RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.11



Nicki Chapman and James Wong choose their favourite gardens from the show. Griff Rhys Jones shares his passion for plants, and Rachel de Thame concludes her guide to creating the best borders.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.10

Monty Don and Joe Swift are back with more news from 2017's RHS Chelsea Flower Show, aided by Adam Frost, Nick Bailey, Rachel de Thame and Carol Klein. Monty takes an illuminating tour of the Artisan gardens at dusk.



Mary Berry gives a personal tour of her family garden before searching the show grounds for inspiration to take back home.

Newsnight anchor Kirsty Wark reveals how gardening is a perfect antidote to her day job.


The Beechgrove Garden ep.9 2017

It's bedding plant time and Jim, Carole and George are planting out a bevy of beautiful bedding in the Beechgrove Garden. Scotland's number one bedding plant is the begonia, and Carole checks on the progress of her fertiliser observation using begonias as the test plant.



Brian Cunningham responded to a cry for help from Susan Bulleid in Newton Mearns, who has a problematic dry shady spot under a mature beech tree. Brian uses the beech to its best advantage and creates a new woodland garden fit for purpose.

Carole visits Hamish and Sue MacIntosh in Balnabuel, near Dalcross airport. The couple have carved this one-acre mixed garden full of choice plants out of a fissure of land to create many growing environments.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.9



Nicki Chapman and James Wong celebrate the small show gardens and meet some of the medal-winning designers. Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame and Simon Lycett offer practical gardening and floristry advice from around the showground.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.8




It is day four of the BBC's coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Monty Don and Joe Swift are in the Great Pavilion with Carol Klein, celebrating the achievements of the exhibitors at 2017's show and revealing the winner of the highest accolade, the Diamond Jubilee Award.

Joe Swift interviews Kelly Brook and gets an exclusive look at her garden. Monty meets Sarah Raven and Tricia Guild.

On Wednesday evening, the online vote opens for viewers to d ecide which of this year's large show gardens should win the BBC RHS People's Choice Award.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.7



Nicki Chapman and James Wong look at the highlights from the show. Celebrity florist Simon Lycett teaches James Wong how to get more life out of the perfect bouquet, and Carol Klein continues her global tour of the Great Pavilion.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.6




It is medals day at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Monty Don and Joe Swift reveal the show garden designs that have won a highly prized gold medal and talk to the designer who has won the prestigious Best Show Garden award.

Mary Berry focuses on cut flowers and fashion icon Nicole Farhi shares her passion for design and architecture.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.5




It is medals day - Nicki Chapman and James Wong join judges at the crack of dawn to discover who has won what. Carol Klein continues looking at plants of the world, focusing on Asia, while Anneka Rice reveals her gardening prowess.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.4



Monty Don and Joe Swift launch BBC2's week-long celebrations at 2017's RHS Chelsea Flower Show and share their first thoughts about the show gardens. They are joined by Adam Frost, Carol Klein, Juliet Sargeant and Frances Tophill, who bring you the very best from the most prestigious flower show in the world.
Joanna Lumley joins to share her long-held passion for plants.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.3




Sophie Raworth and Joe Swift present continued coverage of the event as members of the royal family visit the showground. Chris Evans and Mary Berry introduce the Radio 2 Feel Good Garden, dedicated to taste, and there is a look at some of the spectacular gardens and exhibits.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.2

Coverage of the yearly horticultural event held in London



Nicki Chapman and James Wong capture the buzz of the show's opening day as celebrities and VIPs descend on the event. Nicki and James talk to the Rich Brothers and meet the famous names behind the Radio 2 Feel Good Garden, dedicated to scent.Carol Klein embarks on world tour of plants in the Great Pavilion, beginning in Africa.


RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 ep.1



Coverage of the Chelsea Flower Show begins with a preview of the gardens and exhibits, before the event is officially open to visitors. Sophie Raworth and Joe Swift reveal how the show is put together in just three weeks.

Gardeners' World ep.10 2017

 There is work to be done around and in the pond this week and Monty Don also begins planting out his dahlias. Adding zing to the month of May is the euphorbia and Carol Klein visits Oxford Botanic garden to view their extensive collection. Mark Lane is in Hackney finding out how a car breaker's yard at the side of a Tudor National Trust property has been transformed into an award-winning garden used by the local community, while Adam Frost explains how to plant for structure in his herbaceous border.


Rachel de Thame visits a garden which has opened to the public every year for 90 years for charity as part of the National Gardens Scheme, while Nick Bailey is in Devon where he discovers how a pond plant has now escaped into the countryside and is invading waterways. And we reveal the final candidate for our Golden Jubilee plant and open the vote.


The Beechgrove Garden ep.8 2017



We are a nation of houseplant givers and buyers but do we know how to care for them once home? Carole the houseplant doctor dispenses advice. On a similar theme, in the Beechgrove Garden, trying to keep our own house in order, Jim, George and Carole struggle to rescue some pot-bound camellias.

Jim is back visiting the inspirational Firpark School in Motherwell. Firpark has 150 pupils with a range of additional support needs and pupils learn to take produce from fork to fork from garden to bistro. And Carole visits Simon McPhun's deceptively informal cottage style garden near Huntly.


Gardeners' World ep.9 2017

There is a full hour of gardens and gardening from not only Longmeadow but also the RHS Malvern Spring Festival.
Monty gets going on planting herbs in his new herb garden and gives advice on how to divide and move ornamental grasses, while Nick Bailey demonstrates a simple and easy way of making a pond.


 We meet the queen of herbs, Jekka McVicar, as she builds a herb garden at the Malvern Show and join Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Frances Tophill as they bring us the best from the floral marquee and show gardens. And Adam Frost explains why he has chosen a rose as his golden jubilee plant.




The Beechgrove Garden ep.7 2017

In the Beechgrove Garden, it's tomato time as Jim and Carole both start off their own tomato trials. Brian Cunningham is back at Beechgrove and he continues with the next phase of development for the alpine garden. George packs his loppers and cuts a dash to see Sheila Harper in Banchory. Sheila's garden boasts two old, unruly apple trees which George brings back down to earth.


Jim is visiting the inspirational Firpark School in Motherwell and finds that horticulture is at the very root of the school's success. Firpark has 150 pupils with a range of additional support needs, and pupils learn to take produce from fork to fork and from garden to bistro.

