Exploring new places and stylish home decor from Peony


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,
Kathy x


  1. Dr Matthew Walter May 15, 2018 at 5:07 pm -  Reply

    The peony plant looks incredibly realistic BUT the paving slabs could so with a splash of a the effective RICHARD JACKON’S EASY CLEAN. Far better than the WET N FORGET in our humble opinion. Great for outdoor wooden furniture too (or lightly sand and then apply Danish Oil).

  2. Susan May 15, 2018 at 10:29 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    Lovely to hear from you. I love listening to your blogs. Well you know what I mean! You can hear your relaxed voice reading your words!
    You haven’t mentioned baby Zoe! I believe you’re a granny now?’ Congratulations! How are the happy parents?x

  3. Sarah Norris May 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm -  Reply

    Shropshire is a lovely county and I too grew up reading the Lone Pine series. The books were introduced to me by my aunt who to this day has a wonderful knack of finding books or series of books for people – a parcel will arrive in the post, often with an already well thumbed book in it, they arrive with no warning but always fill me with excitement!

  4. Kathy T May 16, 2018 at 9:48 pm -  Reply

    Hi Matthew – I need some of Richard’s weed killer too! I almost didn’t show you the picture but in the end decided the Peony Olive tree looks so good it doesn’t really matter what the paving stones look like…
    Enjoy the coming summer!
    Kathy x

  5. Kathy T May 16, 2018 at 9:57 pm -  Reply

    Hi Susan
    Thanks, and yes! Zoe is gorgeous. Bex and Dan have asked that we don’t post photos of her on social media, though. I think that’s a good idea.
    Bex is the most amazing, natural Mum – she’s doing a grand job and Zoe is now eight and a half pounds in weight, and almost eight weeks old. Although only two weeks after her due date. Dan is brilliant, too – he’s really helpful and supportive of Bex – as we knew he would be. They’re tired, of course, but coping really well and cuddles with Zoe are the best!
    Hope you’re well too
    Kathy x

  6. Susan May 21, 2018 at 8:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Kathy,
    So pleased for you all. It must be the must wonderful feeling to have your own family and that it is extending! I understand totally about not posting photos. We sadly seem to live in such a photo obsessed world. Update us on her progress though! It’ll be lovely to hear about her. Health to bex and dan xx

  7. martin forbes May 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm -  Reply

    hi kathy hope you and family are well as we say in aberdeen fit like which means how are you iam not bad enjoying fimy first wekmof 2 being lazy on holidays doing nothing by the way when you wer eon blankety blank with the late les dawson how did you get on with him i thought hewas brilliant and funny especially when the contestant won ablnkety blank cheque sbook and pen.

  8. Lois maloney June 6, 2018 at 10:09 am -  Reply

    Hi Kathy, I always love to see your photos and you explain everything so clearly it’s like being there. So pleased to hear your Grandaughter is doing well. Love to you and your family. And can’t wait for Morning Style with Kathy returns.

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