Stewart Garden top planter supplier at Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase 2016

stewart logo 2013Stewart Garden had a major presence at this year’s Ball Colegrave Summer Showcase at Milton, near Banbury that took place from 11 to 29 July.

The company was the predominant planter supplier to the trade event and featured heavily in designed gardens across the site.

Exhibits included schemes pairing Ball Colegrave’s plants with Stewart Garden’s Varese, Lead Effect, Blenheim and Sylvan planters. Also unmissable was the striking red geranium display in the Stewart Garden Corinthian Black planter.

Exhibits at the event demonstrated to trade buyers how they can maximise the market potential of bedding in planters. As patios become increasingly popular, the market for combinations that provide the instant colour, wide availability and easy maintenance that container gardening offers is growing.

Ball Colgrave 1Ball Colegrave is a premium supplier of bedding plants to the UK garden trade. Its annual Summer Showcase attracts over 2,000 trade visitors, from independents and national companies to major groups.

Top garden centres and leading retailers and DIY outlets from around the country were also in attendance.

Stewart Garden had a stand in the main reception and meeting area.

Alan Slack, Marketing Manager at Stewart Garden, said: “This is another example of our great relationships in the garden industry. Stewart and Ball Colegrave are Banbury based, so this local alliance is great news for both businesses. We’re certain that garden trade customers were inspired by the joint activity.”

Ball Colegrave 3Stuart Lowen, marketing manager at Ball Colegrave, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Stewart Garden. Our partnership, which brings planters and plants together to create inspirational features, captures the imagination of the fast expanding number of people with patio gardens. Stewart Garden’s high quality planters made a fantastic contribution to the presentation of our plant varieties and visitor experience.”

Stewart Garden’s grow your own products, planters, watering equipment, propagators and garden accessories are available in over 1,600 outlets across the UK and Eire. These include DIY outlets such as B&Q, Homebase and Wilko and garden centres such as Dobbies and Klondyke/Strikes, Wyevale and over 600 independent garden centres.

Ball Colegrave 2

GIMA Awards 2016 – And the winners are……

GIMA-Awards-Logo-2016.fw_-300x240Culminating in a sell-out event, the GIMA Awards 2016 – held on July 14th at Celtic Manor – were once again the pinnacle of the garden retail industry’s event calendar. Bringing together manufacturers, retailers, members of the press and industry figures, the event celebrated the great and good, with 16 winners taking home the accolade of GIMA award winners.

GIMA Director, Vicky Nuttall, commented on tonight’s event. “I would like to be the first to extend my congratulations to all of the winners. This year saw a record number of entries to the awards, making the judges work even harder as the calibre of product on offer was outstanding. However, with some real stand-out entries, and some tough deliberation, the judges were unanimous in their final decisions – all of which are highly deserving of their awards. My sincerest congratulations to all our winners. They have all demonstrated exceptional qualities, from cutting edge design to inspirational retail support.

This year, the GIMA judging panel was made up of Simon Bourne of Perrywood Garden Centre, Liz Brennanfrom Dobbies, Decco’s Chris GladwinCaroline Linger from Wyevale, Scott McCabe from Polhill Garden Centre, Choice Marketing’s Michelle de Lavis TraffordJulian Winfield from Haskins and GCA Chair, Simon Wright of Stax Trade Centres, and finally Neil Pope, editor of Garden Trade News.

“My thanks also have to go to the panel of dedicated judges who gave up their valuable time to take part in this year’s judging process. Their combined expertise and market knowledge has been invaluable throughout the judging process, and has helped to create one of the strongest list of winners.

“Finally, I extend my thanks to all those that have entered the awards in 2016, as well as our sponsors, without whom we would not be able to put on an event of this scale.”


GIMA Sword of Excellence 

Winner: Smart Garden Products – Eureka! Solar Lightbulb

What the judges said: “The one product you want to take away and put in your garden centre”, “The strongest product in the room”, and “One of the best new products this year.”

GCA Supplier of the Year 

Winner: Taylors Bulbs

Finalists: Decco, Scotts Miracle Gro Company, Westland Horticulture

What the judges said: “The team always strive hard to give the service we expect,” and

“Simply put, they deliver a good quality product, with a fair price, and deliver on time.”