Pruning Apple Trees Sheila Harper in Banchory is living in a rented property with two magnificent, old and unpruned apple trees which now crop way above her head. Once upon a time they were trained as espaliers. George thought that given the size of trunk and size of branches, they may be somewhere between 70-90 years old. George carried out some very necessary pruning work to both balance and prolong the life of the trees. The top growth was reduced by around 1/2.
The results looked severe but George reassured Sheila that the trees would recover and that the shoots which would grow from the cut branches would need to be pruned back to half their length and thinned out next year.
The trees were just coming into growth at the time of pruning which was ideal as it gave George and Callum an indication of where it was possible to thin out and cut back the branches. George advised Sheila that the trees has just had a major operation and recommended feeding the trees with blood, fish and bone around the base in spring and autumn and keeping them watered to aid their recovery.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.7 2017
The Beechgrove Garden ep.7 2017


Dream Gardens ep.7

Justine and Greg are busy with three kids and high-pressure jobs that often take them away from home. It's their dream to have a garden sanctuary to escape, relax and recharge in. Can they find sanity from the insanity?


Join leading landscape designer Michael McCoy as he showcases some of Australia’s most lavish and magnificent gardens from the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result.
 What does it mean to make a garden? What longings do gardens fulfil; what dreams do they satisfy? These are the question at the heart of a new show, Dream Gardens, launching on ABC TV this week. Eschewing how-to tips on growing plants (done so well by ABC's other garden offering, Gardening Australia), this is a show that looks instead at what we want from gardens and how clever garden design can deliver it.
 The host is the ebullient Michael McCoy, a garden designer and writer. McCoy has a degree in botany, long experience as a hands-on gardener and sought-after garden designer, and a passionate curiosity about what makes good garden design work. He's empathetic, enthusiastic and opinionated - the perfect guide to lead viewers around eight gardens-in-the-making.

Dream Gardens ep.7
Dream Gardens ep.7

Gardening Australia ep.9 2017

Sophie visits an historic garden property in the Adelaide Hills, Costa and Jane help build a garden that is accessible to everyone, Angus explores Sydney's Barangaroo reserve, and Millie makes a cubby out of plants.
Gardening Australia provides practical, realistic and credible horticultural and gardening advice, inspiring and entertaining Australian gardeners around the world.


1. Barangaroo
Angus visits a former industrial site in Sydney that's been transformed into a naturalistic foreshore reserve
2. Planty Shanty
Millie shows how plants can be used to build a cubby house
3. Carrick Hill
Sophie visits one of Adelaide's favourite historic garden properties, Carrick Hill
4. Strawberry Patch Update
Tino gives an update on his strawberry patch experiment
5. A Garden for Everyone
Costa and Jane visit a group home and help create a garden that is accessible to everyone
6. Multiplying Plants
Josh shows how to divide grasses and clumping perennials.

Gardening Australia ep.9 2017
Gardening Australia ep.9 2017

Gardeners' World ep.8 2017

Monty gets to work in the cutting garden, plants his tomatoes and brings pots of citrus out of the greenhouse and into the garden for the summer. Carol Klein visits another of her gardening heroes, Penelope Hobhouse, and finds out about her lifetime of making grand gardens and how she has now created a low-maintenance haven for herself filled with foliage and colour in her small Somerset garden.



We meet Gill Bagshawe, who has filled her plot in the Peak District with raised beds to grow as many different cut flowers as she possibly can. And Alan Power extols the virtues of the Japanese maple as his choice of plant for the golden jubilee award.

Gardeners' World ep.8 2017
Gardeners' World ep.8 2017

The Beechgrove Garden ep.6 2017

 Jim has set up the 6 x 8 greenhouse in an almost exact replica of his own greenhouse at home and this week he's adding some half-hardy colour.Meanwhile, Carole trials a range of fertilisers using Scotland's number one bedding plant, the begonia, to see what if any difference adding fertiliser makes.Chris continues development of the new, old (Scottish) rose garden. It has been planted with every variety of rose, but they will all have to be able to cope with exposed Scottish conditions.  George visits Dr Tony Toft in his garden at Hermitage Gardens in Edinburgh, which is a showpiece display of unusual species mixed tastefully with specially commissioned pieces of art and sculpture.



A couple of year ago, Chris added some standard weeping roses to the side border of what was then the cutting garden. This week Chris is adding to the collection of roses using the 4 central rectangular beds. First though – some pruning of the now 2 year old weeping standard roses and the reason for leaving the pruning so late is so that the long stems have time to produce some growth and be weighed down so you get an idea of what wood to prune out (where the previous flowers were) and that which is dead diseased or frosted in this case.
Use sharp clean secateurs so as not to spread disease and take off the tips about 1cm above a good healthy bud, then go through the entire canopy. On the main trunk was a shoot of the root stock – the dog rose, this needs to be taken out as they would become way too vigorous and take over the plant.
Christhen fed them with a specialist rose feed and then watered it in. A layer (2 – 3cm deep) of well-rotted horse manure was then added around the base. In the four beds in the middle of the garden, Chris wanted to show some variation and diversity of types of rose but have a coherent theme.
The centre of beds were planted with species roses to provide height with varieties of ground covers and others to provide a kaleidoscope of colours and scents. The preparation of the beds for new roses is paramount. Roses like free draining soil, but a firm soil and ours was a bit too light and fluffy which would allow root rock, so to make the soil a bit heavier, Chris added well-rotted horse manure to the beds. This was forked in and the beds were tramped over the beds to firm up the soil to give the roots a good firm hold in the soil. To the planting holes he also added seaweed (kelp) meal and mycorrhizal fungi. Chris was planting the roses quite deep so the shoots are coming from ground level, as the current thinking is to plant roses slightly deeper as this will keep the roses in a healthy condition. It is essential in the first few months after planting to keep them really well watered.
At a later date, there will be under planting of herbaceous plants and bulbs to complement. We ordered our plants bare root, which is a cheaper way of adding to your plant collections and here in
Aberdeen we are just about at the end of the bare root season. Elsewhere you may have to buy container raised plants. If you are not ready to plant then you can heel them in to keep the roots as moist as possible. Heel right up to the crown of the plant. The roots will be vulnerable to drying out so keep them moist until you are ready to plant.
Chris featured a few favourite varieties:
A large centrepiece large shrub rose is Roseraie de L’Hay, with a wonderful fragrance. Very large, double flowers of rich crimson-purple with contrasting stamens. A vigorous, dense shrub. Completely reliable.
• Repeat Flowering
• Highly Fragrant
• Ideal for poor soil
A modern English Shrub rose is Munstead Woodc combining the old-fashioned bowl shaped roses with a sweet fragrance and long flowering of the modern rose. Ground cover is Kent, one of the County Series and a really good ground cover rose with double button white blooms. A new floribunda is Burgundy Ice. This is a relatively unusual plant derived from a well known rose called ‘Iceberg’ – This new one has all the vigour of Iceberg but with a burgundy tint.
These roses came from David Austin roses, and the information above is from their catalogue.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.6 2017
The Beechgrove Garden ep.6 2017


Gardeners' World ep.7 2017

Monty Don continues work in his courtyard, where he gives advice on plants which thrive on shady walls, sows root crops in the vegetable garden and catches up on work in his cottage garden.
Joe Swift pays a visit to a small-town garden to find out how an interior designer has transformed her outdoor space, and gives tips on how to bring elements of design into back gardens. The team meet Charles Dowding who, since the 1980s, has pioneered the practice of 'no dig' organic gardening. Plus Flo Headlam showcases her golden jubilee plant.



