Why I’m looking forward to November


It might sound a little odd, but I just can’t wait for November to arrive! That’s when I can start planting tulips, my absolute favourite spring flowering bulbs.

Most other bulbs prefer to be planted earlier in the autumn but tulips are best planted when the soil or compost is slightly cooler as this helps minimize the chances of them getting infected by a disease called Tulip Fire.

I love big, bold displays of tulips so I’ve bought quite a few bulbs (as ever, I got carried away when ordering). Every year, I plant the stunning orange ‘Princess Irene’ – this variety’s not only beautiful (as you can see in the photo below), it’s also long-lasting, compact and scented – and the sugar pink peony flowered ‘Angelique’. I grow both of these in big pots on the patio. I plant the bulbs about 15cm (6″) deep, almost touching, and position them so the plump side of the bulb is pointing towards the inside of the pot (I find this helps them produce a neater display).


Every year, I like to try some new varieties too, and this season I’ve bought an early flowering, rich, deep purple variety called ‘Ronaldo’.  That’s going in pots too. Talking of pots, if you’re looking for more ideas on what bulbs to plant in them, or indeed, any other plants, my Container Gardening book will be back in stock from November 8th on QVC, and it’s at an amazing price with free P&P!

chenies tulips

I’ve enjoyed planting up containers for over 40 years, ever since I helped take huge pot grown plants to stage at the Chelsea Flower Show. Since then, I’ve had so much pleasure growing a huge range of plants, from stately cut–leaved Japanese maples to hanging baskets bursting full of colour.

The book includes all the tips and ideas I’ve learnt over the decades and will help anyone, from beginner to expert, grow the most wonderful pots, hanging baskets and window boxes. I was very honoured when my book became the top selling garden book of the year in the UK when we launched it; then, as it is now, only available from QVC.


Also back in stock on QVC are the Millington’s edible Christmas cards for dogs that my son, Chris, introduced to rave reviews last year. I think these are brilliant. They’re made entirely from rawhide so are completely edible and dogs simply love them (as this video shows!). The pack consists of three designs, and each card comes with an envelope for posting and you can write a message in them too. Our terrier Rosie absolutely loves them, as do all her dog walking friends. Not only do they love eating them, the cards are good for their teeth and help freshen their breath too!


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That’s it for now. I’m popping back into the garden to clear my pots ready for those tulips. And Rosie will be sitting beside me, hoping for an early Christmas card!

Happy gardening,



  1. Linda November 14, 2015 at 5:41 pm -  Reply

    Dear Richard, Can you tell me how to get my Allium ready for the winter. It still has some flower on it. Thank you. Linda

  2. Tig November 30, 2015 at 11:22 am -  Reply

    Richard, what’s happened to David Ponton? I love Hayloft Plants, and the new chap Derek is lovely, but I miss David’s enthusiastic descriptions and extensive knowledge, as he seems blessed with endless energy and tales of floral folklore. QVC needs to be true to its image of “one big happy family” and tell us when family members disappear from our screens. Talking of which, how is Julian, whom I still miss very much?
    Products wise, maybe you could bring more solar decor for the garden? I have just received a fantastic silhouette cockerel which makes fantastic shapes on the ground after dusk (from another website – you don’t stock it). I think you may have had the hens one time, but there are lots of fun animals the company makes, including pigs, peacocks etc, and I think they’d do well on QVC.
    Lastly, glad to see the gardening shows continuing into late autumn, as most of us still have plenty of leaf sweeping etc to be getting on with, so keep up the good work!!!

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