Gardeners' World - - Contents - Lucy Hall, Ed­i­tor @lucy­hal­l_GW

Like so many of you, I start ev­ery new year with in­ten­tions to eat health­ier. This year, help­ing birds to do the same is on my list of res­o­lu­tions. Gar­den­ers can be their life­line in mid­win­ter, with icy nights and a shortage of nat­u­ral foods stacked against them. So our ac­tions on this re­ally mat­ter. We spend, as a na­tion, £297m a year on bird food – that’s a mind-bog­gling £813,698 a day! We set out to gauge whether we were get­ting all we ex­pected from our bird food, and whether pricier feeds were worth the money. The re­sults? Well, read more, in our special birds sec­tion from page 74, but, in short, there’s some shock­ingly low-grade feed for sale. Dog bis­cuits any­one? No, I didn’t ex­pect that either. Only you can de­cide the price you put on help­ing birds in need. But I for one will be look­ing more closely at what I buy – and do­ing so on qual­ity not price. It’s a tricky bal­ance, when we’re all watch­ing our wal­lets, so I’d love to hear what you think. Let us know. Else­where in this is­sue, we’re get­ting all ex­cited by seed sow­ing again. I’m al­ready dream­ing of sum­mer flow­ers. So have a read and start plan­ning. And to­gether let’s make this the best-ever year in our gar­dens.

PSJoin Monty, me and as­so­ciate ed­i­tor David Hur­rion on an ex­cit­ing and ex­clu­sive reader trip to Provence, from 3-8 June. Pri­vate gar­dens, food and wine-tast­ing, laven­der trails, stun­ning scenery and more await! See p34.

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