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I cherish every special, magical moment when I meet a person with whom I share a deep connection and enjoy a true and meaningful, lasting friendship.  One such fellow, whom I am very fortunate to call a close friend, is the horticulturist, broadcaster, journalist, author, plantsman and nature lover, John Negus.  John is a truly wonderful man, he is an expert gardener and horticulturist; John never fails to inspire me. 

Endangered orchids

If we hear that an item is rare – be it a jewel, or an item of clothing, or a plant – the very idea that there is limited stock of whatever it is available can send our minds into overdrive, just knowing that there is a restricted quantity of the product in question in existence, can fervently increase our desire to own the item – we don’t want to miss out after all! 

More ideas to use less plastic

In March 2018, I shared some of my ideas of how to reduce plastic use and try live more sustainably.  I love our planet, I want to do all I can to protect our world, this is an important issue for me.  I’d love to help you to find new ways to live sustainably and happily, saving money and having fun along the way!

Through my work I have become very well acquainted with so many fascinating plants, but I have also enjoyed getting to know some interesting people, many of whom I have met at the different gardens I have visited.  I hold a deep affection for the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, I am a great fan and supporter of Kew’s work in conservation and plant science, and I love to visit the beautiful glasshouses and gardens at Kew; Kew’s plant collections amaze and delight me! 

The Welcome to Yorkshire Garden

At this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show I couldn’t wait to visit the Welcome to Yorkshire show garden, which was designed by Mark Gregory and built by Mark and Landform Consultants.  This show garden took a picturesque, heart-warming view of the Yorkshire countryside to the centre of London, where I was there, ready to welcome the garden with open arms! 

The Temperate House is the world’s largest surviving Victorian glasshouse!  This substantial glasshouse is sited at the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, which itself is a National Treasure and an UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The Temperate House is a Grade I Listed Building.  When this glasshouse’s refurbishment programme commenced work in 2013, the Temperate House was in a dilapidated condition, at this time the Temperate House was on English Heritage’s Buildings at Risk Register.

I visited the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in August 2013, just before the planned Temperate House refurbishment programme began and this Victorian glasshouse, with its shabby chic but regal splendour was closed to the public.  I watched nervously as Kew staff wheeled containers and decorative, heavy looking display items out of the glasshouse.  Back in 2013, the planned reopening date seemed so far into the future, 2018 sounded somewhat space age then, but now, here I am delivered safely to this date, with the good fortune to be here at Kew to see the Temperate House on the day of its reopening! 

April is such a magical time of year!  It’s quite simply awe inspiring to see the landscape being painted by mother nature in every beautiful shade of green, as more leaves unfurl and the view becomes ever greener each day.  I love to be outside, surrounded by the birds singing and bees buzzing.  On warm days you may see butterflies flying: look out for the green toned Brimstone butterfly this month. 

Remembering loved ones

When you’ve lost someone you love, it’s natural to want to arrange a fitting memorial and to plan a meaningful tribute in their memory.  Memorials of any kind are such a personal choice, but I want to help you by sharing some information and ideas of ways that you could leave a lasting legacy, one that will beautifully celebrate the life of someone close to your heart, whilst being kind to the environment. 

I am a sentimental old soul, I treasure so many things that most folk would not think twice of throwing away.  I also keep things, just in case they become useful one day.  Yes, you could describe me as a hoarder!

I love our planet.  I love fields, meadows, glades, forests, hills, marshlands, bogs, mountains, streams, rivers, and oceans.  I love to see wildflowers growing in the wild. 

Kew Orchid Festival

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are currently hosting their 23rd annual Orchid Festival.  You’ll find an array of colourful orchids, inside the Princess of Wales Conservatory at Kew, until Sunday 11th March 2018, when the Orchid Festival closes for another year.  I hope that you can make it to Kew to see this impressive orchid spectacle during the next couple of weeks! 

I’ve admired the work of Master Florist Henck Röling for a number of years now.  Henck Röling is a Master Florist and Artist, he works for some of London’s top florists, Henck creates weekly flower arrangements for the Ritz, Southerby’s, and Fortnum and Mason, to name but a few.  As well as at top London hotels and restaurants, you may have seen some of Henck’s work at Kew Gardens’ Orchid Festivals, where Henck has created an absolutely fabulous series of floral installations over the past eight years.

Rebecca Louise Law: Life in Death

On view at the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, inside the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

If you get the chance to visit Kew Gardens before Sunday 11th March 2018, it’s worth making time to visit the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, where you’ll be able to view Rebecca Louise Law’s latest art installation ‘Life in Death’. 

Kew Orchid Festival 2018 Thailand!

From Saturday the 10th February 2018, until Sunday the 11th March 2018, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are hosting their 23rd Orchid Festival.  If you’re looking for a wonderful day out, you’re sure to find it here, at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew!

This inspiring plant extravaganza has been designed to celebrate Thailand’s vibrant plants and culture.  

Mothering Sunday, also known as Mother’s Day, will be held on Sunday 11th March 2018, in the UK.  If you’re looking for a special family day out, you might be interested in discovering more about the following gardens and attractions, which are offering free entry to Mothers, or other special offers on Mother’s Day 2018.  Some of these Mother’s Day offers differ, so I’ve listed the details of each event for Mother’s Day 2018 offer separately for every venue. 

If you’re looking to plant up containers to bring an immediate dose of cheer to your garden, varieties of pansies and violas, purchased in flower from your local nursery, in your favourite colours, will brighten your garden.  With regular deadheading they, will flower from now until summer arrives.

If you’re looking ahead to the summer and you’re keen on bedding plants, this is a great time to sow seeds of Lobelia, Antirrhinums, and Pelargoniums, in the warmth indoors.

Daffodils are such cheerful flowers, heralding the start of springtime, they are a joy to behold.  There are many different varieties of daffodils, so consequently you can find daffodils flowering from as early as December until late May, and beyond in cooler areas of the country.  Which is wonderful, as it provides us with plenty of time to enjoy and appreciate the daffodil’s beauty!

Welcome to my 2018 Snowdrop Gardens, Talks, Events, and Open Days Calendar!  Here are the dates, and all the details of some of the most beautiful and magnificent snowdrop gardens across the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium, and Germany, which are all opening especially to allow visitors the joy of seeing their collections of snowdrops.  You’ll also find details of snowdrop study days, open days, talks, lectures, and any other lovely snowdrop events happening in 2018.

The Book of Orchids: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from Around the World.
By Professor Mark Chase, Dr Maarten Christenhusz, and Tom Mirenda
ISBN: 978-1-78240-403-3
Published by The Ivy Press

Comprised of six hundred and fifty-six pages and weighing in at 2.3kg, The Book of Orchids is a substantial book that’s jam packed full of interesting information about orchids!

From Saturday the 4th February 2017, until Sunday the 5th March 2017, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew are hosting their Orchid Extravaganza!  This year, Kew’s Orchid Extravaganza has been designed to showcase India’s vibrant plants and culture.  Visitors will be treated to an array of inspiration, provided by sights, sounds, and scents which will entertain and delight from the moment you enter the Princess of Wales Conservatory during this very special event.