Invasion of the giant foxgloves


Has anyone else has been inundated with self-set foxgloves this year?

Not only have we had loads, they are also huge – taller than me! My mum also mentioned that she has loads in her garden, so I wondered if it was country-wide?

LiliesPerhaps it is to do with the weather we have had so far this summer – so much rain! Today is July 1st and we haven’t managed to dine ‘al fresco’ once yet this summer. Fingers crossed for a better July and August – I guess it will be all eyes on St Swithin’s Day… please don’t rain!

Thank goodness for Richard Jackson’s Slug & Snail Treatment. Without it I seriously doubt that my plants would have survived.

These are some of the containers I planted up just before my holiday so not bad for four weeks and again thanks to RJ for his fabulous Flower Power. By the way, do you recognise these from the presenter lily growing competition three years ago? Just about to flower for the third year running.

Hanging flowers

In Focus on Fashion today I am going to steer you in the direction of a great week of bargains to be had. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings we have fashion outlet shows from the likes of Michele Hope, Nina Leonard and Diane Gilman, and then Thursday it is fashion clearance all day. The Today’s Special Value is from Emu Australia and we will also be featuring many other brands such as Tianna B, Susan Graver and Ronni Nicole. Hopefully you’ll be able to supplement you summer wardrobe and maybe bag a few autumn/winter classics at great prices.

EMU Today's Special Value

I have some exciting news in my other career as an author. Waterstones in Windsor have confirmed a book signing event for my Liberty Sands Trilogy at 11am on Saturday July 16th.

My books

If you live in the area, or are visiting Windsor Castle, it would be lovely to meet you. If you can’t make that, you could listen in to BBC Radio Berkshire this Sunday (3rd) at 10am when I will be interviewed by Debbie McGee to talk about my books and also, of course, my time at QVC.

Price is RightFunnily enough, I met Debbie many moons ago when we both auditioned to be hostesses on The Price is Right.

I went on to do the show with Leslie Crowther but Debbie took a different job that had been offered to her… a magician’s assistant!

As always, you can find more information on my books and how to order by visiting my website here.






So I just have to say… thank you!

Thank you for the phenomenal response to my 60 piece beauty giveaway competition.

My prizeAlthough I had intended the answer to be Decleor, as I was talking about the brand of the eye ‘treatment’ product I use, I missed out the word treatment in my question, so we have accepted both Elemis and Decleor as correct answers. There were 1,289 entries in the three days the competition ran – which is a staggering response. There can only be one winner though and it is… drum roll…

Anita Bates!

Congratulations Anita – I hope you enjoy experimenting with some of our more recent brands and maybe find some new favourites.

Just a word on the football, it was very disappointing for England to go out of the Euros 2016 on Monday night and it saddened me to see the Wales team rejoicing the defeat.

I, on the other hand, would like to wish Wales the very best of luck tonight against one of the tournament favourites, Belgium – after all, three of their team, Ledley, Hennessey and Jonnie Williams are Crystal Palace players and their manager, Chris Coleman, is a former Palace player; so why wouldn’t I wish them well?!

Enjoy Jewellery Day today on QVC (LOVE the Today’s Special Value) – I’ll see you at 2pm for Honora Pearls, 5pm Canadian Ammolite and 6pm Bibi Bijoux.

Have a great weekend,

Julia xx


  1. Maria July 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia your right I’ve got foxgloves everywhere in the borders, pots, spaces between paving, around the pond and even in the vegetable patch! There everywhere and so many to. This is my first post to any of the QVC presenters even though I been shopping with you since 2003 and been reading all of your blog’s which I have enjoyed when I can sneak on to the computer. I guess it because all of my son’s are always on the computer’s we have (that’s 3 son’s) but I got a tablet as a gift from them and hubby and now I can write away and even review the products I buy!

