What we can learn from Roy Lancaster

Nicotiana rustica Roy Lancaster is well known for presenting Gardeners World and appeared on other horticultural shows such as Gardeners Question Time. He is a prolific horticultural writer and speaker and he could be called a ‘Plant Hunter’ as his career took him all around the world discovering new plants. For his services to the plant world, he has been awarded an OBE and a CBE plus a lifetime achievement award from the Gardeners Media Guild. His passion for plants is very special. So what can we learn from Roy Lancaster?


Learn from Roy Lancaster that it’s OK to get emotional about plants

Roy’s love of gardens started as a young boy when he would explore the moors near Bolton. From discovering Nicotiana rustica on a local allotment to later growing a rare Chinese Magnolia, Roy clearly has a passion for plants in his blood. By his own admission, he gets very emotional about plants which we can only assume is due to his connection with energy. Roy has said that his energy is ‘green’ energy which comes from plants and he still has many plants to discover yet. His enthusiasm is enough to make any plantsman emotional! So if you love plants or visit gardens and feel overwhelmed by their beauty, that’s totally fine by Roy Lancaster.


Travel to enjoy plants can be learnt from Roy Lancaster

Throughout Roy’s career, he has vastly travelled the world and even credits previous ‘plant hunters’ as his all-time heroes. He clearly loves to find new places and native plants to the country he is visiting. Roy has even travelled to Iran help with planning the very first botanic garden in the country and to Jordan on a secret mission to save some dying trees in a royal palace garden. This love for travel and plants is abundant in all of his writing and talks. Travelling to different countries to see and experience other plants and gardens is a huge benefit to gardeners if possible.


Take inspiration from Chinese planting from Roy Lancaster

Roy has travelled to China and loved it so much he later published a book called ‘Plantsman’s Paradise, Travel’s in China’. With over 3000 native plants on just one mountain in China and 137 species of Oaks, it really is a country that loves plants. Many of these plants are grown in UK gardens and across the world now. Roy’s book not only talks about the plants but the people that contribute, conserve and have a passion for plants. His enthusiasm will undoubtedly encourage you to implement some Chinese style planting in your garden.

Provoke your own passion for plants in our garden centre with our range of shrubs, plants and trees.

You might also be interested in:

Ladybirds - Nature's garden pest control patrol

The first sighting of ladybirds in spring is a sign for gardeners everywhere to rejoice. These cute little beetles with their cheerful red and black spotted coats are actually voracious predators, and they like nothing better than hoovering up pests such as aphids and scale insects. With each ladybird capable of eating around 5000 aphids in its lifetime, it’s definitely worth getting to know them better.

6 x plants for shady spaces

Most gardens have shady spaces that can seem hard to fill with lovely, attractive plants but some of the most beautiful garden plants can grow perfectly well in a shady space and even thrive for many years. Make sure you know what your soil conditions are so you can pick the right plants to grow in shade and you can create a colourful spot in the garden even without sunlight. These top 6 plants for a shady space are well worth trying to grow in your garden if you have a shady space.

Indulge in the Chelsea Flower Show for inspiration

The Chelsea Flower Show (21 - 25 May) is the pinnacle of flower shows in the UK and even around the world. People flock to the Great Hospital site in Chelsea to marvel at the exquisite show gardens, floral marquee and gardening accessories. The start of the week even begins with a show full of celebrities, royalty and media channels producing TV and photographs of this prestigious event. But it’s not all about that, it’s all about the stunning gardens and plants.

How to identify pests and diseases?

There is nothing more frustrating than finding pests and diseases on your lovely plants after tending to them with love and attention. Fortunately, there are many ways to minimise the risk of plant pests and diseases, mainly ensuring they receive the care that they need. But even after all of your efforts, they can still sneak up on your plants and be a real pain. Plants that are thriving, indoors or outside will not show any signs of yellowing or brown leaves or dry, curly edges. Whilst many of these could also be a sign of not optimum conditions, which in itself can lead to pests and diseases but this is a sign your plants are in distress. Keep a check on watering levels, light levels and make sure you have the right plant for the right place which will help to minimise any problems. So, if you are concerned about pests and diseases on your plants, this guide will help you to identify them.