Time to get blooming marvellous at Chelsea

Is the talent at Chelsea Flower Show inspiring you to give gardening a go?

Well we’ve got all the tools to get the job done, so we’ve put some top tips together to get you started.

  1. Organic fertilisers, compost and mulching materials all enhance the nutrient level and encourage life
  2. Bright light washes out cooler colours, so blues, greens and purples are better suited to shaded areas
  3. To achieve the best and most natural effect, never plant bulbs in a row. Plant them in clumps of at least five, seven or nine.
  4. Experiment by positioning plants in their pots before putting them in the ground. That way you can move them around and adjust them to arrive at the best look
  5. Autumn is the perfect time to collect seeds of hardy annuals, sweet peas and other favourites
  6. Seeds need to be kept cool, dark and dry over the winter. Store envelopes containing seeds in an old ice-cream carton or biscuit tin and put it in the fridge
  7. Roses are the highlight of the summer garden, but if you have only a small plot, look for roses that flower all summer long
  8. And finally… the joy of gardening is that nobody ever gets it right first time. Or even second time, it’s important to enjoy yourself

If you’re in need of a visual goal, look at our favourite displays from 2012. Impressive?

mini flowerelephant chelsea

What are you waiting for? Get growing.

By Hollie Stirrup, content writer at Chums


It’s never too late

If you could live your life again, what would you like to do, that you missed the first time round? Travel to new places, learn another language, master a musical instrument or further your education? We’ve been inspired by a recent story about Marie Hunt, who has just been awarded her high school diploma at the grand old age of 103.

Mrs Hunt, from Wisconsin, felt unable to complete her eighth grade diploma in 1928, due to pressures of the commute to school and the need to help raise her siblings. Now living in an assisted home, a hospice nurse overheard her talking about how not completing high school was her biggest regret in life. The nurse spoke to officials from River Valley High School, and the Spring Green School District gave her the diploma at a ceremony at her living facility last week.

Some people are ‘late bloomers’, unable to find their raison d’etre until much later in life.

Hugely successful British actor Alan Rickman was a graphic designer before pursuing an acting career at the age of 28, only getting his first real break into theatre when he was in his 40s. Much loved BAFTA winning British actress Liz Smith became a professional actress at the age of 50 and has since starred in a variety of roles on British television and in Hollywood movies.

Many popular writers didn’t publish their first major work until later in life. Mary Wesley wrote two children’s books in her late fifties, but didn’t write her first novel until she became a widow at the age of 70. During her lifetime, she sold three million books including 10 bestsellers in the last 20 years of her life. Her bestselling Camomile Lawn was made into a popular television series.

In the fashion world, Ralph Lauren, at 75, is still in charge of his $5 billion empire. Dress maker and personification of muted elegance, Jean Muir worked right up until her death at the age of 67, as did Coco Chanel, who was sticking to her usual routine of preparing that year’s spring catalogue when she died aged 87.

So perhaps you don’t have to think about what you’d do if you could live your life over again, after all. If these tales of people achieving great things later in life has inspired you, then don’t let age stop you from achieving your secret ambition. After all, it’s never too late.


Just a number

You’re only as old as you feel. Well this is certainly true of the folk in our brand new feature below. We take a look at some truly amazing people doing incredible things and not letting anything get in their way.  Why don’t you read on and see if you’re inspired?

inspiratonal para
They say age is just a number, and South African great-grandmother, Georgina Harwood, is most definitely the living embodiment of this. Last month she chose to celebrate her 100th birthday in a rather unusual way – by jumping out of a plane!
Being strapped to a young man while hurtling thousands of feet towards the ground, might not be everyone’s idea of fun, but Georgina certainly looked as though she enjoyed herself! Her family was there to cheer her on and to hand her a flute of pink champagne when she landed.

And Georgina’s not the only one living life to the full!

What about 92 year-old Arthur Gilbert, the world’s oldest triathlete?  He took part in his first race at the age of 64, and completed a recent triathlon in Somerset (diving into a 500m swim, before taking on a 20km cycle ride and a 5km run) in just two hours, 47 minutes and 22 seconds.

