Showcasing young musical talent, this year's Winter Concert at Arthur Terry School was an outstanding success and took place against the stunning backdrop of a Christmas Tree donated by GardenSite.
Glistening and glittering, Christmas Twig Trees provide a superb backdrop of sparkling light both inside the house and in the garden. Nathan James Dodd reviews a range of trees that have increased in popularity tremendously over recent years.
Twig Trees can be naturalistic, shaped like a willow or a cherry tree, icy white or full of colourful blossom, elegantly tall or bonsai small.
Freestanding or placed on a table top, the trees look perfect in any situation, with masses of LEDs creating a remarkable effect, a dazzling addition to your Christmas decorations.
Although the design and the impact these trees have is very striking, running costs are kept low due to the LEDs' economical energy consumption.
A varied range is offered by this well known Scandinavian lighting company. Up to 2.5m (8ft 2ins) tall, 1.5m (4ft 11ins), their trees come in various styles including a remarkable weeping willow.
Placed outside the trees can line a pathway or decorate your doorway, with their LEDs sprinkling light and adding a festive glow to the surroundings.
Beautiful colourful cherry blossom trees are a Premier speciality. From 1.5m (4ft 11ins) to 2.5m (8ft 2ins) tall, the blue, pink, red and warm white LEDs combine intense light with vibrant colour to create an effervescent display.
As a centrepiece nothing will surpass the exquisite 45cm (1ft 5in) cherry tree with its zigzag stem and dainty multi-coloured blossoms, that is also available in 60cm (2ft) and 2.1m (6ft 11ins) version.
White snowflakes and leaves decorate other trees with frosty twigs and branches. This vivid tracery is tremendously effective against a dark winter background.
The two Christmas Twig Trees from Kaemingk Lumineo are very distinctive. One is an unusual Spiral Christmas Tree with white or black LED laden branches winding around the main stem. This very eye-catching tree has eight light functions and two sizes - 2.4m (7ft 11ins) or 3m (9ft 11ins).
Alternatively, you can choose a very atmospheric birch style tree that has snow covered branches and wonderful warm white illumination. There are three sizes and the tree can be located indoors or in the garden.
For more interest, there's also a Birch Tree Grove consisting of five trees that form a fascinating scene, either 90cm (2ft 11ins) or 1.25m (4ft 1in) high with 48 or 72 LEDs.
With warmer weather and an early Easter, the garden centre is busy at the moment with customers stocking up on summer bedding plants - snapdragons, cornflowers, cosmos, verbena, phlox, petunia, As well as filling planters, hanging baskets and borders with colour that will last all summer, there are always plenty of jobs to do in the garden during April and David Coton has these suggestions.
Every gardener must have noticed a decline in the bee population over recent years. Intensive farming that demands the use of toxic chemicals, climate change and parasite infestation have all been put forward as potential causes, it's a worrying trend but one that we can all help to reverse.
As an excellent alternative to conventional products, Trimetals' storage solutions blend top quality manufacture with contemporary style. Their range has now been extended to include two new maintenance free sheds and Robert Hall has all the details.
Zest 4 Leisure manufactures a large variety of timber garden furniture, fencing and leisure products, David Coton visited their brand new nine acre site near Chester last week to find out more about current development and future plans.