Games & Hobbies
#268: Growing Edible Flowers in Your Home Garden with Expert Michael Perry
Did you ever think you can eat the flowers that you are growing in your home garden? In today's episode of the Vegetable Gardening Show, Mike chats with expert Michael Perry of Mr. Plant Geek about different varieties of flowers, many of which are readily available in your area, that are also edible.
Michael will tell us which varieties to choose and how they can be consumed. From there he'll tell us all about the wild new plant varieties he is bringing to market and what the gardening guru has going on with his travels from his time on HSN.
This and so much more on this week's episode of the Vegetable Gardening Show!
I’m a PLANT GEEK, and always have been. Of course, during my cool teenage years, I tried to hide it. But I soon couldn’t hide it much longer. And now? Well, you just need to check out my website and social media feeds to see that the obsession shows no signs of letting up..
I have more than 18 years experience in the horticultural industry, and seem to have become a recognisable face in the plant world (possibly thanks to my relaxed attitude to selfies with my favourite plants!) In 2015, I was super chuffed to be listed in the Top 20 most influential horticulturists by The Sunday Times. I’m well-travelled too, often taking on 100km treks in interesting places around the world, and you’ll find I certainly know my Begonia from my Bignonia!
You also need to know that I’m possibly a tiny, tiny bit lazy. But, this means I’m one of the best people to come to for gardening shortcuts (hacks). Gardening has a habit of seeming quite overcomplicated, and it doesn’t need to be that way. I feel like i’m here to clear that fog, and help people enjoy easy gardens again! I am by all means a gardening expert, but prefer to simplify things!
Once of my main activities over the last 18 years has been developing new plants and new plant concepts! I have introduced hundreds of plants to UK gardens, ranging from Climbing Pelargoniums to Ground Cover Lilies, the TomTato and Egg and Chips plants, and I was also instrumental in getting the UK to grow it’s own Goji Berries, Hanging Basket Blackberries and much more!
I have a far-reaching network of contacts and possess the unique skill blend of plant knowledge mixed with marketing awareness. I’ve helped Thompson & Morgan win countless awards, most notably Plant of the Year with Digitalis ‘Illumination Pink’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2012.
When introducing new plants, I have handled the whole process; from identifying the product, managing the products trials to directing the photography and preparing the marketing. Over the last 2 years, I have also overseen the development of a successful show garden at Jimmy’s Farm in Suffolk.
After a few years helping to direct the Thompson & Morgan catalogue videos, I was encouraged to get in front of the camera. Whilst nervous in the early days, I soon developed and become a successful guest presenter on the QVC shopping channel, both in the UK and across Europe. My product knowledge is very natural, and I basically love talking about plants, so all in all that makes a good presentation!
This is of my career has also developed with various stints on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show and This Morning, as well as BBC’s Great British Garden Revival and The One Show. I have been lucky to have been asked to lecture in Japan, allowing to share my plant concept ideas with a very willing audience. I’m also a regular on BBC regional radio across the UK, contributing to BBC Suffolk quite often, giving out gardening advice to telephone callers.
The network of garden clubs and societies in the UK also keeps me very busy as I present my popular ‘new, different and unusual plants’ lecture. Clubs from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland have all requested my presence, as well as the RHS at their London shows.
My delivery is refreshing, informative, lively, and dare I say slightly quirky. It’s certainly a style most garden clubs in the UK haven’t seen before, and that’s why I keep getting asked back. my skinny jeans are very busy from October to March each year!
With no initial planning, my social media audience seems to have grown quickly and successfully, thanks to my lighthearted updates and keenness to share my knowledge, hints and tips! Indulge in my Instagram for a riot of colour or follow my Twitter for my quicker opinions on a range of gardening (and non-gardening) subjects. I’m also starting to delve into Pinterest, and new app Gardentags!
There are more than 12,000 people following me on twitter, almost 5,000 on Instagram and almost 4,000 likers have clicked onto my Facebook page. I also help out a few other gardening organisations with their own social media accounts.
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