In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.
A tree is a valuable addition to your garden, increasing its beauty and providing shade and structure throughout the year. Nathan James Dodd passes on his experience about choosing and planting the right one for your garden.
This is my guide to the best trees noted for their flowering or berrying ability; or for their suitability for small gardens.
A few facts to draw your attention:
Your choice of tree is very much a personal thing, dependent on your taste and the style of your garden.
The main thing you will need to consider is the size that the tree will grow to, and that your garden is big enough to hold it. You do not want your new tree to dwarf the rest of your garden, or to cut out all your sunlight in 10 years time. So chose a suitably sized tree that offers a long period of interest. But remember that a tree planted on a boundary will only half encroach on your garden.
Consider your favourite colours - would you prefer a white or pink blossomed tree? Would you like it to have red or yellow berries? And remember, we've done most of the hard work for you, so use this information to your advantage. Purchase and plant your tree, sit back and enjoy many years of growing pleasure.
You can always prune your tree if you wish to restrict its growth or remove any unwanted or diseased branches. Light pruning can be done at any time of year, but anything heavier that would require a saw should be done in late autumn. Always remember to cut to either a leaf bud or branch joint.
In order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our wildlife, there's a selection of habitats and boxes you can purchase that are specifically designed to attract various small animals and insects to your garden. Here we look at some of the products available which also make unusual and very engaging gifts.
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.