 Gardenex Export Achievement Award 

Winner: Hozelock – Hozelock Easy Drip Range

What the judges said: “Hozelock’s new Easy drip range was designed to drive international growth by developing an automatic watering system that was easy to understand, buy and ultimately use. They have grown their international irrigation business significantly in France through DIY retailers such as Mr Bricolarge and Garden Centres such as Jardiland and Truffaut. Similar successes have also been achieved across Italy, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany and Russia.”

PetQuip Export Achievement Award.

Winner: Symply Pet Products – Canagan Range of Cat & Dog Food

What the judges said: “The Canagan brand of dog and cat foods was launched in the UK in 2012. Following the launch, export markets were targeted at Interzoo Germany and Zoomark Italy initially. This was followed by the Far East, Scandinavia and most of Europe. The brand ethos, product performance and rapid growth has gained Canagan a reputation as one of the leading grain free pet food brands in Europe. Canagan now enjoys distribution in 30 countries including Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan.”


Garden Care 

Winner: Neudorff UK – CleanLawn 20 kg

Finalists: Scotts Miracle-Gro – Miracle-Gro Orchid Mist; Scotts Miracle-Gro – Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Concentrate

About the winner: “Unlike existing ‘all-in-one’ lawn products, CleanLawn does not require children and pets to be excluded from the treated area after application and does not require a spreader to be applied without the risk of scorching. In addition, raking out dead moss and thatch is not necessary as these waste materials are ‘eaten’ by microorganisms, leaving you more time to enjoy your lush, green lawn.”

Growing, Planting Equipment and Sundries

Winner: Hozelock – Cloud Controller

Finalists: Briers – William Morris Collection; FITT SpA – YOYO the self-extending and retracting hose; Hozelock – Hozelock Easy Drip

About the winner: “The app and technology is unique and owned by Hozelock, and is the first app operated automated watering controller to be launched in the UK. No other product is available within the UK at mass-market price level. Gardeners can control their garden watering wherever they are, with time saving, water saving and plant health benefits.”

 Garden Tools, Machinery and Implements

Winner: Crest Garden: Kent & Stowe – Kent & Stowe Lawn Edge Trimmer

Finalists: EP Barrus (Wolf & Wilkinson Sword) – Ultralight Hedge Shear; Burgon & Ball – Groundbreaker Spade; Spear & Jackson – Dual Compound Telescopic Bypass Loppers

About the winner: “The lawn edger uses body weight for easy entry into the ground. The comfortable foot plate allows a ‘walk and cut’ rocking motion above the blade, meaning edging has finally become a quick and painless task, while always producing a clean perfect edge.”

Outdoor Leisure

Winner: Zest 4 Leisure – Bahama Round Table and Two Stool Set

Finalists: Zest 4 Leisure – Harriett Table and Two Bench Set; Fallen Fruits – Flower Outdoor Pouffe

About the winner: “The Bahama round high table and matching round stools is new to the market because of its height which makes it ideal when having a BBQ and offers an opportunity for outdoor informal entertaining. It is made from FSC pressure treated timber that can stand the test of time.”

 Plants, Seeds and Bulbs

Winner: Hawkesmill Nurseries – ‘Herbs for….’ collection

Finalists: Hawkesmill Nurseries – Geum ‘Scarlet Tempest’; Scotts Miracle-Gro – Miracle-Gro Gro-ables

About the winner: “New concept and new retro feel with an innovative twist, providing the combination of gardening and the outdoor leisure buzz words of the moment; barbecue, cocktails and tea. The herbs are easy to grow and the perfect selection for each theme.”

Garden Landscaping

Winner: Kelkay – Granite Cobble Mat Sets Quarter Circle

Finalists: Zest 4 Leisure – Brighton Corner Arbour; Forest Garden – Vale Timber Greenhouse – 6′ x 4′; Forest Garden – Basil Multiplay Playhouse

About the winner: “These Granite Cobble Mats are a great alternative to normal concrete paving, they are hard wearing and can transform cracked and uneven surfaces. Great to add a feature point to patios or laid as decorative paths.”

