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.
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!
Looking to buy a timber planter but not sure what to purchase? David Coton provides some helpful advice on the many different designs that are available and how they can transform your patio and garden.
Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Andy Taylor explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.
With spring well under way, you may be considering buying a greenhouse, Andy Taylor tells you how this will increase your chances of successfully growing a wider variety of plants over a longer period of time.
March is the time when spring arrives and you can enjoy getting back into your garden. Andy Taylor looks at what gardening jobs can be done now the days are getting warmer and lighter outside.