The Beechgrove Garden ep.1 2017

 The best sign of spring is when the Beechgrove Garden returns and Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson, Chris Beardshaw and Brian Cunningham are all back in the garden dispensing sage advice to keep growing.
 At this time of the year, we are normally bemoaning winter storms - so what do we have to talk about after one of the mildest winters on record? Jim and team look at the signs of spring and see if it really has come early this year. Jim also takes a look at the progress of the overwintered veg, while George has already set himself a challenge to produce a weekly salad.
Carole has been in search of early signs of spring as she takes an up close and personal look at the tiny world of snowdrops. She also visits Helen Rushton in Rothienorman to discover why these tiny beauties excite such passions.


 Hello and welcome to the first programme of 2017.
 The sun was shining on this the first day back to the Beechgrove Garden. First off a quick review of winter weather and conditions, as expected over the winter period the weather has varied across the country. In Edinburgh George had a mild winter until November. Then the frost and cold hit in February. Brian said that the strong winds managed to avoid Scone Palace this winter so there was none of the usual tree damage so far. Chris found that in Gloucestershire it had been a mild November. Then it turned cold in January with hard frost and temperatures of -5°C to -6°C most nights. Chris reckoned that the cold weather in January had kick-started everything into growth.
 The weather for Jim in Aberdeen-shire had been relatively mild with only one outing of Jim’s snow shovel. Carole also in Aberdeen-shire reckoned temperatures have only been down to -4°C with some cold winds and temperatures at Beechgrove have only been down to -6°C. The plants as a result were displaying a‘concertina effect’ where crocuses, snowdrops and daffodils were all flowering at the same time.
 Signs of spring in Cornwall is heralded by the ‘Magnolia bloomometers’. These are 6 giant Magnolia campbellii trees, situated in six of Cornwall’s greatest gardens and when each tree has more than 50 blooms, spring is said to have finally arrived in this part of England. This year the 28th February was when the 50 blooms emerged. It is then usually a walking pace northwards for signs of spring.
 We approached some Beechgrove friends to find out what was heralding their spring this year. At Glenarn near Helensburgh on the West Coast there Sue and Mike Thornley reported that there were no magnolia flowers as yet; but there were rhododendrons in bloom. Richard Baines at Benmore also has had many rhododendrons in flower already some two weeks early.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.1 2017
The Beechgrove Garden ep.1 2017