Kate Lowe is the editor and business director of Horticulture Week.
By giving their emphatic agreement with the sector that public parks are "at a tipping point" in danger of "severe consequences", the authors of the House of Commons Communities & Local Government committee parks inquiry report have firmly placed the parks crisis on the parliamentary agenda (see p9).
Since 2013, when the then Tesco-owned Dobbies jumped from taking 12 to 19 places in the Garden Retail Top 100 list - and Wyevale Garden Centres leaped from 10 to 14 - the major multiples have made little of the running in our annual review of the garden industry, tracking the turnover of individual sites.
Seasoned garden industry professionals know all too well not to expect too much from an early Easter - irrespective of whether centres are, or are not, allowed to trade on Easter Sunday.
The September trade show season could hardly have begun better for the garden industry with exhibitors and visitors alike at the Four Oaks Trade Show in fine mood after a good gardening year, and looking ahead to even better in 2016. Meanwhile, garden centres attending Glee were reporting sales up 10 per cent or more on 2014.
As Defra's announcement concerning the appointment of a "joint-venture partner" for the Food & Environment Research Agency (FERA) draws closer, the questions concerning the impact of the proposed sell-off of yet another chunk of public science only get bigger.
The close of the year is always a time to take stock of achievements and last week's BALI National Landscape Awards did just that, with 850 of the industry's finest celebrating the very best in UK landscaping practice.
Team Leader / Foreman Landscape Maintenance
CMC Landscape Tiverton, Devon
Environmental Team Leader
Halton Housing Trust Widnes, Cheshire
Soft Landscape Technician
Kent County Council Ashford, Kent
OCS Group (UK) Ltd St James Park and Green Park London
Estate Gardener Private Estate
Private Estate Buckinghamshire Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire