Simply breathtaking! I've seen a fair few gardens in my time but I've never seen anything on the scale, grandeur or beauty of the amazing Longwood Gardens, near Philadelphia.
I was lucky enough to visit it earlier this week and, a few days later, I'm still awestruck. I knew that it was considered one of the finest gardens in the world, created in the early 1900s by the industrialist Pierre du Pont, but I was slightly hesistant about visiting it out of season- the incredible fountain gardens, flower walks, topiary garden all open in April – but I wanted to see the huge conservatory, home to over 5000 varieties of plants.
The moment I walked in and saw the incredible giant balls of colour created by purple moth orchids (pictured), I was entranced. The east conservatory features rows of towering white echiums in full flower, underplanted with a carpet of blue ageratum-like flowers, bordering a huge rill of water. From there, I walked into the orangery full of blue delphiniums, through a silver garden to a rose house, through an amazing display of wall-hung orchids to a simply stunning Mediterranean garden, which was like a living tapestry of flowers.
Everywhere, the gardeners were chatty, friendly and you could see how proud they were to work at such an amazing place. Many gardens I've visited are pretty, many gardens are well maintained, many are well stocked but I've never before visited a garden as inspirational as Longwood. Back home, just writing these few words and recalling the visit, I'm still on Cloud Nine!
I'm pleased to be back though as we've an exciting week coming up on QVC. On Saturday we launch my Garden Inspirations show, and each month I'll be featuring a well-known expert in their favourite garden. Then on Wednesday, we've a wonderful Today's Special Value offer featuring an easy-grow perennial plant that flowers for months, is highly scented and great for cutting too.
It's a must for every gardener – but I can't give any more clues, you'll have to tune in to see just how special it is!