Countdown to Christmas

Posted by Richard Jackson on December 19, 2011


It’s the countdown to Christmas in the Jackson household! The first presents have been popped under the tree which is, incidentally, bearing up remarkably well as I keep forgetting to top up the stand with water. Rosie, our gnasher like dog, sniffs the presents every day. She’s not daft. She knows we’ve bought her a doggie stocking, packed with christmas themed dog chews, and she knows it will end up under the tree eventually.

I enjoyed my final Christmas gift show for the season on Saturday and was especially pleased to see Ceri Hughes, our freelance floor manager (pictured), had entered into the spirit of the occasion! Ceri often appears as an extra in TV shows. The last time I saw her on the box, she was a mad Nun in The Day of the Triffids and I think she’s appearing in Great Expectations on the telly over Christmas, so do look out for her.

It’s the time of year for Quizzes and not to be outdone, here’s my fun, quick quiz for gardeners. You don’t have to agonise over the answers for too long as I’ve popped the answers at the end!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.


1. What have Richard and Judy, Terry Wogan, and Kim Wilde all got in common?
2. Which of these is not a variety of potato? Pink fir apple, King Alfred, Duke of York?
3. In what part of London does a world famous flower show take place every May?
4. Which BBC Radio 4 Gardeners’ Question Time panelist was a nude male model and an animal impersonator before becoming a keen organic gardener?
5. What’s the name of the amazing insect eating plant that snaps its jaws shut on unsuspecting prey?
6. Begonia seeds are tiny. How many of them weigh just one gramme?
7. What was the UK’s top selling bedding plant this year?
8. What essential piece of garden equipment was invented in 1832?
9. ‘Nobbut a lad – a Yorkshire childhood’ is the title of an autobiography written by which much loved gardener?
10. Which best selling rose was named to commemorate the end of World War 2?

Answers: 1. They’re all varieties of sweet peas. 2. King Alfred, it’s a daffodil. 3. Chelsea. 4. Bob Flowerdew. 5. The venus fly trap 6. 60,000 – they cost more per gramme than gold! 7. Busy Lizzies – B&Q alone sell over 70 million of them every year. Sadly, due to downy mildew disease which has suddenly started to affect them, gardeners next year are being discouraged from growing them and responsible retailers, like QVC, won’t be selling them so it certainly won’t be the top seller in 2012. 8. The lawn mower. 9. Alan Titchmarsh 10. Peace.