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Dig It - Discussions on Gardening Topics

A chat with the President

Season 2, Ep. 18

Alan’s down-to-earth world of gardening

Peter Brown and Chris Day chat with horticultural supremo Alan Down in this latest Dig It podcast.

Alan has been incredibly active in the gardening trade from early days in commercial growing in

Germany, developing skills in germinating tree seeds and in Somerset to setting up a very successful

garden centre and most recently taking on a new role - President of the Horticultural Trades

Association. Alan is an accomplished gardening writer and broadcaster, who also enjoys worldwide

travel, photography and even deer management!

Plant mentions Wildflowers, pot chrysanthemums, spray chrysanthemum, tomato, bedding plants,

Japanese maples, hellebores, hardy ferns, ornamental grasses, and native trees.

Alan’s desert island plant: Apple tree or a citrus lemon or lime if the island was in the tropics.

Product mentions and useful links

Two recommended peat-free composts Melcourt SylvaGrow Compost, Westland New Horizon


The popular gift vouchers from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) available from all Garden

Centres and Nurseries who are HTA members.

Hilliers Nurseries (container growing unit)

Edible Bus Stop Group

Cannington College

Pershore College

Royal Horticultural Society education

British Deer Society

International Plant Propagator’s Society

Luminaries: Sir Harold Hillier, Roy Lancaster, Stewart Chambers and Stewart Brookfield, head of

horticulture at Somerset College of Agriculture and Horticulture in the 1970s.

HTA toxic plants list

You can follow Alan on these platforms

You can read Alan’s Blogs on gardening and travel on his website

Gardening Candid app

Alan on Instagram @alanedown Twitter @AlanEDown Candide UK: @AlanGardenMaster

Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for providing the music

More episodes

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  • 7. June '24 in the Garden

    June is here and with it brings the sun and fun in the garden! In this month’s Dig It, Peter Brown and Chris Day discuss the latest gardening news stories, events, and those all-important gardening tasks, plus celebrating DIG IT’s inclusion into the Rephonic top 15 gardening podcasts!What’s On3 - 9th June British Flowers Week celebrating the variety and skills of the nation’s flower growers.8th June: Royal Windsor Flower Show in Windsor Great Park, Windsor.8 - 9th June: London Open Gardens event.13 - 16th June: BBC Gardeners' World Live at the NEC in Birmingham.21st - 23rd June; Blenheim Palace Flower Show, Oxfordshire.People, gardens, products and plants mentioned. Tom Stuart Smith, Val Bourne, Jonathan Sheppard - Cosmos National Collection and Dame Judi Dench plants the Sycamore gap seedling. Water Aid Garden, Octavia Hill Community Garden with the National Trust. The RHS No Adults Allowed Garden, Malvern Garden Houseplant Studios, Hanley Open Side Building from Malvern, and Taylors Bulbs win their 31st Gold medal.Miracle Gro, Tomorite Tomato Feed, Enviromesh or garlic spray to deter carrot fly. Slug copper tape, Slug Gone, beer traps and coffee grounds.Euonymus Green Spire and Euonymus Jean Hugues (good box alternative). Rose ‘Emma Bridgewater’ from David Austin and the ‘With Courage’ from Peter Beales.Make direct sowings of Peas, Beans, Courgettes, Sweetcorn, Lettuce, Carrot, Spring Onions, Radish and flowers Nasturtiums, cornflowers, and calendulas.NewsWinner of the RHS Plant of the Year Prunus ‘Starlight’. Runner up: Cosmos ‘Cherry Chocolate’.Bromeliads cultivated at Walton Hall in Cheshire.Growing plants should be on the curriculum.Kew ‘Carbon’ Garden created.Scientists eavesdrop the sounds from the soil.Long grass is benefiting butterflies says charity.RHS Garden Wisley opens Oakwood Summerhouse to pay homage to Ellen Willmott.National Trust revamps some gardens by future proofing with more resilient planting.Aviva issues flood risk warning as residents turn to artificial lawns.Jekka McVicar recipient of the Prince Edward Award.Oudolf landscape opens at Wisley.Lack of collective of nouns of trees.Auckland gardens regeneration in County Durham.Roses at risk from lack of genetic diversity.A UK first Tulbaghia National Collection at Eastwood Park Prison.25 years of research creates UK first for oak seeds.King Charles III to continue as Patron of the National Garden Scheme, and is the new patron of the RHS.Top 5 bedding plants 1 Geranium Zonal Mixed 9-pack, 2 Geranium Zonal, 13cm, 3 Hedera (ivy) Mixed, 9cm, 4 Geranium Ivy Leaf Mixed and at 5 Petunia Mixed carry pack.In our next podcast we chat with Jessica Naish from Buckingham Flower Farm about the growing cut flowers.Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 6. Huw Richards, Growing the Self Sufficiency Garden

