Going Al Fresco with Michael Perry


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!)

Getting botanic

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!

Slowing down

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!

Living outdoors

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!

We’ve also got a new range of decor items from Erica Davies and I’ve already made a beeline for her bistro set in vibrant orange!

I’ll definitely be creating an outdoor garden with some of these lovely pieces! Until next month, have fun with plants!

Michael x


  1. delleth hughson March 11, 2019 at 9:43 pm -  Reply

    is richard ok

  2. Arlene April 1, 2019 at 5:15 am -  Reply

    Can you help me please I love my garden but scared of some creepy crawlies like spiders I sit on about 3 acres of ground however I have a lot of door mice who eat all the young shoots and there in my house also I have bats and right out my front window which is south facing I also have the solitary bumble bee so have lots of plants come up because they live under ground I won’t dig it up in case I hurt them my name is Arlene glued to your programs and all the rest ijust love yours all so if you can help I would be very grateful so would all the wild life thank you very much and if you haven’t noticed I can’t use my phone very well lol everything I can use is from QVC and organic thank you

  3. Pat Beveridge April 5, 2019 at 2:50 pm -  Reply

    I have received the 12 strawberry plants from Suttons but there are no planting instructions with them. Do I plant them into 12 separate pots for a few weeks and keep indoors or into hanging baskets and put outside just now. Many thanks for your help

  4. Jill April 8, 2019 at 3:01 pm -  Reply

    Sorry to hear you’ve been under the weather and I’ll keep boiled ginger in mind for when next I go down with a heavy cold Looking forward to your next gardening show..

  5. Harebella April 19, 2019 at 11:27 am -  Reply

    I love buying plants from QVC and learning from you and the guest experts. However, it would be really useful, in each presentation, if you could recommend which size pot to use, if planting in a pot rather than straight into the ground.
    There are so many different size pots and planters and as a novice gardener, it’s hard to know which size pot to use. Therefore, PLEASE tell the viewers which size pot to use, in each presentation. For example, the recent Hayloft Nerine presentation, advised that Nerines like to be congested in a pot, but didn’t suggest how many bulbs and what size pot should we use? And the instructions that come with the plants, seldom provide recommended pot sizes.


  6. Bridget April 21, 2019 at 10:19 am -  Reply

    Bottle brush plant and jasmine. Michael please help me. Neither of the above have flowered for me. What am I doing wrong? Do they need acid
    soil. I water and feed th RJ’s flower power.

  7. Barbara Quinn April 28, 2019 at 7:22 pm -  Reply

    I have some fritilliara plants. What do I do with them once the flowers have died off?

  8. Lynda May 1, 2019 at 5:50 pm -  Reply

    Hi Michael Am looking for another hydrangea confetti please will you have any ?

  9. MAUREEN THOMAS May 2, 2019 at 3:29 pm -  Reply

    Michael can help I bought the ice cream tulips. from mont rose but the flower never opened.

  10. Frank washer May 16, 2019 at 9:30 am -  Reply

    I recently bought some T&m double blooming inptns blush along with pots and compost.the leaves are going brown and dying I need some advice please, they have been watered and in a sunny position.

  11. KIM HUBBARD May 23, 2019 at 9:57 am -  Reply

    Hi Perry. I purchased 4 Haylott plants bareroot Agapanthus “Twister” at £9.99 each on 2/2/19. I bought brand new beautiful pale Heritage pots for each of them and new soil. These I planted as soon as they were received and kept them away from frost. But I only have on pot with about 4 small leaves sprouting. How long will these plants take to start growing as I have other Agapanthus’ in my garden which I have had for about 5-6 and they are well on their way growing, about 10inches. The “Twister” variety I bought this year from QVC were from a field and on the programme I purchased these plants from it was said that they would flower this year. Can you help or suggest what I can do to bring them along or are they dead?

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