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.
'Grow Your Own' magazine, the UK's best selling kitchen garden magazine, has just announced its Great British Growing Awards, and Nathan James Dodd has been looking through the winners.
The magazine's readers have been voting over the past few months and winners' certificates will be presented at the Edible Garden Show that takes place at the Alexandra Palace in London between 20-22 March.
'Best Greenhouse Brand' was won by Halls Greenhouses who have an impressive range of all types and sizes of greenhouse, from the compact 6ft x 4ft to a cavernous 8ft x 14ft model. They offer superb value for money, traditional or 'curved' designs, lean to's and wall gardens with various glazing options and a milled aluminium or powder coated green finish
Perhaps surprisingly as it concentrates on ornamental flowers, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show won 'Best Gardening Event'. In second place was the RHS Hampton Court Show that we reported on in July of last year. However, cut flowers can be an attractive addition to an allotment and many will attract pest predators and pollinators.
Thompson and Morgan was successful in the 'Best Vegetable Seed Range'. They recommend these top varieties to try this coming season: Strawberry 'Sweetheart', Raspberry 'Ruby Beauty', Courgette 'Shooting Star', Onion 'Hylander' and Broccoli 'Sibsey'.
The readers put Spear and Jackson in first place for 'Best Garden Tools'. Buying the correct tools is very important but maintaining them is just as vital. When you finish working in the garden make sure all the dirt is washed off and regularly oil and sharpen blades.
Ecologically aware gardeners, will be interested that the Organic Slug Pellets from Growing Success scooped the Best Eco-Friendly Vegetable Growing Product. The manufacturers also emphasized the benefits of reducing water usage by not watering in the middle of the day, digging in plenty of organic matter and mulching.
Best Community Growing Project went to Incredible Edible Todmorden who have turned an ordinary space into an enjoyable area for everyone. Crops include everything from corn to strawberries, so why not approach your local council and offer to undertake a similar transformation?.
Finally, disappointingly 'The Gardener' did not win 'Blog of the Year', this went to www.allotment_garden.org, but there's always next year!
With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
Create a Halloween party in your house or garden with ideas and suggestions from David Coton that will keep your children and neighbours thrilled and spooked on the 31st October.
Looking for some advice on how to decorate your garden for halloween? David Coton has some great ideas to help you create a horror themed garden to scare your neighbours and any trick & treaters who come to your door.
To grow the biggest, scariest pumpkin in time for Halloween isn't easy as they take some time to mature and prefer a warm climate. To have the best chance of success Martyn Loach recommends sowing seed indoors during April and then planting out in late May or June.