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!
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.
Although gardening activity in February may not be so frenetic as during the summer months, there's still plenty to be done and here at the Garden Centre we are already receiving new stock in readiness for spring which is just around the corner. David Coton suggests the jobs you should be tackling in the garden this month.
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.