Spring is in full swing and we are relishing the season’s brighter days, woodland flowers springing forth and buds bursting into flower everywhere. With National Gardening Week around the corner, we chatted with plant whisperer, horticulturist and garden designer Jane Porter, AKA @plantyjane.
When did you first find an interest in gardening and what steps did you take to make it into a career?
Only about 7 years ago.
I did a course about edible gardening at a local city farm and I found out there was a horticulture course I could do. I did that over the next year at night school and when I qualified I started working part time as a gardener. Pretty soon I was doing simple designs and helping out at flower shows where I got the bug for design.
At this time of year (April) what is your #1 task in the garden?
For me it’s sowing seeds and towards the end of the month I’ll be dividing warm season ornamental grasses to make more from the ones I’ve had and improve their vigour
What plant can you not live without? Is there one you always recommend in your garden planning?
So many! My favourite grass at the moment is Pennisetum ‘Fairy Tails.’ I often recommend the evergreen Jasmine climber Trachelospernum jasminoides. I love the fern Dryopteris erythrosora with its bronze new foliage and the flowers on Geum ‘Mai Tai’ are gorgeous.
Trachelospernum jasminoides image image credit: brigherblooms.com
You are appearing at the Chelsea Flower Show with your own garden this year. Any hints on what we might get to see?
Scotland in miniature!
Jane Porter featured in the Guernsey Press as she prepares for Chelsea Flower Show 2022
Is there any garden in the world that you’ve admired from afar but haven’t had a chance to visit?
I would love to see the Californian Superbloom. Technically not a garden but an incredible show in the wild.
Californian Superbloom image credit: www.architecturaldigest.com
Which gardener has most inspired you and why?
My Aunty Jane. I wish I'd been interested in gardening when I was growing up but I paid it no attention and she quietly created the most incredible garden on different levels with barely any topsoil. Her knowledge is immense and it's all we talk about these days!
Aunty Jane in the garden
Do you have a favourite hand cream or balm? For chapped hands?
I have just tried Weleda's 'Skin Food' and it really is the best thing I've used. It's also plant based, so win win!
What do you miss about Guernsey 🇬🇬 and what do you always make sure you do when you visit?
I miss the beaches. When we come over we always go to Herm. It’s a very special place to me from holidays there with my Mum when we were little.
What is it about Le Tricoteur guernseys that make them ideal for gardening?
They’re tough yet easy to move in, and so warm I don’t have to wear a coat.