The plug plant is a fantastic way to save money on your garden beds and borders, as well as hanging baskets and tubs, but what varieties are best? Which is the easiest to grow? And where can you buy them online for the value for money?
Babyplants.co.uk have some information to help you through the essentials you need to know before embarking on your plug plant gardening adventure.
Now if you are thinking about planting your hanging baskets up with plug plants this year, you may be feeling a little bit cautious. Some people have had bad experiences with their plants dying in the first frost, so we have created a simple Caring for Your Plug Plants guide, so you can keep your new plants safe through the spring, where they will flower into wonderful colour by the summertime.
Before You Buy
Work out how many plug plants you may need for your hanging basket, sometimes is can be quite a lot (especially if your basket is 42′ or more), so always better to buy 4-6 more plants than you need. You will want to work out some nice colour combinations for your displays, so mixing classics like reds and purples, or sticking to a more conservative white and cream, can help add style to your hanging baskets.
—> We recommend using Upright Fuchsias in the centre of your hanging baskets, as these create a fantastic centre point, with plenty of upright flowers, and a lovely scent. http://babyplants.co.uk/fuchsia-plug-plants/upright-fuchsias
And if you want to really stand out from the crowd, try and alternative plug plant, such as the Cuphea Tiny Mice, which has really beautiful red and purple flowers. It is an upright grower, producing bushy leaves, and is fantastic for tubs and borders. It isn’t as well known by most gardeners, so you can really add something special to your garden this spring.
These can be found in the others category: http://babyplants.co.uk/other-plug-plants
When Your Plug Plants Arrive
When your plug plants arrive, check the soil for moisture. If they feel even slightly damp, then do not water them, it is always better to have a slightly dry plant, than a slightly wet one, as this can discolour the leaves, and cause the plant to die. Place your plants in a warm area with plenty of sunlight, and regularly water them until the end of May, or when the last frost is forecast.
You can find a full selection of our plug plants range right here: babyplants.co.uk/plug-plants
7 March 2014
Last updated at
Share this page
RBS Six Nations: England v Wales
Venue: Twickenham, London
Date: Sunday, 9 March
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, S4C, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru; live updates on the BBC Sport website
Gloucester’s Ben Morgan replaces the injured Billy Vunipola at number eight for England’s Six Nations match against Wales at Twickenham on Sunday.
Exeter flanker Tom Johnson, 31, who won his last cap in 2012, is on the bench.
“Ben has been pushing hard for the number eight role so we are looking forward to seeing him start,” England head coach Stuart Lancaster said.
“Tom has been outstanding for Exeter and gives us options off the bench as he has played in all three positions.”
Vunipola sustained an ankle injury
in England’s last Six Nations outing, but Lancaster said he was reluctant to make too many changes following the
13-10 victory over Ireland
on 22 February.
England are level with Wales, France and Ireland at the top of the
Six Nations standings
and face Warren Gatland’s side in their penultimate fixture.
“The performance against Ireland has given us a lot of confidence going into this game against a high-quality Welsh team and we feel it’s right to give the bulk of that 23 another opportunity,” he said.
“We can’t wait to play at home again. The players said the atmosphere at Twickenham for the Ireland game was the best they have experienced and I am sure it will be the same again on Sunday. It definitely gives us an extra lift and that’s what we want against another high-quality side who are looking to defend their title.”
Leicester’s Manu Tuilagi and London Wasps prop Matt Mullan will not be involved but will remain with the team.
England squad to play Wales:
M Brown (Harlequins); J Nowell (Exeter), L Burrell (Northampton), B Twelvetrees (Gloucester), J May (Gloucester); O Farrell (Saracens), D Care (Harlequins); J Marler (Harlequins), D Hartley (Northampton), D Wilson (Bath), J Launchbury (Wasps), C Lawes (Northampton), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Gloucester).
T Youngs (Leicester), M Vunipola (Saracens), H Thomas (Sale), D Attwood (Bath), T Johnson (Exeter), L Dickson (Northampton), G Ford (Bath), A Goode (Saracens).
Also related to this story
Injured Vunipola out of Six Nations
24 Feb 2014
Wales hate England, says Nowell
05 Mar 2014
Wood wants focus for Wales ‘revenge’
02 Mar 2014
Fit-again Tuilagi eyes England return
02 Mar 2014
North ready for team-mate Burrell
23 Feb 2014
England relish ‘massive’ Wales test
23 Feb 2014
Fast-improving England can hit heights
22 Feb 2014
England showed maturity – Lancaster
22 Feb 2014
England 13-10 Ireland
22 Feb 2014
Rugby union positions guide
05 Feb 2007
Rules and Equipment
Six Nations on BBC Sport
22 Mar 2013
Rugby Union commentaries
06 Mar 2014
Get Inspired: RUGBY UNION
19 Jul 2013
Share this story
Share this page
Part of East Park Road was closed following the three attacks
Seven more people have been charged with conspiracy to murder three people who were attacked in Leicester.
