The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show takes place next month and Nathan James Dodd looks forward to what you'll discover at the largest annual show of its kind.
Suburban gardens, once the well kept privet edged pride and joy of the majority of householders, are rapidly becoming paved over according to a recent report from the Royal Horticultural Society that Nathan James Dodd has been reading.
The percentage of gardens covered in concrete, paving or gravel has risen from 8% to nearly a quarter over the last decade, with plants completely disappearing from 28% of gardens, that's five million homes without so much as a blade of grass.
Reversing this trend from green to grey is seen as essential for practical as well as aesthetic reasons.
Wildlife suffers from the lack of habitat, and the risk of increased flash flooding are just two reasons why the RHS have launched their 'Greening Grey Britain' campaign.
Climate change is another consideration, with the RHS suggesting that at least a 10% increase in urban greenery is needed to allay predicted rises in temperature.
The RHS Director General reasons that whatever the pressures are to pave, there should always be space for ornamental plants.
Off street parking is often cited as the main cause but there's also a train of thought that people have become increasingly insular and no longer find it necessary to impress their neighbours by virtue of a front garden boasting colourful plants and a verdant lawn.
As part of their campaign, Sean Murray, winner of the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge, has been commissioned to design a front garden that combines space for plants as well as parking. The result was a front garden that accommodated a car along with plants and nesting boxes, proving that they can all co-exist.
Small changes according to the RHS, can make a big difference, and they are asking people to contribute by planting a shrub, tree, climber, flower bed or container. The target is to change 6000 grey places to green by 2017.
Nathan James Dodd
Robert Hall, senior partner at GardenSite.co.uk has been elected to sit on the Garden Industry Manufacturers Association (GIMA) Judging Panel for 2017. The news was announced on 31st March 2017 on the GIMA website.
April, particularly if you are on holiday over Easter, is the time when gardeners, whatever their level of enthusiasm and skill, want to get into the garden. Andy Taylor looks at the gardening jobs that can be achieved this month.
With rising water temperature and kinder weather, April is a good month for pond maintenance and Dan Everton takes a look at the jobs that need to be done this month.
Pay attention to your lawn in the spring and Andy Taylor reckons you will receive dividends later in the year.