Hints and tips for growing seeds


After the recent cold spell, as the weather starts to improve, you might be thinking about your plans for the garden so now is the best them to start buying or gathering seeds. 

Below is a handy guide for using seeds to grow anything from plants to fruit and vegetables.


First of all read the back of the seed packet, as some seeds need differing sowing conditions. Everything you need to know about growing the plant is on the back of the packet. Some seed packets contain hundreds of seeds so don’t sow more than you are likely to use; most packets will tell you the…

Tips for growing spring bulbs


As the weather starts to improve, you might be thinking about your plans for the garden this Spring so get out your seeds and spring bulbs, because below is a handy guide for growing spring bulbs which highlights tips for planting, the aftercare and potential problems you might have.


As a general rule plant 4 times deeper than the height of the bulb. Plant in well-draining humus rich soil; if the soil is too wet they will rot. Some are suitable for under-planting deciduous trees and shrubs. Plant from October to December; leave planting tulips until November. If…

Make the Best First Impressions

Out door plant pots for first impressions

There’s no doubt about it, first impressions count and when it comes the front of the house, kerb appeal matters.

With spring the most popular season for home improvements, it’s the ideal time to start those long-awaited projects. A property's outer appearance - its kerb appeal, - is also often a deal breaker (or maker) when it comes to buying a home. It is the first and last impression a potential buyer sees, reflecting the buyers’ overall opinion of the inside of the house. Sometimes you only get one first impression, so make it one to remember. If doors and windows are looking a…

February  Be 'Lawn Ready' For Spring

February  Be 'Lawn Ready' For Spring

Providing tips for a healthy lawn

We know it feels like it is a long way off, but the days do seem to be getting a little longer now and spring will be here before you know it!  At this time of year lawns and soils are cold and sometimes wet, and the weather does not encourage gardening!  

However, some pests are still active, busily chomping away at your roots.  The changeable weather climate can create unexpected problems, so some diligence and a few hours hard work now, can make all the difference for your lawn in the year ahead.....…

Exterior Winter Protection with Sandtex

winter canopy

The British winter is synonymous with temperamental weather and therefore it is important that the exterior of your home is safeguarded from the elements. Wood and masonry left untreated, will over time, flake, chip and crack in cold and wet conditions. However, protecting your home is not as hard as it may seem. 


Exterior paint expert Sandtex®, has developed a brand-new range of quick drying paints to make exterior DIY as easy as possible. The Rapid Dry Plus Satin and Gloss ranges, are every DIYers dream as the range of colours is not only extensive, but the range …

Bank of England to speak at GCA conference

Roger Martin-Fagg annual conference

WORLD renowned economist Roger Martin-Fagg will be speaking at the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) 52nd annual conference in Warwickshire this January (January 21 until 24, 2018). 


Roger, who also presented to attendees in 2014, will be focusing on making economics accessible for non-economists and helping management teams think through their strategy during his session with delegates on January 23.


Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, explained: “We’re delighted that Roger has been able to spare the time to come and speak to our delegates again…

Whether you’re driving home for Christmas, or rockin’ round the tree

Christmas dog
Don’t forget to look after your dog’s needs this Christmas season

Christmas is coming and there is much to look forward to for the whole family – including your pet pooch. 

But while your dog may enjoy their own special Christmas meal, or their own gift under the tree, it’s important to remember the busy festive season can be stressful for your pet. Travelling to new places and a busy home can cause anxiety, and that extra cheeky sausage at dinner is not balanced out with an extra-long walk on Boxing Day. 

So to lend a helping hand Siobhan Griffin, Learning and Development…

Kings Seeds: Tomato


There can hardly be a glasshouse in the country that does not have a few tomato plants growing in it. Nothing tastes quite like a tomato freshly picked from your own garden. The range of colours, shapes and sizes is wide as is obvious from our list of over 30 varieties. Even if you only have a window box you can produce your own tomatoes but they are not without their problems. Tomato plants are very delicate, they can succumb to disease, they need a fair amount of attention and just a smell of a hormone spray from a neighbouring garden or field can result in deformed fruits and plants -…

Blooming success for Blackwood tenants

Blackwood Tenants

A GROUP of green fingered tenants have been rewarded for their skills by winning a leading housing and care provider’s ‘Best Community Garden’ award.


