruce,

The Nordman Fir has become the most popular tree in the UK and the tree that the majority of households will have. The Nordman is a very soft tree with relatively large dark needles that have a silvery underside. Nordmans are of a layered shape and are known as the needle holding tree.

The Norway Spruce is thought of as the original Christmas tree. It has a sharper, smaller needle and does drop, but many people still like them as they are thought of as more traditional and have a stronger scent.

We will be giving away free mince pies in our tea room to customers buying Christmas trees from us!

On the subject of Christmas trees, we have placed ours in the Taylors sales office this week, unfortunately we only have an artificial one (not a patch on the natural trees we’re sure you will agree) but it still helps to incorporate a Christmas spirit!

 Talking of Christmas spirit – we have even out our Richard on the tree in his very own special bauble!

The original Taylors Christmas Grinch, he allowed us to do this, albeit under protest!

On one final serious note, we have also paid tribute to the late great Lynda Bellingham. As you are all aware she stopped her treatment for cancer in order to improve the quality of life for her last Christmas. Unfortunately she passed away a few weeks ago but we are keeping her memory alive all over the country by placing an Oxo cube on our tree.

She may have left us physically but she is definitely still here in spirit!

Thank you for reading.

Christmas Trees at Woodmeadow Garden Centre.

This post is to also be found on our Woodmeadow Garden Centre Website where it originated from…

It’s getting to that time of year again when we start thinking about Christmas trees!

This year our trees are from a new supplier who grow their trees locally. They are freshly cut and delivered to us, here at Woodmeadow, within 5 days.

The trees will start arriving week commencing 24th November.

We will be stocking the two most popular varieties which are the Nordman Fir and the Norway Spruce.

The Nordman Fir has become the most popular tree in the UK and the tree that the majority of households will have. The Nordman is a very soft tree with relatively large dark needles that have a silvery underside. Nordmans are of a layered shape and are known as the needle holding tree.

The Norway Spruce is thought of as the original Christmas tree. It has a sharper, smaller needle and does drop, but many people still like them as they are thought of as more traditional and have a stronger scent.

We will be giving away free mince pies in our tea room to customers buying Christmas trees from us!

If you have any questions about our trees then please email us or give us a ring.


Creating more space with a log cabin

Do you often find yourself thinking about the need for extra space, maybe for a growing family, overnight guests, vast amounts of toys or a quite place to work? You may think that moving to a larger house or building a costly extension are the only answers but could a log cabin be what you’re looking for?

Log cabins are manufactured in a range of different log thicknesses and designs and with the right aftercare and maintenance can last for over 20 years. Choosing the right thickness for your cabin is the key; 28 to 44mm logs are ideal if your cabin is to be used during the warmer months as an extra day room, play room or for all year round storage, whilst 58 to 70mm cabins with insulation can be used all year round, 68 – 70mm log cabins can even be used overnight as a guests rooms.

Many log cabins can be delivered and installed within 4 -5 weeks and without the need for planning permission, depending on their height and the proximity of neighbouring boundaries, making them a relativity cheap and quick alternative to a brick built extension. What’s more, you also get the added benefit of no mess in the house while construction is taking place and if you do choose to move in the future, a log cabin can be dismantled and rebuilt at your new property.

Have a fun and safe weekend everybody!

As the weekend comes hurtling towards us, the staff at Taylors Garden Buildings  and Woodmeadow Garden Centre feel that it is our duty to remind all of our customers about firework safety.

Bonfire weekend is a popular time of the year and many of us will be attending fireworks displays all over the country – some of us will also be holding our own parties for relatives and friends, (many people in and around the Northampton area may have even bought their fireworks from our very own garden centre! ).

The firework code should always be adhered to when using them so please take a moment to read following!

Have a great Guy Fawkes everyone  and remember that fireworks are BUY ONE GET ONE FREE at Woodmeadow – we will see you next week!!

Happy Halloween everybody!!

It is that time of year again!!

