Buying cheap Christmas tree lights from an online auction site, rather from a trusted retailer such as GardenSite, might seem a good idea at the time but you will probably change your mind after reading a recent report from Which?
Our garden centre has been part of the local community for over 60 years, so when one of our partners, David Coton, received a request to donate a Christmas tree to a nearby hospice, he had no hesitation in helping them out.
The John Taylor Hospice was founded in 1910 and is located in Erdington, north Birmingham. It currently provides care for over 600 people throughout the West Midlands.
This includes offering expert advice to families, community and day care as well as residential palliative care. Receiving more than two hundred referrals each month, the hospice has been in contact with over 10,000 patients during the past year.
David had personal experience of the hospice's services earlier in the year when his father received their expert care, so this gift meant a lot to him personally.
John Taylor has to channel all available money into caring for their patients, twenty four hours a day, every day of the year. With this costing a staggering £105,000 per week, there's none left over to afford a Christmas tree.
So GardenSite has donated the lovely 8ft Norway Spruce which now stands in the reception area. Now brightly decorated it will be seen by every visitor and patient who enters the building.
At this time of the year our garden centres sell hundreds of natural trees of all shapes and sizes and our customers love these Norway Spruces. There are also many artificial trees available from GardenSite which are impressively authentic with snow and frost decorating their branches.
The tree gives the hospice a real festive feel which is greatly appreciated by everyone, and all their resources can continue to be concentrated on counselling, support and treatment.
If you are interested in donating or raising funds for the John Taylor Hospice, which is a 'not for profit enterprise', please go to their website where you'll find comprehensive information on their services.
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.