Lawrence Kemlo, who has been a tenants at Blackwood’s Charleston development for 23 years, collected his award at the Blackwood AGM in Largs. 


The 72-year old and his fellow gardening club members began working on their garden over a year ago. 


Lawrence said: “We haven’t won any awards before, so it’s great to have won ‘Best Community Garden’ it means everyone’s hard work has paid off. 

Former UK Ambassador 1st speaker unveiled for 2018 GCA conference

Charles Crawford

FORMER UK Ambassador Charles Crawford has been announced this month (November) as the first speaker booked for the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) 52nd annual conference in Warwickshire in January (January 21 until 24, 2018). 


Garden centre owners, managers and their teams who attend the event in Stratford-upon-Avon will be offered expert advice by Charles on the art of negotiation on Tuesday, January 23.


Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, explained: “Charles is a highly skilled negotiator and mediation specialist. He draws on 28 years’ experience…

Ruxley Rose judge sees ‘plant area confidence’


THE 20 finalists in the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Ruxley Rose competition have recently (November, 2017) been judged and there is strong evidence of continued enthusiasm for selling plants at member centres.


The two winners, judged to have the best plant areas, will be announced during the GCA’s annual conference at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon between January 21 and 24, 2018.


Iain Wylie, Chief Executive of the GCA, said: “During the spring our member garden centres received inspections of their plant areas. The scores from these…

Keep it friendly - Ways to keep your canine companion calm around other dogs

By their nature, dogs are a highly social species - they have a natural instinct to live in harmonious groups. However some dogs may find this more difficult than others, potentially experiencing signs of anxiety when they are around other dogs. 

Whether it’s seeing other dogs in the park or living with another four legged friend at home, it’s important that your pooch is calm and comfortable when encountering other dogs. 

As part of their “Happy Dogs, Happy Days” campaign, Lintbells, manufacturers of premium pet supplement YuCALM Dog, is working with dog behavioural…

Festive Favourite Top Up with Smart Garden Products

Smart Garden Products - night lamps

Smart Garden Products can help you achieve some excellent sales in the run up to Christmas – and it’s not too late to top up your orders! From stocking fillers to stunning solar, we can offer something for every price range.

Our stylish Outside In Lantern range offers a wide range ofclassic and contemporary options for the home or garden, either to create a festive atmosphere or as a quality Christmas gift and these would be complemented by our Faux Flame and Flickering LED battery powered flameless candles – available in a popular merchandising unit.

With several new…

Blooming Success for Blackwood Tenant

Blooming Success for Blackwood Tenant

A green fingered Blackwood tenant has been rewarded for his skills by winning the housing and care provider’s prestigious gardening award.
Edward Stanton, who has been a tenant at Blackwood’s Argyle Street development for 25 years, won the ‘Best Hanging Basket’ award at the charity’s AGM in Largs.
The 78-year-old started work on his balcony five years ago and has since installed four hanging baskets which he believes make the perfect decorations for his balcony.
Edward said: “I have always loved gardening and so I couldn’t believe it when I was…

Tips for looking after your garden when you are away

Tips for looking after your garden

Rune Sovndahl co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services
When you are preparing to head off on your holiday and have no one to look after your garden, you might be worried about what state it will be in upon your return.

Do not despair: with a few simple hacks you can effectively look after it while you are away.


The key thing about maintaining your garden when you are going away is preparation and making sure you have done everything you can to limit the work you will have to do upon your return.

Get rid of all the weeds,…

Royal Hedge Grows in Stature!

Royal Hedge Grows in Stature!

Royal Hedge is part of the Dongen based nursery Boomkwekerij E. de Jong in Holland.  For the past 22 years this nursery has grown young trees, 3x transplanted trees, pleached trees, big solitaire, multistemmed trees and also trees and hedging material in containers.


'Royal Hedge' for Screening
In summer 2015, they launched a range of grasses which can be used to create a 'Royal Hedge'. This was a new profile for the 'Royal Hedge' concept and is used mainly for screening. The 'Royal Hedge' is produced in bags from 50cm long. This is very easy to plant and makes a…