Whether it's a bleak December or the more mild weather we are becoming used to, you can still spend useful time in the garden. David Coton suggests the jobs that can occupy the shortening days.
A summer sales report from internet retailer Amazon has revealed some interesting gardening trends and Nathan James Dodd has discovered that we are becoming a nation of indoor gardeners.
Fruit and vegetables are thriving on city window ledges, balconies and even ceilings, resulting in the sales of indoor allotment sets increasing by 950%.
There's quite a choice of these sets, allowing you to grow herbs and salad leaves on your windowsill. Extremely cute miniature allotment plots have a shed and picket fence, there's a mini-planter, or small wooden trough. You can even buy a mini set of gardening implements to tend your diminutive plot.
Sales of ceiling hanging pots have grown tremendously. These are quite bizarre, and most of your visitors will be taken aback by the sight of plants hanging from the kitchen ceiling in an Upside Down Plant Holder or similar Sky Planter in which you can grow many house plants and vegetables.
We all know that many youngsters have a fondness for creepy crawlies, and children's butterfly gardens have been another sales success this year.
The kits come complete with caterpillars that the children look after until a butterfly emerges from its cocoon to be released or observed in a large 'butterfly pavilion'. Stick and other insects are available and the gardens can be used again after more caterpillars are purchased.
Although the report found that nationally, residents of central and east London topped the urban gardening charts, people from the Midlands had the greenest fingers, spending their hard earned money on sprayers, hose pipes and a large amount of compost.
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.