I've never talked so much in my life! Last week, QVC hosted a two day special garden event for lucky ballot winners. Around 400 customers braved the weather and enjoyed private guided tours around the fabulous Birmingham Botanic Gardens.
I did find some time to look over some of their wonderful plants, as the picture shows, but most of the time I spent talking gardening with our lovely customers.
I also had to keep a close eye on Julian who was also there! He was on superb form, although I'm sure I've heard some of those jokes once or twice before!
We were also joined by some of our gardening suppliers and guests: Paul Hansord and James Edmonds from Thompson & Morgan, George Clowes from De Jager, Claire Austin, David Ponton from Hayloft, as well as the lovely Gill Gauntlett and Beverley Cressman. Whenever gardeners get together we learn from each other and, amongst the many things I learnt, a lady told me that she keeps badgers away from her plants by putting peanuts (the type sold for bird feeders) in little piles away from the plants. The badgers happily eat these and totally ignore her precious plants.
Back home on Friday night , I popped into the greenhouse to check my seedlings – normally, I'd have planted these out by now but the weather has been just too cold and wet that I didn't want to risk it. The dahlias are almost big enough to divide and I'll do this next week. My recently divided pitcher plants (Saracennia) are looking great, it's the first time I'd tried splitting these plants so I'm really pleased.
Over the road from QVC towers, The Chelsea Flower Show is shaping up with Diarmuid Gavin's extraordinary scaffold garden provoking plenty of comment. We'll be filming there on Press Day so it will be fascinating to see it close-up.