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
Here in Birmingham, the weather has been as changeable as ever, very warm just before Easter followed by a cold spell only last week. During May the threat of further frost will largely pass and, with spring well under way, Robert Hall is in no doubt that this is going to be a busy month in the garden.
The weather forecast is for a sizzling summer and David Coton is already looking forward to preparing delicious barbecued food for his family and friends. Barbecues have become incredibly popular over recent years and here is David's guide on what to look out for when choosing one of these summer essentials.
Sheds of any kind are ubiquitous in the British garden and, due to their popularity, there are plenty to choose from. David Coton explores the basic considerations that need to be taken into account before purchasing one.
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.