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Chelsea Tour members 2017

Chelsea Flower Show First Day Tickets | Homestay England

Why not visit the world’s most prestigious flower show this May with Homestay England’s Chelsea Flower Show Tour? In addition to visiting the Flower Show on the first day, with first day members’  only tickets,  you also get to see a selection of public and private gardens prior to this.

We have re-arranged the tour schedule, due to the announcement of the marriage of HRH Prince Henry and Meghan Markle, so that if you wish, you can watch the royal wedding on the television on Saturday 19th May, in the comfort of our English home before visiting a garden in the afternoon.

The Chelsea Flower Show has been held in the grounds of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea since 1913. Today 157,000 people visit the Show each year.

The Show caters for every age and every taste, displaying the latest ranges in garden goods, as well as the current fashions for garden design and plants. The skill of the designers is first class, with the gardens looking perfect for the show, even though many of the plants should not flower at that time of the year. Garden designers come to exhibit at Chelsea from all around the world, including Kazuyuki Ishihara, from Japan.

In the Great Pavilion specialist flower growers exhibit perfect examples of their traditional plants and the latest new plants on offer for gardeners. The riot of colour and fragrance in the Pavilion hit the senses as soon as you enter.

The Chelsea Flower Show Tour only accepts 3 people (4 people if a member of your family or friends share a room.) This keeps the tour very personal and allows flexibility.

We hope that you can join us for this special tour from 17th – 23rd May.

Prices and more information.

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Beautiful red poinsettia's

Poinsettia’s Everywhere!

A familiar sight in British homes throughout the Christmas period is the potted Poinsettia. Many people do not realise that Poinsettia is a member of the Euphorbia family but one cut of the stem reveals the milky sap that Euphorbia’s contain.

Poinsettias are no doubt the most popular plants to grow at Christmas. Poinsettia were discovered in Mexico in the 19th Century where they grow to a maximum height of 3.5 metres in the wild.

Wild Poinsettia in Mexico

Many people believe that the coloured bracts are the flowers. Bracts are actually the leaves that colour up in shades of yellow, cream, salmon, pink and the traditional red. The flowers are small and yellow and can be seen in the centre of the plant. By looking at these flowers you can tell if the poinsettia is worth buying. If the flowers are closed in tight then the plant is in good condition. If they are open or soft then the plant is starting to die. 

Central yellow flowers

So what makes the bracts start to colour up? This happens when the temperature drops and the daylight gets shorter. This is fine in the wild but these conditions must be imitated for growing the small plants that adorn many shops just before Christmas.

Many people find that Poinsettias are difficult to keep alive. Poinsettias need warm temperatures during the winter. Do not place them near heaters, or too close to windows and keep out of draughts. Give them plenty of light but not direct sunlight.

The cause of death for many poinsettias is over watering. Wait until the top of the compost surface starts to dry out before watering again. Do not leave any water standing in the saucer as they do not like standing in the wet, cold compost.

poinsettia basket

If you follow the above rules then you should be able to enjoy your poinsettias for many months over the winter. If you don’t then you can always enjoy the numerous Poinsettia products on sale like this Poinsettia tablecloth of ours.

Poinsettia tablecloth

The Christmas Build Up Begins!

Join us for the build up for Christmas -Advent!

The period of Advent starts tomorrow on December 1st. Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas Day when Christians prepare and remember the birth of Jesus on December 25th.

For people who do not go to church Advent is an exciting time of year when they enjoy making preparations for the build up to Christmas.

Join us on our blog as we enjoy the fun of Advent this Christmas!

Birmingham versus Heathrow!

Most of our visitors choose to fly into London Heathrow but there are other options for those who do not wish to fly to London in 2018. There are very good flight options to Birmingham Airport that offer a quick change in Europe or the Middle East.

Airlines that fly to their respective countries and then onto Birmingham are;
KLM (via Amsterdam)
Air France (via Paris)
Swiss International Airlines (via Zurich)
Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul)
SAS (via Copenhagen)
ANA (via Brussels)
Emirates Airlines (via Dubai)

Another UK airport option is Stanstead Airport via a European changeover or Manchester Airport from the US or Canada.  Both airports have easy rail links to us. We can pick you up, free of charge, from one of our local railway stations, Melton Mowbray or Grantham. The choice is yours.

