As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.
There's always enough time to plant summer flowering bulbs to create a superb show of dramatic colour. Here is a selection of David Coton'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, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020.
Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
Gardening is such a popular activity with interest only increasing over recent years that the magazine rack in your local newsagent or supermarket is packed with publications offering inspiration and practical advice.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is dull and overcast, David Coton suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.