With Christmas rapidly approaching, our New Oscott Garden Centre has just taken delivery of that most seasonal of plants – the Poinsettia. These are David Hall's tips on to how to keep these beautiful plants at their colourful best.
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.
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.
At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.
Forest have been making high quality timber garden products for over half a century and at GLEE David Coton had the chance to see their brand new storage range that has recently been launched.
Everyone should be serious about encouraging wildlife, and whether you focus on pollinating bees, pest devouring birds or slug eating hedgehogs, David Hall has been looking at the products that Wildlife World design and manufacture to aid their conservation.