Love it or hate it – you certainly can’t ignore it – the streets tonight will be awash with children out trick or treating and this weekend will undoubtedly be full of Halloween parties all over the UK!!

This week I decided to publish some trivia about this annual holiday (stop groaning! I haven’t done one of my trivia pages in months!! Lol).

Here goes….

Halloween Holiday Trivia

  • Orange and black are Halloween colors because orange is associated with the Fall harvest and black is associated with darkness and death.
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts on the Samhain holiday.
  • Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green. Great for unique monster carvings!
  • Halloween was brought to North America by immigrants from Europe who would celebrate the harvest around a bonfire, share ghost stories, sing, dance and tell fortunes.
  • Tootsie Rolls were the first wrapped penny candy in America.
  • The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.
  • Halloween candy sales average about 2 billion dollars annually in the United States.
  • Chocolate candy bars top the list as the most popular candy for trick-or-treaters with Snickers #1.
  • Halloween is the 2nd most commercially successful holiday, with Christmas being the first.
  • Bobbing for apples is thought to have originated from the roman harvest festival that honors Pamona, the goddess of fruit trees.
  • Black cats were once believed to be witch’s familiars who protected their powers.
  • The fear of Halloween is known as Samhainopobia.

 Monster Trivia & Folklore

  • Signs of a werewolf are a unibrow, hair palms, tattoos, and a long middle finger.
  • Vampires are mythical beings who defy death by sucking the blood of humans.
  • In 1962, The Count Dracula Society was founded by Dr. Donald A. Reed.
  • To this day, there are vampire clubs and societies with people claiming to be real vampires.
  • There really are so-called vampire bats, but they’re not from Transylvania. They live in Central and South America and feed on the blood of cattle, horses and birds.
  • Many people still believe that gargoyles were created by medieval architects and stone carvers to ward off evil spirits.

Halloween Movie Details

  • “Halloween” was made in only 21 days in 1978 on a very limited budget.
  • The movie was shot in the Spring and used fake autumn leaves.
  • The mask used by Michael Meyers in the movie “Halloween” was actually William Shatner’s mask painted white.
  • The character Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis was named after John Carpenter’s first girlfriend.
  • While the setting for the story is in Illinois, the vehicles have California license plates.
  • Halloween is on October 31st, the last day of the Celtic calendar. It was originally a pagan holiday, honoring the dead. Holloween was referred to as All Hallows Eve and dates back to over 2000 years ago.

 Creepy Tidbits

  • If you see a spider on Halloween, it is the spirit of a loved on watching over you.
  • Worldwide, bats are vital natural enemies of night-flying insects.
  • The common little brown bat of North America has the longest life span for a mammal it’s size, with a life span averaging 32 years.
  • In about 1 in 4 autopsies, a major disease is discovered that was previously undetected.
  • The Ouija Board ended up outselling the game of Monopoly in its first full year at Salem. Over two million copies of the Ouija Board were shipped.

Hope you all have a good time, don’t get too scared!!


Woodmeadow Garden Centre home of great customer service!

As many of our most loyal customers are aware, our garden centre in Northamptonshire has been going through a period of regeneration and expansion in the past few months.

The layout of our shop has been vastly improved and made more user friendly, our range has also been broadened to include many new lines such as gifts, greetings cards and garden tools / accessories.

One very recent addition to our site is the Bugtopia show which has showings during weekends and school holidays. For a very reasonable entrance fee you can see and learn about many different animals such as snakes, tarantulas and other small creatures. You can also have the opportunity to hold some if you are brave enough.

Pre-booking for this show is essential (show times are normally 11,1 and 3pm) and anyone wishing to reserve a space needs to call them on 01536 799778.

This show is a real crowd pleaser and is a fun experience for all the family.

After the show you can skip along to our tea room. Like the rest of Woodmeadow, this popular venue has been improved and now offers a variety of drinks as well as cold snacks and hot meals. There is a different meal on offer everyday and there is also a vegetarian option!

There is a very friendly atmosphere in out tea room and people often comment on this! Come and pay us a visit!