    In this episode of Dig It Peter Brown and Chris Day chat with Huw Richards. Huw’s mission is simple - to help as many people as possible to grow their own food. He documents his productive garden through his hugely popular YouTube Channel. He’s just published a new book with Sam Cooper, The Self-Sufficiency Garden book, which focuses on the growing and cooking side of grow your own.Plants mentioned: Apples, Asparagus, Basil, Basil Mint, Beetroot, Beans, Blackcurrants, Carrots, Comfrey and Nettle Tea, Courgettes, Garlic, Gooseberries, Garden peas, Leeks, Nasturtiums, Onions, Pea shoots, Padron Peppers, Potatoes, Runner beans, Spring Cabbage, Sweetcorn, Squash, Tomatoes and Turnips.Products mentioned: BBQs, Chickens (for eggs and manure), Firepit, Raised beds, James Wong’s Grow Your Own Drugs: Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies and Beauty Treats book and Water Butts. Making Jadam Liquid Fertiliser video.Desert Island essentials: A Swiss army pocket knife and maybe practise the new art of ‘sand gardening’!Horticultural heroes: Huw’s Dad has been a major influence, who was in turn influenced by the hit BBC TV comedy The Good Life, No-Dig guru Charles Dowding, John Seymour, Percy Thrower, and James Wong.Follow Huw on Instagram @huwsgardenFollow Sam Cooper on Instagram @chef.sam.blackHuw Richards YouTube ChannelHuw has written four books with DK: Veg in One Bed (2019), Grow Food For Free (2020), The Vegetable Grower’s Handbook (2022) and The Self-Sufficiency Garden, written with good friend and colleague Sam Copper (2024).Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 5. May '24 in the Garden

    May is the month our beds, allotments and containers explode with colour and energy.What’s on3rd - 4th May Toby’s Garden Festival at Powderham Castle, Kenton. 3rd - 5th May BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu. 9 – 12th May RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Three Counties Showground, Malvern. 12th May Borde Hill Specialist Spring Plant Fair, Haywards Heath. 17th - 26th May Floralies Internationales, Vendee, France. 20th May World Bee Day 21st - 25th May RHS Chelsea Flower Show. 25th - 28th May Blenheim Palace Flower Show25th May - 2nd June National Children’s Gardening Week will again be partnering with THE WORLD OF PETER RABBIT™ this May half term.30th May - 3rd June Bloom at the Visitors Centre, Phoenix Park, Dublin. Plants mentioned: Aquatics - water lilies, marginals and oxygenators can be established now. Camellias, Cauliflowers, Cherries, Cucumbers, Chili peppers, Courgette, Daffodils, Dahlias, ‘Enorma’ Runner Beans, French bean ‘Cobra’, Forsythia, Gooseberries, Helenium, Hosta, Iris, Kale, Malus (crab apples), ‘Padron’ Pepper, Potatoes, Roses, Sedum, Sweet peas, Sunflowers, Sweet Corn and Tulips.Products mentioned: Fertilisers – Doff, Growmore and Tomorite, Tea for soaking bean seeds and Speedplanters.This month’s Dig It Top 5: Most popular liquid feedsNewsClimate change and verticillium wilt puts brewers hops under threat.Kew scientists assess extinction risk of flowering species using computer modellingReaders to the trade magazine Horticulture Week voted for Alan Titchmarsh and bagged compost as the most influential person and product impacting the gardening world over the past 50 years.A major revamp of Torbay’s 100-year-old Italian garden brings 1,600 new plants after 40 cabbage palms were felled.Yorkshire base, fourth generation rhubarb grower @ehubarbrobert is a social media hit.An OBE for garden designer and landscape architect Tom Stuart-Smith. The RHS have awarded Neil Lucas of Knoll Gardens and Nurseryman Chris Young the prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH). The Elizabeth Medal of Honour was bestowed on non-dig guru Charles Dowding for his outstanding contribution to horticulture as a non-professional gardener.New initiative to revive railway hedges.Latest DNA fingerprinting could help identify lost apples that are resistant to climate change.International Women’s Day: 100+ Leading Women in Horticulture 2024 announced.University of Sussex launches The Big Bee Hotel experiment to discover more about bees that nest in artificially created habitats.New Tulip variety named after King Charles III unveiled at Keukenhof.Garden Organics says the Government isn’t moving fast enough on the peat ban.RHS Chelsea Flower Show gardens go through ‘green audit’ for the first time.£12million Lottery Heritage Fund to restore Great Yarmouth’s historic winter gardens, the last surviving Victorian ironwork glasshouse on a seaside promenade.London’s Royal Parks have openings for ten apprentices.Weather causes concern with potato farmers. Discover how to take part in this year’s Henchman Topiary awards.Gardens start to bounce back visitor numbers wise with Kew Garden and RHS Wisley and the Royal Botanic Garden at Edinburgh taking the top spots.Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 4. Uncovering the legacy of Stowe Gardens with Head Gardener Barry Smith

    In this edition of Dig It, Peter Brown and Chris Day chat with Barry Smith, Head Gardener at the National Trust’s Stowe Landscape Gardens, near Buckingham. Barry has been at Stowe for over 40 years and head gardener for over 25 so he knows this garden with immense passion and understanding. Stowe, a world-famous 18th century garden was created by such luminaries as Charles Bridgeman, William Kent and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. For over 300 years these spectacular gardens have been welcoming tourists far and wide.Plants mentioned: Roses, annuals (bedding), Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), Pinus (pine), Honeysuckle, wildflowers, Snake’s head Fritillary (featured in Barry’s funny story), Lime, Beech, English Elm and Dutch Elm resistant varieties and Snowdrops (Galanthus).The Gardens Trust, National Trust and the Buckinghamshire Gardens Trust (for networking, sharing knowledge and celebrating success stories locally and beyond).Barry’s top two favourite gardens: Stourhead Gardens near Mere, Wiltshire and Stackpole, near Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales.Monuments, specific areas and statues mentioned at Stowe. Grecian Valley Ha-Ha, Oxford Water Lake, Lamport Garden (on-going project), Temple of Concord and Victory (Grecian Temple), Stowe School, The New Inn (old coaching house), Grand Avenue approach to the Corinthian Arch, Buckingham Parish Church, Marble Arch, and The Ice House.Stowe gardens and school have been used for many film locations including The Crown, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Slaughterhouse Rulez, Stardust and in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough.Barry’s Desert Island luxuries Felco secateurs and a Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera).To find out more about Stowe Landscape gardens click on this link and maybe become a volunteer.Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 3. April '24 in the Garden

    Many of our gardens are enjoying much earlier blooms this spring due to the mild and damp weather conditions. Peter Brown and Chris Day bring us the latest gardening news, what’s on’s and topical gardening advice for the busy month of April.What’s on6th -7th April: Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show at Royal Cornwall Show Ground near Wadebridge, features a Grow Your Own space and Tipi Talks as well as dazzling displays and exquisite exhibits.Saturday 13th April: Hanami Blossom Day at Brogdale Farm, Faversham, Kent. Open 10am-3pm. Discover Japanese art and culture amidst the breathtaking blossoming orchards, plus so much more.15th – 28th April: A celebration of Spring: from blossom to bluebells at Hever Castle Gardens in Kent.18th - 21st April: RHS Urban Show set in the heart of Manchester (Depot Mayfield), celebrates your own oasis in this new immersive gardening experience.Sunday 21st April: Plant Fairs Roadshow at Arundel Castle in West Sussex. Open 10am-5pm. Expert nurseries will be displaying their plants in the grounds of Arundel Castle as part of the Plant Fairs Roadshow.Monday 29th April: Rachel de Thame: A Flower Garden for Pollinators talk at the Garden Museum in Lambeth, London, by Rachel de Thame and botanical artist Lauren Lusk yours about her new book.Plants mentioned: Comfrey (for tea), Hebe, Narcissi, Muscari (grape hyacinths), Tulips, Hydrangea ‘Cherry Explosion,’ Rose ‘Munstead Wood’, Magnolia ‘Stellata’ (Star magnolia), Primulas and Polyanthus.Seeds to sow: Cosmos, Cowslips, Gazanias, Geraniums, Marigolds, Nasturtium, Sunflowers and wildflowers. Veggies: Parsnips, Carrots, and salad crops.Products mentioned: Lawn seed mixtures including Johnsons Any Time, Tuff Lawn, Shade and Meadow wildflower mixture, feed Vitax Q4, Empathy Afterplant, Sulphate of Potash, Fungus Fighter for preventative box treatment. Box alternatives - Euonymus ‘Jean Hugues’ and E. ‘Green Spire’, Evergreen honeysuckle hedging. Flowering hedges including Lavender and Hedge Germander. Garden hoe. Water retaining gel, Vitax Q4 and continuous (slow release) control fertiliser.Peter and Chris’s bluebell wood recommendations: Hazelborough Woods (Silverstone, Northamptonshire) and The Woodland Trust’s College Wood (Nash, Milton Keynes).News101 Charles Darwin lookalikes gather at threatened 550-year-old oak tree in record attempt protest.Global tree of the year winners announced.Sycamore gap tree updateCalifornian Redwoods make it big in the UKGovernment dashes hopes for horticulture with underwhelming reformsMore Scottish gardens open under the SGS to help the Perennial charity.Finalist of the RHS Britain in Bloom competition announced.International Orchid Show moves to Gardeners’ World Live.Glow-in-the-dark Petunia ‘Firefly’ launched in the United States.A new Rose ‘With Courage’ in conjunction with RNLI from rose breeder Peter Beales.A change in shift of food production with wider diversification of crops.The NHS could save £6.7 billion a year if everyone ate plant based food.New Backyard Biodiversity Report from Garden Organics.Top RHS plant diseases ranked from results in 2023.Dig It Top 5: This month Grass seed best sellers.Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 2. For the love of Chillies, with Jason Breed

    The temperature rises in this edition of Dig It as Peter Brown and Chris Day chat with passionate chilli grower Jason Breed. Jason, a seed specialist from Moles Seeds, gives a full rundown of the growing of these popular fiery fruits, a look at what makes chillies so hot, plus some insightful advice on getting the best from your plants and using them in the kitchen. Chilli peppers are varieties of the berry-fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, which are members of the nightshade family Solanaceae, cultivated for their pungency. Chilli peppers are widely used in many cuisines as a spice to add ‘heat’ to dishes. There are many health benefits associated with chillies too. The Scoville Scale is a measurement of pungency (spiciness or ‘heat’). Jason famously created a Chocolate Chip Chilli Cookie featuring Habanero chillies at the Garden Centre. Products mentioned: Products derived from chillies including sprays for bears, elephants (using barriers of chilli plants) and as an effective squirrel deterrent. Use Vermiculite at seed sowing time. Use a decent seed and cutting peat-free compost such as Levington’s. LED plant lights to help growth. Hydroponic systems lend themselves to chilli production. Use Organic contact sprays for caterpillars, greenflies, flea beetles, sawflies and whitefly control. Fertilisers including Chilli Focus Premium Liquid Concentrated Fertiliser. Chilli varieties mentioned: ‘Apache’, ‘Quick Fire’ (30k on the Scoville scale), F1 hybrid, is the fastest maturing chilli available from seed with the prolific fiery red fruits produced in as little as 50 days from sowing. ‘Red Air’ (Bird’s eye type, Scoville Scale 70-80k), ‘Red Flame’ (Cayenne type, 30-50k), ‘Rocky’, a Jalapeno hybrid, 8k and ‘Santana’ (hybrid Anaheim, 2.5-3.5k).Open pollinated types include Scotch Bonnet, Habanero and Tabasco, where seeds can be successfully saved from these plants. Guinness World Records declares Pepper X as world’s new hottest chili pepper. A garden axe would be Jason’s essential castaway item. The latest Guinness World Chilli eating record. Useful linksChillies available from the Garden Centre including Padron Chilli Pepper and De Cayenne, South Devon Chilli Farm and Chilli Ranch. Jason also mentioned a Bedfordshire commercial chilli grower. Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 1. March '24 in the Garden

    The traditional starting point for many gardeners - Easter - falls early this year, so there’s much to be getting on with. Dig It’s Peter Brown and Chris Day bring us the latest events, news and topical advice for the month.Plants mentioned: Forsythia, Snowdrops, Winter Aconites, Narcissi, Ulmus wredei, Buxus, Euonymus Jean Hugues and Green Spire, Daffodils, Dahlias, Gladioli, Freesia, Tuberous begonias, Sunflowers, Zinnia, and Cosmos. Veg plug plants, seeds of Cabbage, Tomatoes, Runner beans, Courgettes, Squashes, Rhubarb varieties Timperley Early, Glaskin’s Perpetual and Victoria. Onion Stuttgarter Giant, Hercules F1 and Centurion F1.Products mentioned: Garden hoe, Compost mulch, Hotbin Composter and potato polybags.What’s onTuesday 2nd March The Woodland Trust, our charity of the year will be joining us at the Garden Centre.Tuesday 2nd - 10th March: Philadelphia Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Centre, Philadelphia, USSunday 17th March: Rare Plant Fair at The Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset, 10am - 4pm.20th -24th March: Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, Royal Exhibition Building & CarltonWednesday 20th March: Orchid Day at the Garden Centre with Manos Kanellos, 11am-3pm.Saturday 23rd March: Digby Hall Plant Fair, Sherborne, Dorset. 10am-2pm. Free admission.Saturday 23rd – Sunday 24th March: Falmouth Spring Flower Show. This historic show features 100 classes, expert talks and activities.Monty Don’s Spanish Gardens on BBC iPlayerNewsTV Dr Amir Khan's thoughts on gardening and mental healthA new study by the University of Surrey’s Global Centre for Clean Air Research highlighting useful evergreens which are best to clean the air.Plant Heritage are asking gardeners across the UK to search for any rare or unusual plants in their Threatened Plants of the Year 2024 Competition.New naturally resistant Elms are planted in Scotland.Help for hedgehogs as robotic lawn mowers create a new safety concern.Garden Centre highlights extent of current retail crime and violence.A garden planned for Queen Elizabeth.A call to arms from Monty Don encouraging shoppers to buy peat-free.Lichens on the International Space Station.Stink bug causes chaos Down Under.Name your plants from Westland research.Seiont Nurseries embrace peat-free production.A new magnolia discovered in northern Honduras.Garden resilience is set to change Sheffield Park and Gardens in major re-vamp.Floral clock to be restored at Weston-Super-Mare.Brogdale; One of the world’s largest fruit tree collections sold.Blueberry blues as scientists reveal the secret of its colour.Welsh gardeners are offered £20 vouchers to remove Cotoneaster horizontalis.Time to get spotting with the RHS Bumblebee Trust survey.Celebrating 125 years of the HTA.Mr Plant Geek is the host for the new RHS Urban Show in Manchester. Dig It’s top 5 top selling composts of last season. Top seller Jack’s Magic All Purpose Improved, 2nd The Gardeners Multi-Purpose from Westland 3rd Levington Multi-Purpose plus John Innes, 4th Miracle-Gro Peat Free Compost and 5th Westland New Horizon All Plant CompostOur thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music.
  • 24. The Orchid Expert Peter White

    In this edition of Dig It Peter Brown and Chris Day chat with orchid supremo Peter White. Peter began growing orchids in 1980 and he has received many awards including RHS Gold medals for his orchid displays at RHS shows and he is a qualified judge of the RHS Orchid Committee. He is currently involved in the breeding of miniature Cymbidium and miniature Phalaenopsis. Peter White is a popular speaker on orchid growing and has supported Buckingham Garden Centre over many years.Plants mentioned: Cymbidiums, Phalaenopsis ‘Sogo Yukidian’, Kalanchoe, Echeveria, Streptocarpus, and Saintpaulia (African Violets).People, places, and products mentioned: Peter took us back to the large orchid collection at Aynho Park House, with his mentor gardener and orchid enthusiast Ted Humphris. Between 1938 and 1965 Ted showed plants he had grown to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Shows at Westminster, and he won 25 awards. Ted’s most famous plant was an orchid, Cattleya Portia which Peter discusses. Ted tended it for almost 50 years, and the second time he exhibited it at Westminster in November 1948 there were over 520 blooms, making it the biggest orchid in the world (at the time). Ted wrote two books: Garden Glory about his life as a gardener, and Apricot Village, a more general book giving snapshots of life in Aynho during Ted’s lifetime.Solihull Orchid Society.Orchid Judging and The British Orchid Council.RHS Orchid Committee. The Dutch company Floricultura are the biggest propagator of orchids with the largest laboratories in the world. The 23rd World Orchid Conference and the 20th Taiwan International Orchid Show. Orchid Focus Repotting Compost and Orchid Focus Bloom and Orchid Focus Grow fertiliser. Make sure you use a fertiliser on your orchids which contains no urea (Uric nitrogen). Use clear pots for Phalaenopsis - so light gets to the roots and you can observe the roots easily.For cymbidiums use Chempak® High Nitrogen Feed - Formula 2. A soluble rapid growth feed which gets leaves and stems off to a strong start in summer and then follow with a Tomato Feed in autumn. Houseplant Compost, Vermiculite, potting grit. Opti flora – producers of extra-large and special Phalaenopsis. Dibleys Nursery – streptocarpus specialists. The Dutch Flower Auction in Aalsmeer, Netherlands.How dyed blue orchids are created on YouTube.Peter’s Orchid accessories website.Desert Island mentions: Phalaenopsis and a decent Swiss army knife with plenty of gadgets!Our thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music. 
  • 23. February '24 in the Garden

