Fun in Brum


Richard Jackson

I've never talked so much in my life! Last week, QVC hosted a two day special garden event for lucky ballot winners. Around 400 customers braved the weather and enjoyed private guided tours around the fabulous Birmingham Botanic Gardens. 

I did find some time to look over some of their wonderful plants, as the picture shows, but most of the time I spent talking gardening with our lovely customers.

I also had to keep a close eye on Julian who was also there! He was on superb form, although I'm sure I've heard some of those jokes once or twice before!

We were also joined by some of our gardening suppliers and guests: Paul Hansord and James Edmonds from Thompson & Morgan, George Clowes from De Jager, Claire Austin, David Ponton from Hayloft, as well as the lovely Gill Gauntlett and Beverley Cressman. Whenever gardeners get together we learn from each other and, amongst the many things I learnt, a lady told me that she keeps badgers away from her plants by putting peanuts (the type sold for bird feeders) in little piles away from the plants. The badgers happily eat these and totally ignore her precious plants. 

Back home on Friday night , I popped into the greenhouse to check my seedlings – normally, I'd have planted these out by now but the weather has been just too cold and wet that I didn't want to risk it. The dahlias are almost big enough to divide and I'll do this next week. My recently divided pitcher plants (Saracennia) are looking great, it's the first time I'd tried splitting these plants so I'm really pleased. 

Over the road from QVC towers, The Chelsea Flower Show is shaping up with Diarmuid Gavin's extraordinary scaffold garden provoking plenty of comment. We'll be filming there on Press Day so it will be fascinating to see it close-up.

Happy Gardening!



  1. Ernest L Jones May 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm -  Reply

    We visited you in the Garden Party this year and I told you about the Plant Invigorator.
    I have a bed of Roses and just one rose was suffering from Mildew so I thought I would try your Plant Invigorator on it.
    In just a few days the Rose was completely clear of Mildew and that particular Rose then grew faster and healthier than all of my other Roses.
    I always like to keep a bottle handy in case of any bugs or nasties so I think it would be a good idea if the bottle could be bigger.
    I would give this product five stars for being so good.
    Ernest & Jean Jones

  2. Maureen Bickle May 12, 2012 at 8:25 am -  Reply

    I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Garden Party this year (Thursday). During the Question Time, I asked you about my Twisted Japanese Maple (TSV in 2010) not showing any sign of the red foliage although the green foliage is beautiful. On your advice I contacted Customer Service but was informed that it is now out of guarantee. Should I leave the plant as it is or will the dead plant damage the green one in years to come? The green one appears to be quite healthy at the moment.

  3. M. N. May 28, 2012 at 4:18 pm -  Reply

    Richard,where are the tomato plants on QVC this year? Haven’t seen any for sale in your shows. Is there a reason for this? Please bring them on before it’s too late to plant this season.

  4. Wendy Barnett June 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm -  Reply

    Richard – In March I purchased a set containing your Root Booster product. I’ve just come to use it again for a hanging basket and was disappointed to find it looking mildewed. Can you think of any reason for this to happen, it has been kept resealed, and not in a damp area. Is it still safe to use in this state?

  5. Elizabeth Reid June 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm -  Reply

    Ibought the complete fuchsia collection null it was dispatched on
    the 29/05/12, It did not arrive till the 10/06/12. The plants were all dried out and looked dead,I have watered and fed them but still the leaves are all brown. I don,t see any improvement in them
    what should I do please ,I was so looking forward to planting them in my hanging baskets.

  6. Lorraine Hill June 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm -  Reply

    I purchased a top hat blueberry plant a few years ago and have followed the care instructions fully. This will be the third summer and the plant has still not produced any fruit. Do you have any idea what could be going wrong?
    Many thanks

  7. Mrs Debbie Finkill June 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard. My father is a keen gardener and having bought most of your products for fathers day birthday etc he cannot praise them enough.
    However he is having a little trouble with ‘wooley aphids’ (hope that is spelt correctly !) and wonders if you have any idea about how to get rid of it. I assume that it will be on his bedding plants.
    Your reply will be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks
    Debbie Finkill

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