The group were attacked in East Park Road, near the junction of St Saviours Road, in Spinney Hill.
Three Leicester men, aged 39, 47 and 53, three men from London, aged 25, 33 and 39, and a 41-year-old woman were charged with conspiracy to murder.
Two men, aged 25 and 43, have already been charged following the attacks on 19 January.
The 25-year-old was charged in January with two counts of attempted murder, inflicting grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to commit murder.
The 43-year-old man has been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
Oliwier Baczyk and Zofia Tabaka were in pushchairs when they were hit by a car
A woman accused of causing the deaths of two toddlers by careless driving lost control of her car after it was hit by another vehicle, a court has been told.
Oliwier Baczyk, one, and Zofia Tabaka, two, died in hospital after the crash in Leicester on 6 August 2012.
Sharmila Mistry, 41, of Dalby Avenue, Bushby, is accused of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.
A 61-year-old man arrested at the time of the collision has since died.
Leicester Crown Court heard the defendant was driving her BMW at 36mph in a 30mph zone when she was hit by a Mini, which pushed her car into the two children at the junction of Braunstone Gate and Narborough Road.
She had also been talking on a hands-free phone.
Describing how her car had jolted from the impact of the other vehicle, she told the court: “I completely froze, my hands were on the steering wheel but I wasn’t in control.”
She said the vehicle had filled with smoke after the airbags activated.
“I thought the car was going to explode,” she told the jury.
The prosecution alleges the accounts manager of 12 years was distracted by her phone call and because she was driving over the speed limit it minimised her chances of avoiding the collision.
She accepts she was speeding but denies the phone call had distracted her.
The case continues.
Each year, the Geneva Motor Show serves as one of the world’s hot beds for high-tech cars and concepts. Global manufacturers, world-famous design houses, students and hopeful start-ups reveal their latest efforts here. We’ve gathered some of the biggest, most interesting showings from this year’s show into one bulging gallery ripe for your viewing pleasure. Step inside a world of freshly buffed carbon, crazy experimental body styling, extreme supercars pushed to further extremes, and brands you may have never heard of and may never hear from again.
The menacing, 1,104-hp Zenvo ST1 first reared its angry head in 2008, slowly working its way into the hands of two owners. It’s a bit curious, therefore, that the Danish automaker only got around to a European production debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
We guess when you make a car as ferocious and unique as the ST1, people tend to overlook such things to focus on the 2.69 second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time and 233 mph (375 km/h) – electronically limited – top speed. Those come by way of a 6.8-liter V8 engine that’s fed by both turbo and supercharger systems. The company has fine-tuned the interior with quilted Alcantara and bespoke, high-grade aluminum. For those days you’re forced to putter around town, the car has a low-power mode for piloting it “more or less like a normal car.”
Lazareth Wazuma GT
Somewhere between a roadster and a motorcycle, the all-new Lazareth Watama GT finds a niche all its own. With its narrow rear track and split, two-person cockpit, the design is highly reminiscent of the EX1 from fellow French firm Peugeot.
Lazareth chooses a 375-hp 4.0-liter supercharged V8 and five-speed transmission in favor of an electric powertrain. We’re not sure if the 2,172-lb (985-kg) GT is more or less extreme than the Ferrari-powered Wazuma V8 quad. We’ll just have to put them both on our “must drive” wish list.
Espera Sbarro Flèche Rouge
We remember a few things from our school days, but none of them are as crazy-cool as the Flèche Rouge. A project out of France’s Espera Sbarro school, the “red arrow” took 30 students 47 days to build. The result looks like something Batman would drive if he wanted to come out of the shadows around Gotham’s criminal underbelly to make a splash at a fundraising gala.
A six-speed manual gearbox controls output to the rear wheels from the 156 hp (116 kW) PSA engine. In spite of all its tucks, folds and layers, the fiberglass-over-tubular steel design weighs an even ton.
Italdesign Giugiaro Clipper
Italdesign Giugiaro’s 2014 Geneva concept doesn’t quite make the heart palpitate like last year’s Parcour concept, but it’s definitely a more practical 4WD. The six-person MPV is based on the Volkswagen Group’s MQB modular platform and experiments in the same lab as the Tesla Model X.
