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The Daily Mirror is a newspaper I read in print quite often. It's the preferred tabloid of my partner although I find it lacking in a lot of aspects and personally choose to read other publications.
The newspaper tends to carry sensationalist stories as their leading story. They often focus on celebrity stories and scandals. The type of celeb featured is often an actor from a UK soap whom I've never actually heard of.
The newspaper lends it's voice to the Labour party in the UK so it often carries stories about controversial policies introduced by the Conservative party. It also tends to carry rather petty stories which demoralise all of the other political parties in the UK.
I find the gossip and entertainment pages, which usually stretches over two pages, to be frivolous and lacking in any substance. It tends to feature short snippets or one or two lines of personal opinion by the journalists. They tend to read as though they are being addressed to very young children.
Some positive features of the newspaper include the Friday entertainment supplement which gives a round up of new film and music releases. Very often, however, they feature an article about a release in which artists or actors are interviewed and the tone and approach of this will differ from the actual reviews of the music/movies in the same supplement. I find this contradiction rather amusing.
I also like the television guide pages which are set out clearly and which feature a page of reviews. A Saturday magazine supplement supplies listings for the week with in depth articles about upcoming programs. This is quite interesting and helpful and gives some insight into what programs are popular, critically acclaimed or otherwise.
The newspaper has regular health features and a problem page which is answered by Coleen Nolan. I find the advice Nolan gives to be very unprofessional and bordering on being dangerously blasé in particular to the more serious issues she is asked to assist with. The health feature page is very good though with high quality medical advice set out in a way which it's easy to understand and intelligent comment by Dr Miriam Stoppard.
I like the gardening feature much more now since they changed focus towards gardening for wildlife. There is a regular 'jobs for the week' feature which is helpful as well as guides to plants, flowers and trees.
The sport section of the paper is predominantly football related with usually only a few inches reserved for other sports. As a tennis fan I do find it frustrating that even after huge competitions there often isn't even a mention in the sports segment!
I personally don't get a lot of reading the newspaper although it's markedly better quality than several other tabloids on offer. I would recommend it to those who enjoy light stories without too much opinion and investigative work.
The HMV site now carries the .com ending rather than the .co.uk and it has had some major revamps over the years. It used to be a comprehensive music store selling physical copies of music albums, singles and more. It now only provides digital downloads and also sells a selection of tickets to gigs and music events.
The site is now mostly designed like a music magazine site and in fact I feel it tries too hard to be a 'cool' outlet and it mimics NME in terms of the writing style and who it chooses to be their featured artists.
The digital downloads section features all the latest releases and you can buy whole albums as well as individual tracks. The best thing about the service for me is that you can also pay by Paypal as well as by credit or debit card. I find this a lot handier and safer.
Tracks can be downloaded in MP3 or M4A formats and they appear in your HMV 'locker' until you manually download them. They also download as a zip file.
As well as the download section you can purchase tickets for concerts from the site. This isn't a comprehensive list of gigs but there is a huge choice. You may find that not all venues are listed for a particular artist. I'm not sure why this is but it's slightly confusing if you are looking to buy tickets for a concert you know exists and all of the other dates are listed! You can search through the venues to see if your local venue is featured on the site. However, despite these issues I still enjoy the ease of having tickets available from this site. You can buy tickets for theatre shows and festivals as well as special music events.
HMV Pure is a part of the site that features information on their loyalty scheme. You can earn loyalty points from spending in their high street stores as well as online. It's 1 pence per penny in high street stores and 1 point per 2 pence online. You can then collect points and redeem them for various things including music albums, exclusive music memorabilia and much more. I think it's quite an exciting loyalty program and it's easy to join too. Pick up a card in store or just input your email online.
This is a decent site overall although it is has a different vibe to it's high-street persona. I personally like the digital download section and their loyalty scheme is good enough to make me return to them to make any purchases in the future. I would recommend the site to music lovers.
