Sunday, 9 June 2013

Hearth and Home show

We've just spent a great day at the Hearth and Home show in Harrogate - the key annual event on any fire and stove retailer's calendar!

For us, it's a great opportunity to meet up with suppliers and to find out about the latest new developments in the field.

We saw some interesting new stoves and fires, and we'll be bringing you more news on some of them in the weeks to come.

We go up to the show every year - it's held in June in Harrogate.  We always enjoy our visit, and yes, we do try to sneak in a quick trip to Betty's tea rooms - a Harrogate institution - while we're there.

The exhibition fills three large halls at the Harrogate International Centre, and this year there were manufacturers from across the globe as well as a good range of British firms.  It is always a little HOT with so many fires and stoves blazing away on the stands - and every manufacturer keen to show quite how much heat their products can throw out.  We always like to visit the show though, to make sure that we are able to offer our customers a range of the latest products and designs on the market and to keep ourselves up to date too.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

What to do with wood ash?

If you've been using your woodburning stove right through the last few chilly months, you may have been wondering whether there's anything useful you can do with the leftover wood ash.  We were very pleased to hear the issue covered in last week's Gardeners Question Time on Radio Four when the panel were asked whether it could be used on plants in the garden.

The experts on the programme concluded that wood ash is useful for gardens - and that now is the ideal time to use it.  However, although it is high in potash, it is also quite limey so is best used on fruit bushes, especially gooseberries, or around Clematis.  It seems that you need to put quite thick layers onto the soil - up to an inch - and then rake it in a bit.

Of course, it's generally during the winter months that you've got lots of wood ash, but the panel said it wasn't as good to use it during the winter because it tends to get washed away very quickly.  They advised collecting your ash during the colder months and then using it at this time of year on your fruit bushes and Clematis - so now you know!