House & Home

11th Jun 2024

Five essential apps every gardener should have

In today’s tech-driven world, gardening enthusiasts can leverage a range of apps to enhance their green spaces. Here are five standout apps that offer unique features and practical benefits. PlantSnap is an essential tool for anyone keen on identifying plants. Users can snap a photo of any plant and receive instant identification, supported by a vast database. This app’s educational value is significant, making it a favourite among both amateur and seasoned gardeners. However, its dependence on a stable internet connection and occasional inaccuracies with rare species are minor drawbacks. Despite these issues, PlantSnap remains a top choice for plant identification due to its user-friendly interface and regular database updates. Grow by RHS, developed by the Royal Horticultural Society, is a comprehensive guide for gardeners of all levels. Offering expert advice, planting tips, and problem-solving solutions, this app stands out for its reliable plant identifier and personalised care reminders. It..

Read More
08th May 2024

Local charity encourages people to write a Will this May

Willen Hospice are encouraging local people to take advantage of their Make a Will Month offer this May. Throughout the month, participating solicitors will be waiving their fees for writing or updating a Will in lieu of a suggested donation to the Hospice. This will usually be half the price of what a solicitor would normally charge. Appointments are limited and allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Local people can enquire about an appointment by completing the form on the Willen Hospice website under the ‘Make a Will Month’ page, emailing legacies@willen-hospice.org.uk or calling 01908 303068 (Mon – Fri, 9am – 5pm). Fiz Johnson Willen Hospice Legacy Officer said “Writing your Will is a task that we often put-off, but it’s one of the most important things we can do. A Will gives you and your loved ones peace of mind that your wishes will be carried out, and they..

Read More
02nd May 2024

Caring for the little unfortunates

What happens when irresponsible owners decide they no longer want that gorgeous guinea pig now she’s not quite so little, or that beautiful bunny who takes more looking after than its owners were up for? That’s when the phone rings and Louise Norman and her husband Steve have to jump into action, as Sammy Jones discovered... For the past seven years, Louise has run Hartwell’s Homeless small animal sanctuary from her home, picking up the pieces and saving lives. “I became involved in animal rescue as a young child, when I would go out with my nan to trap feral cats and kittens for the Cats Protection League,” she told Pulse, “I was always bringing home injured wildlife, and the strays who seemed to find me.” Showing compassion for our smaller breeds is a family trait – her parents Maisie and Brian are also active at Hartwell’s Homeless and have..

Read More
02nd May 2024

Realise the financial potential of your land

It may be small, unused, overgrown and unloved… but that small parcel of land on your property that you have never really known what to do with could prove to be a goldmine. Developers across Milton Keynes and the wider region are searching for available land on which to build. And if you are thinking about selling, take some professional advice on your options from a leading estate agent in the city. Thomas Connolly Estate Agents is already advising property owners across the borough. There is a range of possibilities, which can include simply selling off land to the developer, working with the developer so the new building is one you are happy to have next door or, indeed, to build your dream new home on the plot before selling your current property. “So many people have side gardens that they never use but they probably do not realise that..

Read More
03rd Apr 2024

Wildlife-friendly gardens

In the United Kingdom, gardeners have a wealth of native plants at their disposal to create beautiful, wildlife-friendly spaces. These plants not only add aesthetic appeal to your outdoor area but also play a crucial role in supporting local ecosystems. When paired thoughtfully with artificial grass, they form a harmonious blend that benefits both wildlife and human enjoyment. Creating wildlife-friendly borders with rocks, logs, or wildflowers offers more than just aesthetic appeal to your outdoor space. These features provide essential hiding spots and habitats for various creatures, supporting the health of the ecosystem. Rocks and logs, carefully arranged, create nooks and crannies where insects can find refuge, and birds can build nests. Wildflowers, on the other hand, offer diverse plant life that attracts pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to the overall biodiversity of your garden. Beyond their functional benefits, these elements add a natural and rustic beauty to your..

Read More
03rd Apr 2024

It’s the most ‘bluetiful’ time of the year

The springtime vision of woodland floors transformed by a sea of bluebells is truly stunning. The chink of early year sun dancing through the treetops and onto their delicate petals reminds us that better (and warmer!) days are ahead. A leisurely stroll through the woods at any time of the year is good for the soul, but particularly when the bluebells are awake to welcome us – and they usually provide a display from late March to early May. But how much do you really know about these charming little flowers? You probably don’t realise just how fortunate we are in the UK – almost half the world’s bluebells are found here, and these dainty delights take their time to establish themselves; from seed to flower takes a colony between five and seven years. If you take a trip out to see them in the next few weeks, enjoy them,..

Read More
22nd Feb 2024

Tackling the rise in unwanted cats and kittens

RSPCA Milton Keynes and North Bucks (RSPCA MK & NB) branch tell Pulse Magazine about the difficulty of dealing with increasing numbers of unwanted cats and kittens – and every cat owner can play their part in helping to turn the tide, as Pulse’s Sammy Jones discovered... Everyone loves a cute kitten, right? Those little fluffy bundles of beauty melt hearts. Sadly, their cuteness is also their downfall, as people introduce them into their homes without really thinking about those kittens turning into bigger balls of fluff that can sometimes live for the best part of a couple of decades, and the associated expense of food and veterinary costs over their lifetime. We’ve talked about the importance of getting your pet neutered before, and yet the message never quite reaches everyone. It’s not an option. It’s a necessity. People love their pets, but when the household purse strings need to..

