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.
As Winter draws in there are less hours of daylight to work outside, and David Hall's indoor pot plants assume a greater significance than during those hot heady days of high summer.
During the garden's winter dormancy, colourful indoor plants have the stage virtually to themselves. And of all the flowering plants available now for Christmas, Cyclamen persicum is surely the unsung star.
It is a compact plant that is inexpensive to buy and will flower freely until well into the New Year.
Mother Nature normally designs flowers that are uniform in shape, but one of the greatest virtues of the Cyclamen is its seemingly irregular flower. It is thrown from the top of a long slender stem like a flag billowing on a mast in a blustery wind.
The flowers are richly coloured, bold and proud, waving over a sea of silver, green and grey foliage.
The leaves huddle together into a tight mound, acting as the perfect landscape on which to plant those showy blooms.
Looking after an indoor Cyclamen is easy. In fact it is too easy. When they leave the shops and garden centres they should be compact and well budded, but often only 2-3 weeks after buying them the leaves have turned yellow and become limp. The flowers have wilted and may be even starting to rot.
Killing them with kindness by giving too much water around the crown, and keeping them in conditions that are too warm is normally the reason.
Sitting on top of the television in a centrally heated lounge are not ideal conditions. Instead, place them in a well lit position, in a cool part of the house, and water them from the base regularly.
Feed sparingly and pinch out any overblown flowers. After the flowering period allow the corm to dry. It is as easy as that.
Nathan James Dodd suggests that during September there are many ways to maximise the growing season shile also preparing for the approaching autumn.
Wood burners have become very popular over the past few years. For maximum heat output any logs must be dry and well seasoned and Martyn Loach thinks that a log store is the best way to protect the wood from bad weather during the autumn.
When September arrives autumn is just around the corner and, with falling temperatures as well as leaves, Dan Everton has plenty of jobs around the pond.
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.