    It’s February and the garden is starting to awake. In this edition of Dig It Peter Brown and Chris Day bring us the latest events, plants and people making the headlines as well as some topical advice on getting the best from your garden this month.What’s on1st - 29th February: Snowdrop season at Waterperry Gardens featuring over 60 different snowdrop varieties. Gardens open 10am - 5pm.3rd February: Graft and Grow Day at Buckingham Garden Centre and held in conjunction with The Mid-Shires Orchard Group, 10am - 4pm. Scion wood swap, fruit tree grafting demos, rootstocks, and fruit trees to buy and much more.3rd February - 10th March: Explore RHS Wisley's glasshouses for their annual Houseplant Takeover with the theme 'Plants Before Time'.8th February - 1 May: Danger and Desire: The Seductive Power of Orchids. Exhibition at RHS Wisley.Saturday 10th February: ‘Golden and Delicious - Edwardian Gardens’ A lecture by Caroline Holmes. Writtle University College, Writtle. 11.30am - 13.30pm.Top selling potatoes in 2023 1st Charlotte (2nd early) 2nd Desire (main) 3rd Kestrel (2nd) 4th Cara (main) 5th Arran Piot (1st).Plant mentions: Arbutus unedo, Betula (Himalayan birch), Broad beans, Dogwoods including ‘Midwinter Fire’ (Cornus) Hardy orchids, Fargesia (clump forming bamboo), Hedera (ivy), Mahonia, Mentha (mint), bedding Geraniums, Garlic, Sweet peas, Lettuce, Chinese money plant, Sansevieria Cylindrica Braided and Witch Hazel (Hamamelis).People, places and product mentions: Ashridge Forest, Gertrude Jekyll, Edwardian Garden style, Georgian Parks and Gardens Round-Up weedkiller, Kathy Brown’s Garden featured on BBC Gardeners’ World, Landscape weed-suppressing fabric, Melcourt peat-free composts, houseplants fill one of the Malvern Garden Buildings at the Garden Centre, Nest boxes, Tim Chafor, Composted Bark and Hot Bin Composting.NewsDormice under threat from wetter weather and climate change.Bamboo is the new Japanese knotweed.Kew experts predict horticultural trends Grapes in, apples out – RHS predicts garden trends as climate changesBumper year for British wine growers as output almost doubles.Dutch growers benefit from increased energy subsidies.The Dutch Flower Association acknowledges peat-free growing medium for the first time.First skatepark incorporated into a Chelsea Flower Show garden sparks debateA Tasmanian garden wins the world’s ugliest lawn competition (video)DEFRA launches Forest of the National competition with the overall winner receiving £10m to fund their project.The RHS launches an AI chatbot called Chatbotanist to provide advice for members through their phone or PCOldest fungal plant named after children’s book author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter.Biochar start-up Earthly Biochar has come up with a government-funded project that’s setting out to help save Britain's ash trees.New Mr Fothergill’s wildlife seed mix launched by BBC Children in Need.New findings suggest flowers are evolving to self-pollinate2023 was a record year for the National Garden SchemeOur thanks to Chiltern Music Therapy for supplying the music