Armchair gardening


Fuchsia plants pick of the monthThe beauty of QVC is that, even if the weather is dreadful (which it certainly has been recently!), you can still do some gardening from the comfort of your armchair. It could simply be picking up a few tips from our experts or, even more fun, buying a few plants and products so you're making a head start for the season.

You can even ask questions too. Hopefully, most of them are answered on the shows but occasionally we do run out of time.

I also try to answer blog questions on air and sometimes on here too! So this week, I thought I'd answer a few recent questions on flowers. Mrs Patricia Hinton asked how many giant flowered trailing fuchsias should be planted in a hanging basket. For an extra fast, extra full effect, I'd plant five in the top and five around the sides of a 14" basket. If you’re mixing with other plants, then five per basket would be fine. The secret with fuchsias is, once they’re getting established, to keep them well watered (as they hate drying out) and, just as important, very well fed. Flower Power will make a huge difference to the size, quality and number of flowers.

I’ve also had a couple of questions on Roses. One viewer asked when to start using Plant Invigorator to help keep greenfly under control? I’d suggest using it at the very first sign of attack ( often as early as late April) but it’s important to use it regularly as it works on contact so when eggs hatch/new greenfly appear a few days later (which they will!) , you’ll need to spray again.   is a three in one, non-toxic product that will also give the plants a foliar feed boost and help control mildew on the rose. But if they’ve traditionally suffered from another rose disease, black spot, then use a fungicide like Systhane Fungus Fighter as well.

I’ve also been asked to recommend a fragrant rose that’s easy to grow. I love Margaret Merrill, one of the finest of the smaller growing garden roses. It has large white flowers, an exceptional fragrance, is disease resistant and is so special that it has the Award of Garden Merit. There are some other recommendations in my Container Gardening book including some ideas from Michael Marriott who has picked his very favourite David Austin Roses to grow in pots.

Happy gardening!


  1. Wendy Hudspith March 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm -  Reply

    Can you please tell me when do I start spraying my roses I had terrible black spot and green fly last year
    best wishes wendy

  2. Angela McLean May 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm -  Reply

    While cleaning out my shed, I’ve come across a couple of boxes of bulbs that I ordered from QVC 2 years ago!!!
    1 are Lilies and the others are Freesia’s. If I plant them now, will they grow??
    I’m obviously a bit useless but I do try :)
    Best wishes

  3. Jacqui Spink July 31, 2013 at 11:23 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard just received my 2014 diary this morning , truly stunning like the last one and your books got them all , just wanted to ask ,would you consider also doing a calender with all the stunning pics it would keep us gardeners going through the winter months go on R J you know you can with kindess regards Jacqui Spink

  4. SandraSilk March 16, 2014 at 10:51 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    I have a dwarf nectarine tree and although it has lovely blosom has never produced fruit! Had it for 4 yrs now. Keen gardener friend of mine suggested last yr that I had over fed it as it had lovely lush green foliage, and plenty of it, but no fruit?
    I have checked and it is not root bound and had been re potted.
    Please advise as I am at a loss – I am using flower power by the way.

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