My family think I’m a bit daft but I always do it. Just as the year comes to an end, I look back at the successes (and failures!) in the garden. There’s no doubt but 2014 was a wonderful gardening season! Our roses were the best for many years; we enjoyed bumper crops of fruit and vegetables while our summer bedding plants were simply glorious.
It was a very busy season for me on QVC but I still spent plenty of time in my own garden. Apart from my David Austin Roses, my highlights included my Peonies (beauties from Claire Austin), alstroemerias, begonias and dahlias. My tomatoes cropped brilliantly but two of the four Gardener’s Delight plants have produced pappy fruit. Talking to Peter Seabrook about this a few weeks ago, he said that some rogue seeds are getting onto the market. So I’ve saved some seeds from the fruits on the best plants and plan to sow these next year.
We had a cracking year at QVC too. It was our best season ever and a great year in which to introduce new plant suppliers including Marshalls and Unwins. Another highlight was the introduction of Chelsea Flower Show gold medallists Blackmore & Langdon with their multiple award winning giant delphiniums. We also held our first ever three-day customer event and I was delighted to meet so many QVC gardening friends at Arley Hall near Knutsford (it’s the first time I’ve been there and it’s stunning!). I also visited Somerleyton House to do some filming earlier in the year, it was one of my favourite gardens that I visited when filming QVC Garden Inspirations – this is what it looks like.
We also launched some superb new products including the battery operated all weather Bernini Dancing water fountain and the new generation of stretch hose whose patented technology makes it safer and better than ever. I always enjoy demonstrating products like these on QVC so that viewers can see just how well they work, and it’s difficult to do that in a garden centre or DIY store.
Looking forward to 2015, I’ve cleared three of my trial beds so I’m planning to fill them with new plants to test. There are some interesting new vegetables to try, including the blight free tomato from Suttons. And there’s lots happening on QVC, with even more gardening shows and new guests including Ken Evans who tells me that he’s hoping to launch some rather exciting bulbs in the spring (I’ve seen the pictures, they’re incredible!)
So roll on 2015. It’s one of the things I just love about gardening, there’s always another season to look forward to!