Barratts.co.uk is an online shoe retailer offering shoes, boots and bags for women, men and children. It's a brand I'm very familiar with having purchased from them multiple times. They often feature the latest fashions at quite cheap prices.
The brand offer all sorts of shoes and boots including things like sandals for holidays abroad, loafers, brogues, ankle boots, trainers, soft soled shoes for older consumers, slippers, ballerina flats, canvas lace ups and much more. They offer different ranges for children and feature a host of well known brand names such as Skechers, Birkenstock, Puma, Kangaroos, Hush Puppies and more...but at affordable prices. They also sell bags such as school rucksacks and sports bags.
The website is well set out with good clear pictures of every item. The size in which the shoe is available is shown near to the picture of the item. This also tells you what is in stock. One of the issues I have with the site is that they are frequently out of stock on many items in my size. This is perhaps because some of the prices they offer are so low. However, unless you filter the search by size the out of stock you have to check every item page.
The brand do have a sales section although you will notice reduced items coming up in general searches too. The reductions are very appealing to me as the original prices are quite low to begin with. I certainly find them cheaper than many places on the high street.
Standard delivery is £3.99 which is a fair price although I would like it to be free, ideally. However, I've found the service to be decent with deliveries well packaged and arriving within a reasonable amount of time. I also find the communication from the brand during the order experience to be satisfying as they keep you up to date.
The quality of the items I've purchased from Barratts has varied but this has more to do with the different brands I buy from the site rather than the retailer themselves. Overall though I have been able to find the odd bargain and I'm happy with the price I've paid for shoes which look and feel good. I would probably purchase from this site again assuming they increase their levels of stock. I would recommend to anyone looking to buy cheap but good quality shoes for themselves or their family.
I absolutely love chocolate but I usually eat brands such as Cadburys or Shops Own. I recently received a large bar of this Milka Alpine Milk from a family member who'd just returned from their holidays. I'm not sure if it's commonly sold in Europe but I have certainly not seen this particular variety of Milka in any stores near me. It's also a very large 300g sized bar which I have and it looks like it's especially suitable for giving as a gift or during a seasonal event.
The packaging for this Milka bar is very distinctive and attractive. It's a purple blue plastic wrap with a gold edging. A picture of an old fashioned milk churn is featured as is a sketch of a cow wearing a quaint cow bell around it's neck. This design gives me the impression that the brand have been around for a long time or that they use traditional methods to obtain their base ingredients.
The back of the wrapper is printed with lots of product information such as full ingredients. One ingredient is quite distinctive: hazelnut paste. Milka has a very different flavour to other chocolates on the market but once you see this ingredient you can detect that this hazelnut paste is what makes it different. It also contains a large quantity of milk.
The wrapper has a re-seal feature which is handy and which successfully keeps the chocolate fresh. The chocolate is quite thick like a slab and has barely any indents for which to snap a piece off. Each square is about one inch by one inch in measurement and is stamped with the Milka logo.
This chocolate is rather rich and sweet. It does taste rather like creamy Nutella. I really love the texture of the chocolate as it's so intensely creamy and slightly fudge-like. It melts in the mouth and leaves a strong aftertaste of cocoa and hazelnut. Nutritional values of this chocolate per 100g are 535 calories and 29.5g of fat so this is a treat that can be enjoyed now and then.
Overall this is very satisfying for me and I think it would appeal to anyone who likes chocolate. It's intense flavour and deliciously smooth velvety texture is very satisfying.
I often buy body sprays as I like to use them to freshen up throughout the day. I also enjoy the fact I can buy so many different fragrances and use them to suit my mood. I recently saw this Impulse Tease in my local Boots store and because it was significantly reduced I thought it was worth buying. It was only £1 although it had been reduced from £1.99.
The product comes in a lightweight and portable aerosol can. It has a plastic sheath around the top which protects the dispensing nozzle and prevents the button from being accidentally pressed. The size of the can is 75ml and I find that this size of can lasts me a couple of months if I use the product everyday.
