As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.
Hanging Baskets have just arrived in our garden centre, take them home and hang in a sunny position and they will make a wonderful display all summer. Nathan James Dodd thinks they're fabulous and explains why.
As popular as ever, and ubiquitous throughout the summer months, hanging baskets exuberantly decorate our houses and public places nationwide.
Blank walls and tired buildings are transformed by these splendid concoctions. A vibrant mass of plants bursting with colour, clamouring with each other to demand attention.
Buy ready made up hanging baskets from a garden centre, you can't go wrong. Already packed with flowers selected by nurseries with years of experience creating confections of vibrant flowers.
There are a myriad of choices, although traditionally a central plant probably a geranium or begonia, is normally present, surrounded by perhaps petunias, pansies and marigolds with busy lizzies. No subtlety is required, the more colours the merrier.
Trailing plants such as lobelia, fuchsia, verbena and nasturtiums are placed around the edge or through slits around the side of the basket, so when in full bloom, nothing will be seen of the frame under a riot of colour.
If you prefer planting a basket yourself, this means collecting together quite a few elements: the basket, soil based compost, fibre lining, moisture retaining granules, multi-purpose and slow release fertilizer and of course the plants.
When all the time and expense is taken into consideration, buying a professionally produced basket might be the best option.
Whatever you decide, the basket can go outside when the risk of frost is over. Never let it dry out, water daily in the morning or evening and feed regularly with a liquid fertiliser. And don't forget to deadhead so the plants can spend their energy producing flowers rather than seed.
Nathan James Dodd
The weather forecast is for a sizzling summer and David Coton is already looking forward to preparing delicious barbecued food for his family and friends. Barbecues have become incredibly popular over recent years and here is David's guide on what to look out for when choosing one of these summer essentials.
Sheds of any kind are ubiquitous in the British garden and, due to their popularity, there are plenty to choose from. David Coton explores the basic considerations that need to be taken into account before purchasing one.
Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.
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.