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?
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.
As the Senior Partner's PA, Flori is used to running around but this was her first half marathon, and she had to put in some serious training.
After deciding to enter the race, Flori joined the Boldmere Bullets, encouraged by their attitude that everyone has to start somewhere.
The Bullets are a non-competitive running club whose members aim to increase their levels of fitness while having a good time meeting new friends during regular training sessions in Sutton Park.
So, armed with a pair of top quality running shoes, she became a familiar sight pounding the roads around north Birmingham and, literally from a standing start, a far fitter Flori emerged.
But would all the exertion be enough to see her come home in a targeted time of under three hours? Her longest run before the big day was eight miles, this was her first competitive race and she couldn't have chosen a much larger one.
Nearly 20,000 runners started the race from near Aston University and then snaked their way through the second city to the finish on Broad Street which was packed with relatives, well wishers and curious onlookers.
Flori's sponsors who included family, friends and GardenSite were not disappointed. Resisting the temptation to take a breather Flori managed to keep running the whole distance and, sustained by the regular drink stations, sprinted to the finishing line in a time of 2hrs 59min 20secs.
Pleased with her performance, Flori's hoping to keep on running but only after her feet have healed and muscles recovered.
She said 'I'm really pleased that I completed the thirteen miles, I hope to be back next year but I need to recover from this year's race first!'
'Thanks to everyone who sponsored me including my colleagues at GardenSite, it's been a privilege to raise so much money for the Children's Hospital.'
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.