As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.
The connection between gardening and good health is well established and Robert Hall has learned that it's now going to be the subject of a report from The King's Fund.
Titled 'Gardens and Health', and launched on 17 May 2016, the report will focus on the beneficial effects that gardens and gardening have on personal and public health and well being.
An American university discovered that light exercise over a lengthy period, e.g. gardening, can burn more calories than going to the gym. The natural environment is also far more interesting than a gym, so the exercise feels less intense and is more enjoyable.
Another trial discovered that the positive mental and physical results that exercise has, including improved self-esteem and lower blood pressure, are increased if taken in the natural environment rather than a sterile gym.
Similar findings were described in my blog but additionally the University of Bristol has found that Myobacterium vaccae, a bacteria commonly present in soil, contains higher levels of serotonin than anti-depressant drugs.
The same bacteria has been shown in tests to help appetite, cognitive function and vitality, improving significantly the quality of life.
So getting your hands dirty is officially good for you!
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.
When purchasing a Christmas tree, you may or may not be aware that you're continuing a centuries old tradition that was enthusiastically adopted by the Victorians. An artificial tree as Andy Taylor explains is just a modern take on this age old practice.
In the past Christmas decorations were limited to streamers and fairy lights, but not any more as Robert Hall discovered when reviewing the huge range of novelty Christmas items that are brought to life by LEDs.