Here we go! Suddenly, we seem to be knee-deep into 2019 and it’s all kicking off. Weather-wise, we have had hot sun, cold winds and plenty of wet rain (actually, what other kind is there!?)
Flowering plants were ahead, then behind, then ahead – your daffs don’t know if they’re coming or going. Although it’s colder this week, I loved last week’s sun, and even had a beans on toast lunch outside, would you believe?
I’ve always loved being outside – must be my Mediterranean blood – and I’ll talk about ‘outdoor garden rooms’ later in this month’s blog. But, right now, I’m going to tell you what’s been keeping me busy these last few weeks.
Having a succulent party!
I’m filming all sorts of fun how-to videos at the moment and also experimenting with some cacti and succulents. They’re one of the most talked about plants right now, and they come in a mesmerising range of shapes and colours. It’s strange how far they’ve come – when I was a kid I was mad keen on them, but all my school friends thought I was just crazy… who’s laughing now!
In search of winter fragrance
You haven’t needed to search far for winter blooms and rich scents; it’s been a bumper year. Apparently, the warmer February meant that winter blooming shrubs created more oils and fragrance to attract the very few circulating insects. So that’s why your local park might’ve been smelling like the perfume counter at a big department store!
I was sniffing my way around RHS Wisley last week too, lapping up the honey scent of Edgeworthia, the potent puffs of Daphne, and the rich scent of Narcissus (which I often simply describe as ‘spring’, as if spring was a fragrance itself!)
I’ve also been up at Oxford Botanic Garden to start talking about ways to make botany much more accessible to all. Right now, it can be quite a confusing subject, even to me, and I love plants. In no way am I a botanist though! Watch this space on what we have planned!
This week took me by surprise, as I was struck down with a case of man flu – it even made this blog late and it meant that I couldn’t make Tuesday’s QVC show!
With a little bit of rest and recuperation, and lots of boiled ginger later, I’m feeling brighter again. Maybe I haven’t been eating enough vegetables… note to self!
I wanted to highlight a few products to you this month – ones that’ll help us enjoy an “al fresco” lifestyle.
It doesn’t have to be hot and sunny for us to sit outside you know, we can still enjoy a nice hot chocolate outside, perhaps, wrapped up in a nice jacket and scarf. Very European!
I was very excited to see the new Amanda Holden furniture on her show last week, and I am really loving the double string bench that she’s offering. I’m also loving the living wall! I have to get those things onto our shows somehow!
We have been really amazed at the success of the Innovators Cocoon Chair too. This is really modern looking and actually collapses for flat packing. I could dangle around in it all day!
I’ll definitely be creating an outdoor garden with some of these lovely pieces! Until next month, have fun with plants!