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.
The connection between gardening and good health is well established and Robert Hall has learned that it's now going to be the subject of a report from The King's Fund.
Titled 'Gardens and Health', and launched on 17 May 2016, the report will focus on the beneficial effects that gardens and gardening have on personal and public health and well being.
We have already carried a blog Why Gardening Is Good For You in which I explained these links, and recently The Guardian published an article quoting the findings of other research.
An American university discovered that light exercise over a lengthy period, e.g. gardening, can burn more calories than going to the gym. The natural environment is also far more interesting than a gym, so the exercise feels less intense and is more enjoyable.
Another trial discovered that the positive mental and physical results that exercise has, including improved self-esteem and lower blood pressure, are increased if taken in the natural environment rather than a sterile gym.
Similar findings were described in my blog but additionally the University of Bristol has found that Myobacterium vaccae, a bacteria commonly present in soil, contains higher levels of serotonin than anti-depressant drugs.
The same bacteria has been shown in tests to help appetite, cognitive function and vitality, improving significantly the quality of life.
So getting your hands dirty is officially good for you!
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.