 Garden Clothing & Gifts

Winner: Briers – Advanced Gloves

Finalists: Burgon & Ball – Poc-kit gardener’s utility belt; Town and Country – The Collection

About the winner: “Designed to bring together innovative combinations of features, materials, coatings and manufacturing techniques for garden work wear that is cutting-edge. Creating quality gloves adapted for specific tasks, in formats not previously available in the garden centre market. Ultimately driving innovation forward within this sector with cutting-edge, affordably-priced designs.”

 Pet Care, Aquatics and Wild Bird Care Products

JOINT Winners: Gardman – Poppy Feeder Dish & Burgon & Ball – Creaturewares

Finalists: Westland Horticulture – Peckish Easy Feeder; Petface – Loktop Squirrel Proof Seed Feeder

About the winners: Praise for Gardman: “Great for instore promotions and supporting great charities such as the Royal British Legion and Poppy Scotland.” Comments on Burgon & Ball: “Carrying a riveted metal Burgon & Ball badge, Creaturewares tins for the first time use the element of brand to increase the perceived value of the product. The combination of high quality construction and attractive, humorous design brings real innovation to pet food storage.”

Garden Lighting, Water Features & Ornamentation 

Winner: Smart Garden Products – Eureka! Solar Lightbulb

Finalists: Smart Garden Products – Snowdrop Solar Flower; Smart Garden Products – Bluebell Solar Flower

About the winner: “New innovative product to the market this year, taking a steer from the current trend for retro design: the good old fashioned light bulb. Solar means there are no messy wires, instant lighting and they can be hung anywhere in the garden and are easy to move around. Supplied in an attractive merchandiser.”


Best Point of Sale Material

Winner: Crest Garden: Flopro – Flopro Gun Display Stand

Finalists: Sherwin Williams (Ronseal) – Ronseal Fencelife Plus+; Smart Garden Products – Eureka! Solar Lightbulb; Smart Garden Products – Super Bright Display; Smart Garden Products – Water Features

About the winner: “There is currently no other watering brand displaying their products in this way, bringing product off the back wall and adding drama to the watering category. The stand is space conscious measuring 42cm (w) x 85cm (l), made entirely of cardboard it’s particularly easy to manoeuvre around the store.”

 Best Consumer Product Packaging

Winner: Hozelock – Hozelock Easy Drip Range

Finalists: Kelkay – RHS Horticultural Grits & Sands; Crest Garden: Flopro – Flopro packaging

About the winner: “The packaging format is new to the automated watering market, innovatively demonstrating the application and benefits of the product and eliminating confusion in the consumer selection process. Including kits encourages gardeners to trial automatic watering and return to add and extend projects at a later time, further expanding the market.”

 Best Marketing Communication Award

Winner: Ronseal – Ronseal Fencecare Campaign / Channel 4 Takeover

Finalists: Crest Garden: Flopro – Flopro ‘No Leaks’ campaign; Westland Horticulture – Not Sure, Gro-Sure campaign

About the winner: “Ronseal – Channel 4 Takeover: Literally took over a three-minute advert break during the hit show Gogglebox, where you were watching a fence being painted with its Fencelife product for the whole duration. 3.4 million people watched paint dry for three minutes. Ronseal wanted to get people talking about the ad and they certainly achieved it, with 558,136 engagements on Twitter and #Ronsealadbreak trending number one on the night”



Alan Titchmarsh Opens 51st Greenfingers Garden at Isle of Wight Hospice

greenfingersAlan Titchmarsh officially opened a new therapeutic and recreational Garden at Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight on Monday 18th July, surrounded by many local people, volunteers and supporters of Greenfingers Charity that made the garden a reality.

Although Greenfingers Charity has created more than fifty gardens for Hospices around the UK, this new garden in Halberry Lane, Newport, proved to be one of the most complex to execute.

