Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas Trees: Real or Fake?

We're getting ready to rock around the Christmas tree but if you haven't already bought yours, are you wondering whether to go for real versus fake? Do you know just how environmentally friendly a real tree actually is and how it compares to a fake one? We have all the facts plus how to get rid of your real tree in an environmentally friendly way. Read on...

The Facts

An artificial tree is normally made from plastic which comes from oil which makes up for two thirds of its carbon footprint. A further quarter of its environmental impact comes from the industrial emissions when it is being manufactured. 

A 2m artificial tree has a carbon footprint equivalent of 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions. This is TWICE the level of a real tree which is disposed of in landfill. However if you choose a more environmentally friendly way of disposing of your tree such as burning it then a fake tree has TEN times more emissions. In other words, if you have an artificial tree you would need to re-use if for at least ten years before it became as good an option as a real tree. 

The way you dispose of your real tree is the most important factor. If you burn your tree on your bonfire, plant it or get it chipped it reduces its greenhouse emissions by up to 80%! 

Benefits of an artificial tree:

  • Cost. They are normally less than real trees and can/should be re-used for many years.
  • Ease. Just bring it out the attic each year and decorate it. Some even have lights already built in.
  • Suitable in surroundings where real trees are not possible (hospitals, places were flammability is a big issue etc.
  • No needles all over the floor.
  • No disposal issue

Benefits of a real tree:

  • Environmental impact
  • The joy of going tree hunting and picking the right one
  • The look, texture and of course the smell!

For us at Vialii Towers, real always wins. And we have a wonderful option for disposal thanks to our friends at KB Trees & Hedges. Kirk will collect your tree if you live in Stirling, Bridge of Allan or Dunblane for £10 and take it away and have it chipped. The chippings will then be used to make paths at local allotments. What could be better? If you are interested in this service then click here. 

If you need tips on what variety of real Christmas tree suits you best then read my blog all about it.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and many happy times around your Christmas tree, whatever kind you have.


Lulu & Tilda xx 

Monday, 21 November 2016

Lulu & Tilda's Kids Gardening Gift Ideas 2016

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh. Oh, hi there, just getting in the Christmas spirit! How's your Christmas shopping going? Still need some cool ideas for the little ones in your life who like getting outdoors? Well, you're in luck as we have done the hard work for you and brought to you our TWELVE favourite Christmas gifts they might want to ask Santa for this year...

Merry Christmas from Lulu & Tilda xx

Monday, 7 November 2016

Super Spotter: Lulu's Lovely Leaves

Tilda and I went for a lovely autumnal walk through the woods this weekend and had loads of fun kicking the leaves and finding acorns and conkers. There were LOADS of different types of trees on our walk but sometimes it's hard to know which tree is which. So here is Super Spotter: Lulu's Lovely Leaves, so you can always know what trees you're spotting when you are out and about...

Tilda & I having an Autumn stroll

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Autumn Craft Ideas

Everywhere we go just now there are lovely autumn jewels to find which are perfect for making crafts. From conkers to acorns, pine cones to leaves, read on for some great ideas of things to make when you are tired out from jumping on leaf piles! 

Autumn crafts are heaps of fun

Monday, 3 October 2016

How To Prune Roses...

Hey everyone. Did you know that whilst we call the sharp spikes on roses "thorns", they are actually prickles! Well this blog isn't just full of useless facts like that, it also has some top tips on how to prune roses as well as a review of some secateurs we have been trying out recently. I'm off to make some rose perfume whilst you have a wee read...

Having a smell of some roses at Alnwick Gardens

Monday, 19 September 2016

Fairy Gardens Revealed

I love gardens and I love fairies so put the two together and whooosh, it's like a fairytale ending! In this latest blog I have soooo much to tell you including some AMAZING fairy gardens to go and visit. AND (yes, there's more!) how to make your very own fairy garden. Come on, let's go see...

This way for the Fairy Trail...
I am a very lucky girl as Tilda and I have been to visit two fairy gardens recently. Last week, when we were on holiday, we went to Alnwick Gardens which has a fairytale treasure hunt in it. I have already blogged all about that in A Garden of Fairy Tales so click on the link to go read all about there.

