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, and if you want to learn about her gardening resolutions for 2017, check out her previous blog.
Colour me beautiful: adding interest and vibrancy to your home, inside and out!
After all the exciting excess and festive fun from the Christmas and New Year holidays, January can leave you feeling a little bleurgh sometimes. The mornings are grey and dark, the afternoons are gloomy, and it’s really cold – making you want to hibernate indoors with a Slanket and some leftover Christmas chocs!
January doesn’t have to be totally colourless though – it’s a great time to start injecting some bright shots of colour into your home and garden to cheer up your decor and your mood.
I mentioned my trusty Slanket, so why not start there? I have a dark brown one, but to cheer up the January blues I would love a brightly coloured one like this yellow stripe version to add a real touch of spring to your home after the long winter nights.
For another instant colour pop in your garden or on your balcony why not invest in some gorgeous coloured planter pots like this Aegean design from Plants2Gardens? They come in four lovely colours, but I have to say the red is my favourite – a really cheering colour that would look great with some bright blooms like these Mont Rose Hawaiian flowers.
When they bloom later in the year they look not only stunning, they also have a wonderfully intense fragrance. A great way to add some Hawaiian happiness to your life!
Another way to add some spring sparkle into your garden is to add a cordless water feature, such as the Bernini All Weather LED Crackle Ball Murano Fountain. This has a real glass ball on top which reflects the sunlight, as well as colour changing LED lights inside so on those darker afternoons you can still illuminate an area of your outdoor space to remind you that Easter is just around the corner!
The beauty of the Bernini Fountains is that they run off a high capacity rechargeable battery meaning you don’t need any solar power, plumbing or wiring in – they work straight out of the box and can give you an instant lift in spirits.
A few splashes of colour here and there can really make a difference when it comes to your mood and I hope the above gives you some inspiration this January!
Lorna’s guest of the month: David Ponton from Hayloft Plants
January can also be a critical time for the birds to find food so I asked Hayloft expert David Ponton to tell us some more about which bird food he recommends, along with the fantastic Plants2Gardens January Product of the Month:
‘At this time of year I always put out food for the birds. Yet not all bird foods are equal. I’m not here to denigrate, but some manufacturers pack out their bird food with wheat. Wheat is fine if you wish to feed pigeons or pheasants, but not small song birds.
My colleague Richard Jackson has a bird food Today’s Special Value on Saturday 7th January, which I very much recommend – and not because it’s from QVC, or from Richard! There are several reasons I like Richard’s bird food; it’s high energy, high protein, has quality ingredients, the birds love it, it’s wheat-free and this year Richard has made two excellent additions to his formula. So great value and long lasting.
Now, onto this month’s garden pick. This plant is four years old and comes in a three litre pot. There’s no growing-on needed by you. Rhododendrons form their buds in the autumn then go into dormancy. As they are fully hardy and dormant, should it matter if you bought in January, February or March? In horticultural terms, no, it doesn’t matter a jot.
In value terms, I’d definitely buy on the January Garden Shows because the price is so keen. In scarcity terms, the only four year old stock of this size and quality will be on QVC, and as there a limited amount, once sold out, it’s gone for the year. Get while you can.
I must say I’m pretty excited about this… the first ever scented semi-dwarf Rhododendron! It’s a definite yes from me. Ken Evans from Plants2Gardens will be showing this sensational plant throughout January (or until its gone)’.
What I’ve been up to this month:
It’s been the usual social whirlwind over the holidays. I kicked off the festive season by going to the X Factor Live Final as my sister Cheryl was working on it and the atmosphere at Wembley was electric!
Cheryl directed and produced the Winner, Matt Terry’s Homecoming video and it was a truly incredible moment to see her work projected to tens of thousands of people all cheering!
I also went Christmas shopping with Cheryl to Westfield where we found some Narnia-type coats! I then went down to Reigate to see my friends Heidi and Vikki and their children for some ice skating (thank goodness for the penguins), plus my friend Lisa and her children came up to visit from Bristol which was really lovely as we went into town to see the Christmas lights around Regents Street and popped into Hamley’s too.
Sometimes when you live in London you can forget to visit the amazing places right on your doorstep. My friend Jo and I then took our children to a great garden centre in Chessington that had a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed charity walk which was very festive.
After a fabulous family Christmas with lots of party games I then travelled up to Manchester to spend New Year with my friend Curtis in his beautiful new home. I am really looking forward to giving him some gardening tips this summer!
That’s it for this month – I hope you have a wonderful January and keep up those New Year Resolutions. Mine is to go dry for January!
Have a great rest of the month!