As Alan Titchmarsh said at the opening. “I’m no stranger to building gardens for disadvantaged families, so I can honestly say – it’s never an easy task. But for Greenfingers to relocate and then recreate the Royal Bank of Canada’s 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden to our wonderful Island here is no mean feat. Finding the funding, organising designers, supporters, suppliers and the final constructors and planters is far from an easy matter.”

“So well done to everyone who was involved over the last year or so.  Whether your contribution to this Greenfingers garden was great or small every bit made a big difference. The Earl Mountbatten team and everyone on the Isle of Wight thank you for your contribution that now graces our only Island hospice.”

Alan continued, “This is no ordinary garden, as it adds a new dimension to the work of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, and has a lot of jobs to do. It helps to provide stimulation, respite and relaxation for all the patients, visiting families and the staff who, I know, will all appreciate a new place of peace and solace at difficult times.”

Alan Titchmarsh opening Greenfingers GardenIn his acceptance speech Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice said that he was delighted to accept the Chelsea Garden on behalf of all the hospice patients, families, staff and visitors who could now have easy access to a beautiful safe garden that would be an oasis of tranquility during stressful and testing times. He also said, “My team, our residents and visitors are delighted to be able to use this welcome space for respite and relaxation. But I would also like to extend an open and warm invitation to all those people who are being cared for at home by our wonderful community nursing team- and indeed anyone who would just like to see it – that they too are welcome to visit our Greenfingers Chelsea Garden at any time.”

John Ashley, Chairman of Greenfingers, commented on the opening: “We are absolutely delighted to have finished creating the RBC Chelsea Garden at Earl Mountbatten Hospice on the Isle of Wight.  The garden is simply stunning and it’s wonderful to think of the children and families who will spend time here enjoying it.  The relocation has involved the hard work and commitment of many parties to make it happen and all at Greenfingers are extremely grateful for the time, effort and support we have received.”

“In particular I want to thank the garden’s designer Matthew Wilson for his professionalism throughout the long process and to the charity’s Garden Project Manager, Emma Hanford, who has done such a great job over the last 18 months making the garden happen in such an efficient way.”

Among the supporters who helped to re- create the RBC Chelsea Garden and finance its relocation to the Isle of Wight is the main sponsor Royal Bank of Canada. RBC supports young people and their families in the communities where we work and live and was delighted to support Greenfingers Charity. Other financial supporters included the Leisure and Outdoor Furniture Association which is an association of manufacturers supplying leisure furniture and barbecues to the gardening trade.

The Greenfingers Charity would also like to thank the professional garden service team from C.A.R. Gardens, Ryde, IOW, led by Craig Ratcliff, who rebuilt the Chelsea Garden at the hospice to such a high standard using 500 plants kindly donated by Hillier Nurseries Ltd and transported by Pecks Ltd a local farm supply company based in Newport, IOW. Other plants were donated by David Austin Roses, Chichester Trees and Shrubs and Mr Fothergills who enlisted the help of Island based Forest View Nursery to grow many other flowering plants from their wide range of garden seeds. Other significant financial support was found from scores of garden centres and others around the UK who raised funds in a joint, early-spring fund-raising weekend called ‘Garden Re-Leaf’.

Team S&J Complete ‘Run In The Park’ For Weston Park Cancer Charity

spear jacksonSunday morning saw employees from S&J UK and Eclipse Magnetics ‘TEAM S&J’ take on the 10 kilometre ‘Run in the Park’ in Graves Park to raise money for Weston Park Cancer Charity. The day started out with ominous looking clouds and flurries of rain showers, but by the time 11am came around, the rain had stopped and the sun was just peeking through the clouds.

Crowds gathered around the starting point near the main pavilion while the runners tried to resist the smell of bacon sandwiches being cooked at a stall nearby. After plenty of stretching and nervous chatter, the runners were off, keen to work off their nervous energy and get stuck into what would be an undulating course across grass, pavement and dirt track.

The run consisted of two laps around Graves Park, with the course taking the runners through woodland tracks, across vast expanses of grass, and even past some of the animals. Several sheep were quite vocal as the runners passed by; many commented that they must have been cheering them on!