'Tease' is described by the brand as being a blend of "red fruits and woods" and it is said to whisper to anyone who smells it "Romance Me". A sweet idea and quite an alluring blurb to entice me to use the product, I feel! My experience of the scent finds that it is quite strong with citrus notes, specifically lemon. It also smells like mixed berries and autumnal woodland fruits such as blackcurrants and elderberries. It's a lively and sharp scent which dances around the body and which I feel is suited to women of all ages. My only criticism of the fragrance is that it's a little too simple and clean. It's very fresh but it feels quite straightforward too. Does it 'tease' like the brand claim? I wouldn't say this is a particularly romantic or sensual fragrance in my opinion. It would need some musky low notes to achieve that status. However, it is still a very nice fragrance. I would describe this as a summer fragrance as it's so bright and loud.
The product can be applied to the skin all over the body except around the face. It can also be sprayed on clothing to freshen up if needed. It awards a cool sensation to the skin which is very refreshing and pleasing.
I would definitely purchase this again as I find it is successful at making me smell great, raising my confidence throughout the day and helping me to stay fresh. It's also reasonably priced, even at it's full price.
The spray can be found at stores like Boots, Superdrug, Wilko and major supermarkets.
I'm reviewing the M&S Extra High Impact Sports Bra as of their 2015 collection. This particular bra is available in sizes 32-40 band and in cup sizes B-G. I personally have always relied on M&S sports bras as I find them very supportive for my 34F sized bust. This particular bra is robust, sturdy and fully adjustable.
The colour and style of the bra is quite nice. It's black with luminous spots over the front and edges. On the edges it has a mesh style which allows the material to breathe.
The bra has an underwire along the bottom edge of the bust with the softer cup coming around the top. However, rather than have two pieces of material the cups are set together by a panel along the top which gives extra support and stops bounce.
The straps are wide and soft and provide ample support. I also find that they fit well without needing to be adjusted much. The straps can also be changed so you can wear the bra like a racer back which is how a lot of sports tops are designed nowadays. This is a great aspect for the fashion sense and it doesn't seem to affect how supportive the bra is when the straps are changed.
The fastening at the back is wide with multiple hooks and different band options so you can tighten it to your desire. I find this is helpful after you've had the bra for some time as the material tends to stretch a little and you need a tighter fitting around the band.
The bra is polyester, elastine and polymide mix and is machine washable.
The bra is £25 which is about average now for a sports bra. I'm glad that the price doesn't rise for the larger sizes too. I personally like these bras although I would like the under-wiring to extend around the cup as the lack of wire in the middle can cause your breasts to feel slightly squashed. However, the bra performs really well and is super comfortable and allows me to do all sorts of running and jumping without causing any harm to my breasts and without feeling discomfort when moving.
I would recommend this bra to anyone who enjoys sport and is looking for a well made sports bra.
Canterbury.com is an online shop selling clothes for men, women and children. They specialise in rugby clothing, strips, sporting outfits and they also sell training equipment such as balls. They offer strips and associated clothing for a number of clubs including the Cardiff Blues, Leicester Tigers, New Zealand Warriors and more.
The site is set out very well and all items can be viewed in photos with full product information available. It's very easy to narrow down your search to clothing for men, women or kids and then narrow these categories down to type of item such as T-shirts, hoodies or pants. You can also just generally browse through the England and Irish rugby strip collections.
I actually discovered this brand because a family member shops at our local stockist, which is an outlet inside a independent department store. The brand is deemed as being very exclusive and is clearly of a very high quality. So far all of the goods we've purchased have been well made and made to last with the material and stitching being impressive as well as the feel and fit of the items. I decided to use the website only because the selection of items at our local stockist was limited. My experience of the website has been great. The order process is very simple. Perhaps the only thing that takes time is figuring out the sizes since they are often provided in terms such as 3XL although some of the ladies items are given in standard sizing. It's also not easy to navigate back to the main page when you go to an item page as the page is isolated without many links back to where you had been shopping.