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:01 am -  Reply

      Hi Maria
      It’s good to know that the foxglove issue is not just mine and my mum’s! Do you have the white ones as well? They are pretty but I would rather have them planted in a more orderly fashion.
      Thanks for being such a loyal customer and honoured to be the first presenter to receive a blog comment from you – also thanks for writing reviews as they can be so useful to people who are undecided on whether to give something a go or not.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  2. Ginny Booker July 1, 2016 at 8:59 pm -  Reply

    Julia, I too am loaded with foxgloves everywhere in and out of the borders! So tall as well that finally I had to cut them down and filled my brown bin. Now what is left on the stalks is beginning to bloom again! Must be something in the wind! Now if the bugs would stop chewing me to death I might try and get back in the garden. In North Wales the mosquitoes are vile!! Tea Tree Oil is now my perfume.
    Watching Wales VS Belgium so far each have a goal! Fingers crossed.We shall see?
    By the way QVC UK has been awesome since I have been home again with getting all things I need and want!! Luv the guys in Liverpool. They are very helpful and fix any problem.
    Just got my new Karcher hose, power washer and nozzle! Amen as my stuff for the garden really needed updating. Looking forward to using them.
    Julia, you look beautiful and so Happy! You always make me smile.
    GinnyX I am collecting your books! Wish they were all on QVC!!

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:06 am -  Reply

      Hi Ginny
      So lovely to hear from you – it’s been a while! My sister has a similar problem to you with the mosquito/midges – she lives in south west Scotland so probably similar weather conditions!
      Glad to hear you are collecting my books – let me know what you think when you’ve finished the trilogy.
      Keep in touch
      Julia x

  3. tracy July 2, 2016 at 5:58 pm -  Reply

    i think you’ll find saturday is 9th july and not 11th july!! oops!

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:02 am -  Reply

      Hi Tracy
      Thanks for pointing out my mistake – someone else had also spotted it so we rectified it on Monday – the book signing is actually on the 16th July – I’m T QVC this weekend.
      Julia x

  4. Annette Roberts July 3, 2016 at 12:20 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia

    Congratulations to Wales, didn’t they do well, real team playing and a lot to be learnt from them. Wish my dear old Dad could have been here to see them go through…so proud to be half Welsh!

    Your Lilies and flower pots are fantastic, you’ve got real green fingers there, not literally of course. I made my very first purchase of RJ’s Flower Power a couple of months ago and I can’t tell you how impressed we both are with it…it has save my potted Blueberry bushes after Bailey had taken a liking to them, caught him nibbling at them with his paws on the pots. Thought they were a real goner until they had a feed, they are now lush and branches sprouting everywhere. To be on the safe side we have them going up the edge of the steps to the top tier lawn in out garden, which is out of bounds to the tinker.

    You are right about the foxgloves, we have a plant in the garden and to be honest didn’t know if it was a weed or actual plant, then came the flowers and it’s taller than me at 5’2″. There were also some very tall foxgloves in the garden centre yesterday where we are spending most weekends having decided to start on the garden after being here a year, albeit container gardening with Acers, Trachycarpus, Cordylines and some Olive trees by the patio doors…never been good with flowers, so I expect it will be more architectural.

    I said your competition could have been a trick question with you using both Decleor and Elemis on the eye area…1289 entries, wow is that a record, well done to the winner, one lucky lady, lots to play around with.

    Enjoyed the jewellery shows, the Canadian Ammolite is so unusual, maybe one day I’ll treat myself, but spent a fortune lately.

    Have a lovely weekend, sunshine at last, hope you get your alfresco dining!
    Annette x

    • Annette Roberts July 5, 2016 at 11:24 am -  Reply

      As promised Julia, left a review…at long last! x

      • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:25 am -  Reply

        Thank you xxx

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:30 am -  Reply

      Hi Annette,
      Not sure if I have any Welsh ancestry but I guess it’s ossicle with a surname like ours! It’s a shame Wales were defeated last night but what an achievement to reach the semi final stage – they should all feel very proud.
      We have olive tree slanted along the border of our garden – it amazes me that they survive the UK winter conditions.
      We managed an al fresco lunch yesterday but not a dinner yet – here’s hoping August will deliver!
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  5. Iris July 3, 2016 at 1:19 pm -  Reply

    Hello Julia,
    The foxglove invasion reached Devon last summer. Not so many this year. I hope you and Poppy both enjoyed your birthdays.