1. Planting : Roses
Roses can be expensive plants, but they last for many, many years and are easy to establish if you follow a few simple steps on planting and aftercare.
2. Climbers and wall shrubs for shade
North- or east-facing walls and fences often receive very little direct sunlight, but that doesn't mean you can't grow plants in these places. When choosing a climber or wall shrub for such a spot, choose one that can cope with cold and shady conditions.
3. Carrots
Carrots come in shapes and colours other than long and orange – look out for round carrots, as well as unusual colours such as red and yellow, there are even purple carrots.
Carrots can be grown in containers if you are short on space, or if your soil is heavy clay or very stony. Sow regularly for prolonged cropping.They freeze and store well too, but like most vegetables, carrots taste best freshly picked from the garden.
4. No-dig alternatives
Digging has many advantages; but it can take its toll on your back. Luckily there are 'no-dig' alternatives.
Gardeners' World ep.7 2017
Gardeners' World ep.7 2017

Gardeners' World ep.6 2017

Monty brings you a full hour of gardening for the Easter weekend. From sowing summer vegetables and soft fruit planting to propagating and pruning, as well as jobs to tackle over the long weekend, there is plenty of inspiration.If your gardening plans only extend to tidying up the lawn, Nick Bailey gets to grips with an unpromising patch of grass and gives his tips on how achieve a luscious lawn. We return to Adam Frost's garden as he starts to transform a herbaceous border and gives his advice on how to rid borders of bindweed. And we meet Roger Butler, who grows over one hundred varieties of hydrangea at his nursery in Kent.



Carol continues her series on her gardening heroes when she visits Waterperry Gardens to find out about the legacy of Beatrix Havergal, Frances Tophill selects her golden jubilee plant, and Flo Headlam visits a garden centre in Manchester which is run by the local community.

1. Lawns: spring and summer care
At this time of year, the lawn is actively growing and requires feeding, moss-killing, weeding and regular mowing. Spring is also a suitable time to over-seed sparse areas.
2. Hydrangea
Hydrangeas are popular garden shrubs with delicate heads of flowers in shades of pink, white or blue and pretty autumn colour and leaf shape. The mophead and lace-cap hydrangeas are most well-known for their ability to change colour in different soils.
3. Grow Your Own: Courgettes
Courgettes are so easy to grow – and you get so many courgettes from each plant – expect three or four a week if you grow your own!
Courgette plants do like to spread out (about a square metre/yard each) but you can always plant them in big pots or growing bags if you’re short of space.

Gardeners' World ep.6 2017
Gardeners' World ep.6 2017

Gardeners' World ep.5 2017

Monty gives his advice on the best apples and pears to grow in small spaces when he begins to plant up his new fruit garden and gets on with planning for colour when he plants summer flowering bulbs.
As April gets underway, Carol Klein chooses the humble primrose as her plant of the month, and we meet a couple from Yorkshire who have a passion for growing fruit and have filled their garden with over 100 fruit trees.And as part of the programme's 50th anniversary, Joe Swift makes the case for his golden jubilee plant, the one he thinks has had the most impact on British gardens over the last half century.



1. Grow Your Own: Broccoli
Broccoli has had a resurgence in popularity – for its high vitamin content and anti-cancer agents. It is a fast-growing and easy-to-grow crop, producing bluish-green heads that are harvested in the summer or autumn, depending on the time it is sown. The sprouting types – white or purple sprouting – are hardy and overwintered for harvest in spring, filling the gap between sprouts and spring cabbage.
2. Apples and pears: growing and training as cordons
Cordons allow you to grow a useful amount of fruit in even a small garden. Cordon training is suitable for all apples and pears that bear fruit on short side shoots (spur-bearing).
3. Growing in containers: Lilies
Lilies grow well in containers, where they can be positioned for maximum effect in the garden. It's a great way to grow these stunning plants, especially if you can't grow them in your garden.
4. Ornamental grasses: cutting back
Ornamental grasses fall into two main groups, evergreen and deciduous. Deciduous grasses need cutting back annually so that they will look their best. Evergreens just require a tidy-up.
5. Grow Your Own: Rhubarb
Rhubarb is an attractive hardy perennial with large leaves and pink, red or greenish leaf stalks that are used as a dessert, often in pies and crumbles. Stems are usually picked in spring, but plants can be covered with pots to produce an early crop of blanched stalks in late winter. The flavour of rhubarb varies in sweetness depending on the age of the stems.

Gardeners' World ep.5 2017
Gardeners' World ep.5 2017

Gardeners' World ep.4 2017

This week at Longmeadow, Monty begins a brand new project when he starts a new soft fruit garden. He also plants new potatoes and divides herbaceous plants in the jewel garden.
Frances visits an extraordinary tropical garden in Barbados which was developed from a collapsed cave, and we meet Chris Baines, a legend of gardening for wildlife, in his own small town garden.
And as part of the programme's 50th anniversary, Mark Lane offers his choice of the plant he thinks has had the most impact on British gardens over the last half century.


1. Bromeliads
The family Bromeliaceea are epiphytes originating from the southern United States, South America and West Indies, where they grow on trees, stumps and decaying branches. Their colourful bracts last several months, making them ideal house plants, particularly for a warm conservatory or glasshouse.
2. Air layering of plants
Air layering is a method of propagating new trees and shrubs from stems still attached to the parent plant. The stem is wrapped with damp moss to encourage roots to form.
3. Grow your own : Potatoes
Potatoes are hugely versatile and are a staple ingredient of many meals in one form or another - boiled, mashed, chipped or baked. Potatoes are classified as being either earliest or main crops. Early potatoes are ready to harvest much sooner than main crops and are what we call new potatoes. Main crop potatoes are in the ground a lot longer, they have a better yield and produce larger tubers (potatoes).
4. Gooseberries, red and white currants
Gooseberries, red and white currants are easy-to-grow soft fruits that cope with a wide range of soil conditions. They crop best in a sunny position, but will tolerate partial shade.
5. Encourage wildlife to your garden
Increasing the biodiversity of your plot doesn't have to be hard, or compromise the way your garden looks.

