After the recent spell of hot weather, David Coton was glad to see the recent rain freshening up the Garden Centre and he has these suggestions for some of the jobs that need to be done during August.
A guide to the range of Hozelock Pond Pumps
A pump should be viewed as essential for any pond. On an aesthetic level they give the pond movement and life, powering fountains, waterfalls and other ornaments that increase the pond's attractiveness and interest.
Perhaps more importantly pumps oxygenate the water and can also filter and clarify it, discouraging algae and encouraging a healthy aquatic environment and wildlife habitat.
Hozelock pumps are designed to give great performance with low running costs. What model you buy is dependent on the size of your pond and how much functionality is required.
First of all, find out how the volume of water in your pond. Measure how high the water needs to be pumped if you have a fountain or waterfall and calculate the flow rate per hour that will achieve the required effect.
When I purchased my first pump this calculation frazzled my brain, so If it seems as complicated to you, refer to an aquatic expert at a specialist retailer or garden centre.
You can then review the range on offer, comparing performance and features, at the same time as deciding whether you want a standard pump, a filter pump of some kind or one that combines pumping and filtering with a UV clarifier.
The 'Cascade' range can power small water features through to more ambitious fountains, waterfalls and ornaments. Double outlets allow you to run two features from one pump with independent control. Three fountain heads are supplied and there are foamless pre-filters so that cleaning and maintenance is easier and less regular.
The '450' pump will power a modest water feature while the '700' is designed for small pond fountains, larger water features, pebble ponds, barrels etc. The range is completed by the more powerful '1500' and '4000' and their low voltage equivalents with the latter offering a 2800 litre per hour flow at a 1 metre head.
'Aquaforce' pumps are powerful and efficient, versatile and controllable. They have to be tough and reliable, pumping water and solids continuously without clogging. This high quality performance is achieved using extremely durable materials and with a design that boasts several unique features.
They include a wildlife protection system that prevents small fish, newts and frogs from getting trapped. A conical impeller maximises performance while ceramic bearings lengthen the life of the pump. The large cage surface area reduces clogging and increases water purity and the pumps also incorporate a self-cooling system to ensure perfect performance. The seven models are suitable for ponds up to 30,000 litres.
A complete integrated solution, 'EasyClear' clear water and fountain pumps combine a feature pump with biological and mechanical filters and a UV clarifier, so you have an all in one product. The UV clarifier will eliminate the pathogens that create 'green water' and a filter foam sieves out solid particles while Kaldnes biomedia further filters the water to ensure healthy fish and plants.
Other features include three fountain head options, easy levelling, one power cable for simple and cheap installation, fountain stem extension for different pond depths, independent flow control, tool free access. The range comprises three units for ponds up to 3000, 6000 and 9000 litres.
Whatever you choose, remember that a pond is a eco-system that needs care and attention. Oxygenating the water prevents stagnation and filtration keeps the water as clean as possible so that aquatic life and plants can thrive together in a healthy environment.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, tips and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2018.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and here at the Garden Centre we are already receiving new stock in readiness for spring which is just around the corner. David Coton suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is frosty and overcast, Andy Taylor suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.
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.