However, in general, the site is fairly easy to use and provides a wide range of items for rugby fans, for sporting fans and those who simply enjoy wearing casual sports clothing. The prices are average and what you'd expect to pay for strips like this. The site also has a sale section which may be worth looking at if you visit.
The site offers a variety of payment options including being able to pay through your Amazon account, which is very interesting and attractive. You can also use your paypal account or just a standard credit or debit card. Delivery rates will vary depending on your location although they do offer a free returns service.
I would definitely use the webpage again as it's a great way to acquire items from this brand without having to visit the high street and find a stockist selling exactly what I want. It's simply more convenient. I would recommend to all shoppers who enjoy rugby although I would say the site is primarily of interest to men.
This is a site I discovered quite recently. It's a unique online shopping space selling items by individual sellers and stores. It is a site best used for gift purchases since it has an extensive gift and novelty range. It also has excellent facilities for allowing you to best choose items that will suit the person to whom you wish to give the gift. For instance, you can search the site for gifts by narrowing the items down to those suited to particular personality types such as "art lover" or "pet lover".
The site requires registration prior to being able to make a purchase. However, the selling process is very simple. Items on the site are sold by different sellers so if you choose more than one item you will be charged per item for delivery and rates may vary according to each seller. The process is rather similar to Amazon MarketPlace or Ebay although I do feel as though this site is particularly well designed and very safe. The website individually approve all sellers before allowing them to have a selling account - this includes having the seller show their goods and providing any other information about their other professional standing.
Having ordered a few times from the site now I am happy to say I'm pleased with the service I received from all of the sellers I used. The items all arrived within a week of the order being placed and the items were packaged to a very high standard in order to adequately protect the items during transit.
I would say that in general the items on the site are perhaps more expensive than you might expect to pay for the same or similar items if you found them on the high street. However, most of the items on the site are quite unique and different and you'd be hard pressed to find them elsewhere. It has a boutique feel to a lot of the items. There is also a high degree of 'artsy' type products and hand produced items similar to what you'd find on sites like Etsy.
I would definitely recommend this site to anyone who is looking for interesting, quirky, one of a kind gifts or products for themselves. This is a really lovely website to use for shopping as it's well designed with lots of photos and product information. It's also exceptionally simple to search through categories. It's enjoyable to see all of the different items available for men, women, kids and more and they have categories including fashion, art, garden, home, jewellery and weddings.
I have a medium sized garden with many features including borders, a patio area and a dedicated wildlife section. I enjoy growing flowers across my garden but in particular in my borders and in pots. Many of the flowers in my garden, such as red campion and foxgloves, are native to the UK as I like to create a natural environment that will benefit insects. One flower I purchased last year was one of these Native Cowslips. They are one of my favourite wildflowers in the UK and I enjoy spotting them growing by roadsides and in meadows in the springtime.
Cowslips are very unique and attractive flowers. They have erect thick stems on which a cluster of drooping yellow heads appear. Their colour is a translucent yellow which really stands out. However, the small and dainty flower heads, delicate petals and cascading shape makes the plant look almost shy! The flowers have a beautiful and distinctive scent which carries in the air around them. To me they evoke memories and ideas of the British countryside.
Although I have only one of these growing at the moment I think they look best in a cluster. If you've ever spotted a patch growing wild then you'll understand why. In groups they radiate this brilliant iridescent yellow and their various heights make them interesting to watch when they wave in the wind.
A plant will reach around 25 centimetres tall. Their width or spread varies but mine takes up about 20 centimetres. The stems don't always remain straight up either - they can lean to the side. What I've learnt about these flowers is that they are best planted in a space where they can be the star and not be clustered with other flowers. They really need to be displayed towards the front of a border and look best with other native flowers such as bluebells or red campion.
