Hi, I’m Lorna Ko and I’ve been a gardening guest presenter at QVC UK for 6 years. I also present on QVC USA, Italy and France and have been in The Telegraph and Amateur Gardening with some of my top garden decor and water feature tips.
To read all about Lorna’s love of zen gardens, make sure to check out her previous piece with fellow QVC guest presenter Michael Perry.
Spring into action: time to get creative with gardening accessories and colourful plants!
As the first tender shoots start to gently nose their way out of the earth after the long, cold winter months it’s a great time to think about what plans you have for your garden or outdoor space this year so I wanted to look at some key trends in my latest blog for you.
I am very lucky that one of my friends is Geraldine King. Geraldine is the Estate Garden Manager for the award winning gardens at Chiswick House in London. She looks after 65 acres of grounds in the stunning Neo-Palladian villa designed by Lord Burlington, which was completed in 1729 with gardens designed by William Kent. Under Geraldine’s care Chiswick House holds two prestigious London in Bloom Gold Awards, one for Heritage Park of the Year 2017 and one for Walled Garden 2017 so I know I am safe hands when I talk gardening with Geraldine!
Chiswick House website: http://www.chgt.org.uk
In order to get a steer on the trends for Spring/Summer 2017 I had a chat with Geraldine and here are her top tips!
An online survey has revealed that more and more people want additional space. As a result there’s a growing trend for posh sheds with a 46% increase in the South West and a 35% increase in London shed purchases alone so if you want some extra space a new shed might be what you need!
I just LOVE this new compact posh shed which my friend Beverley Cressman launched last weekend:
To make your shed even posher why not add a unique cordless water feature to the side of it?
The Bernini Lion Head Fountain is a self contained water feature that runs off a high capacity rechargeable battery so it doesn’t need the sun or wiring to make it work!
Its compact size and hole at the back for hanging it makes it a perfect addition to your summerhouse or shed.
Geraldine looked up the top five listed herbs in Horticultural Week and these were three varieties of basil and two of parsley so why not try some of these to start your own herb garden? Basil is known for having anti-inflammatory properties and parsley is a biennial plant which means it will return to your garden year after year once it’s established.
All plants need a great compost to help them start their journey and I really recommend Richard Jackson’s Compost – it’s enriched with his amazing Flower Power nutrients, root booster humane, extra wetting agents and seaweed to really help your plants have the best start in life.
Beautiful bedding plants!
A recent poll conducted by Wisely with 1600 people revealed the top 20 Bedding Plants in the UK. Solenostemon Campfire was number one (a kind of orange nettle looking plant) and then in the top 20 were 10 Petunia varieties! So, to add some Petunia power to your garden this year why not try this stunning assortment from Thompson and Morgan which will be available from 13th March 2017.
My friends Rory and Caroline have just been allocated their first allotment and we were chatting the other day about what they were planning to grow so it was great to find out from Geraldine what the award-winning Walled Garden at Chiswick House will be growing this year! Geraldine and the team will be planting Pentland Javelin and Swift Potato varieties and some Lyon and Musselburgh Leeks this year so I will be passing on these top tips to Rory and Caroline!
After you’ve harvested your veggies you’ll need a good set of pans to cook them in and I love my Cook’s Essentials pans – they are suitable for all hob types including induction and are made from non-stick aluminium. Why not try the Copper colour to add some instant glamour to your kitchen?
Finally, Chiswick House hold a very special Camellia Show every year with some incredibly rare blooms dating back 200 years. You can visit the festival for free and even buy some rare heritage varieties from March 3rd to April 2nd in the Grade 1 listed conservatory. Find out more now!
Don’t forget to check out this month’s Gardening POM: a set of 20 Giant (and I mean giant – they grow up to 10cm across!) stunning Fuscia’s from Thompson and Morgan.
That’s it for this month. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Geraldine for sharing her award winning knowledge with me and I hope you find our top trends useful!
Have a great month,
Top tips from a gardening expert: David Ponton from Hayloft Plants
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I asked Hayloft Plants expert, David Ponton to give us some alternative Valentine’s flower suggestions to the red rose!
As we approach Valentine’s Day, every man and his dog will rush to buy the lady of his passions a red rose or two. The red rose symbolises love, romance, beauty and perfection – a strong statement indeed, of your intentions to your loved one.
However, it started me thinking, are there any alternative flowers which symbolise deep feelings of affection a man could give?
So, gentlemen, here are some suggestions to set you apart from the norm:
Gerbera Daisies – large flowered daisies in bright colours which symbolise “beauty, innocence and purity”.
Tulips – these ever-popular flowers are a symbol of “perfect love” and convey warmth and affection.
Alstroemeria – also known as the Peruvian Lily, it is said to offer “deep long-lasting friendship and devotion”.
Casa Blanca Lilies – these white oriental lilies stand for “beauty, class and style”. A man who gives these is thought to be sophisticated.
Orchids – these rare blossoms symbolise “love, beauty, luxury and strength”. Plus, they send the message of exotic seduction. (Mmm… think I’ll go for these!)
Sunflowers – like the sun, these blossoms represent “warmth and happiness”. They also stand for loyalty.
Irises – dark blue or purple irises indicate royalty and so they stand for faith and hope.
Now I’ve written down these alternatives, I’ve just realised the woman to whom you give the flowers, must also know the meaning behind your display of affection.
From some of my previous experiences with love interests, saying “Happy Valentine’s Day my sweet, I’ve bought you some Sunflowers”, is more likely to get you Sunflowers over your head than a kiss on the cheek.
Best add a red rose or two just in case!!
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