Retired horticulturist Les Coombs has used Flower Power since it was first introduced ten years ago. This year he has won six first prizes for his garden, container displays and plants in various competitions. His greatest 2017 accolades include; the Chobham Agricultural and Horticultural Society Garden Competition, the Best hanging basket, the Best container, First Prize in the Dahlia competition and also the biggest sunflower head. “I’ve had quite a good year this year,” he admits. “I also won the Longacres Garden Centre’s competition for the best summer garden with a prize of £100.”
So what’s the secret of his success? “I feed them all with Flower Power,” he reveals. “ I can see the value of the high potash, I think it makes the flowers brighter.” Les is a huge fan of Richard Jackson’s Garden and watches it on QVC whenever he can. “If I can’t watch it live I always record it,” he says.
Les’s endeavours prove that you don’t need a large plot to have a lovely garden. “My garden is my life really,” he says. “I spend a lot of time in the garden, but it’s not that big, just 40 x 30ft. I grow a lot in containers because I find it’s easier to grow in containers, especially as you get a bit older. With pots you don’t have all that bending down for deadheading and whatever. I think it is much easier for older people.”
His pots and containers are packed full of flowers, though he admits that he grows runner beans in some of them. “I like fresh runner beans from the garden,” he says, “but the rest of the garden is all flowers. They all get their Flower Power treat every week.”
Les describes Flower Power as Richard’s magic and it’s clear that he not only believes in the product, but also that he uses it for everything he grows. “I keep it in store and I’ve always got some here. I buy it when it when it is the QVC Today’s Special Value, so that I always have enough.”
When Les retired his wife bought him a greenhouse, where he grows a lot of his own plants from seeds and cuttings. Les also shares his hobby with friends and neighbours. “I gave a new neighbour some dahlia cuttings and a pot of Flower Power to feed them,” he says, “ and she had really beautiful dahlias this year.”
It’s clear that gardening and sharing his love of gardening gives him great pleasure. “ I do all of this for our own enjoyment and not for the competitions and shows,” he says. Les is just as generous with his tips and advice for anyone inspired to plant more flowers in pots. “You must keep them watered, well-fed and deadheaded,” he advises. “I always use Flower Power every week through the growing season. The dead heading is very important too, so I go out daily and do it. But I am lucky because I am retired, but if you can deadhead at least once a week you it will make a huge difference.”