My cowslip died off in the autumn last year and re-emerged in the spring this year looking very healthy and bringing colour and charm to my garden display. I would advise if you have pets to keep them away from the flowers as they are quite delicate to being stood on or bashed around. However, I would definitely recommend these to any UK gardener as I think they are one of the most beautiful things you can plant in your garden.
You can buy a native cowslip at your local garden centre or try Gardeningdirect.co.uk. Be prepared to pay around £5-10 depending on the retailer.
I was recently given this bath treat as a gift. Although I am a regular customer at Lush I had never used this product before. This is described as a 'Bath Bomb' by the brand and it is designed to be added to warm water to create a pleasant bath time experience.
This is a rather large ball of compressed powder which has been infused with certain oils and colours. The ball is very heavy and looks like it would be too much to have in just one bath. I do tend to try and save half of my bath bombs for second baths but this one is designed to be used all in one go. I recommend getting into the bath while the bomb is still activating as it's more of a thrill!
To use you just throw into your warm bath or into running warm water. The bomb immediately begins to crackle and melt away, errupting into a foam of greasy yellow bubbles. I was a little confused at first as I could hear some very loud exploding noises and I actually thought for a moment that my bath tub was breaking! However, the bath bomb actually contains popping candy. If you have a good look at the melting edge of the bomb you can see white chunks. These detach, float around you and explode in the water which is a very strange sensation. Eventually the outer layer of yellow melts away and exposes a blue inner core. This then melts and transforms the water into a Shrek green shade. At the very end of the bomb the blue powder splits open and a very amusing message on a paper slip falls out. It says "BANG!" in massive cartoon letters!
The bomb is infused with ylang ylang oil, petitgrain oil and cinnamon leaf oil to cleanse and fragrance. The scent is feminine, refreshing, uplifting and remains on your skin. The oils are also significantly moisturising and softening for skin and I can see and feel a big difference after use.
Ultimately I think this Bath Bomb product is a lot of fun to use and it also smells wonderful and cares for my skin too. It's possibly the most exciting product I've ever used from Lush because of the unexpectedness of the popping candy, the mood boosting colours, the beautiful floral and zesty fragrance and the silly message hidden inside the bomb. I would therefore recommend this to anyone who likes shopping at Lush. I would also suggest this makes an excellent gift. It is available in store and online and is priced at £3.35.
This review is also on Ciao!
Spider Plants are commonly grown as house plants in the UK. They are very popular due to the fact they have an unusual shape and are relatively easy to care for. The plants can help brighten up a room, create a visual centre-piece or create a fresh and healthy atmosphere in all areas of the home. I personally have one of these in my bedroom. I enjoy having plants in as many rooms of the home as I can as I love to feel I've brought a touch of the outdoors inside! They can definitely help bring serenity to any space.
The Spider Plant is very attractive with long thin leaves which have a variegated effect on them. The leaves appear to be slightly striped with a yellowish-white shade. The effect is striking. The shape of the plant is also unusual as it has the effect of almost looking like a spouting fountain. The leaves burst upwards from a central section and then cascade downwards.Plants can look very full and thick if cared for well.
I find these plants to be very easy to maintain and they are also quite hardy. I've had my plant for years now and it's still extremely healthy and happy. My room is the warmest spot in the house though so this may be a reason why mine is doing so well. I've had to re-pot my plant a couple of times when it wasn't doing as well as it should be. The plant may start to look unhealthy if it is root-bound which can happen with large or older plants. Scaling back the roots or getting a larger pot is necessary in these cases. I've also had an infestation of pests for which the whole plant needed to be washed in insecticidal treatment and re-potted. Over watering may also cause the plant to look unhealthy and wilted. I have found that the plant doesn't mind the consistency of the compost I use and I currently have a rather sandy compost in the pot which it's responding too very well.
When the plant is mature it attempts to reproduce by growing these thicker, coarser stems at the end of which a mini spider plantlet, or spider plant baby, is produced. It is possible to then propagate the plant since the baby plant will develop full roots from the initial nodules you see on the vine when planted and watered.
