They'll be no shortage of gardening programmes on TV next year with several old favourites returning and also some new series. Andy Taylor has been finding out what's planned for 2017.
Many of our customers are confused as to the relative merits of timber and aluminium framed greenhouses, here Nathan James Dodd answers some of your frequently asked questions.
Neither type is 'better' than the other, they both have plus points and disadvantages.
Many people prefer timber as it's a natural material and whose good looks seem to blend easily into the garden landscape. The major horticultural advantage is that wood retains heat, the interior temperature is more stable and, if you choose to heat the greenhouse, fuel costs will be less.
Wooden greenhouses tend to be more expensive. It is often said that they require more maintenance although the timber used in the greenhouses we sell is either finest quality cedar guaranteed for ten years or pressure treated wood, both are extremely durable. You may also have heard that they are heavy and difficult to erect but an installation service is offered as standard for Swallow and as an option for Growhouse greenhouses.
They tend to be cheaper to buy. Low maintenance and rust resistance is guaranteed by modern manufacturing techniques, there is no need for paint or preservatives of any kind. Lightweight, aluminium greenhouses are easy to assemble or you can choose to take advantage of an installation service. It is also commonly thought that aluminium greenhouses let in more light.
Heat loss is noticeable when compared to their wooden counterparts so fuel costs will be higher if heated over the winter and, although green blends in well with the garden, many gardeners just prefer traditional timber.
Normally aluminium greenhouses are either silver or green although certain manufacturers offer black, brown, white and terracotta. Our wooden greenhouses are either built using tanalised timber that has a natural green tinted appearance or cedar wood that ages to a lovely silver grey.
Yes, you cannot locate either directly onto soil or turf. Some greenhouses have an integral base, others offer them as an extra. You can, if you prefer, build one yourself using timber, slabs, concrete or bricks.
Swallow offer 38 different sizes and styles of freestanding and lean-to models, while Growhouse also has an impressive selection. Timber glasshouses and pavilions are also manufactured by Forest and Zest4Leisure. Eden, Vitavia, Halls, Juliana, Elite make quality aluminium greenhouses that suit all budgets, see the complete range here.
Nathan James Dodd
With gardens becoming smaller, neighbours closer and roads busier, we all suffer from different types of noise pollution. But, as Andy Taylor reports, Forest have now come up with a new kind of fencing that minimizes this nuisance.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and Spring is just around the corner. Nathan James Dodd suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Dan Everton helps you look after your pond during the February with some tips on the precautions you can take to avoid the water freezing over, and advice on keeping fish at this time of the year.
Heating will be a deciding factor on the variety of plants you are able to grow in a greenhouse and the number of plants that can be kept over winter. Here, Robert Hall goes through the pros and cons of the different types of heating that are available.