AS part of National Gardening Week, Hayter, the lawn-care experts and manufacturers, shared some of their favourite activities to get the family involved and to make the most of your garden.

The national awareness week, held annually in May by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), raises awareness of gardening and horticulture, and encourages more people to take part in the healthy and productive outdoor activity of gardening.

Here's what they advise to get the most out of your garden:

Planting a vegetable garden

With longer days and warmer weather, now is the perfect time to plant and grow your own food.

Having your own vegetable garden is not only good fun, but one of the best ways to introduce new veggies to fussy eaters.

Prepare some space in an existing flower bed or create a whole new vegetable patch to watch your crops grow. Did you know that old grass cuttings make great compost? Add a thin layer of grass cuttings straight over the top of the soil in your vegetable bed to improve soil quality and increase your yield.

Making a bee hotel

The hardworking bee is any keen gardener’s friend.

There are several types of bee and not all live in hives, so be kind and make them a lovely place to rest to encourage them to come to your garden to pollinate your plants.

You can easily build one from a mix of wood, hollow reeds, bamboo canes or other textured materials such as pinecones and sticks.

It is fun and easy to make and can be built in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit any garden. Remember to locate your hotel somewhere sheltered, ideally in a south or easterly direction to keep your flying friends warm.

Sunflower growing race

A GOOD old-fashioned sunflower growing competition brings out the competitive side in both young and old.

The month of May is the perfect time to start a sunflower-growing competition.

Plant and tend to your individual flower and see who can make it grow the highest before the end of summer.

The seeds from the flowers make great bird food in winter.