Read More
27th Oct 2023

Able to reach high standards

Your central heating boiler may be on the blink, a dripping tap is driving you to distraction or you need a new bathroom suite or gas safety check. At times like this you need a professional service from a qualified gas engineer or plumber. Able has built its reputation on delivering on its promises. The Milton Keynes based enterprise was set up in 2008 by senior engineer Matt Holtom. Since then, it has grown steadily setting high standards across a wide range of services from servicing boilers to fitting a wet room or tracking down a leak. Its client list includes some of the leading estate agents in Milton Keynes. Matt said: “Like us, estate agents want to give the best service. We will not compromise on quality to save costs or cut corners. We believe all our customers from homeowners to businesses deserve the very best service. “We understand..

Read More
31st Jul 2023

George Davies Turf ‘The Landscaper’s Choice...

Exceptional customer service and a dedication to sourcing and supplying high-quality products has helped local business George Davies Turf grow from a one-man-band to a multi-million-pound business. Based in Olney, Milton Keynes, and working with landscapers of all sizes, they are the UK’s largest independent supplier of turf - proudly recognised as ‘The Landscaper’s Choice’. Their hard working team have helped the business maintain an impressive trajectory of growth, now supplying 1.5 million rolls of freshly cut turf to 35,000 gardens a year. The George Davies Turf product range also includes topsoil, bark, compost, artificial grass and composite decking – offering a complete solution to their customers. Exceeding customer expectations every time With over 22 years’ experience working with landscapers, the team at George Davies Turf understand how important it is that their customers receive their turf quickly and in perfect condition, ready for immediate transplantation. George Davies, founder and..

Read More
31st Jul 2023

A new approach to bathrooms

Anyone who has driven by a piled-high skip will know just how much is simply thrown away when renovating a home. It does not need to be that way. Paul Rising, who set up Olney Bathrooms ten years ago, has taken a fresh look at the way he and his team work. He realised clients can still have their dream bathroom but through the use of sustainable products the completed space will have a lot less impact on the environment. This new way of working does not mean clients have to compromise on style or pay more for their bathroom. Paul, who has more than 20 years in the trade, said: “Everyone is far more environmentally aware, and we knew it was important for us to play our part. It really didn’t make sense to me that we are sourcing materials like tiles and marble from across the world and..

Read More
11th Jul 2023

Enjoy year-round use from your conservatory

Multi-award-winning T&K Home Improvements are leading the way with innovative roof styles that will keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Not only do they look great, but they also significantly reduce energy costs from older roofs. T&K’s Insulate+ Replacement Roof System is made from quality materials that are designed to last for years without needing repairs or replacement. Plus, they come with a 10-year warranty! Now that the hotter weather is upon us, having a conservatory that is kept cool is important for several reasons. First and foremost, a cool conservatory ensures a comfortable and enjoyable space for relaxation and recreation. This can be achieved by adding thermally efficient transparent vents to your roof. They create more light and circulation of air, meaning homeowners can utilise their conservatory all year round, even during the hot summer months. Increased security and noise reduction are also..

Read More
19th Jun 2023

Go wild for a bug’s life

It doesn’t seem so long ago that we were advising you to tidy up the garden for the winter months, and here we are already looking towards the longest day of the year, on June 21. Of course the arrival of summer means the garden is at its active best; with flowers, fruits and vegetables all lining up for inspection. Together with the blooms and nature’s parlour, weeds also pop up everywhere, but their arrival is received less favourably. The easiest way to keep them down is to hoe your borders regularly in dry weather. If you mow, lawns need to be cut weekly, but perhaps have a rethink for the moment. If you leave the mower in the shed for a while, you’ll get more free time and our pollinating insects will flock to your garden to enjoy the wildflowers that start to spring up – and our wildlife..

Read More
06th Jun 2023

Make the move with the company you can trust

Take the stress out of a move by using a trusted removals company that can offer a range of services to meet your individual needs. Moving home or a business can be stressful, so it helps to use the services of a trusted removals company like Wards of Olney. The independent removal company has an impressive reputation dating back more than a century. It is currently run by twins; Mark and Christian Ward, grandsons to the company’s founder Fred Ward. While the company celebrates its heritage, clients can expect all the benefits of a professional removal company which has invested in purpose-built removal vehicles, handling equipment and materials. Christian said: “Whether you live in a one-bedroom flat or a large stately home we can move you anywhere throughout the United Kingdom. We know it can be a stressful time..

Read More
24th Jan 2023

3 Bespoke Cocktails to Make at Home for Valentine’s Day

Why not save a little bit of money this month and celebrate Valentine’s Day at home? If it’s your first or your fifty-first Valentine’s Day with your beau, February 14th is the perfect occasion to crack out that cocktail shaker hidden at the back of your cupboard. Whether it’s an intimate 3-course dinner or more of a casual occasion, swap out your usual Mojito or Passionfruit Martini for something a little bit more special this year. Local cocktail designer and enthusiast Sunday Cocktail Club has created 3 bespoke recipes for you to try out and enjoy this year. Despite looking particularly eye-catching, these three cocktails are pretty low-maintenance. They only take a few minutes to shake up and require just a handful of ingredients. However you choose to celebrate V Day, Pulse Magazine has got you! Grab your ‘on the rocks’ glassware and then let Cupid take care of the..

Read More
23rd Jan 2023

How you can help prevent an MK cat-astrophe

Unlike our canine companions, pussy cats are altogether more independent, and we are used to seeing a swaggering tom mooching down the road. But is that a much-loved moggy, or could it be one of the many stray cats that Milton Keynes has? With numbers of strays and ferals on the increase, the Milton Keynes and North Bucks branch of the RSPCA wants you to help curb the numbers. Sammy Jones found out more... The ‘problem’ of stray cats really is a big one; in 2022 the MK and North Bucks branch of the RSPCA has taken in close to 450 cats and kittens, and strays account for around half of that number. “We live in this weird urban area with lots of green spaces in-between and we do have a relatively big feral cat population, which is something we are trying to help manage,” explains branch chair Gillian Scott...

Read More