It takes things even further than the Model X, carving out the B pillar completely and using gullwings to make the rear seating easier to access. Up front, traditional doors are done away with in favor of butterfly doors. With both sets of doors open, it looks as easy to load into as a freight elevator.
Other points of interest include a dual 110-kW motor electric powertrain with a listed 335-mile (540-km) range, a two-screen driver information system with 3D holographic projection effect, and an in-car app environment for sharing, gaming and chatting among occupants.
Magna Steyr MILA Blue
Austrian manufacturer Magna Steyr is always good for an interesting Geneva concept, including past efforts like the MILA Coupic. The seventh and latest member of the MILA concept family, the Blue is a product of ultra-lightweight design.
The company explains that the car weighs in some 660 lb (300 kg) lighter than a normal A-segment car. It uses a variety of materials and methods to meet that impressive mark, including aluminum, magnesium and composite materials, component downsizing, and component integration and elimination. For instance, interior plastic trim is left off by using attractive, laminable top surfacing on underlying structural components.
A small compressed natural gas hybrid drive puffs at a rate of less than 49g CO2/km and includes an electric motor for slow-speed driving.
Hovering in the shadows of more visible convertible debuts like the Ferrari California T, the Ermini Seiottosei brought what is surely a peppy Italian ride all its own. In fact, the all-new barchetta recalls a time when small hand crafters like Ermini emerged from the shadows, challenging (and sometimes beating) racing forces like Ferrari and Mercedes.
The simple, throwback styling and interior are built more to inspire the driver than impress onlookers, as is the 320-hp 2.0-liter Renault turbo four-cylinder. With the Seiottosei’s diminutive size, race-inspired engineering and 1,512-lb (686-kg) hand-hammered aluminum and carbon fiber build, the small engine will still get the blood pumping with a sub-3.5-second 0-62 mph time and 168 mph (270 km/h) limited top speed. We’re not sure about that flat deck in the rear, but the flowy, cherry-cheeked face and its big, clean “E” is a thing of retro beauty.
2014 Morgan Plus 4
Another retro debut at this year’s Geneva show, the all-new Morgan Plus 4 is now powered by an upgraded 2.0-liter Ford engine, bumping performance and eco-friendliness up a notch. In fact, Morgan calls it the most powerful production Plus 4 ever (though it doesn’t give a specific power figure). The 2014 model also includes a revised interior with new instrumentation.
Rolls Royce Ghost Series II
Bentley wasn’t the only ultra-premium marque to flash some updated hardware in Geneva. Rolls Royce offered a modest update to its 2009-launched Ghost. The “Series II” version’s biggest departure is in the reshaped headlamps framed by daytime running lamps.
The new eyes are complemented by subtle re-sculpting and accenting around the hood and bumpers. Drive feature updates include available suspension enhancements and satellite-aided transmission technology. Rolls offers a new 21-in forged wheel option, along with expanded customization choices under its Bespoke program.
Q by Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
In addition to two specially dressed models previewed before the show, Aston Martin brought a V12 Vantage S dripping with treatment from its Q customization program. A track-inspired orange trim pops boldly against the “Stratus White” body paint. Inside, orange stripes adorn the True Teal leather seats, creating a vibrantly colorful cabin that provides further contrast with the simple white exterior.
The latest full-scale styling model from Turin’s Istituto Europeo di Design, the PassoCorto was developed in conjunction with Hyundai’s Design Center Europe. The design pays the usual lip service to “ultralight carbon fiber monocoque construction,” but what’s really interesting about it is its styling.
The body is filled with nooks, crannies and protrusions, and IED explains that the wheel arches emulate crab claws, wrapping around the hood and cab. A roof-mounted camera provides both rear-view and drive filming.
Spend a little time in our Geneva 2014 gallery, which includes more photos of the aforementioned vehicles, along with numerous other concepts, tuned sports cars, race cars and more.
Michael Piggin denies two charges under the Terrorism Act
The jury in the trial of a Leicestershire teenager accused of terrorism offences has been discharged.
Michael Piggin, 18, of Shelthorpe, Loughborough went on trial at the Old Bailey this week.
He has denied one charge of possessing articles for a purpose connected with terrorism. The items allegedly include partially constructed bombs, airguns and a crossbow.
A re-trial will start at the Old Bailey on Monday.
Mr Piggin also denies having notes about planning an attack and possessing a poisons handbook that is banned under terrorism laws.
On Thursday two jurors were discharged.
The judge made a decision to start the trial again with a new jury.