I personally love Spider Plants and think that they bring an amazing vibe to any room.I would recommend them as a houseplant even to those who aren't particularly green fingered as they are quite easy to care for. You'll find these at any garden centre and they are inexpensive to purchase.
I recently received this as a gift although I am very familiar with Lush products and am a regular customer at their high street stores. I had never tried this Think Pink Ballistic (now relabeled as a Bath Bomb) before although it is rather reminiscent of the Creamy Candy Bubble Bar which I have used previously.
Lush Ballistics (Bath Bombs) are like fizzy bath salts so they don't create any lasting bubbles of any sort although they can add perfume and nourishing oils to the water. This particular Bomb is quite small in comparison with some of Lush's similar products. It's smaller than a tennis ball and this is reflected in it's price of £2.95.
The product is a mottled pink colour and comprised of a very hard dry powder which has been formed into a heavy globe. In the top of the ball there are several iced flowers in pastel colours. It looks very girly and cute.
To use this you simply drop it into your bathtub into warm water. Since products are quite expensive at Lush I often try to get more than one bath out of products but with this product I would advise using all at once. It's virtually impossible to save any of the ball once it hits water anyway since it fizzes and melts away at an alarmingly fast speed. It gives the impression of a bubbling hot-tub for about 40 seconds and then it's gone. As it melts the water turns a transparent pink colour. The bomb also releases what look like pieces of pink confetti. I could not tell that these were heart shaped pieces of rice paper until after I had finished bathing and they dried on the bottom of the bath-tub! It was quite heartwarming when I saw them there although when in the water they just look like squidgy misshapen debris.
The fragrance of the bomb is like bubblegum and strawberry laces and the bomb is actually infused with a blend of vanilla, neroli, tonka and lavender oil to produce this ultra sweet scent. It's a feminine and youthful fragrance which I like but don't love. It's possibly more suitable for teens and young ladies. The fragrance remains on the skin after bathing.
I did not notice any difference in the condition of my skin after using this although when bathing I did think the water seemed more silky and soft. However, I have used other Bath Bombs from the brand which have made more of an impression on me and whose benefits have been more obvious. I would say that the fragrance made me smile but did not have any lasting effect on boosting my mood or creating a relaxing atmosphere. I would also say that the bomb offered no skin moisturizing qualities although it was mildly refreshing.
I wouldn't purchase this myself although I do think it is a very sweet gift especially for younger women.
I have rather dull and dry hair, mainly caused by over processing events such as bleaching and using heat based styling tools. I therefore often purchase hair care products that help to improve the appearance and texture of my hair. I have used several John Frieda Frizz Ease products in the past and thought they were of good quality. The latest product in the range which I bought was this 'Glossing Mist'. The claims on the front of the bottle were too good to ignore. The brand promise this awards "100% shine" and "100% brilliance" and leaves hair with a "high-gloss shine".
The product comes in a miniature sized 75ml plastic bottle which is recyclable after use. The bottle is small and lightweight enough to carry in your handbag for touch-ups on the go if you desire. The bottle is fitted with a pump action type button and this expels a direct mist of liquid at a short distance. I would recommend holding the nozzle just a few inches from where you wish to apply the spray.
A label on the back of the bottle gives some more information about what the product actually does. The brand state the formula of their expert product will "transform frizz into fabulous styles" and say that it "smoothes flyaways". They remark that the formula is "non-greasy" and "ultra light" and say that it can be applied any time.
This should be applied to dry hair only before combing or styling. The liquid is watery when first applied but it actually dries quickly. The first thing I notice when applying is the beautiful fragrance of the product. It's like sparkling apple juice and summer champagne. It's a very nice scent although predominantly feminine.
