Spring is a wonderful time to visit a garden where you'll see new vibrant colour and planting that will inspire you for the year to come. Here are David Hall's suggestions regarding the best spring gardens to visit.
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
June in the UK is generally quite a warm month, and Dan Everton will be spending much more time in the garden increasing the fish stock and improving the water quality in his pond.
At this time of the year you'll find a fabulous selection of summer bedding in Garden Centres. Planted in beds and containers, the bedding plants will create a wonderful display of colour throughout the summer. Here are Nathan James Dodd's other jobs for the month of June.
Forest Schools are inspiring places, designed to give children the opportunity to develop confidence and increase self-esteem in natural woodland. Nathan James Dodd suggests ten items that will useful in such an environment.
When David Coton's children suggested setting up a mud kitchen, he was initially unsure what was involved, but soon found out that they are easy to set up, great fun, educational and would keep the children busy for hours.