Mr Gilbert, a veteran of the Second World War who worked at the Westland helicopter plant, loves staying fit and active. He goes to the gym twice a week, cycles 25 miles every Sunday and swims 50 lengths of his local pool every morning.
And look at Dr Charles Eugster! A Londoner who now lives in Zurich, he recently broke the record for indoor running (in the over 95 category) at the British Masters Championships in March, after only taking up sprinting a year ago.

Running isn’t the only activity Dr Eugster loves to take part in. He’s also a fan of rowing, winning some 40 gold medals in competitions. He also took up body building at the tender age of 87.
These stories might leave you feeling a little out of breath, but they all show the importance of staying active throughout your life.

There is strong evidence suggesting that just 30 minutes of moderate activity every day can have significant health benefits, keeping you fit and well whatever comes your way.  The NHS Choices website has a number of suggestions about how to incorporate activity into your daily life as well as some pointers to get you started. Don’t worry, they don’t mention sky diving, or even a little half marathon.
If you’d like us to feature someone you know or an inspirational story you’ve come across, why not get in touch via Facebook or Twitter? We’d love to hear from you, and if we feature your story, you could win a £25 Chums voucher.





Behind the scenes with Chums


Summer may be just on the horizon, but we believe it is never too early to start thinking about your winter wardrobe.

We recently gained a behind the scenes sneak preview of the brand new Autumn/Winter 2015 collection from Chums during a recent photoshoot. Here’s a little insight into the fantastic new lines and what to wear this winter.


Chums is known for its comfortable, practical and stylish men’s and women’s wear and its new ranges are no exception; this winter sees the brand tapping into bold and bright colour blocking and classic checks.

Gentlemen, it’s time to connect with your inner lumberjack as this winter, checked shirts are a must-have. This wardrobe essential is perfect teamed with denim for a casual look or dressed up with chinos/trousers for something slightly smarter.

Ladies, brighten up the grey days with a pop of colour. We loved the bold red coat, perfect for winter walks or meeting a friend in town for lunch.


DSC_0040For both menswear and womenswear, navy has been strongly tipped as this season’s go-to colour. Keep an eye out for the men’s navy jackets to make sure you look stylish in comfort for any occasion.


Old dog, new tricks…

We all get twinges from time to time – painful and stiff joints that can make some everyday tasks a bit of a chore. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a cure-all to make all these aches disappear?
Sadly, we haven’t found one yet, but we have discovered plenty of handy gadgets to make daily life that little bit easier.

Here are some of our favourites:
Sock Aid Is your back playing up again? Having trouble reaching down to put your socks on? Then take a look at the Ezy-On Sock Aid. This clever gizmo helps you open your socks wide enough to get your foot in. Once the sock is on, simply pull away from the frame – it should slide off perfectly.

Soxon Sock

If bending down is a bit of an issue, you might find it easier to use The Soxon Sock and Stocking Aid. The large looped handles make it easy for those with a weak grasp or recovering from hip or knee surgery to slide their stockings on to their feet.

Jar Opener

For those of you who have trouble opening those pesky jam jars, why don’t you take a look at this top gadget? The Pifco Battery Operated Jar Opener will make sure that removing tops from jars will no longer be a problem. Simply place over the jar, press the button and off they come.


If you’ve got a lot on your plate, then this Height Adjustable Trolley will come in really handy. It’s easy to assemble and the base tray is set slightly forward to give you plenty of legroom when pushing it through the house. Four large castors and angled easy grip handles means it can turn on a penny – handy for manoeuvring round furniture!

Car Cushion

And what about those of us who have trouble getting out of the car gracefully? Well, fortunately we have the Revolving Car Cushion to help us. This comfortable, padded miracle revolves 360 degrees to make going for a drive a breeze.

Do you have any handy ‘new tricks’? Why don’t you let us know about them on our Facebook or Twitter page?