When I first started at QVC (some 20 years ago!), our gardening shows featured a range of products including spades and secateurs, but no plants. As a keen gardener, I was desperate for us to sell plants too but, at the time, everything had to be despatched from the QVC warehouse and we knew that wouldn’t work for plants. Eventually, a system was set up enabling us to send plants fresh from the nurseries and, from then on, there was no stopping us.
Initially, Thompson & Morgan supplied all the plants, then Hayloft Plants joined us a couple of years later. Gradually other specialist suppliers came on board and now we’re one of the biggest plant retailers in the UK. I’m especially proud that, increasingly, we’re chosen as the place to launch brand new varieties and that, often, we are offered the pick of the crop before garden centres and mail order suppliers get the chance to sell them!
Time has passed so quickly and it came as a huge surprise to me to discover that this is the 15th year of my Plants and Flowers show. To celebrate, this coming weekend (23rd and 24th July), we’ve some very special two-hour shows planned from 9am and 12pm. Make sure you join us as all the plants and bulbs (as well as some of our most popular products like Flower Power) will be with free P&P!
Highlights for me include a bumper value pack of 50 top size Triumph tulips (pictured below) from Ken at Plants 2 Gardens, double flowered hellebores from Hayloft Plants and some eye-catching lime green and raspberry coloured pots from Thompson & Morgan (who also have an early flowering patio bulb collection available).
I’m also very excited to be launching my 2017 Gardener’s Diary (above). We’ve sold out of this early every year in the past, and we’ve got fewer of them for sale this season so I’d advise ordering early if you’re thinking of buying one.
Regular viewers will know that a couple of weeks ago, I launched our ‘Save our Summer’ campaign, helping gardeners with ideas to make the very most of their garden over the coming weeks. One of the most important tips was to boost your plants with Flower Power.
Lots of nutrients have washed out of the soil and compost with all the recent wet weather, so I suggested feeding your summer bedding and vegetables three times a week with Flower Power for one month to help them bounce back when the warmer, drier weather eventually arrives.
As I write today (Monday 18th), the weather is lovely and my sweet peas (pictured) have responded to this Flower Power pampering and put on their best display ever. There’s still time to enjoy a bumper display of flowers, fruits and vegetables, so do get feeding!
If you do get some great results, please send your pictures to me at my website, www.richardjacksonsgarden.co.uk I’m giving away a £25 garden gift voucher every month for the best pictures of plants and gardens, and I’d love to see yours.
And finally, thanks to everyone who took part in my Facebook Q&A on Sunday. Click here to watch it again, and click here if you want to ‘like’ QVC UK on Facebook to see more videos with presenters and guests. One of the things you can discover is me talking about the area of my garden that I love the most…