Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster.
One of the big retail chains has flower seeds on sale at 25p a packet, while one of the specialist mail-order companies has six nigella plants on offer at £15 plus £4.95 carriage charges.
Leading nurseryman Rowland Smith from Battlesbridge in Essex, speaking to his local church group on bedding plant production, was asked whether he still grows old heritage cultivars.
Driving into the new HTA offices at Chilton is akin to visiting a large country house, with impressive portico, reception area with sparkling, fresh-green and flower-full wonder wall of houseplants and large hall area to ground-floor meeting rooms.
No apology for writing in praise once again of the Monday programme at the Garden Centre Association (GCA) conference, even if the return taxi fare from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrews did cost me £250.
Speaking at the Fleuroselect conference in Germany recently, David Domoney -- in his usual uplifting and inspiring delivery -- focused on how many people are now asset-rich and time-poor.
The Four Oaks Trade Show is a must on my calendar.
July saw the usual cross-country tour of trial grounds and offered the opportunity to catch up with all the latest novelties due to be introduced next season, get re-acquainted with established lines and meet up with a good cross section of the trade. The notable thing for me was the shrinking number of fellow scribes and broadcasters attending these events.
It is easy for senior management in large organisations to take politically correct positions -- for example, deciding on a policy of no-pesticide horticulture -- while for staff at the sharp end having to cultivate plants it is a quite different matter.
The HTA National Plant Show has become a must-attend event for anyone in the plant producing and selling worlds.
The HTA National Plant Show has become a must-attend event for anyone in the plant producing and selling worlds. The quality of plant material, range of standard lines and extensive showing of novelties this year (21-22 June) were quite remarkable.
A press briefing earlier this year outlined ambitious RHS plans. The investment of £160m was announced to include dramatic changes to the Wisley Garden entrance, a new building for the science department, the unique "Y-front" shaped building on the hilltop site to include a large restaurant, plus a new fruit and vegetable garden.
What price loyalty? When it comes to insurance companies, road rescue organisations, energy suppliers and the like newcomers often get a better deal than long-serving customers who trustingly pay on receipt of invoice. Loyal members of staff certainly deserve special treatment and having worked for this publication and its predecessor titles for more than 50 years I would say that, would I not?
Gardening Team Leader
Garden Transformation North London
Chelsea Physic Garden London (West), London (Greater)
National Trust Arlington, Barnstaple
Gardener x 2
National Trust Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
Regent’s University London London (Central), London (Greater)