As part of a project designed to sow ideas, grow inspiration and cultivate futures, 300 London schools are growing their own picnic this summer and their reward could be a £500 voucher from GardenSite.
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.
New products are the lifeblood of many industries and it’s no different in the gardening sector and most of us above a certain age will know the Rubbermaid brand well, particularly if you have ever been in the cleaning industry.
GLEE is the garden retail industry's annual show at the NEC in Birmingham. David Coton took the opportunity to visit this year's event to catch up on the news, visit current/potential suppliers and evaluate new products we would like to offer on GardenSite in the coming year.
I had never heard of Evika Greenhouses but when I walked into our annual Garden & Leisure Exhibition 2019 (GLEE) it was the only product I really saw. A brand new greenhouse brand is always going to get my attention but the sense that this was not only new, but different, kept my focus.
Although the growing season is slowly coming to an end, David Coton can suggest quite a few jobs that need to be done over the next few weeks, helping you make the most of what's left of summer and preparing for the arrival of autumn.