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.
The water lily is probably the nation's favourite aquatic plant, and Nathan James Dodd previews the next episode of 'Plant Odysses' in which Carol Klein celebrates its unique characteristics.
In the programme, which is the last in the series, she traces the water lily's remarkable botanical history and explains her love for a plant which is in reality virtually a living fossil.
We see how human intervention and natural evolution have influenced the plant's journey from the Far East which involves elements of economics, the arts and spiritual life along the way.
This is an intriguing story from the time that the first flowering plants emerged in Asia. To illustrate how important the water lily is in that part of the world Carol travels to South Korea.
There she drinks tea made from lotus flowers with Buddhist monks. The lotus is a close relative of the water lily and is so revered that there is a festival held in its honour.
After discovering the early evolution of the plant, we return to Europe to learn about how the water lily can dramatically interact with insects, how it adapts to the environment and its ancient system of pollinating.
Stars of the show are undoubtedly the Giant Amazonian Water Lilies at Ventnor Botanic Garden on the Isle of Wight where the film crew has captured some unique night shots.
The water lilies' flowers open after midnight to attract scarab beetles who will pollinate it. When daylight arrives, the flower closes trapping the beetle.
What is amazing is that the flower is initially white and female but when opening again on the following night it has changed both colour to red and sex to male.
This is clearly a programme that will hold the interest of all plant lovers and Carol Klein's Plant Odysses can be seen next Monday 17 August at 7.00pm on BBC2.
Nathan James Dodd
You might not be familiar with the UK Men's Sheds Association but this is a fast growing organisation that, as David Coton discovered, encourages camaraderie and a sense of achievement among its members.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation recently purchased several animal ornaments from GardenSite and David Coton, one of our partners, thought that this charity carried out such terrific work that we made a charitable donation to assist with the cost.
With high winds increasingly affecting most parts of Britain, many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.
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.