July 2016 Run-in-the-Park-Collage_0The sun had well and truly broken through the clouds by the time the first runners passed the finish line; a pleasant contrast to the dull start to the day. As more and more runners completed the course, there was cheering and laughing as people flopped onto the grass, wearing their hard earned medals and tucking into the much appreciated free bananas and cookies given to the finishers. All in all, it was a fantastic event, and great to see so many people getting involved for such an amazing local charity. Well done everyone!

Team S&J have so far taken part in a number of fundraising activities this year, including numerous bake sales and the PlusNet Yorkshire Half Marathon, which took place in Sheffield in April. Weston Park Hospital is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England, and the Charity supports the hospital by funding pioneering cancer research and helping to improve cancer treatments and care for patients, making it an incredibly worthwhile cause.

Divisional MD Steve White said: “Once again I am very proud of our team’s commitment and support to this fantastic charity. Their quest to raise £5000 during 2016 for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is now well within reach!”

If you would like to sponsor Team S&J, there’s still time to make a donation. Check out our dedicated Just Giving page at

MSL – Branding & Sponsorship At The GIMA Awards 2016

maryanne stokes logoThe team at Maryanne Stokes Ltd enjoyed the glamorous GIMA Awards so much last year that they were overjoyed to be asked not only to sponsor the marketing category, but also to design the ‘brand identity’ for the 2016 GIMA awards!

With their party frocks in hand, the Maryanne Stokes team polished their dancing shoes for the prestigious awards, now commonly spoken about as ‘The best in the industry’, which took place on 14th July at the Celtic Manor Resort, in the beautiful Usk Valley.

MSL was briefed as part of the sponsorship by GIMA, to design a corporate identity to match the super special feel of the awards but which would, at the same time, equally elude to the prestige of the hosting venue.  This year our visual branding treats came in a rich purple and combined the logo design together with all the marketing communications such as place cards, certificates and menus promoting the GIMA Awards with an innovative yet sumptuous, modern flair.

maryanne stokes gima 2016Director Maryanne Stokes said  “ We were absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity again to sponsor the Marketing Category at the awards this year. We were very excited to see how our designs are received in 2016. We have had some super feedback from last year which we are of course delighted with. To top it off, we also enjoyed a superb evening of entertainment!”

Not only was the marketing for the event a success, but two of Maryanne Stokes clients were recognised at the awards for their products, with one being a finalist and another as overall winner of their category.

Over the past year, MSL has won a number of new clients, and the agency is now delivering a range of services, including website design, build and management, PR, exhibition support, brand and identity development, and now we have packages available for HR and Employment services as well as Training and Personal Development.  MSL are committed to providing high-quality, flexible marketing solutions for businesses at all stages of development and levels of budget – ideal for start ups, expanding, launching products, or getting fresh input!”

Maryanne Stokes Limited is based in Somerset just off the A303 in between Wincanton and Yeovil, with associate offices north and south of Birmingham. For more details or just an informal chat call, txt or email Maz on, 07747 676 833 or 01963 441 433

Fallen Fruits’ Flower Pouffes recognised at GIMA Awards

fallenfruitsFallen Fruits, the garden giftware company whose themed, designer collections are inspired by nature, is celebrating the success of its Flower Pouffes at this year’s GIMA Awards, held on the 14th July at Celtic Manor.  The Flower Pouffes follow on from the massive popularity of last season’s Fruit Pouffe launch.

These extremely comfortable summery pouffes are available in brightly coloured sunflower and gerbera designs as well as a super realistic tree trunk version, making them as eye-catching as they are practical for any outdoor space.

The inflatable pouffes feature handy removable, waterproof covers making them easy to clean and dry if the weather turns.  Retailing at £29.99, they are a fun, reasonably priced, addition to any garden.

Fallen Fruits managing director Michael Hall explains, “Garden accessories no longer have to be bland and boring, simply blending into their backgrounds.  Consumers are now looking for unique, fun and quirky items to brighten up their outdoor spaces.  This is why we have introduced the Outdoor Pouffe flower designs following up on the fruity theme, which everyone loved as well.

fallen fruits Flower Pouffes“They are a perfect proposition for any garden centre wanting to offer its consumers something a little bit different,” adds Michael.