Gardeners' World ep.4 2017
Gardeners' World ep.4 2017


Gardeners' World ep.3 2017

Monty starts his plans for his revamped courtyard garden when he plants bare root trees and gives advice on climbers which will thrive on east-facing walls.Nick Bailey explores the strange world of lichens and finds out how these plants grow and thrive on trees, wood and stone, and Frances Tophill meets the enthusiastic gardeners of Barbados who fill their gardens, however small, with colour, foliage and world-class flowers.And as part of the programme's 50th anniversary, Rachel de Thame reveals the plant she thinks has had the most impact on British gardens over the last half century.



Gardening tips:
1. Pleached walks, tunnels and arbours
Pleaching is a method of training trees to produce a narrow screen or hedge by tying in and interlacing flexible young shoots along a supporting framework. Use this technique to make walks, arbours, tunnels and arches.
2. Planting: Trees and shrubs
Planting new trees and shrubs is not a difficult job, but one to get right, if you want your new plants to have the best start in life. The most important considerations are root health, weather, soil conditions and aftercare.
3. Grow Your Own: Tomatoes
Growing your own tomatoes is simple and just a couple of plants will reward you with plenty of delicious tomatoes in the summer. There are all kinds of tomatoes to try, from the tiniest cherry types, favourites with children, through to full-flavoured giant beefsteak tomatoes. Tomatoes come in all kinds of colours too.
4. Sowing indoors:
Sowing seeds indoors allows tender plants to be started off earlier in the season. When they have grown into young plants, they can be planted outside in the garden or vegetable plot once the weather is warm enough.

Gardeners' World ep.3 2017
Gardeners' World ep.3 2017

Gardeners' World ep.2 2017

Monty Don is mulching the borders in preparation for spring and potting up dahlias for the year ahead.Carol Klein celebrates her plant of the month - the daffodil - while Frances Tophill is brushing up on her horticultural skills as a volunteer at Andromeda Botanic Gardens in Barbados.
As part of the programme's 50th anniversary, Nick Bailey reveals the plant he thinks has had the most impact on British gardens over the last half century.


Gardening tips:
1. Mulches and mulching
Mulching is generally used to improve the soil around plants, but it also gives your garden a neat, tidy appearance and can reduce the amount of time spent on tasks such as watering and weeding. Mulches help soil retain moisture in summer, prevent weeds from growing and protect the roots of plants in winter.
2. Bulbs
Drifts of daffodils, snowdrops and crocus in open grass are one of the classic signs of spring. Although they look like the work of nature, they are simple to create and will last for many years.
3. Rose pruning: general tips
These general tips for rose pruning will help you improve the health and lifespan of any rose.
4. Ornamental grasses: cutting back
Ornamental grasses fall into two main groups, evergreen and deciduous. Deciduous grasses need cutting back annually so that they will look their best. Evergreens just require a tidy-up.

Gardeners' World ep.2 2017
Gardeners' World ep.2 2017

Gardeners' World ep.1 2017

  Over the year, Gardeners' World is celebrating 50 years of broadcasting timely advice and inspiration to the nation's gardeners.
Monty kicks off the gardening year from Longmeadow as he shares his tips for pruning, planting up pots for spring colour and sharing his plans for the coming year.


 At Packwood House, the extraordinary herbaceous borders come under Adam Frost's scrutiny as he finds out how they have been planted for maximum colour and impact.
Over the series, Carol Klein shares with us some of her heroes of gardening, the people who have impacted the way we garden for the last 50 years. She begins with Beth Chatto.

1. Bedding plants and displays
From elaborate public garden designs and street planters to the smallest front garden, bedding plants provide a temporary decorative seasonal display for beds, borders, containers and hanging baskets. Bedding can be grown from seed, bought as young seedlings (plug plants) or purchased as pot-grown specimens, often in multi-packs and cellular trays, ready for planting.
2. A Quick Guide to Clematis Pruning
There is a very simple rule of thumb that can be applied to pruning clematis if you have lost a plant label and/or don't know what the plant is called.
Don't prune clematis which flower on the previous year's growth (ie before June in central England)
Hard prune clematis which flower on the current year's growth (ie from June onward)
As always, there are exceptions to the rule but they are few. If you garden further north in the British Isles or elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere you need to adjust pruning times accordingly. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere your adjustment needs to take account of the reversed seasons.
3. Grapes: indoor cultivation
Although some varieties of dessert grapes can be grown successfully outdoors, they are more successful under glass, even in warmer locations. With a little attention to watering, feeding, pruning and training, it is possible to get a good crop year after year.

Gardeners' World ep.1 2017
Gardeners' World ep.1 2017

Gardening Australia ep.8 2017

Costa explores the gardens of Parliament House; Sophie visits a stunning garden in the Coonawarra region; Tino plants autumn root vegetables & guest presenter Indira Naidoo sees a carpark transformed into a botanical paradise.



Gardening Australia provides practical, realistic and credible horticultural and gardening advice, inspiring and entertaining gardeners around the world.

Gardening Australia ep.8 2017
Gardening Australia ep.8 2017

The Beechgrove Garden ep.5 2017

Jim is planting a selection of swedes and turnips for later in the year.Meanwhile, Chris is attempting to create a rose garden at Beechgrove, but how will it cope with exposed Scottish conditions?


Carole is in Ardersier for Vegetable Garden on a Budget, with recent research suggesting that a family of four could save roughly £1,500 a year growing their own vegetables. Mari Reid lives and gardens in Ardersier and has come up with a clever way of helping others to grow their own by using community-minded land or garden share.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.5 2017
The Beechgrove Garden ep.5 2017


Dream Gardens ep.6

Phillip and Maria are awaiting the birth of their first child and the creation of a lakeside garden. Sounds idyllic, right? However, delays, bad weather & budget constraints conspire to keep the expecting couple ever waiting.