David Austin Blooming Marvelous!

This week I paid a visit to the world famous David Austin rose garden. It was a feast for sore eyes and the perfume that wafted through the garden was a delight to experience. The roses were full of buds and flowers. I spoke with David Austin who told me that he has never seen the roses look so good. When asked why this was the case he said that it was down to the excessive moisture that the roses received in the wet spring.
Austin12.jpgIt was good to see some of the new introductions for 2012. I particularly like The Lark Ascending with its delicate apricot blooms. It has a light scent, but what it lacks in scent it gains in class. Ideal for the mixed border.
Boscobel, named after the nearby Boscobel House has a strong fragrance and beautiful, full shaped, salmon pink blooms when fully open. The foliage is attractive with the buds starting off red. The foliage is dark green and very healthy.
The third impressive new edition is the white, musk rose ‘Tranquility’. It has almost perfect white blooms and is very useful as it has very few thorns making it ideal to place where people will brush past them and release the gentle apple blossom scent.austin12.1.jpg
As summer progresses make a visit to David Austin’s rose garden to see the range of English Roses that could add beauty to your garden. We take people regularly to the garden. Please contact us for more information David Austin Rose Garden Visit.


Our Christmas Homestay in Mr Partner Magazine

We are very excited for our Christmas homestay to be covered in the latest issue of Mr Partner. Thank you to Chieko who introduced us to them after she homestayed with us for the third time.
We look forward to receiving many more guests during 2016, The Year of the English Garden.


Latest Publication in Engei Guide


We are so excited about our homestay being published in Shufunotomo’s ‘Engei Guide.’
Thanks go to our good friend Nori who wrote the article and her husband Tats who took the wonderful photographs.
Hopefully this will encourage more people to visit England next year, especially as 2016 is the Year of the English Garden.


The Build Up to The Chelsea Flower Show 2015


It is one week today until the gates will open for the first member’s day of the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show. In the build up to the show each day we look at the show gardens and gardening fashion items that wowed visitors last year.

We start with two of my personal favourite large show garden of last year, the Help for Heroes charity ‘Hope on the Horizon’ garden. Although only winning Silver-Gilt, the garden designed by first time Chelsea designer Matt Keightley was voted as the People’s Choice Show Garden.


The designer’s brother was fighting in Afghanistan and he was only too aware of the sacrifice and heartache that this could bring to military families. The garden was designed to represent the journey of recovery for injured and sick servicemen and women. The garden starts with a rough, unfinished area and is finished with a beautiful structured and planted area at the end of the journey. The hard, grey granite blocks represented the soldiers’ physical wellbeing, while the woodland planting beneath the tall hornbeam trees represented their psychological wellbeing.


The dark granite blocks were softened by beautiful subtle coloured planting of green, purple, pink and white plants. Tall architectural foxgloves (Digitalis) add height and accent to the garden while the underplanting is magnificently textured. This garden definitely deserved the People’s Choice Award and I look forward to seeing his garden this year…Sentebale-Hope in Vulnerability.

Look out for another show garden tomorrow or perhaps join us on our 2016 Chelsea Flower Show Homestay Tour.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic English!

If your dream is to be a volunteer at The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, here are 6 reasons why you should study English with Homestay England.
  1. Learn English in England from native speakers.
  2. Enjoy studying in a beautiful, peaceful environment.
  3. Learn from an International Award Winning Teacher.
  4. Homestay with people who loved living in Japan.
  5. Learn to speak with confidence.
  6. Remember 2020 with pride!

Further details of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic English Homestay package.

Make 2015 Your Year of the Sheep in Skillington!

Come for a relaxing homestay in the beautiful English countryside. Whether you want to study English or take a popular English cultural homestay course, Skillington is the perfect place for this. Skillington is a pretty stone built village and a peaceful haven where friendly sheep outnumber people! Stay with Patricia and Russ for an unforgettable homestay experience during 2015!