For further information about this and other collections, garden retailers can contact Fallen Fruits on 01584 873377 or by emailing

Hawkesmill – Winners At The GIMA Awards

HawksmillHawkesmill Nurseries, the Warwickshire based family business who offer retailers a wide selection of plants such as perennials, alpines and wildflowers, are celebrating the success of their new ‘Herbs For Summer’ Collection at this year’s GIMA Awards, which was held on the 14th July at Celtic Manor.  The new collection won the award for the ‘Best Plants, Seeds & Bulbs’ category.

‘Herbs For Summer’ consists of all the plants needed to make any summer barbecue, tea or cocktail party a success!  The superbly modern vintage designed and retro coloured pots & graphics, are the perfect solution for cool and co-ordinated displays in garden centres.

Richard Evans, Sales Director said “This is the first time that we have ever entered the GIMA Awards and we are dumbstruck that we have won!  We know how prestigious this honour is and feel privileged to have won with our new ‘Herbs For Summer’ collection.  This winning product range is innovative and has just the right touch of modern vintage feel about it.  We know that our customers will really enjoy producing the colourful displays with which to tempt the consumer.  Summery and cheerful we love this collection!”

Garden Retailers can contact Hawkesmill Nurseries for more information about their plants, as well as general availability on 01676 532334 or by emailing

More than half of children will spend most of their summer holiday watching TV and playing computer games

PrintAs millions of primary school children break up for the school holidays next week, research from Homebase reveals that 51% of them will spend most of the summer watching television and playing computer games.

The survey, of parents of children aged 5-11, undertaken as part of the ‘Room to Grow’ campaign, has found that traditional activities such as ‘freestyle’ play, building dens or bike riding are no longer favoured childhood pastimes as they once were and that time spent on computer games (66%) or watching TV (83%) far outweighs creative games such as messy play (34%), make believe (33%), or outdoor activities such as gardening (20%) in a child’s average week.

One of the main reasons seems to be that modern parents don’t like their children getting mucky or playing creative games unsupervised: only 16% of parents surveyed said that they would let their child garden unsupervised whilst 26% said they would allow them to do messy play without adult supervision. This is compared to 73% who said they would be happy to let their child watch TV alone and 56% who said they would let their child play computer games on their own.  In another recent study 43% of adults thought that a child shouldn’t play outdoors unsupervised until the age of 14.

homebase_31292406214861The Homebase Room to Grow campaign aims to address this by encouraging parents to create a dedicated outdoor space where their children can experiment with freestyle play without the need for constant supervision from adults.

Leading psychologists have noted that the time children have for free, exploratory, hands-on play is essential for developing their independence, imagination and creativity. Yet more and more research is showing that creative, outdoor play is in serious decline.  A recent survey found that on average children spend an hour or less outside each day with one in 10 never playing outdoors, whilst research carried out last year showed that children aged between 5 & 16 spend an average of 6.5 hours a day in front of a screen.

Sarah Coldrake, Garden Buyer at Homebase, said:  We’re calling on parents to turn the TV off this summer and let their children get creative instead. By creating a dedicated ‘Room to Grow’ in the garden, parents can be more relaxed about letting their children get messy, be independent, discover nature and experiment with gardening”.

The survey also found that other activities taking up our children’s weekly time include organised activity clubs and lessons (61% of children attend an organised club or activity at least once a week) with 17% of parents surveyed saying that they felt guilty if they don’t organise regular activities for their child. Sarah Coldrake said:  “We know that the school holidays can be challenging for parents, juggling childcare and finding ways to entertain the kids, but often the simplest ideas can keep them entertained for hours. The message for families is that it’s ok to stay at home and let your children experiment with play.”

Lee Connelly, one half of the Skinny Jean Gardeners who are supporting the campaign adds:  “Dale and I were always outside as kids. Playing on our own or with friends.  Outdoors is what I remember. That’s what the Room to Grow campaign is all about.