The judge said the Leicester case showed the dangers of informal surrogacy arrangements between friends
A surrogate baby’s birth in Leicester has led to a High Court judge warning parents about informal arrangements.
The boy was born at Leicester Royal Infirmary four years ago in a surrogacy agreement between two friends.
Justice Eleanor King said a relationship breakdown led to a row over custody and all parties seeking court recognition of parenthood.
Calling it a “cautionary tale” she said “serious difficulties” could arise when regulated clinics were not involved.
She said licensed fertility clinics would consider the welfare of a surrogate child and provide counselling services, including advice and information about the repercussions of a surrogacy.
‘Valuable cautionary tale’
In the case a friend had acted as a surrogate mother for a couple, said the judge.
The couple’s relationship broke down a few months after the birth and the surrogate mother left with the child.
Family court proceedings then began to determine recognition for the boy’s legal mother and who should have parental responsibility.
Justice King added: “Whilst ultimately, the parties have been able to agree a way forward in the interests of the child.
“The facts of this case stand as a valuable cautionary tale of the serious legal and practical difficulties which can arise where men or women, desperate for a child of their own, enter into informal surrogacy arrangements, often in the absence of any counselling or specialist legal advice.”
She said it was hoped procedures could soon be introduced at health authorities in England and Wales to give surrogacy information and advice.
“Outside the regulated clinics, advice is hard to find, there are few firms of solicitors specialising or even passingly knowledgeable in the field.”
“Surrogacy is… becoming increasingly common and the number of applications for parental orders around the country is increasing rapidly, particularly since the amendments to (legislation) now quite properly allow same sex and single women to apply for parental orders.”
Media playback is unsupported on your device Campaign to save Leicester Victorian hospital chapel 6 March 2014 Last updated at 13:54 GMT Heritage campaigners have said they will fight to protect a Victorian hospital chapel that would be demolished under the hospital’s redevelopment plans.St Luke’s Chapel, at Leicester Royal Infirmary, built in 1887, would be replaced with a children’s accident and emergency department if plans are approved.Campaigner Graham Lees, from Leicester Victorian Society, said the chapel’s artefacts, including the stained glass windows and memorial plaques, must be preserved.Dr Catherine Free, of Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust, said the accident and emergency department at the city hospital needed to be urgently expanded to cope with demand.Rev Mark Burleigh, head of chaplaincy of Leicester Hospitals, said he has been assured a new chapel will be provided.
Running away to sea has been a dream of escape for centuries, but unless you plan to be a tap dancer on a cruise ship, that door may be closing. In a report on the future of cargo shipping, Rolls-Royce Vice President for Innovation, Engineering and Technology, Oskar Levander, outlines a vision for a time not far from now when freighters and other ships are unmanned robots that cruise the oceans under remote control by shore based captains.
Imagine it’s 20 years from now and a cargo container ship bigger than anything afloat today approaches the port of Shanghai. Despite its size, it looks surprisingly simple with a hull designed for extreme efficiency. It has Flettner rotors for catching the wind and helping to save fuel, but below the slim equipment mast there’s no superstructure. There’s no space for crew’s quarters, and there aren’t even lifeboats or guardrails. When the pilot comes aboard to guide the ship into port from the minimalist bridge (if it has one) there’s no one to greet him or offer a cup of tea because the vessel is a robot, without a single person on board.
According to Levander, this scenario may come about because of the economic pressures being put upon the merchant fleets of the world. The Rolls-Royce report works on the assumption that the era of cheap energy is over and that rising fuel costs will require alternatives to the heavy fuel oil that currently powers the world’s shipping. In addition, shipping companies will have to contend with increasing burdensome national and international regulation, especially in regard to greenhouse gases, which will produce major rises in costs.
This will require a great deal of innovation, such as converting ships to burn biofuels, developing more efficient hulls, and installing solar panels or wind propulsion in the form of Flettner rotors and the like to cut down on energy bills. However, the biggest cost to shipping is labor – in fact, industry consultant Moore Stephens LLP put this expense at 44 percent in an interview with the BBC.
This cost isn’t just in the form of salaries and pensions. Crews need living quarters, galleys, washing facilities recreation areas, lifeboats, and a lot of other things to keep them safe and comfortable. These cost money to build and maintain, as well as fuel to cart it all around the world. Rolls-Royce’s plan is to take an holistic approach to future ship design aimed at tackling the problem by incorporating new hulls, engines, solar power systems, and partial sails.
