Yippee! A bit of sunshine and warmer weather has made all the difference. All those stubbornly dormant plants are budding up beautifully, the grass is turning greener by the day and even the birds are chirpier.
Now that spring has really arrived, I’m trying to catch up on all those jobs that I’d been delaying until it got warmer. I’ve sown tomato seeds (Gardeners’ Delight and a new experimental super sweet cherry variety), a new experimental golden courgette, an experimental new form of basil that’s meant to be more tolerant of our very variable summers and a fast growing French Bean (called Speedy!)
I’ve also started feeding my plants regularly – with Flower Power of course- and it’s already making a big difference. This month we’ve been promoting Flower Power as QVC’s product of the month (with free P&P). A number of viewers have contacted me about one of the photo-boards that I’ve been showing which demonstrates the difference between two identical planters, one fed with Flower Power and the other not! They were grown by Margaret Heaven in Luton and I photographed them when I visited her garden. Since this photo was taken , a disease called Downy Mildew has taken its toll of busy lizzies so I don’t recommend growing them , begonias are a much safer bet (especially the giant flowered ‘Lotto’ variety).
But the picture shows just what a difference Flower Power can make. Late last week, I popped into Waitrose at Newbury to see one of their ‘pop up’ garden centres that they’re trialling at around 20 of their bigger branches (including Sheffield, Cambridge and Southend) this spring. The sundries were poor but the plants were superb. Understandably they had a small range but the quality was superb and the prices were better than you’ll find at many garden centres. I was especially taken with the box balls and pyramids as well as the herbs. Most supermarkets display and sell plants badly but Waitrose have done a great job.
Finally, I’ll always up for a celebration and next week we’ll be marking my 15th anniversary at QVC with a series of special shows with some great anniversary prices. It all starts on Monday 22nd when we’ll also be featuring a very special plant that has taken the gardening world by storm. Please join me next week to find out more…and to see if Julian has baked me a celebratory cake!