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Big Ideas for small gardens ecruitment

Guidance on home education in Wales published

for consultation Te Welsh Government has launched a consultation on new guidance for home education in Wales. Te draſt statutory guidance sets out what local authorities need to do to identify children not being taught at school and provides advice on how to assess the suitability of the education those children receive. Te guidance states that children should be seen as part of the assessment of suitability of education once a year, unless there are other issues that warrant more frequent meetings. Te guidance also clarifies the support local authorities should


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reference: CWA19

make available to home educators in their area. A handbook has also been developed with advice and support for people currently providing or considering home education for their children. Te guidance also aims to ensure the support for home educators is consistent across Wales. Te Welsh Government plans to consult later this year on regulations to require local authorities to establish a database to help them identify children who are not registered at a school, or are not on an education otherwise than at school (EOTAS) register, and then to determine whether the children are receiving a suitable education. Te Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, said: “Tis statutory guidance will help local authorities to support families who decide to home educate their children, while reinforcing the levers available to local authorities where a suitable education is not being provided. “Our overriding priority is to secure the best outcomes for home educated children and young people by developing constructive partnerships between home education households and local authorities. Tis consultation provides an opportunity for everyone to have their say to help us ensure this approach is reasonable and proportionate. For more information visit home-education- statutory-guidance- local-authorities-and- handbook-home- educators

You don’t need a huge plot to create a beautiful garden. Whether you have a small urban garden, a balcony or paved area or just a windowsill you can create your own little corner of nature to enjoy. Using symmetrical elements in a small garden will make it feel balanced and well organised. Large-format stone slabs or tiles on the ground, clean boundary lines, pots and planters or water features all work to make the space feel larger.

Mirrors make practical as well as pretty additions to small gardens as they reflect the light and create the illusion of more space and add a sense of depth. When it comes to furniture think about a built-in garden bench – it makes the most of every inch of space and can also double up as a boundary wall for raised beds or storage. If you are short on floor space, let your plants climb up the walls on trellis. Clematis is an easy-to-grow option with lots of different varieties flowering in all sorts of colours – from snow white to deep red. Wisteria is an elegant, traditional choice, though it takes a little more looking after. Or, you could think about a living wall – for the full effect go for irrigated fitted panels that you can fill with plants to create a lush green screen. Pots are the patio or urban gardener’s best friend. They can be incredibly versatile – you can use them to grow flowers, herbs, salads, some vegetables, shrubs and even small trees. Combine pots in different colours, sizes and textures to keep things interesting and harness the power of perspective by placing larger pots closer to the house and smaller pots further away, creating the illusion of extra distance.

Just remember, the more containers you have, the more watering you will have to do during hot periods and the more dead heading and trimming you will need to do – but it’s definitely worth it. In fact watering is top of the ‘to do’ list this month - as the experts agree August is usually one of the hottest months of the year - making watering essential. Try to use grey water wherever possible, especially as water butts may be running low if it has been a dry summer. August is traditionally holiday-time, so you might need to enlist the help of friends and family to look after the garden while you are away. When you are at home, take the time to prune summer-flowering shrubs.


High summer is the best time to get outside and enjoy the garden – just remember to keep everything watered. However, Wisteria needs pruning twice a year, in August and again in January to ensure good growth and flowers next year. It’s also the ideal month to take cuttings of woody herbs such as rosemary, sage and lavender - making sure you take new growth that hasn’t flowered this year. Don’t forget to trim lavender after it finishes flowering to encourage bushy new growth in the spring. If you don’t prune them, they will look bare and woody next year. David Domoney, TV gardener and presenter

Look after your tomatoes. Make sure you water evenly and weekly feed and then you can enjoy a succulent home grown crop. Believe it or not, now is the best time to get your daffodil bulbs planted for the best results next spring. Alan Titmarsh, celebrity gardening expert

National Garden Gift Vouchers can be bought and redeemed at over 2,000 outlets in the UK, with more than 90,000 garden plants and products on offer. Visit to view details of all the outlets that sell and accept them or call 0870 2408237 for more information. You can also buy them online.



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