Attending Glee, the leading garden and leisure industry show, was a great opportunity for Nathan Dodd to spot trends and anticipate products that will come onto the market in the near future.
Listeners to BBC Radio 4 will have heard a report on how sales of garden ornaments went up by 9% last year, Nathan James Dodd reports on the reasons for this increase.
The Horticultural Trades Association reckon that households spend about £130 a year on their garden and the total market for ornaments amounts to £25m - £30m per year.
It's thought that 10% of garden centre sales are now ornaments. Many of these are practical as well as decorative, such as lanterns and solar lighting that let us enjoy the garden for much longer than just daylight hours.
A householder's character is reflected in how they decorate their home, and ornamental products made from stone, resin, or metal are seen as a way we express ourselves outdoors.
The choice is huge, from classical statues reproducing Roman and Greek artefacts to entirely realistic reproductions of domesticated pets and wild animals.
Sales of the traditional garden gnome may have dipped over recent years but squirrels, owls, ducks and sheep can all now be found in borders, undergrowth and providing interest on the patio.
A company such as Vivid Arts who create wonderfully lifelike resin animals have increased sales by 15% year on year for the past decade.
Manufacturers reported steady growth throughout the recent recession and sales are forecast to continue to rise, with quality and affordability combining to create products that everyone seems to want.
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.