Join leading landscape designer Michael McCoy as he showcases some of Australia’s most lavish and magnificent gardens from the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result.
 What does it mean to make a garden? What longings do gardens fulfil; what dreams do they satisfy? These are the question at the heart of a new show, Dream Gardens, launching on ABC TV this week. Eschewing how-to tips on growing plants (done so well by ABC's other garden offering, Gardening Australia), this is a show that looks instead at what we want from gardens and how clever garden design can deliver it.
 The host is the ebullient Michael McCoy, a garden designer and writer. McCoy has a degree in botany, long experience as a hands-on gardener and sought-after garden designer, and a passionate curiosity about what makes good garden design work. He's empathetic, enthusiastic and opinionated - the perfect guide to lead viewers around eight gardens-in-the-making.

Dream Gardens ep.6
Dream Gardens ep.6

Dream Gardens ep.5

After tragically losing their wife & mother to cancer Roberto & his two children are hoping that the transformation of their garden will not only bring them healing but also create an everlasting tribute to their loved one.


Join leading landscape designer Michael McCoy as he showcases some of Australia’s most lavish and magnificent gardens from the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result.
 What does it mean to make a garden? What longings do gardens fulfil; what dreams do they satisfy? These are the question at the heart of a new show, Dream Gardens, launching on ABC TV this week. Eschewing how-to tips on growing plants (done so well by ABC's other garden offering, Gardening Australia), this is a show that looks instead at what we want from gardens and how clever garden design can deliver it.
 The host is the ebullient Michael McCoy, a garden designer and writer. McCoy has a degree in botany, long experience as a hands-on gardener and sought-after garden designer, and a passionate curiosity about what makes good garden design work. He's empathetic, enthusiastic and opinionated - the perfect guide to lead viewers around eight gardens-in-the-making.

Dream Gardens ep.5
Dream Gardens ep.5

Growing Tomatoes in Containers or Raised Beds

Tomatoes are the most popular crop grown by home gardeners worldwide, and perhaps, the most difficult plant to achieve consistent results year over year.Tomatoes require a porous soil mixture that permits good drainage, allows good root growth and adequate oxygen in the root zone.
Balanced nutrition consisting of:
Major Nutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K)
Secondary Nutrients: Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg), and Sulfur (S)
Micro nutrients or Trace Elements: Boron (B), Chlorine (CI), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), and Zinc (Zn)
The proper soil PH to enable our plants to extract the nutrients we have provided to the soil, according to experts, is around 6.0 to 6.8. With neutral PH at 7.0, then tomatoes prefer to grow in slightly acidic soil.
Often times, we achieve an excellent soil mix by adding all of our primary, secondary and micro nutrients. We care for our plants daily; yet still have spindly plants, watery fruits, and even experience blossom end rot, where we achieve beautiful fruits but they rot away on the blossom end. This is caused by the plants inability to take up Calcium.



(One successful container tomato grower in Nashville, TN USA.)

A closer look at Calcium (Ca):

Calcium is essential for many plant functions, including:
Proper cell division and elongation
Proper cell wall development to provide strong cell walls to resist disease
Nitrate uptake and metabolism to support plant and fruit growth
Enzyme activity to enable photosynthesis and development of plants sugars
Starch metabolism in plant leaves
With Calcium playing such a central role to our tomato crop, it's critical to understand how to make Calcium available to our plants.

A brief explanation:

Calcium is found in adequate quantities in most soils formed from limestone (Calcium Carbonate) or Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate). The difficulty is that 98% of the Calcium found in soils is not in a soluble form and cannot be taken up by plant roots. Additionally, as soil PH increases, insoluble Calcium may bind with Phosphorus, creating Ca-P compounds that are not readily available to plants.
In many cases, we are advised to add egg shells, lime, gypsum, or other forms of insoluble calcium to our plants with mixed results, particularly for pot-grown plants.
So, what is the answer to solving the Calcium conundrum in tomatoes:
Calcium Nitrate is a completely soluble form of Calcium and Nitrogen, which can be mixed with water and applied to the plant's root zone similar to other liquid fertilizers.
In emergencies, it can be mixed and applied as a foliar spray to provide a more immediate boost to the plants.
In its soluble form, the Calcium can be immediately taken up by the plant. The Nitrogen component is converted by microorganisms in the soil to ammonium. The ammonium then becomes the source of plant nitrogen for amino acid formation, and thus, all plant proteins.
Bottom line: add the forms of Calcium your prefer to the root zone, but help insure the results of your tomato crop, by utilizing a fertilizer that contains a soluble form of Calcium and Nitrogen throughout the growth of the plant.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.4 2017

 Carole and Jim are also both planting potatoes; Jim is planting new blight-resistant varieties in the main veg plot, whereas Carole tries cheap and cheerful potato bags on the decking.
 Jim has asked the team to each choose their best tree for a small garden and is planting them all in Beechgrove to compare and contrast.
 Saughton Park is a faded, hidden garden gem in the south west of Edinburgh. The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, or the Caley, as it's affectionately known, has taken up the challenge of renovating this once-grand park and garden. George will visit the project on a regular basis during its design and build.


It was not a bad morning weather-wise at Beechgrove but temperatures are still dropping at night so be careful with your tender plants. Carole and Jim were looking at the splash of colour shown by the spring bedding. Last year the display consisted of varied spring bedding with the bulbs planted throughout the entire scheme which did not really work because the bulbs obscured the bedding
plants. This year the bulbs are in the centre of the display and the spring bedding has been planted around the perimeter. Narcissus ‘Rapture’ (a cyclamineus Narcissus) looked lovely with its reflex petals. Narcissus ‘Silver Chimes’(Jonquilla) is a multi-headed variety which is highly scented like jasmine or hyacinth.
Carole was not too sure of the mixed colours of primula but they seem to work well with Tulip ‘Concerto’. Tulip ‘Foxtrot’ is a late flowering variety with apple blossom coloured blooms. It is already flowering in pots but it is later flowering in the bed. It coordinates well with the white Polyanthus. The daddy of all the bulbs was a Tulip that we don’t know the name of. We had ordered Shakespeare but Carole wondered if the bulbs had been wrongly named as she knew ‘Shakespeare’ as a compact tulip with stripy leaves and yellow to orange blooms. This variety turned out to be too tall to show off the blue polyanthus underneath but is a real show stopper... whatever it is.

