They'll be no shortage of gardening programmes on TV next year with several old favourites returning and also some new series. Andy Taylor has been finding out what's planned for 2017.
Many of our customers are confused as to the relative merits of timber and aluminium framed greenhouses, here Nathan James Dodd answers some of your frequently asked questions.
Neither type is 'better' than the other, they both have plus points and disadvantages.
Many people prefer timber as it's a natural material and whose good looks seem to blend easily into the garden landscape. The major horticultural advantage is that wood retains heat, the interior temperature is more stable and, if you choose to heat the greenhouse, fuel costs will be less.
Wooden greenhouses tend to be more expensive. It is often said that they require more maintenance although the timber used in the greenhouses we sell is either finest quality cedar guaranteed for ten years or pressure treated wood, both are extremely durable. You may also have heard that they are heavy and difficult to erect but an installation service is offered as standard for Swallow and as an option for Growhouse greenhouses.
They tend to be cheaper to buy. Low maintenance and rust resistance is guaranteed by modern manufacturing techniques, there is no need for paint or preservatives of any kind. Lightweight, aluminium greenhouses are easy to assemble or you can choose to take advantage of an installation service. It is also commonly thought that aluminium greenhouses let in more light.
Heat loss is noticeable when compared to their wooden counterparts so fuel costs will be higher if heated over the winter and, although green blends in well with the garden, many gardeners just prefer traditional timber.
Normally aluminium greenhouses are either silver or green although certain manufacturers offer black, brown, white and terracotta. Our wooden greenhouses are either built using tanalised timber that has a natural green tinted appearance or cedar wood that ages to a lovely silver grey.
Yes, you cannot locate either directly onto soil or turf. Some greenhouses have an integral base, others offer them as an extra. You can, if you prefer, build one yourself using timber, slabs, concrete or bricks.
Swallow offer 38 different sizes and styles of freestanding and lean-to models, while Growhouse also has an impressive selection. Timber glasshouses and pavilions are also manufactured by Forest and Zest4Leisure. Eden, Vitavia, Halls, Juliana, Elite make quality aluminium greenhouses that suit all budgets, see the complete range here.
With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.
Our garden centre has been part of the local community for over 60 years, so when one of our partners, David Coton, received a request to donate a Christmas tree to a nearby hospice, he had no hesitation in helping them out.
Many people believe that Christmas would not have the same festive feel without the scent of a 'real' Christmas tree. They're naturally fresh, giving off a lovely aroma, and here Martyn Loach gives advice on which ones to buy..
There's a huge selection of Premier Christmas Lights, and it's no wonder why they are market leaders judging by the variety and innovation that's on offer. This is Andy Taylor's guide to their range of top quality lights and decorations.