Gardening Inspirations


One of the pleasures in returning from holiday is pottering around the garden to see how much has grown whilst I’ve been away. At this time of year it’s especially exciting as everything is romping away really quickly.

The biggest delight was seeing my Claire Austin peonies. Around four years ago I bought Claire’s special cut flower collection from QVC and they’ve been simply amazing. Coral Charm (pictured) is the earliest to flower and, boosted by feeding with Flower Power, this relatively young plant has produced 14 spectacular blooms (up to 25cm (10″) across). Next year, I hope to get 20 or more!

peony Coral Charm

Another joy was seeing my Cornus ‘Venus’ (pictured below) in flower. I bought it around five years ago after seeing it on its launch at the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s a stunner, with huge, long-lasting green flowers (bracts), which, over time, turn pure white, then cream edged in pink. Over the seasons it has developed into a really striking small tree, one of the best that anyone can grow.

cornus venus

There’s lots happening in the greenhouse as well. My Fir Tree Nursery pelargoniums are coming on a treat. The secret, I’ve learnt, is to gradually pot them on into slightly bigger pots as they grow, rather than put them into a big pot to begin with (as I often do, to save time and effort with ordinary bedding pelargoniums/geraniums).

greenhouse in June

Over the coming weeks there’s plenty to keep me busy, from staking plants to pampering the lawn. For info on the key jobs for June, see my mini video clips on

If I get the chance, I’m hoping to see some of the gardens open to the public this weekend. There are some beauties to choose from – check for further details. It’s a great way to pick up ideas and tips, and enjoy the tea and cakes too!

I just love visiting other people’s gardens, which is one of the reasons I’m so pleased that QVC is running its Gardening Inspirations competition again this year. We want you to share with us a picture of a garden that inspires you – whether it’s your own, a neighbour’s or even a community garden. The winning garden will feature in our October Gardening Inspirations show and the winner will also receive £250 QVC credit!
To enter, send us a picture of the garden and why it’s an inspiration to you – either email your image to with the subject title ‘Gardening Inspirations competition’ or send your entry to:

Gardening Inspirations competition
Building 8,
Chiswick Park,
566 Chiswick High Road,
W4 5XU

You can see the Terms & Conditions here

The closing date is 11.59pm on 1st August. Very best of luck!

Happy gardening!


See QVC’s Garden & Leisure range

1 Comment

  1. james fisher June 21, 2015 at 3:19 pm -  Reply

    hi richard is it possible to split pinks

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