With only a few months' training under her belt, GardenSite's own Flori Bosnigeanu took part in this year's Great Birmingham Run, raising over £500 for the city's Children's Hospital.
You might think that Britain is drenched by a deluge of water throughout the year, but regular hose pipe bans prove otherwise. That's why we need to conserve the rainfall that we receive and Nathan James Dodd thinks the best way of achieving this is to use a water butt.
It's estimated that over 5000 gallons (24,000 litres) of rain water could be collected each year from your roof. That's why you should have a water butt in place during the autumn to store water that can be used during the following summer when water companies are struggling to keep up with demand.
In addition to the roof of your house, rain can be collected from sheds, garages and greenhouses. All that is required is some guttering and a drain pipe to direct it into the butt. If one butt fills up, any overflow can easily be transferred to another butt.
Water butts generally resemble large green plastic barrels that blend into the landscape, some are camouflaged to look like wooden barrels, others are taller and thinner to fit into tight spaces.
A tap is very useful, especially if the butt has a stand so the watering can can be placed underneath. If it hasn't got a stand, locate it on a breeze block or similar.
Ward manufacture 120 and 210 litre butts that have a stand, tap, child proof lid and diverter plus ready drilled accessory connection points.
They also have a 100 ltr slimline butt that will fit into a limited space, as will the Harcostar Space Saver that's made from 75% recycled plastic and has pre-drilled inlets for minimal assembly.
To fit a butt to a down pipe either cut it with a hack saw and place the butt underneath or cut a piece out of the pipe and fit a rain trap, a pipe then takes the water to the butt. Remember to keep the lid on to prevent debris falling into the water and to discourage algae formation.
For most sheds, Hall's Rainsaver Kits with guttering and a rigid or flexible downpipe are an award winning solution, they can be quickly installed with brackets on any shed up to 20ft in length.
As an alternative to using a watering can to empty the butt, you might want to look at a Hozelock Water Butt Pump. This is a high pressure pump (1.1 bar). Simply place it in the butt, connect a hose and it can be used to power drip watering systems as well as guns and sprinklers.
Whatever you choose when the first hose pipe bans are imposed, you'll be so glad you had the foresight to buy a water butt.
Nathan James Dodd
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.