David Domoney brings his passion for plants to Perrywood Tiptree

David Domoney, best known for co-presenting ITV1’s ‘Love Your Garden’ and for being resident gardener on ‘This Morning’, joined us recently to share his passion for plants and gardening, and some helpful tips and advice.

In the morning he delivered a talk on “Gardening is the best medicine – how your garden can make you healthier and happier”. The information and tips came thick and fast and here are some of our favourites:

David talked us through sensory plants for smell, touch and colour and passed some around the audience. Scented plants included the houseplants Stephanotis and Gardenia and he talked about the importance of having houseplants in homes and offices to detoxify the air. He also passed round Thyme, Sage, Lavender and curry plants.

Smelling Rosemary as it is passed round

David is a huge fan of encouraging wildlife in the garden and is an ambassador both for The RSPB. He told us to have more nest boxes in the garden. David incredibly has 40 nest boxes in his own garden, and has both open sided for birds like robins and the ones with a small hole for birds which fly in like Blue Tits. It is also important to clean them out at the end of the nesting season. He also showed us how to put fat balls into an old garden whisk as another way to introduce food into the garden.

Are you a fan of hedgehogs? David is also an ambassador both for the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. He suggests you cut a hole at the bottom of your fence to allow hedgehogs to travel between gardens without having to go on the road. They are great for keeping the slug population down. Hedgehog houses are also a great addition to any garden.

David picked out some of his favourite plants from a walk round the Perrywood plant area. These included Coprosma Pacific Dawn with it’s vibrant leaves, the Thornless Blackberry which is a great way to add fruit to your outside space, Callicarpa bod. ‘Profusion’ with its stunning purple berries, Clerodendrum trichotomum ‘Purple Blaze’ which has purple Spring foliage and unusual Autumn flowers and Pernettya mucronata which has stunning pink or white berries in the Autumn. Great choices!

David choosing his favourite Autumn plants like this Callicarpa, with purple berries

He summed up by telling us that gardening is good for the heart, and that adding colours and interest into our gardens and outdoor spaces can make us happy. We agree and you can read more about our advice on this.

At lunchtime David joined our lucky competition winners for lunch in our coffee shop & restaurant. They were keen to ask him about his TV experiences, and to ask him some questions about their own plants and gardens.

Our competition winners enjoyed lunch with David.

After lunch David helped workshop attendees in choosing the right plants to bring colour and happiness to the garden during Autumn and Winter.

David Domoney helped this group plant up some Autumn containers

Each participant received a pair of Showa gardening gloves, to wear while planting their container. David has partnered with Globus Group to promote their extensive range of award-winning gloves which protect hands so that you can garden safe in the knowledge that they have you covered. Simon Bourne, Retail Director, is a big fan of the gloves. “I personally use these in the garden and think they are the best on the market.”

Ta da! One of the lovely finished planters