The typical size of a UK garden is 14 square metres which means that many people have limited space in which to garden so it is really important that you choose the right tree for the job for proportion and decorative value. Each of our 5 presenters has chosen their favourite tree for a small garden to add to the trees already at Beechgrove. Criteria for their choices included shape and size, rate of growth, pruning regime, autumn colour fruit etc. Into each of the planting holes went mycorrhizae to aid root establishment and a bit of fertiliser. Jim also demonstrated a range of staking techniques. There are two main reasons for staking young trees, particularly if they are tall specimens and if the site is exposed. Firstly, to anchor the root ball preventing it from moving about. Secondly to keep the main stem vertical, whilst realising that swaying of a stem does help to strengthen and thicken it. Presenter’s trees for a small garden choices: Jim: Prunus ‘Snow Showers’ – a lovely little weeping cherry suitable for most gardens, with an estimated height and spread of just 3 x 3 metres in 20 years. Th is tree will grow in most sites but does not tolerate very wet soil. Chris: Cornus controversa ‘Pagoda’ – spring flowers,autumn berries and stunning autumn colour foliage. This is a slightly more vigorous form of the more common variegated form C. controversa ‘Variegata’Height – up to 10 m spread to 8metres. Carole: Sorbus vilmorinii – beautiful lacy foliage, springflowers, autumn berries and can be grown in most soil types. Eventual height and spread in 10 – 20 years – 2.5 – 4m. Garden staff: Crab Apple ‘Royalty’ –Malus Royalty is an ornamental crab apple with attractive solid dark red flowers. The autumn fruits are a deep red colour, whilst the bronze leaves are impressive from spring to autumn Height – 3 – 4 m after 5 – 10 years. George: Amelanchier ‘Rainbow Pillar’ – white flowers, autumn colour and grows on most types of soil. A lovely new introduction from Ohio which will grow to 5 m in height and 2.5m spread. Brian: Acer grosseri var. hersii – a snake bark maple with grey green foliage and beautiful snakeskin bark. fast-growing tree with year-round interest. Reaches specimen size quickly. Growth then slows. Eventua height and spread – 7 – 9metres.
Staking methods:
1. No apparent staking, the root ball being anchored below soil level. Three wooden pins are put into the soil around the rootball and then these are attached to horizontal cross pieces. This is mainly used for bigger specimens.
2. Double upright stake to 30cm above ground - 30-40cm apart (with crossbar 30cm above
ground from prevailing wind side.)
3. Oblique stake.
4. Single upright stake to 30cm above ground.
5. Single upright stake to start of ‘head’.
6. Double upright 30-40cm apart with crossbar to start of ‘head’. (Crossbars to be screwed to the
stakes).
Other trees already at Beechgrove suitable for small gardens are:
The Siberian Pea tree – or Caragana arborescens.This is a very small, weeping tree and so is ideal for any small garden and makes a very attractive feature tree. In May it has with yellow, pea-like scented
flowers that are popular with bees. It is very tough and will do well in poor soils, semi shade
and has good drought tolerance once established. Caragana will reach 3 x2 m (or less) in 20 years so is perfect for smaller gardens. Another of Jim’s favourites is Prunus serrula – the Tibetan cherry which has been in the Beechgrove garden for about 20 years and still really well contained and could be planted in any small garden. Again, it is a good all-rounder, growing in most soil types and
positions. Ultimate height and spread in 20 years is 8 –10m. It features wonderful peely red bark.
Another topper in Jim’s opinion was Amelanchier lamarckii (the Snowy Mespilus). This is small, tough and graceful, and is ideal for an exposed or difficult position. April brings a profusion of star-shaped, white flowers with bronze tinged young leaves, followed later in the year by striking red autumn colour. Height and spread in 20 years is only 4m x 3m.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.4 2017
The Beechgrove Garden ep.4 2017

Gardening Australia - Easter Special ep.7 2017

In a one hour Easter special Costa dyes eggs & learns the horticultural history of chocolate; Sophie makes "egghead" seed pots; Tino visits a wildlife sanctuary in Tasmania & Millie makes a holiday herb basket.


Gardening Australia provides practical, realistic, and credible horticultural and gardening advice, inspiring and entertaining all gardeners around the world.

Gardening Australia - Easter Special ep.7 2017
Gardening Australia - Easter Special ep.7 2017

The Beechgrove Garden ep.3 2017

 To dig or not to dig, that is the question on Jim and George's lips in the Beechgrove Garden. Two side-by-side veg plots, both preparing to grow, but one has been dug over and the other untouched.
 Scone Palace is overrun by rabbits like many Beechgrove viewers' gardens. Head gardener Brian Cunningham sets up an observation to try and find out if there really is such a thing as rabbit-proof plants.George is no shrinking violet when it comes to floristry and as Jim would say, every day is a school day. This week, George goes back to school, not just any school but flower school in Edinburgh, where he learns tips and tricks to put together some unique arrangements with spring flowers.


At Beechgrove we keep our collection of Camellias indoors over the autumn and winter period until it is time to let them go out for their summer holidays outside. This week they were looking amazing.
Camellia ‘Donation’ is a reliable variety up with us and the first to flower in early March at Beechgrove and good value too as it’s still flowering. George commented that Camellias were also flowering in sheltered spots outside in Edinburgh.‘Ballet Queen’ was looking gorgeous – rather like the frills of a ballerina’s tutu. George described ‘Jury’s Yellow’ looking like whipped cream.
With lots of potential buds on these plants the display is set to continue. It will be another month before they can be moved outside as there is still the potential of early morning frosts.
We have had these Camellias for 4/5 years now and the discussion was whether they needed to be potted on. Keeping potting them into bigger and bigger pots is not the solution as they become too unwieldy to move. Jim suggested treating them like semi-bonsais and keeping them in the same pots and refreshing the compost. After flowering they can be removed from their pots and the old compost removed. Their roots would need to be gently teased out. They could then be re-potted in the same pots with new compost. They need to be kept well-watered to prevent bud drop.

The Beechgrove Garden ep.3 2017
The Beechgrove Garden ep.3 2017

Better Homes and Gardens ep.1

Homes and gardens come alive in this weekly lifestyle show packed full of ideas and information.


The team of presenters show viewers how to make their homes and gardens come alive through various DIY projects including food, decorating, crafts and gardening projects. The plans, recipes and stories featuring on the show also appear in the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. This award-winning program had won several Logie Awards as well as two People's Choice Awards and four World Food Media Awards.

Better Homes and Gardens ep.1
Better Homes and Gardens ep.1 

Selecting Tomato Varieties

  Tomatoes originated in the South American Andes cultivated as early as 700 AD. They have become one of the central ingredients in many diets on all continents. It is now the most popular plant grown in home and commercial gardens across the world.
  There are two basic types of Tomatoes with literally hundreds of hybrids and heirloom varieties.
    - Determinate varieties grow as a small bush and set all of their fruit early in the year.
    - Indeterminate varieties grow as a vine. They bloom and set fruit as they grow.
  Growers living in hot summer temperatures should plan for the fact that indeterminate varieties will stop setting fruit when night temperatures reach approximately 85 degrees f. In warmer climates growers can plan for setting a fall crop by propagating cuttings from from the mature vines in late summer. Then plan for a new vigorous crop of tomatoes in the fall.
  Unfortunately fungus, bacteria and virus love tomatoes as much as we do so care must be shown in selecting the tomato varieties we grow that are resistant to the strains of disease most prevalent in our areas. Otherwise our effort could be in vain.

