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.
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.
Taking place each year at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry, and organised by the Horticultural Trades Association, the National Plant Show features all the new varieties that will be seen in garden centres next year.
Now in its seventh year, this trade show has become a key event for all plant retailers and no wonder since there is everything from seeds to Christmas trees on display from more than 100, mainly British, growers.
Top of my agenda was to see the New Plant Area. I was particularly impressed by Salvia Blue Marvel which won Best In Show. Large beautifully coloured flowers and a long season make this plant a worth winner.
Hydrangeas, peonies and succulents proved particulalry popular with visitors, and also impressing everyone was the new range of fragrant roses that will be available soon from GardenSite. I can't wait to start selling them.
Dazzled by dozens of new launches, the show is a great opportunity to visit new growers so that we can increase the number and variety of the plants that GardenSite offers.
I also had the opportunity to catch up with existing suppliers to see what is in the pipeline for next year.
Much to my surprise, Farplants of Arundel, a company GardenSite has worked with for some time, was so pleased with a photograph I had taken of an agapanthus from my garden that they are using it in their 2016 brochure.
I couldn't leave without touching base with Nursery Fresh Plants who breed the Time To Live rose which has been enormously successful in raising funds for Breast Cancer Now
They told me the great news that this lovely rose had been featured in a Silver-Gilt winning show garden – The Sun Flower Square – at the Chelsea Flower Show.
Everything considered, this was a very successful day and I can now start ordering next year's best sellers, or maybe take up the option as a plant photographer.
In order to promote and enhance biodiversity and conservation of our wildlife, there's a selection of habitats and boxes you can purchase that are specifically designed to attract various small animals and insects to your garden. Here we look at some of the products available which also make unusual and very engaging gifts.
With warmer weather and an early Easter, the garden centre is busy at the moment with customers stocking up on summer bedding plants - snapdragons, cornflowers, cosmos, verbena, phlox, petunia, As well as filling planters, hanging baskets and borders with colour that will last all summer, there are always plenty of jobs to do in the garden during April and David Coton has these suggestions.
Every gardener must have noticed a decline in the bee population over recent years. Intensive farming that demands the use of toxic chemicals, climate change and parasite infestation have all been put forward as potential causes, it's a worrying trend but one that we can all help to reverse.
As an excellent alternative to conventional products, Trimetals' storage solutions blend top quality manufacture with contemporary style. Their range has now been extended to include two new maintenance free sheds and Robert Hall has all the details.