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Manolo Blahnik has always found happiness in gardening, dating back to when he was growing up in La Palma during the 1950’s. His mother used to collect old roses from France and England; “She took such good care of them, and they smelt so beautiful, the smell of my childhood.”
Years later, the designer still has the same fondness for gardening, his home in Bath is filled with the most delightful blooms and have become his pride and joy.
In the spirit of spreading the joy, he has shared a few tips to creating your own garden – whether you have acreage or a windowsill.
"Choose a rose that will flourish in your locale – my garden in Bath gets an abundance of rain so the more delicate varieties will not stand. I plant them in spring with some mulch for drainage and nourish them regularly with plenty of fertilizer to ensure strong stems and the most divine, fragrant flowers. In late winter, when my garden begins to come back to life, I prune roses from the previous years to keep them healthy and flowering."
"The sensational sight of tulips in full bloom requires careful planting in late autumn. Choose one hue or two complimentary colours and pack them close together. It is a joy to see their blanket of colour across my garden, reminiscent of one of the most beautiful areas of Kew Gardens in London. I will often clip my favourite few and arrange in a beautiful vase to give to a friend as they do not tend to grow back as wonderfully the next year."
Lily of the Valley Text
"Though they look extraordinarily delicate, these flowers are one of the easiest to cultivate – plant them once and they will appear again in your garden year after year. You will want to plant them in autumn and by mid-spring they will blanket the ground with bell-shaped white blooms and the most delightful fragrance. Just do not have a taste – take care to keep pets and children away from them for the three weeks they are in bloom."
"I insist on using fresh basil in my cooking as the flavour cannot be beat! It is effortless to maintain and thrives indoors year-round – though it will do just as well outdoors as part of a lovely large herb garden. Plant it in a sunny plot or arrange the pot in a sun-lit window, then water often and trim the top once it gets too tall. A plant or two will be more than enough to pluck a few leaves here and there for a lovely soup or caprese."
"Fresh mint tends to grow just the way I like it – in abundance! Mint spreads nearly instantly when planted in the ground so give it space and you will be rewarded with a plentiful supply. It’s another good one to plant in a small pot – outdoors or in. Keep the soil hydrated, rotate every week or so, and pinch off the stems regularly to keep the plant in perfect condition. Now it is ready to use in delicious sauces or to garnish a cocktail!"