Waiting for the sun to make Your Summer Garden


When I first started on QVC (a fair few years ago), we were at the forefront of introducing solar powered lights to your garden. In those pioneering days, the solar panels were relatively large, not especially effective in our climate, and the lights weren’t that bright. Gradually, over the years, they’ve got better and better. The solar panels are much more effective, work superbly in our variable weather, and the lights are more powerful and longer lasting.

On Bank Holiday Monday, we’re celebrating our You Summer Garden event with the very latest solar powered lights from Luxform. They’re very stylish with a lovely swirl glass lens, super bright (with stunning 5 Lumen strength bulbs) and, fully charged, provide six to eight hours of light. So they’re perfect for creating that special ambience and bringing your garden, patio or balcony to life in the evenings. The value is incredible for such a high quality light, as you’d expect from Luxform.

The weather has been rather challenging so far this spring and that means lots of us are slightly behind with our gardening jobs. If you’re planning on planting anything this coming month, from potting up young plug plants to planting up your summer containers and baskets, my Rootbooster can help make up for lost time, and then some!

It’s 100% natural, one application lasts a lifetime and it helps to establish the plants faster, make plant food more effective, and encourage the plants root system to grow bigger and be more effective.

We’ve got a special promotional pack on offer this month, a 600g tub of Rootbooster with a 750g pack of Flower Power. Simply sprinkle in a few granules of Rootbooster when planting up, feed with Flower Power throughout the summer, and the combination will help you grow even bigger, better and healthier plants.


Richard Jackson Flower Power - 506984

Richard Jackson Flower Power and Root Booster - 508060







I ran a trial in my greenhouse using two chilli pepper plants so I could compare the results. The ordinary chilli pepper plant, fed with Flower Power through the summer, produced 43 chilli peppers (a great crop), but the one planted with Rootbooster and fed with Flower power, produced 71 peppers! It wasn’t a scientific trial (as I say, just a test in my greenhouse!) but to my mind, it more than proved the difference that one application of Rootbooster can make.

During the downpours and sleet showers in the past week, I’ve still managed to enjoy my gardening by sheltering the greenhouse – just look at the image below on the right, brooding skies above my Amelanchier shrub. I’ve potted on lots of my plug plants, re-potted my grafted vegetables (sent to me by Suttons to trial), and started my dahlia tubers into growth. My Flower Power fed Pleione orchids are looking fabulous at the moment (pictured on the left) and the insect eating plant (saracennias) are about to flower so it’s a good time to be in the greenhouse. Outside, I’ve re-staked my blackberries, spread some lovely crumbly homemade compost over the trial bed, planted out my sweet peas and started to spring clean the patio with Wet and Forget.

Pleione orchids in my greenhouse Amelanchier shrub in late afternoon















I’ve got this Saturday and Sunday off so, with luck, I’ll be spending a fair amount of time in the garden. One thing I won’t be doing is planting any of my slightly tender bedding out yet. In a normal year I’d risk it in early May, but the forecast isn’t good, so I’ll be keeping the plants in my greenhouse for at least an extra week this year. It’s one of those years when we need to play safe!

We’ve got some great shows on Bank Holiday Monday, including Easy Pay offers and some free P&P lines too, so I’m really looking forward to them. I’d be delighted if you can join us.

Happy gardening,



  1. Jill Dowding Walker May 4, 2016 at 10:58 pm -  Reply

    Hi Richard!
    I am looking for suitable plants for my north-facing high fence, which is in heavy shade in winter; moderate shade in summer. Sheltered border. I want height, and or climbers, and I prefer flowers or interesting leaves, with fragrance if possible.
    The RHS has given me these suggestions. I wonder if you agree, or can suggest some other plants/flowers that will be suitable please?
    Thanks Richard! 🙂
    “Perennials for deep shade (North facing fence)

    Acanthus mollis: robust clumps of glossy large dark green leaves, flower spikes up to 70cm (28in) in summer bear white or pink-veined flowers with green-purple bracts. Height 1.5m (5ft). Spread 90cm (3ft).

    Astrantia maxima AGM: (w) clumps of three-lobed leaves, flower-heads with broad, pinkish bracts surround tiny pink flowers in summer. Height 60cm (2ft). Spread 30cm (1ft).

    Campanula persicifolia: rosettes of bright green leaves and stiff stems carry open bell or cup-shaped flowers in various shades of blue or in white. Height 60-80cm (2ft-32in). Spread 30cm (1ft).

    Filipendula purpurea: (w) purple-tinted stems and lobed leaves, deep pink flowers in dense clusters in summer. Height 1.2m (4ft). Spread 60cm (2ft).

    Geranium phaeum ‘Lily Lovell’: rich purple-mauve flowers on branched stems in late spring and early summer. Height of flower to 80cm (32in). Spread 45cm (18in).

    Pulmonaria ‘Blue Ensign’ AGM: blue-violet flowers in spring. Height 35cm (14in). Spread 45cm (18in).

    Rodgersia pinnata ‘Superba’ AGM: large clumps of palmate, crinkled, heavily veined leaves, and tall panicles of small bright pink flowers from mid- to late summer. Height 1.2m (4ft). Spread 90cm (3ft).

    Tellima grandiflora: rosettes of hairy leaves, greenish white flowers on tall stems from late spring to midsummer. Height with flowers 80cm (32in). Spread 30cm (1ft).

    Tradescantia Andersoniana Group ‘Osprey’: large white flowers with blue stamens, over a long period in spring and summer. Height 50cm (20in). Spread 45-60cm (18in-2ft).

    Tricyrtis formosana: dark-spotted lance-shaped leaves, clusters of star-shaped whitish flowers, heavily spotted purple in autumn. Height 80cm (32in). Spread 45cm (18in).”

  2. mrs linda ashworth May 5, 2016 at 12:51 am -  Reply

    hi Richard can you tell me why my baskets was full of catapillars Ive been gardening for about 20 yrs I first noticed the plants was being eaten checked the plants could not see anything it was a month later when my husband got the baskets down because they looked a mess each basked was full of catapillars I had a couple of fuscias trailing begonias and 2 of double petunias. Thankyou its a pleasure watching you. ive learnt a lot

  3. Sally May 11, 2016 at 8:49 pm -  Reply

    Just a note to you to say how pleased we are with the lawn magic.
    I did write to you in desperation last year as our new laid lawn began to fail with patches of dead grass and was very yellow and weak.
    We did complain the company but with no avail anyway I thought we would try the lawn magic and OMG after one application the lawn grew like billy o and now after just to treatments is lush thick and green looks amazing thanks for saving our lawn with this truly amazing product.

  4. Debs May 21, 2016 at 10:59 am -  Reply

    Hi Richard
    Wonder if you can help my lovely sick plant. I send you a photo of it just taken. Thank you ever so much Debs

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