Hampton Court Palace Flower Show that opens today (5 July) has something to offer everyone, with show gardens, talks, trade stands and plenty more. Martyn Loach attended the Press Day and was impressed with how much there is to see.
Plants at Christmas are popular presents and can really bring colour and life to a room. Here are David Hall's guidelines on how to look after them during the festive season and beyond.
If they are to remain in tip top condition, it is your task to replicate this perfect environment, something which we're sure you will be able to do!
They can brighten up your house for the Christmas season and are not too hard to look after either, just follow our easy guides below.
By far the most popular Christmas plant, their dark green foliage offsets attractive crimson bracts.
• Place in a warm position that is well lit (Ponsettias can tolerate direct winter sunlight)
• Keep the soil moist but don't waterlog
• Position away from from radiators and draughts
• Use a slow release fertiliser or add a balanced fertiliser every fortnight
• Guard against whitefly, spray if present
Pink flowers emerge from at leaf ends in the weeks before Christmas
• Keep in a moist atmosphere
• Water sparingly but do not allow to dry out
• A wide range of temperature and light levels can be tolerated
• Do not move until positioning in a light place after flowering
A bushy plant with funnel-shaped flowers in shades of red, orange, pink and white.
• Prefers a cool, bright position
• Dunk into a bucket and keep the roots wet with rain (rather than tap) water
• Maintain humidity by placing pot on damp gravel and mist leaves
• Deadhead regularly
• Once flowering has ceased, move to shaded outside location.
• Keep moist and bring inside again in the autumn
Grown from a tuber with flowers that are white through to pink / purple
• Keep in a cool (13°C), bright position out of direct sunlight
• Water regularly when the compost feels dry, do not allow to stand in water
• Feed fortnightly
• Remove spent flowers
• Dry out tuber in summer and replant in autumn
A tough plant with poisonous orange / red berries
• Place in a cool but sunny positioning
• Water well regularly
• Mist foliage
• Cut back hard at the end of the season
Large multi-coloured flowers - pink, red, orange and white
• After buying bulbs, plump up the roots in lukewarm water
• Choose a pot that is only just larger than the bulb
• Carefully place the bulb in compost up to its neck, don't damage the roots
• Place in warm position (20C)
• Water sparingly at first, increasing the amount as the bud appears
• Feed fortnightly
• After flowering, cut out old blooms
• Store bulb in cool dry soil and replant in October
Spring flowering bulbs brighten the garden from when snow is on the ground right through to the sunlit early summer. Here is David Hall's guide to achieving a marvellous display of colour to herald in the new year.
Although slightly disappointing at the moment, the summer may well heat up over August, and Dan Everton says this is a time when you must keep checking the health of your pond and aquatic plants.
As closely run as any Olympic event, Martyn Loach saw how the 2016 Shed Of The Year was won by the 'West Wing' Eco Shed, the perfect hideaway at the bottom of a Berkshire garden.
After the frenetic growth of spring and early summer you may feel like sitting back and enjoying a more restful August in the garden, but as always there are lots of jobs to be done as Nathan James Dodd explains.