I had the pleasure of visiting Harrogate Christmas & Gift Fair on Sunday 12th January along with my wife Kay and business partner Simon Whitehead.
Christmas lights have moved on since the days when the choice was between fairy lights, fairy lights and.... more fairy lights.
Now your festivities can shine brightly with LEDs that sparkle and dance, making the tree a real centrepiece in all the celebrations.
Baubles and chocolate traditionally hang from branches, now novelty lights add glitz and humour. Appropriately dressed in colourful wooly hats and scarves, 3D snowmen with coal black eyes and mouths look just like the ones you help children make in the garden. Lit internally by a LED these jolly round figures will bring and delight to any child's eyes.
Other brightly lit snowmen are dressed in warm cloaks with frosted and multi-coloured highlights. Father Christmas can't be left out of the fun. Santas, excellently sculptured in clear acrylic, red and frosted, can add to the merryment, dancing around the tree in sets of eight.
And there are other amusing little Santas, wrapped up for the cold journey from the North Pole to your chimney, who will bring a smile to everyone's face with their beaded legs. Each are lit with two bulbs to really shine on Christmas night.
If you prefer something a little more formal but no less attractive, choose high quality Christmas Bell lights. They may be a simple design but they are beautifully sculptured and the clear spun acrylic produces a lovely 3D representation of the bells that ding dong merrily on high.
As pure decoration you probably can't beat a string of lights with the fascinating addition of golden bows and baubles. These can be draped across the tree to enchanting effect.
The spirit of Dickens and of Victorian Christmases past can be evoked by wax candles. Red or white, these have LEDs that flicker realistically to create an atmospheric that will transport you back to the time when normal candles were used to light the tree.
Conjure up memories of old fashioned yule tides with brightly coloured lanterns in green, gold, blue and red. Brought up to date with energy efficient LEDs, they add movement as they chase each other around the tree.
Finally, nothing is more symbolic of Christmas than the stars that shone brightly over the stable in Bethlehem. Decorate the tree with these sparkling five pointed studs in the sky to produce a magical effect that will light up your whole Christmas...
When the leaves start falling from the trees it is essential to cover your pond with netting.
Robert Hall investigates how manufacturers like Swallow Greenhouses are beginning to invest in Thermowood (Thermally Modified Wood) and analyses what this might mean for the UK garden buildings market.
With Autumn upon us and the weather turning increasingly wet and windy, Martyn Loach thinks that you should be covering up garden furniture.
As we enter late autumn and into winter there's not too much colour left in the garden but there is one plant (the Pyracantha) that is a particular favourite of Nathan James Dodd, whose red, yellow or orange berries stand out from the monochrome garden landscape.