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.
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.
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.
It was quite an honour for GardenSite to be asked to supply the Christmas Tree to Birmingham New Street Station this year, and to celebrate we're offering a Champagne High Tea to the winners of a seasonal selfie competition.
With Storm Caroline reeking havoc many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.