In all of this, the most radical is turning merchant ships into robotic craft, where Horatio Hornblower sails his ship all over the world without ever leaving Plymouth. That may not seem like much fun, but it’s a path that marine engineering has been on since the time when some ancient ship’s master figured out how to balance his sails, so he wouldn’t have to steer so much. Since then, all sorts of automatic steering and navigation mechanisms have been developed until today when it isn’t uncommon to read news stories of ships steaming into port of their crews abandoned them prematurely in some disaster.
Even with the largest ship, steering a course is relatively simple and its rare for a helmsman to touch the wheel between ports. What’s really needed is the ability of a ship to pilot itself and keep watch under the guidance of shore operators. Many ships are already equipped with all sorts of cameras that can see at night and through fog, not to mention radar, sonar, GPS and a plethora of other sensors hooked up to high speed satellite data relays. Rolls-Royce foresees a time when these sensors and automatic systems will allow onshore crews to control and monitor ships from land-based centers with little difficulty.
Aside from the more obvious cost advantages, such an arrangement would allow one person ashore to control several ships. Levander sees this as both safer and making it easier to retain skilled crews, saying that it’s better for a ship to be operated by five operators on shore as opposed to 20 wrestling with the ship in a gale in the middle of the North Sea.
However, shiphandling is a complex task and a ship doesn’t operate in isolation. Before robot ships can set sail, there are serious safety issues to be answered about collision avoidance and similar concerns. There are also many legal hurdles about responsibility for the ship and compliance with regulations and maritime law, which might see a token crew kept aboard with nothing to do except fulfill salvage law. If these and other objections can be overcome, then the seas may be a safer and more efficient place, albeit a less romantic one.
6 March 2014
Last updated at
Share this page
Leicester City defender and life-long fan Liam Moore says he would like to make 500 appearances for the club.
The 21-year-old has played 28 times for the promotion-chasing Foxes this season and is currently just three games away from his 50th appearance for the club.
Moore told BBC Radio Leicester: “I want to stay here, progress and play at Leicester in the Premier League.
“Fifty is good but my ultimate aim is hopefully, down the line, maybe 500 appearances. You never know.”
Moore earned his second cap for England Under-21s in
Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Wales.
“It’s an honour to put on the Three Lions, whether for training or a match-day,” Moore added.
“I’ve been hoping to get a game for a while. Whether its for club or country, I want to be playing. That’s just the kind of player I am.
“I’ve been patient and now my chance has come around hopefully I’ve done myself a bit of justice.
“It was quite a slow performance. We won the game but, as England players, we expect to win against any team in the world. So it’s job done result-wise but the performance could have been a little bit better.”
Moore has only played once for Leicester since January, with centre-back pairing of Marcin Wasilewski and Wes Morgan both in excellent form.
“On a personal note it’s very frustrating but on the other side of things I’m a squad player, I’m a Leicester City fan and whether I’m in the team or not and we’re top of the league, I’ll take that any day,” he added.
“At the moment, we’re playing well and we don’t need to worry about the teams behind us.
“If we can carry on the form we’ve been in, we’ll get promoted, and it’s a great position to be in.”
Also related to this story
England U21 1 – 0 Wales U21
05 Mar 2014
Second Fulham bid for Moore rejected
23 Jan 2014
Leicester boosted by Moore return
17 Feb 2014
No-nonsense defender stars in the Championship
18 Oct 2013
Get Inspired: FOOTBALL
19 Jul 2013
Share this story
Share this page
Sam Bailey, winner of the most recent series of The X Factor, has announced she is pregnant.
The singer and former prison officer revealed she was expecting her third child after discovering she was pregnant in a supermarket toilet.
Bailey told the Sun newspaper that her forthcoming tour has had to be rescheduled because of the news.
“I was really upset because I thought I’d let everyone at my management and the record label down,” she said.
“But they were really good about it. I was going to go on a solo tour at the end of October but I have managed to move it until January.”
Her debut album is due out later this month.
The 36-year-old said her husband immediately went to buy a test after she said she suspected she might be pregnant.
She already has two children, Brook, eight, and Tommy, five.
Bailey said she has been supported by her mentor on The X Factor, Sharon Osbourne, but has not yet talked to new dad Simon Cowell about her news.
She said: “I hope I’ll see him soon. I can teach him how to change a nappy.”
Sam Bailey claimed the 2013 Christmas number one, with her debut single Skyscraper.
She beat 17-year-old Nicholas McDonald in the final of the competition and gained more than one million votes from viewers.
An average of 9.7 million people watched the final of last year’s competition, the lowest ratings for an X Factor finale show since 2005.
Follow @BBCNewsbeat on Twitter