Tomato


Indeterminate varieties resistant codes can be found on the plant label or seed packet
Below are the Disease Resistance Codes and a brief description of the major diseases:

V Verticillium Wilt
F Fusarium Wilt
FF Fusarium, races 1 and 2
FFF Fusarium, races 1, 2, and 3
N Nematodes
A Alternaria
T Tobacco Mosaic Virus
St Stemphylium (Gray Leaf Spot)
TSWV Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus

What do each of these codes really mean?

- “V” means the plant is resistant to the fungi that cause verticillium wilt, Verticillium albo-atrum and Verticillium dahliae. The fungi work their way up through the plant’s roots, clogging water-conducting tissue in the stem. They spreads a toxin that wilts leaves and prevents water from reaching branches and leaves, starving the plant. Yellow spots appear on lower leaves, followed by brown veins. Leaves then turn brown and fall off. Infection pattern often resembles a V-shape.
- "F," "FF," or “FFF” means the plant is resistant to Fusarium oxysporum fungi that cause fusarium wilt. First signs are yellowing and wilting on one side of the plant – a leaf, single shoot, branch, or several branches. Yellowing and wilting move up the plant as the fungus spreads, clogging water-conducting tissue in the stem and affectively starving the plant. Left unchecked, fusarium wilt can kill tomato plants well before harvest time. Unfortunately, some fusarium fungi have overcome the initial - “F” resistance attributes in designated tomatoes. Today, newer cultivars have been bred to be resistant to secondary fusarium strains – hence the “FF” and “FFF” designations.
- "N" means the plant is resistant to nematodes, parasitic round worms that often lie dormant in the soil. Nematodes can produce root galls on the plant up to an inch wide. Affected plants are weak, stunted, do not respond to fertilizer, and tend to wilt.
- "A"means the plant is resistant to the Alternaria alternata fungus that causes Alternaria stem canker. Brown or black cankers attack tomato stems, leaves, and fruit, often accompanied by streaks. Left unchecked, cankers can spread across the entire plant and kill it before harvest.
- "T" means that the plant is resistant to the Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), which causes mottling and yellowing in tomato leaves, reduced tomato size and yield, and brown fruit.
"St" means the plant is resistant to Stemphylium or gray leaf spot, caused by the Stemphylium solani fungus. Affected plants develop brown to black spots, which progressively get bigger, turn gray, and drop out – leaving holes.
- "TSWV" means plants are resistant to the Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus. Symptoms vary from plant to plant, but can include yellow and brown rings on stems, brown streaks on p stems, dead leaf spots and tips, and severely stunted growth. Fruit may be discolored at maturity.
A brief video on shopping for tomato plants:


Dream Gardens ep.4

A couple dream of a waterfront home with a resort style garden. They also dream of both jobs finishing at the same time. They've greenlit work on the garden while the house is still under construction. A good idea, in theory.


Join leading landscape designer Michael McCoy as he showcases some of Australia’s most lavish and magnificent gardens from the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result.
 What does it mean to make a garden? What longings do gardens fulfil; what dreams do they satisfy? These are the question at the heart of a new show, Dream Gardens, launching on ABC TV this week. Eschewing how-to tips on growing plants (done so well by ABC's other garden offering, Gardening Australia), this is a show that looks instead at what we want from gardens and how clever garden design can deliver it.
 The host is the ebullient Michael McCoy, a garden designer and writer. McCoy has a degree in botany, long experience as a hands-on gardener and sought-after garden designer, and a passionate curiosity about what makes good garden design work. He's empathetic, enthusiastic and opinionated - the perfect guide to lead viewers around eight gardens-in-the-making.

Dream Gardens ep.4
Dream Gardens ep.4


Gardening Australia ep.06 2017

Gardening Australia provides practical, realistic, and credible horticultural and gardening advice, inspiring and entertaining all Australian gardeners around the world.



Be Our Guest: 
Costa drops into the balcony garden of Gardening Australia's new guest presenter - Indira Naidoo!
Training Trees: 
Tino gives us some great tips on how to train trees using espaliering.
Excess Produce 
Chilli Powder: A great solution for preserving excess chillies from the vegie patch.
Stunning in Spring: 
Sophie explores a gorgeous English-style garden in the Clare Valley filled with stunning roses - and gets some great tips on caring for them too!
Three Years On:
Josh shows us how his garden has evolved over three years and gets stuck into some jobs to help reinvent and rejuvenate the space.
Worlds within Worlds:
Jane heads to a Melbourne nursery specialising in native plants and shows us how these species can be used to create beautiful terrariums.


James Martin's French Adventure ep.20

 In episode 20, to finish his French adventure, James visits the Bois de Boulogne, a park on the outskirts of Paris and it’s race day at the Auteuil Hippodrome. There James meets a fellow-Yorkshireman and champion jockey James Revelly. James also pays a visit to the Michelin-starred PrĂ© Catalan restaurant and enjoys his favourite meal of the trip.


TV chef James Martin is set to star in brand new food travel series, journeying through France to the locations that inspired his culinary career and paying homage to his culinary hero Keith Floyd.
 Holidaying and studying in France as a teenager, the country was influential in establishing James’ love for food. Hitting the open road on a journey of nostalgia, the new series follows James as he retraces the memorable TV trip his food hero Keith Floyd once took 30 years ago, while also visiting the places that carved his culinary beginnings.
 Exploring and sampling the very best in French cuisine, James’ journey starts in Provence and continues onto Perigord, Burgundy, Alsace, Pay Basque and Brittany, all the while stopping to produce his own versions of the iconic dishes he finds on location.
 Paying homage to his role model, chef Keith Floyd, James travels the length and breadth of the country in Floyd’s very own Citroen 2CV which he owned for 16 years, as he rediscovers the food and the country closest to his and his old friend’s heart.

James Martin's French Adventure ep.20
James Martin's French Adventure ep.20 

DIY Potting Soil



 The basic soil-less potting mix found on big box shelves is composed mainly of Sphagnum Peat Moss some perlite and often contains fertilizer. It can become very expensive particularly for those gardening in containers.
Gardener's can mix their own at lower cost in order to grow more plants.
Here is a widely recommended seed and potting mix that can be adjusted to one's particular climate and plant needs.

