Michael Perry, better known as The Plant Geek, needs no intro; once named one of the Top ’20 most influential horticulturists’ by The Sunday Times, he’s a regular speaker at UK plant shows and is often seen on ITV This Morning sharing gardening tips as well as on QVC presenting a range of curated products. His website hosts lots of useful tips for gardeners at all stages of their gardening journey.
Where do you garden?
I have a small urban style garden in Suffolk
Is gardening a profession or a hobby?
Both- I have no other hobby!
When did you start gardening and why?
I was gardening since I was a child, I learnt with my grandparents, and I’ve built a career around it
Was gardening a thing in your household when you were growing up?
Yes, very much so, my grandparents grew plants to sell, and it was a very natural thing to do. In those days, it wasn’t very cool though, so I kept it a secret from all of my friends!
Who else gets involved with your plot? Is it a family affair?
My partner doesn’t have an interest in plants, but that doesn’t bother me at all, you can’t all like the same things, and it makes it more interesting that he doesn’t!
Where do you get inspiration and gardening advice from? Originally from my grandma, but now, from my trade contacts, from visiting flower shows, just being involved in growing and gardening is inspiring enough for me. I’m also so keen on new ideas, so I can get inspired by myself as well. LOL!
What are you planning to grow this season?
I’ve planted my bulbs very late, so I’m looking forward to those coming through. Aside from that, I will be growing lots of containers with unique plantings that’s my thing!
How does gardening have an effect on your lifestyle?
I don’t know anything different, so I’m not sure I can answer that. I just know that it goes hand-in-hand with my life, everything I’m interested in is related to gardening or growing or plants!
What do you find most challenging in your garden?
Making sure it looks good all year round, it’s difficult to plan so that there is always interest in terms of flowers, but of course, it can be done with foliage.
What has been your greatest success?
I think the speed and rate that I planted my own garden, I planted very densely, so it gave a very instant impact, which is very impressive, I have to say!
Any big growing challenges you plan to take on in the future?
I am really looking for a bigger property, with a bigger garden, so that will give a massive challenge I’m sure.
Three top tips you would give someone starting out?
Don’t worry about following all the advice, feel your own way yourself. Do things at your own pace, don’t worry if you’re too late doing something, it’s probably going to be okay. Grow what you like, not what you think you should like!
Three people you’d recommend following on Instagram?
Stephen Brett @TheCountryCrib
Lizz Mobbs @southwoldflowerco
Tom Brown @tec_mow