Robert Hall was delighted to present Westland Horticulture with an award for Best Consumer Product Packaging for their product Westland SafeLawn at the GIMA awards 2017 and who went on to win its top award the GIMA Sword of Excellence.
Sutton Coldfield resident Alan Gardner has the perfect job to fit his name, he's a gardener. Alan is also autistic and this has a telling effect on how he imagines the gardens that he designs, here Nathan James Dodd reviews his series garden makeover shows.
Adopting a rather different image to most gardeners we see on TV, Alan Gardner has pink hair, tattoos and paints his fingernails. But he also has medals from the Chelsea Flower Show including a silver to vouch for his horticultural skills.
Helping him to makeover the gardens in the series of four programmes are five other autists who have problems with communication and social interaction. Autism will affect all of them throughout their lives with the result that they hear, feel and perceive the world in a much different way to other people.
They are all keen gardeners, in the group are Philip who is particularly interested in exotic plants, Charles grows vegetables, Victoria loves colour, Thomas craves precision, while James is a walking plant encyclopaedia.
Alan sees mathematical formulae everywhere in the garden, visualises everything in great detail and uses patterns to create outstanding gardens. He galvanises the team, organising them to make the most of their potential.
In the first episode an unloved garden in Derbyshire is transformed to the delight of initially sceptical owners. Lilac railway sleepers are draped in netting, an insect hotel and turf giant installed, not forgetting a vibrant planting scheme.
The next three programmes focus on London gardens which need to be transformed on schedule and to budget, making a small garden appear much larger, tackling a 95ft jungle and then, battling against adverse weather conditions.
1.3m viewers tuned into to the first of the Channel 4 series and saw that autism which, due to flawed interaction skills makes teamwork difficult, can be channelled into gardening to create some wonderful results.
For more information on autism go to www.autism.org.uk
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.