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:09 am -  Reply

      Hi Iris
      I don’t often hear from you on here so a lovely surprise.
      Poppy and I both enjoyed our birthdays thanks – I think I am the more mobile of the two of us but am considerably younger of course.
      Funny that you had the foxglove issue last year, it’s clearly moved east.
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  6. TINA S July 3, 2016 at 5:59 pm -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    Belated Happy birthday to you. Hope you had a wonderful time.
    My “Big” birthday is looming! I’m 60 in October. I know we all say it as we get older, but really, where has the time gone to? I’m also looking forward to our old hospital reunion in September. I picked up the tickets the other day. To see all those faces after so many years.
    It’s lovely to see the flowers blooming although we don’t have any foxgloves where we are now but did have them in our last home.
    I spoke to Nicky from B&W this week as unfortunately one of my brooches needs to have a crystal replaced. It’s one of the owl brooches. It’s my favourite so I hope it can be fixed.
    Well even though I’m not into football I’m pleased to see Wales are going into the semi-finals ! It made up for the poor results of the rugby tour against the Kiwis where we lost every game!!
    Hope you are keeping well .
    All the best, Tina S x

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:13 am -  Reply

      Hi Tina
      I can honestly say being 60 is not so bad – in fact it is no different at all from being 59. Am I supposed to apply for a bus pass do you know? Hope you will enjoy your big birthday as much as I enjoyed mine.
      Any luck selling your house yet?
      Wales did so well to reach the semi finals but really missed a couple of their key players due to suspension in the game last night.
      Good luck when the rugby starts again
      Julia x

  7. Jean Pugh July 4, 2016 at 8:02 am -  Reply

    Hi Julia,
    The foxgloves are very pretty, don’t have any in our garden thankfully as they are poisonous to dogs cats, and humans, and as I have several dogs I have to be careful.

    Your Lillies look so healthy, they will be gorgeous when the flowers open. Mine were beautiful last year but all the bulbs rotted over the winter, such a shame.

    Hope the book signing goes well, you should feel proud over the success of your books. What a lovely story. Have not forgotten to put you up a review.

    Hope Sophie has settled into her new home.

    Love Jean XX

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:21 am -  Reply

      Hello Jean
      I didn’t know foxgloves were poisonous to cats and dogs – not an issue for us as Poppy and Wilfie are house cats – our neighbour’s cats seem fine though. I may pull them up soon as they are starting to look a bit ‘leggy’.
      Confession! The beautiful, healthy lilies in the picture are actually the ones I looked after for lovely Anna Cookson, as she didn’t have any outdoor space. Mine were eaten by some bug or other over the winter months – maybe the same happened to yours?
      Sophie has settled in fine, thanks. Her flat us three minutes walk from the station so really convenient for work.
      Trying to spread the word about the book signing – fingers crossed, or it may just be me!
      Speak soon
      Julia x

  8. sue lee July 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm -  Reply

    Hi, Julia, just started to read your latest novel. First page & am back with characters that are so well presented I can imagine how they look in my minds eye!! Love it!!! My lilies are almost as tall as me but need some sun warmth to open the flowers, we have had monsoon weather conditions up in Manchester!! Will let you know what I think when I’ve finished the novel. Hugs Sue xx

    • Julia Roberts July 7, 2016 at 11:25 am -  Reply

      Hi Sue,
      So good to hear you are back in the groove with the characters in book three in the trilogy. I am missing them and still undecided which of my ideas to develop next. Do let me know what you think when you have finished it.
      Three of the lily flowers are now open but, like you, we have had so much rain that most things are flowering late, if at all.
      Julia x

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