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.
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.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, tips and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2018.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and here at the Garden Centre we are already receiving new stock in readiness for spring which is just around the corner. David Coton suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is frosty and overcast, Andy Taylor suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.
Showcasing young musical talent, this year's Winter Concert at Arthur Terry School was an outstanding success and took place against the stunning backdrop of a Christmas Tree donated by GardenSite.