Family in a park
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas

National Gardening Week 2017, 10 – 16 April

Explore the world of gardening this week; find an event in your local community

It’s that time of year again when we focus on emphasising the garden as a place for ourselves to relieve the stress and become more active, for new gardener’s to gain a bit of knowledge and confidence and for all of us together to enhance our own communities.

The National Gardening Week was founded several years ago and has now grown to involve thousands of participants. These range from individuals to communities, councils, industry and established gardening entities. The aim is to increase the awareness of gardening as a means of enhancing your neighbourhood and your personal space by encouraging more people to give it a go, no matter how small or large the project. These projects can range from growing some salad leaves on your kitchen windowsill to transforming a dingy, neglected space into a community garden to benefit the whole neighbourhood.

If you already have a community garden why not raise funds and involve more of the neighbourhood by baking cakes, having a jumble sale, selling off excess plants or organising a garden fete. Being involved in the garden is a fantastic learning resource for children so why not try and involve them by running activities designed to awaken their interest in plants and the natural world. Build hedgehog or insect homes, make collages from leaves and petals, make a garden in a tray or simply sow seeds or plant strawberries.

Levens Hall, Cumbria

Levens Hall, Cumbria

Don’t forget to register your event on the website:  where you will get added interest. Remember to promote your activities as much as possible by posting pictures, dates and times onto social media; facebook, twitter and pintrest.

There are lots of projects going on around the country at various gardens, stately homes and parks. All the RHS gardens; Hyde Hall, Wisley, Harlow Carr and Rosemoor are hosting free talks, guided walks and workshops. There will be free plant cuttings available for you to take home and nurture on Sunday 9th April at all four gardens. They will all be hosting a Houseplant Hospital on Thursday 13th April, so if you want advice on how to revive that favourite houseplant then take it along to one of their sessions.

Harlow Carr in Harrogate will also be giving talks on how to achieve the best results from a few plants of those iconic cottage garden favourites, Sweet Peas. They are also holding sessions for absolute beginners on how to start a garden from scratch. Fareham and Grayshott in Hampshire are concentrating on enhancing and promoting their communities through such activities as tree planting, school gardening and horticultural shows. Baytree Garden Centre in Spalding will be holding free mini workshops throughout the week. So look-out for events going on in your own community and if there aren’t any then start one yourself.

So with the weather looking like it could be lovely and spring-like for the week get outside and go for a walk in the park, organise a clean-up or just go along and support someone else’s efforts.