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.
There's always enough time to plant summer flowering bulbs to create a superb show of dramatic colour. Here is a selection of Nathan James Dodd's favourites among the many that are available from your Garden Centre.
Bulbs, corms and tubers can be planted in most kinds of soil, and that includes flower beds and planters, all that's required is good drainage so that they don't rot. If you have heavy soil, introduce grit to lessen the chances of waterlogging.
There are various planting depths, but generally this is twice or three times as deep as the bulb's size with their tip pointing up. After flowering apply some potash or liquid feed if they are in containers, and allow the foliage to die down naturally.
Fiery red and orange flowers, and slim sharp foliage are the trademarks of these easy to grow and fast to multiply bulbs. They look great when adding vibrancy to any location.
This lily has the most flamboyant flowers that are large crimson, pink, yellow and white bursting stars. Many are scented and they make perfect cut flowers.
Why these are judged by some to be old fashioned is beyond me. Marvellous as a cut flower, a multitude of lovely blooms line the flower spikes. Mulch for protection over the winter.
When planting begonias the top of the corm should be level with the soil/compost surface. Excellent for window boxes, containers and hanging baskets, they will flower fragrantly well into the late summer/early autumn when the tubers should be lifted and stored.
These are very useful flowers for both a bed or container, and can tolerate dry weather. There are many different forms and colours, and they are easy to grow in full sun. Tubers should be lifted and stored in the autumn.
Boasting magnificent colour, cannas also have terrifically lush foliage. Plant rhizones in a warm environment during April with any shoots exposed, they are quite easy to grow in sunny or half shded positions and make tremendous container plants.
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.