Window Lights are wonderful way to greet visitors to your house at Christmas, and here Andy Taylor reviews Konstsmide's contemporary and traditional range of Candlesticks, Welcome Lights and Silhouettes.
As Winter draws in there are less hours of daylight to work outside, and David Hall's indoor pot plants assume a greater significance than during those hot heady days of high summer.
During the garden's winter dormancy, colourful indoor plants have the stage virtually to themselves. And of all the flowering plants available now for Christmas, Cyclamen persicum is surely the unsung star.
It is a compact plant that is inexpensive to buy and will flower freely until well into the New Year.
Mother Nature normally designs flowers that are uniform in shape, but one of the greatest virtues of the Cyclamen is its seemingly irregular flower. It is thrown from the top of a long slender stem like a flag billowing on a mast in a blustery wind.
The flowers are richly coloured, bold and proud, waving over a sea of silver, green and grey foliage.
The leaves huddle together into a tight mound, acting as the perfect landscape on which to plant those showy blooms.
Looking after an indoor Cyclamen is easy. In fact it is too easy. When they leave the shops and garden centres they should be compact and well budded, but often only 2-3 weeks after buying them the leaves have turned yellow and become limp. The flowers have wilted and may be even starting to rot.
Killing them with kindness by giving too much water around the crown, and keeping them in conditions that are too warm is normally the reason.
Sitting on top of the television in a centrally heated lounge are not ideal conditions. Instead, place them in a well lit position, in a cool part of the house, and water them from the base regularly.
Feed sparingly and pinch out any overblown flowers. After the flowering period allow the corm to dry. It is as easy as that.
Robert Hall, senior partner at GardenSite.co.uk has been elected to sit on the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) Judging Panel for 2017. The news was announced on 31st March 2017 on the GIMA website.
April, particularly if you are on holiday over Easter, is the time when gardeners, whatever their level of enthusiasm and skill, want to get into the garden. Andy Taylor looks at the gardening jobs that can be achieved this month.
With rising water temperature and kinder weather, April is a good month for pond maintenance and Dan Everton takes a look at the jobs that need to be done this month.
Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.