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Celebrity Secrets chats to – ITV gardening expert Daisy Payne

Editorial Feature

The past year has been huge for gardening as more people than ever before are embracing it. However, the concern over Biodiversity loss is increasing as people look at what they can do to help, in their own outdoor spaces. 

This Morning’s gardening presenter Daisy Payne is on hand to offer some simple tips on what we can do day-to-day to help protect biodiversity in our own outdoor spaces.

What do you think is the best way to get kids involved in gardening?

Allowing children to get involved in smaller gardening activities such as planting and sowing seeds is a great way to inspire our future generations to love and respect wildlife. Brands like Birds Eye are leading the charge on this by giving families an opportunity to protect and support biodiversity in their own outdoor spaces.

Birds Eye Peas, for example, are giving shoppers the opportunity to win 1 of 20,000 wildflower seedboxes which helps kids get involved in gardening for free. It’s also a great way for parents or guardians to start the conversation with kids about biodiversity and educate them on the best way to protect nature in the long-term, teaching them to do their bit and help wildlife thrive.

Do you have any tips on maintaining a garden with a dog running around?

Having a dog and keeping your garden tidy are two things that don’t sound like they quite fit together, but there are a few things you can do to help. With my dog Ernie, I make sure that he has toys around the garden to help keep him entertained so his attention isn’t on digging up my nice flower beds. You can also look to put fences around your plant beds or I’d suggest raised flower beds to make it harder for them to get their paws on them.

How do you know for sure that the foods you’re buying are really doing their bit for the planet?

It can be hard to know which brands to trust when it comes to sustainability, a general rule is to take a look at what the manufacturers are doing to support sustainability. You can do this by looking at their website or on the pack. Birds Eye, for example, work with nature through sustainable farming techniques which actually, help boost biodiversity.

They’ve even become the first farm group in the UK – and the first frozen food brand in the world – to be awarded the gold standard in its Farm Sustainability Assessment from the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) which is the world’s leading platform on promoting Sustainable Agriculture practices.

What if you don’t have much outdoor space, is there a way to grow your own with a window sill or balcony space?

Anyone can try their hand at gardening, window boxes are perfect for those that have a window sill or balcony space – as well as the new trend of vertical gardens. Or if it’s becoming a real hobby, get yourself an allotment plot like me! It’s a great way to feel more part of your community too. The wildflower seedboxes giveaway from Birds Eye Peas might be a great place to start.

Anything anyone can do to help do their bit in reversing biodiversity loss is better than not doing anything at all.

When it comes to growing your own veggies at home, where would you recommend starting?

Are there any that are easier to maintain than others? Or is there one foolproof way to grow the perfect tomatoes for example?

To get started with growing your own veg, I’d start with those that need less maintenance – so I’d try courgettes or potatoes for example. In terms of a fool-proof way of growing, I think it comes down to the individual – obviously like anything that you plant it needs love, water and the right amount of sun – but that’s the fun of gardening, the more you do, the more you’ll learn.

What’s the best way to keep weeds under control without using products that may be harmful to the planet?

If you want to get rid of weeds – one of my preferred options is a really organic way, which is the no-dig method you get yourself some layers of cardboard, place it down over the weedy area, make sure it’s firm down, plenty of layers. It works so well because the cardboard stops light and vital nutrients reaching the weeds, meaning they can’t thrive!

What about inside the house? Do you have any advice for growing indoor plants?

Yes, I love when people bring the outside in. I’d say my favourite tip for indoor plants is to remember to rotate them so they can grow evenly.

We know quite a bit about your gardening style, but what about inside, do you have a specific style when it comes to decorating the interior of your home?

My garden is always going to be my favourite place to ‘decorate’, but when it comes to inside my home, I love a fresh, country feel – especially as I live in the Cotswolds. I guess you could say my house feels rather coastal with blue and white tones too!

What about in the kitchen? Do you have any favourite recipes to make with homegrown herbs and vegetables?

To be honest, I’m not sure I do – I just love making anything with vegetables I have grown myself. Although, I must confess when I’m busy you can’t beat the convenience of Birds Eye’s Garden Peas and knowing they are grown sustainably makes them taste even sweeter! The pea recipe finder on their website is great for when you need some dinner inspiration.

To see your company in any upcoming features we are arranging please email editorial@hurstmediacompany.co.uk

Laura Forsyth

After graduating with a Journalism and English Literature degree, Laura has gone on to work for national television and as a reporter for the UK’s biggest news outlets. With years of experience in the media industry, Laura is now the managing editor for Hurst Media Company, and the food, travel and health editor for checklists.co.uk

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