Basic Mix with Compost

2 parts well composted manure and other compost. Finely screened mushroom compost is an excellent option.
2 parts Sphagnum Peat Moss or Coconut Coir (Either retain significant moisture. In cooler slower drying conditions it may be wise to lessen the amount of either in the mix.)
1 part Perlite
1 part Vermiculite
Perlite and vermiculite are both good at retaining water, but vermiculite acts more like a sponge, holding much more water than perlite and offering less aeration for the plant roots. Perlite retains water because of its large surface area with nooks and crannies available for water storage. Because it is porous it allows excess water to drain more readily than vermiculite and improves soil aeration. In cooler slower drying conditions it may prove wise to lessen the amount of vermiculite and add more perlite and/or sharp sand in the mix. Sharp sand (builders sand) maintains looseness of the mix and aids drainage.

Basic Mix with the Addition of Nutrients

Add ½ cup each per every 8 gallons of mix:
½ cup Bone Meal (Phosphorous)
½ cup Dolomitic Limestone (raises soil PH and provides calcium and magnesium)
½ cup Blood Meal or Soybean Meal or Dried Kelp Powder (Nitrogen)
 The single greatest cause of plant failure is over watering and the resulting growth of bacteria and fungus. Select seed trays that can be watered from the bottom which prevents disturbing the seeds. Be sure to remove excess water from the watering tray once the soil is saturated.
Remember to sprinkle cinnamon on the surface of the seed tray after planting to deter gnats and kill fungal spores.

Mary Berry Everyday ep.6 2017

Mary shares some inspirational ideas to make everyday family meals exciting with fabulous no fuss dishes. As Mary and her husband reach their 50th wedding anniversary, it's time to push the boat out. She shares her secrets to surprisingly easy showstoppers, recreates canapes from the 1960s and finishes the series with sparkle.


1. Rack of lamb with salsa verde

Want something special for Sunday lunch? Mary's marinated lamb is full of flavour and perfect with salsa verde.
Rack of lamb with salsa verde
Rack of lamb with salsa verde
2. Chocolate reflection cake
A dazzling cake that's perfect for any celebration. The cake itself is easy to make, so you can put your efforts into the icing glaze. 

Chocolate reflection cake
Chocolate reflection cake
3. Lemon meringue cupcakes
Strawberries combine with the flavours of lemon meringue pie to make truly irresistible cupcakes. 

Lemon meringue cupcakes
Lemon meringue cupcakes


Dream Gardens ep.3

Stewart & Sandra lost their home & garden in the devastating 2009 Black Saturday bushfires. Now it's time to start again with a spectacular new garden designed by one of Australia's most well-known designers, Paul Bangay.


Join leading landscape designer Michael McCoy as he showcases some of Australia’s most lavish and magnificent gardens from the first spade hitting the ground to the incredible end result.
 What does it mean to make a garden? What longings do gardens fulfil; what dreams do they satisfy? These are the question at the heart of a new show, Dream Gardens, launching on ABC TV this week. Eschewing how-to tips on growing plants (done so well by ABC's other garden offering, Gardening Australia), this is a show that looks instead at what we want from gardens and how clever garden design can deliver it.
 The host is the ebullient Michael McCoy, a garden designer and writer. McCoy has a degree in botany, long experience as a hands-on gardener and sought-after garden designer, and a passionate curiosity about what makes good garden design work. He's empathetic, enthusiastic and opinionated - the perfect guide to lead viewers around eight gardens-in-the-making.

Dream Gardens ep.3
Dream Gardens ep.3 

The Beechgrove Garden ep.2 2017

    Winter hasn't been too cruel this year, but Carole is still hoping to find out how hardy the plants are that she deliberately left in the ground last year to test their resilience.Meanwhile, George takes a look at his winter stem border that's full of plants that have been shining out in the darker months. Undercover, the glasshouse is a hive of activity at this time and Jim is sowing for Scotland.
  Chris continues to work on the pond area of the garden, planting a range of grasses on the banking, but it's perhaps a little too early for the waders. Carole visits retired doctor and artist David Hawson, who has created a fascinating topiary garden in Monymusk.


  Welcome to Beechgrove for the second episode Jim, Carole and George were talking about the hawthorn hedge which had been hacked back quite severely over the last two winters. One side during the winter of 2015/16 and the second side over last winter. The regrowth has shown that it is possible to be quite severe with this hedging and it will still grow back. There has been a bit of a change in temperatures since last week. Temperatures had reached 18-19°C in some places at the weekend, but it was feeling much cooler today. However, the increased temperature had brought out the cherry blossom and an amazing red colour of Peach blossom too which George would grow purely for the blossom itself. Promise of a bumper crop to come soon we hope.

Greenhouse Work

   Jim’s first task of the day in the greenhouse, was to plant some onion setts into cells in trays. He wanted to put an end to the argument that onions which are planted as setts don’t keep well over winter. He illustrated this by showing some of his own onions which he had grown from setts which had been overwintered perfectly well in his garage. He explained that the secret is in drying out the harvested onions so that all moisture is removed before storing them. It has nothing to do with growing onions from setts or seeds. Jim prefers to grow from setts as seedlings are more difficult to deal with.
  The planted onion setts will be put into a cold frame and then planted out into the vegetable plot in mid-May. By growing from setts it also means that the onions will be 6 weeks ahead of anything grown from seed. Jim then moved onto plug plants. A new variety of Salvia called ‘Vista Red’ had just arrived by post ad were in good nick. He removed the plug plants from their packaging and planted each into a cell tray. As the plug plants were already quite moist you can leave the watering for a day or two after planting, they also need good light to get established. Lots of plugs will be arriving at this point of the year and can be treated in exactly the same way. Jim had a bit of fun with some broad beans.
  He experimented with the positions of the seed when sown to see if this made any difference to germination. He had 3 cell trays with seeds in each tray being sown in different positions – end down, other end down on the flat, and on their side. All the seeds were then watered with a larger holed rose head on the watering can to avoid disturbing the seeds. Finally Jim pricked out some ‘stretched’ plants and potted them on. These had grown tall and leggy as they had been left for too long in the greenhouse. He potted up some leggy French marigolds, burying the long stems a bit deeper into the compost. They will be watered in and will need a bit of time before they get going.

Featured seeds and plants:
Broad bean ‘Oscar’
Broad bean ‘The Sutton’
Courgette ‘Romanesco’
Onion ‘Sturon’
Pot Marigold ‘Key Lime’
Salvia ‘Vista Red’