I love exploring new places and Olley and I finally visited an area I’ve had on my ‘go to’ list for a long time – Ludlow and Church Stretton in Shropshire.
My Granny was born there, and Mum used to stay with her Granny when she was little, but I don’t think I’ve ever been. Certainly not as an adult.
When I was young I loved reading and re-reading the Lone Pine Adventure series of books by Malcolm Saville about a group of children solving mysteries. The stories are set on and around the Long Mynd high plateau that forms part of the Shropshire hills and finally, last weekend (the sunny one!) I got to explore there myself.
We stayed in our motor home in a campsite near Ludlow, which is a beautiful medieval market town, dominated by an 11th century castle on a cliff above the River Teme and surrounded by stunning countryside.
Further north is Church Stretton and it was from there that I enjoyed a long walk up on to Long Mynd. I was lucky enough to hear cuckoos and sky larks but it was the peaceful silence that was the best sound – just the breeze in my ears and the sun on my back. Walking alone in such stunning natural beauty gives me a great sense of calm, the perfect antidote to a busy life.
I love to have the natural world at home with me too – but although I enjoy pottering in the garden, I’m not the most green fingered of people. Luckily, QVC has the perfect answer to withering plants and fading flowers in Peony faux flowers. Inspired by the gardens of the Ruckley Estate, also based in rural Shropshire and where our guest and Peony founder Julie Bates grew up, Peony’s hand crafted arrangements are the only pieces of their kind to be endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society.
We’ll be bringing you an amazing new faux plant from Peony on Thursday – the first ever tree as a Today’s Special Value. It’s an indoor/outdoor olive tree in a frost-proof square concrete container and with UV treated leaves. If you bought it directly from Peony it would set you back £190 and it will be less than half that amount on Thursday, and available in Easy Pay instalments.
It would be perfect as a statement on a balcony or in a porch – you can see it here on the garden step just outside the French windows that open into my garden. But I think it also adds a lovely touch of green foliage in my spare room, and a sculptural feel on the landing half way up the stairs – I like the way the shadow falls on the wall. Where do you think you might put it in your home?
Remember, you don’t need to water it, you won’t kill it and there’s no leaf drop – just simple (faux) natural beauty!
If you’d like to hear more about it, I’ll be talking with Julie about it on Thursday at 9 am for the Morning Show and also 1 pm in the Lunchtime Show. Hope to catch you then!
Best wishes, and take care,