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Yarnton Home & Garden: Setting Intentions

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As we enter into the new year many of us are thinking about what changes we want to make in the year ahead; not just in our own lives but for the health of the planet and each other. We feel that perhaps setting intentions is maybe a little less intimidating than setting resolutions. We can set lofty goals that we may never meet and then feel disappointed at the end of the year when they have not quite materialised.

Our thoughts naturally turn to the garden and what small changes we could make to become a more aware and eco-friendlier gardener: our gardens hold all the promise for the year ahead. Some may even be seeing the first signs of Spring. What’s more it has been proven that spending time in our gardens and out in nature can increase our good mood and health. So we feel this is perhaps a good place to start.

 One of our intentions is to raise awareness and generate some ideas around how we can become more sustainable in the garden. Sustainable gardening not only encourages wildlife into the garden but also frees us up a little to enjoy a bit of the wild ourselves. In a world where rest is a rare word, we would encourage you to use your outdoor space (however big or small) as a place to reboot and rewild. Here are our top tips for creating a sustainable and rewarding space.

  • Composting: Let’s start with the basics, good soil condition leads to healthy and happier plants. Home composting is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and put nutrients into the soil. We are on hand to give you advice to get you started.
  • Conserve Water: Fresh water is a precious resource, and one we should not take for granted. Rainwater can easily be captured in a water butt and then used to water plants throughout the season.
  • Create a Wild Area: Allow an area of your garden get a little wild. Create space to leave leaf and log piles for insects and wildlife, plant native wildflowers and let the weeds roam a little.
  • Avoid harmful pesticides: Seek out organic natural alternatives. Come instore for advice.
  • Grow your own: This is possible whatever your garden size, if you only have a window box, herbs could be a great bet. Those lucky enough to have bigger gardens can build a veg box and get growing. If you have never grown vegetables or fruit before choose one or two crops to start you off, like beans and tomatoes. Not only will you save on air miles and supermarket packaging but you will feel immense satisfaction when tucking into organic food grown by you.


New build houses
Thu 18 Jul 2024

Congratulations! Buying a new home is such an exciting moment. Whether it is your very first home or you are upgrading your current property for something a bit nicer, there is no feeling like it. New build homes are such a great investment. Not only are they brand new for your family but you can feel confident that they have been designed with the future in mind. Many properties come with eco-friendly features which are great for safeguarding your family. Financing a new home can be a bit of a minefield. Let’s take a look at how you could buy your new home as well as some things to look out for along the way. Mortgage Mortgages are the most common financing option when buying a home. Buyers of new builds can benefit from mortgages designed for the intricacies of the new build process. Lenders may be a lot more critical when looking at your application as there is less security for them with a new build. As construction timelines can be subject to delays and issues, be sure to keep in touch with your lender and see if you can extend your mortgage in principal agreement. You may be able to get some help with buying a new build home. If you are a first-time buyer, look into whether you are eligible for a discount under the First Homes Scheme. Incentives from builders It is in the best interest of building developers to sell their new homes, so some may offer you incentives. You may be offered cash towards your deposit which will be transferred to your solicitor on completion. If you do take advantage of this, remember to inform your mortgage lender. For people who have already purchased a home, developers may be able to help you sell your old house. A developer-assisted sale is one where they will aid you with independent valuations, appropriate deals or the actual sale. This is often free, and they may pay for your estate agency fees. Hidden costs Buying a house can come with hidden costs such as stamp duty and moving costs. Delays in the construction of your new build can often be costly too. When thinking about your moving budget, it is wise to incorporate a buffer zone for additional expenses. Advice The home-buying process is not a straightforward one, so seeking help from professionals is prudent. A lot of the process includes legal intricacies which will be beyond your capabilities. Mortgage brokers, for example, will be invaluable when it comes to getting you a mortgage in principle that works for your situation. Not only will you be able to get the best deal and save money, but a broker will save you so much time. Instructing a firm of solicitors will also be worth the expense. They can do land searches, deed transfers and keep everything above board for you going forward.

Endellion Lycett Green - you drifted by
Mon 15 Jul 2024

This summer the Laura Lopes Gallery presents works by botanical artist Endellion Lycett Green in the Tithe Barn at Thyme. Through her art, Lycett Green pays testament to the inspiration she finds in the natural world.

Lydia Millen
Mon 15 Jul 2024

For anyone who hasn’t come across Lydia Millen, she is an influencer-turned-writer who has embraced a life of bucolic bliss. Her debut book, Evergreen: Discover the Joy in Every Season, came out last autumn and encourage readers to be inspired and soothed by connecting with the natural world.

Urban winner   Danny Kidby Hunter
Mon 15 Jul 2024

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has opened its annual nature photography competition for 2024 with new categories and prizes.