“We really believe that given the freedom and space to experiment with outdoor play, kids can be encouraged away from the TV and computer and into the garden.  31% of parents in the Homebase survey said they would like their child to spend more time outdoors and 23% said their kids would like to be outside more often.   If we give them the opportunity, they can enjoy mucking about outdoors as much as we did.   Our mission is to get kids gardening.  It doesn’t matter what they do, it’s about being outside with soil between their fingers being creative and having fun”.

EU votes to limit glyphosate use

garden organic 2014On July 11th, EU member states voted to accept certain limitations on the use of glyphosate. This followed the decision last month to extend the herbicide’s licence for 18 months. These limitations include:

  • a ban of the co-formulant (POE-tallowamine) from glyphosate-based products (such as Roundup). These co-formulants are called surfactants, and they promote the penetration of glyphosate into the plant. According to the BfR (German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment), “Certain surfactants like POE tallowamines (polyethoxylated alkylamines) have a higher toxicity than the active substance glyphosate.” See Glyphosate, the Debate
  • to reinforce scrutiny of (unnecessary) pre-harvest uses of glyphosate. Farmers spray glyphosate onto crops just prior to harvest for two reasons: to ripen the crop and to kill weeds. If the crop is not entirely ripe, there is a high chance that it will absorb the toxic herbicide. See Clarification of pre-harvest uses of glyphosate.
  • to minimise the use in specific areas such as public parks and playgrounds. Local councils use glyphosate to kill weeds in ammenity areas, road and pavement sides. This could put children and dogs at risk if spraying is recent. Also, any run off will go into the water catchment system.

By imposing these limitations, the EU regulators reveal an implicit recognition of potential problems with glyphosate formulations, and their toxicity. As long as the UK is still technically an EU member state, we expect these limitations on the herbicide’s use to be reinforced by DEFRA.

For more information on glyphosate, as well as how to deal with weeds without it, see Glyphosate the Debate.

Health, Happiness and Horticulture

rhs logo 2015Health, happiness and horticulture is a theme running across the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Flower Show Tatton Park (20 – 24 July) this year, with several gardens that demonstrate the positive impact of gardening and green spaces on our health and wellbeing.

‘Never Forget – Never Again’, by Hampshire designer Carolyn Harden is a place for ex-military personnel suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and their families. The garden offers a calm space for relaxation and contemplation away from the chaos of daily life, a peaceful place within nature to deal with harmful thoughts. It is also intended as a platform to highlight mental illness encountered by ex-military after their service has ended.

RHS Tatton Park welcomes Cheshire’s HMP and YOI Styal for their fifth Show Garden ‘Pulling Back Time’. A poignant design from the all-female prisoners focuses on how gardening can provide an opportunity to reflect on the future. The educational and rehabilitative benefits of gardening within a prison environment are also celebrated. The prisoners express a sense of pride and achievement in seeing the final outcome of their design and also credit the overall experience – from initial design to planting – as having a substantial impact on their mind-set and health.

rhs tatton park header‘Ace Kids Spectrum of Genius’, a garden in the new Evolution category, conveys a personal story of the designer’s autistic son and his interaction with her sensory garden design. Inspired by the book ‘Different Like Me: My book of Autism Heroes’, Cheshire’s Shea O’Neill has created a calm space for children on the spectrum and aims to raise awareness of the benefits of horticultural therapy for people with autism and show how to incorporate autism-friendly gardening in outdoor spaces.

The 6x4m designs in the Back to Back Gardens also promote the relationship between green spaces, gardening and health. ‘The Waiting List’, by Berkshire-based designer Alison Galer is a calm space with warm colours and gently flowing water for patients on the waiting list for kidney transplants. The garden is set in the grounds of a hospital, a place where patients can speak with their care professionals. Local designer Nathan Webster’s garden ‘Sitting Below the Mulberry Tree’ highlights the benefits of an outdoor space as a place to escape the stresses of living with an illness.

Isobel Coulter, RHS Deputy Show Manager, said: “Plants do more good for the heart and soul than they are sometimes given credit for and the power of horticulture to heal is a message we want to get out to as many people as possible because in uncertain and challenging times like these, a garden can make us feel that little bit better.”

The show will run from 20 to 24 July, for further information, please visit: