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!
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.
Used originally to frighten away evil spirits, now placed near the front door to deter trick or treaters, carved pumpkins have been part of Halloween for a very long time. Here Martyn Loach explains the process of creating the scariest pumpkin in your street.
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.