As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.
Enthusiastic gardeners who are also pet owners may be surprised to learn that many of the plants they grow are toxic to cats and dogs. David Hall has been reading a recent report detailing the dangers.
The findings, by MORE TH>N the insurance company, show that 31% of gardeners have no idea if they are growing plants that are harmful to pets.
Over thirty plants can be dangerous if eaten, they don't need to be unusual or exotic. Hostas, delphiniums and dahlias in your flower bed; lobelia and marigolds in a window box; wisteria and clematis against the house, they are all problematic for pets.
Usually the only problem is an upset stomach but according to the research, 8% of British dogs and cats have eaten poisonous plants, nearly half have needed to have treatment, and sadly 15% have died.
The insurers have even created a garden to focus attention on the problem, planted only with toxic plants. For humans it might be a very beautiful and tranquil place to relax but for their pets it's a poisonous no-go zone.
Called the 'Pawtanical' Garden, many people might guess that foxgloves would feature, but there are also chrysanthemums, daisies, hydrangea, ivy and poppies. Even tomato plants pose a threat, and all of these are typical of the plants we grow in our gardens.
In addition to plants, there are other dangers that pets are subject to: acorns, pond algae and cocoa mulch plus various fertilizers and garden chemicals.
The garden is part of a Pet Safe Plant campaign that wants to raise awareness of the problem and is designed to persuade manufacturers to clearly label their products.
If you are also concerned, tweet your support @MORETHAN using #safeseeds
New products are the lifeblood of many industries and it’s no different in the gardening sector and most of us above a certain age will know the Rubbermaid brand well, particularly if you have ever been in the cleaning industry.
GLEE is the garden retail industry's annual show at the NEC in Birmingham. David Coton took the opportunity to visit this year's event to catch up on the news, visit current/potential suppliers and evaluate new products we would like to offer on GardenSite in the coming year.
I had never heard of Evika Greenhouses but when I walked into our annual Garden & Leisure Exhibition 2019 (GLEE) it was the only product I really saw. A brand new greenhouse brand is always going to get my attention but the sense that this was not only new, but different, kept my focus.
Although the growing season is slowly coming to an end, David Coton can suggest quite a few jobs that need to be done over the next few weeks, helping you make the most of what's left of summer and preparing for the arrival of autumn.