My top five garden things


Gunnera AprilHello!

Well by now you’ll probably have heard that the green-fingered Dale won the QVC presenters’ lily-growing competition with a gorgeous display – congratulations Dale! Due to me planting my bulbs late and in an overheated conservatory, mine were a disaster.

Never mind, I may well try again just for fun next year and see if I can actually grow some, because I’m usually quite good in the garden.



As the days draw in and autumn approaches, I’ve really been enjoying pottering around out there, so I thought that this week I’d share some of my favourite bits of the garden with you, before the frost starts to bite and the leaves start to fall. And once you’ve looked at that, there’s a review of an interesting weight- loss aid!

So – my garden. Here are my top five things!

Gunnera June1. My gunnera plant. It’s incredible. It reminds me of a triffid! You cut it right down to the ground in autumn, and the first picture (above) is what it looked like in April.

And then, in June, just seven weeks later, it looked like this – taller than me! Can you believe it – SEVEN WEEKS! Best plant ever.

2. I call this “Tropical Corner” (pictured below left). I love big architectural plants like cordylines, phormiums and palms, and when I sit here it’s like being on holiday.

3. Purple petunias (pictured below right). Most of the flowers in my garden are either purple or blue. I’m slightly obsessed.

Tropical corner Purple petunias










4. My swing (pictured below left). I don’t have children, but there is a big old oak tree in the garden that was crying out for a swing. So I got a local carpenter to make an adult-sized swing for me. Yes, he thought I was a little odd, but who cares? I love it – it’s so relaxing!

5. And finally, this is my little seat next to the pond (pictured below right). I found those great outdoor cushions online – they can even stay out in the rain. The perfect place to sit with a cup of tea and contemplate life.

Swing Pond seat










COATI was reading the fashion magazines by the pond last week and it seems pink coats are a hot trend for autumn/winter. The next day I went to work and lo and behold, in my dressing room was a pink coat! It’s a sample of Centigrade Today’s Special Value offer – it’s a good one!

I’ve also been trying a very interesting new weight loss aid called the Malory Band (pictured below left). It’s basically a cord that goes around your waist under your clothes.




Malory Band - 400497When you eat, your tummy swells a bit and the cord starts to feel uncomfortable, so it makes you really think about what you eat and hopefully eat less!

 As you lose weight you can adjust the cord accordingly, so it also helps you monitor your loss. You can wear it 24 hours a day, even in the shower, and the idea is that it acts like an “external conscience”. If you eat too much, you know you’re going to feel uncomfortable as the cord will start to dig in, so you’re less likely to pig out!

Another benefit is that it can feel uncomfortable if you slouch, so it reminds you to stand and sit up straight. I have terrible posture when I sit at my computer, but with the Malory Band I’ve been sitting up properly. I’ve worn it for a couple of days now and think it’s very effective. So if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s definitely worth a try. It’s also made in Britain and costs just £21. If you try it, let me know how you get on!

That’s it for now, have a wonderful week.

Love Jackie x


  1. Jean August 29, 2013 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jackie,
    Wow what super plants you have, your garden looks a lovely place to relax, and why not if you want a swing, go for it and have one.
    Yes it is a shame now that lots of the plants and shrubs will begin to die down, this summer seems to have gone really quick, I think it is because everything was late starting to grow and it has made the time seem shorter. Oh so Dale won did he, well done Dale. I expect Charlie will have a comment to make, well done to you all for having a go, if you do it next year it will make you all more determined to win.
    I will look out for the Centigrade Coat, I don’t think Pink is for me. And the weight cord sounds interesting.
    Yes I am like you I tend to not sit properly at the Computer, I start off okay and then you move to look at something, my Osteopath always says we should keep our posture right. I have just changed my typing chair and it seems to have different feet to the other one, I said to my Husband the other day I am going to have to be careful otherwise I am going to end up in the garden as it wizzes along the tiled floor. I shall have to warn my Accountant when he comes in a few weeks time, I do not want to have to be picking him up off the floor, his fee’s may go up.
    Anyway you enjoy the garden and definately your swing.
    Speak Soon.
    Love Jean X

  2. Jackie Kabler September 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jean
    That’s so funny about your whizzy chair, be careful! Yes Dale is the most green-fingered of us all, although lots of the other presenters did a great job too. Mine were only a few inches tall…lesson learned, don’t start them off in a boiling hot conservatory during a heatwave! Great to hear from you, keep in touch!
    Love Jackie x

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