I often work the liquid through my wavy hair with my fingers and it was doing this that I first noticed that the claim that this formula is "non greasy" isn't entirely true. Whilst it's not excessively oily it does have a slightly slippery feel to it although on drier areas of the hair this oiliness sinks deep into the hair shaft and you no longer detect any greasiness. However, I'd avoid spraying this product near your roots which are naturally oily anyway as it can cause the hair to look heavy and slightly lank. Excessive use of the product nearer the roots can also mean a build-up of oils and will cause you to have to wash your hair more frequently.
The product is very effective at creating a glossy, reflective shine which makes hair look freshly styled, clean and healthy. If you have dry ends, are prone to frizz or you have hair which is more difficult to style then this is a good product for you to use. It's similar to a serum although it doesn't have that gluey texture which serums have that sort of slick your hair down. This product allows more movement in the hair and tames unruly strands allowing for better control.
Many fans of this complex and well-scripted teen drama regard the third season as one of the most impressive in it's five year run. The show is a post-apocolyptic drama which sees toughened kids surviving a disease which has wiped out their parents and all other adults. The third season sees the continuation of the story which involves the cult religious group The Chosen and their attempt to convert all of the children in the other gangs in the city.
Some of the prominent story-lines this season include Amber's return. Beth Allen makes a welcome return to the show after her character is presumed dead throughout the second season. Her return also brings new characters into the mix including the enigmatic Pride, a protective and strong eco-warrior who cares a lot for his friends. Other stories which stand out this season is the love triangle between sweet nerdy Jack, Ellie and Luke.
Damon Andrews, as the leader of The Chosen, is scarily good as a villain, despite the fact that he looks slightly too old to have survived the adult killing virus! His domination of the other characters, especially Trudy, is quite disturbing and he gets a lot of the best lines and scenes this season.
One of the downsides of the season is the fact that there are just too many characters to keep up with and also many characters whose story-lines are not as compelling. The long 52 episode season means that any plot is quite drawn out and there are a lot of very young and inexperienced child actors filling the voids between the main action.
The box set DVD is available on Amazon in the UK and contains all 52 episodes along with a photo gallery and a documentary showing the cast on a summer tour. If you enjoy The Tribe there is a lot of material to dig into here and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys sci-fi television, cult drama and teen drama.
I started to grow my own grub several years ago and one of the first things I tried growing was Butternut Squash. However, after three years of trying to grow these successfully I no longer attempt to grow them. There are a couple of issues with growing these that make my circumstances non compatible. Hopefully, if you are new to growing your own fruit or vegetables then this review can help decide if this is a crop you wish to grow.
Butternut Squashes are large pumpkin-like vegetables that are the perfect Autumn food. As a vegetarian it's one of the foods I often eat as a meat replacement. I was therefore quite excited when starting to grow these.
However, these aren't the easiest things to grow unless you have the correct conditions! To begin with these plants require a lot of space. You can plant them into the ground, of course, but you will need a hole at least the size of a football for each plant. You will also need to space them well apart. Unfortunately I don't have dedicated garden space and usually put all of my plants into pots. Obviously if you need a pot this size for your Butternut Squash plants you have to purchase a very large container which can be expensive and also the compost to go in it which is also a financial aspect.
I also found that these plants seem more sensitive to growing conditions than other vegetables I have grown. They are slower to grow in colder conditions so unless you have a greenhouse or can keep your seedlings indoors then you can end up with plants that either don't produce fruit or the development of the fruit is delayed to a point where you can not harvest it before the plant dies off in the Autumn weather. Unfortunately this is my experience.
Despite tending to the plants I have ended up with just one half grown fruit or plants that produce nothing at all. It's very disappointing, especially when the plant requires so much care - more so, it seems, than other vegetable crops I manage. The plant does require a later sowing in indoor conditions, warm conditions throughout it's life-span, a planting in a sunny spot and frequent watering.
In my opinion these aren't an easy vegetable to grow. I personally would recommend growing something like courgettes (easy to grow and produce plenty of fruits) instead of this if you are an inexperienced grower or don't have the conditions needed to cultivate these. However, if you wish to give it a go then you can purchase seeds from garden centres and other stores in the UK.