Heading to the Fairy Village in Balfron
Last month we also visited the Fairy Woodland Experience in Balfron which I want to tell you all about. When you arrive you get a map to guide you around the woodland and there are cute little log with arrows all around the paths to keep you in the right direction. On the day we arrived there was a bit of a panic as the key which opens all the fairy doors had been lost and it was up to us to find it and make sure the fairies could get back in and out of their doors!

Make a wish, press the button and see what happens next...

When we arrived at the Fairy Village we were met by two real life fairies.We were given our fairy names (my name was Rose River and Tilda's was Glimmer Thistle, cute huh?) and some quiz sheets. On the treasure trail there was a lot to find such as who lived behind the pink door and who lived at number 72. Thankfully we managed to find the missing key (phew) so that solved that crisis. In the village there was loads to see and do - lots of fairy doors to spot, a wishing chair, a worry tree and loads more. 

There are fairy doors hidden in LOTS of places

We carried on round the larger woodland walk and found lots more fairy doors and it was a pretty walk through the woodland. We even stopped for a wee picnic on our way.

Back at the hub there was free tea, coffee, juice and biscuits as well as colouring in to do. There's also a cute shop selling lots of lovely fairy merchandise. My grandma bought Tilda and I fairy doors which we used to make our fairy garden which I will tell you about in a minute.

The worry tree takes all your worries away

We would HUGELY recommend the Fairy Trail. It is only £4 per person (under 2s are free) and we spent hours and hours there. It is open Thursdays and weekends through September and open through the October school holidays. It will then become the light experience and then the Santa experience before the fairies allow us back to visit again from next March. 

There are even more doors to find on the woodland walk

Inspired by our visit to Balfron, Tilda and I decided to make our own fairy gardens. Here is how we made ours:

Make Your Own Fairy Garden

You will need:
  • A wooden tray (or an old shoe box)
  • Some artificial grass (you can get free samples sent out to you!)
  • A fairy door (get one at the fairy experience when you visit)
  • Bits & bobs and your imagination to decorate the garden

To make:

1. My clever daddy made me a wooden frame for my garden. You could use a tray or even an old shoe box would work.

Daddy made me a tray to put some artificial grass into

2. We had some off-cuts of artificial grass which we cut to size. You could ask your grown up to send off for a sample of artificial grass which you could use. 

We added our fairy door to one end and then decorated it
3. We decorated our fairy doors with the stickers which came with them and glued them to our frame.

We made some sparkly clothes & a washing line for our fairy

4. We then went wild and designed our garden. Luckily I could get some top tips from M&D who are garden designers. They said we needed to allow a path to the door and somewhere to sit. I made a hopscotch path and we made decks out of lollipop sticks! I made a pond from some mosaics as well as some trees. I found some flowers and used pine cones as shrubs. I also made a wishing seat from a painted stone and made a sign. I even made a washing line and some glittery clothes for my fairy! Tilda made some cool garden furniture using little wood circles and stones. Some toadstools finished off our gardens perfectly. 

Tilda made a stripey deck and some furniture for her garden

We left buttons outside our fairy doors so fairies know it is empty and they are welcome to come and live there. I hope some come to visit soon! 

Our completed fairy gardens, waiting for some fairies to move in...

Hugs & kisses,

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Perfect Picnics

It may officially be Autumn but the weather (mostly) is still good enough to get outdoors and have a picnic. This blog is as tightly packed as our picnic basket with loads of great stuff including reviews of some innovative picnic products and a cool game you can play for free at your picnic...

Tilda & I LOVE a picnic

Monday, 22 August 2016

Dinna Dinna Dinna Dinna Bat Night!

It's International Bat Night this weekend (27/28 August) so don your best super hero costumes and get outside and do some bat spotting. Here are why bats are important (including my own favourite reason for loving them!) and how you can help them...

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Flower Power

I was recently sent a lovely flower pressing kit by my buddies at BigJigs to review. As an expert flower grower I had plenty of choice of pretty flowers to pick in the garden and see how they looked once they pressed. Read on to see what I thought of the flower press and what you can make from your pressed flowers...

A pressed cirsium looks like a funny moustache! 

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

"The Children's Garden" - a book review by Lulu Burt

Hey y'all. I am always on the look-out for new ideas for things to do outside in the garden. You may have read my recent blog which had 19 Great Ideas for Summer Fun In The Garden. Well, now I have even more ideas to share with you thanks to a great new book called "The Children's Garden" by Matthew Appleby.

I am so excited about my new book I can't open my eyes!