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There you go, there you go.
Hello, welcome to Gardeners' World
and in tonight's hour long programme we've got a lot going on.
I shall be planting grasses and late flowering perennials
to make my Jewel Garden look at its best
in late Summer and early Autumn.
Carol is in her own garden at Glebe Cottage,
with hardy geraniums to suit every possible situation.
'These gorgeous, sizzling magenta of flowers.'
It's a real privilege to grow them.
She's also visiting Waltham Place,
which is a garden that specialises in being very low maintenance,
but very high beauty.
It says to us, you know, don't worry about control.
Let nature in.
Joe has been to Cothay Manor, which has a large garden,
but it's divided into smaller rooms, which are all packed full of ideas
and inspiration for garden's of any size.
'I love that fern in the hanging basket as well.'
It breaks up the eye level here. What a brilliant idea.
Pruning spring flowering shrubs can seem a bit tricky.
Rachel visits RHS Wisley, where she gets expert advice
on exactly how and when it should be done.
Let's just chop it all back!
The best of the Spring Garden is now passed, as the snowdrops,
hellebores and fritillaries have all had their term.
And as the season has slowly shifted from Spring to Summer,
the garden slips to sleep until it's time to bloom again.
Although it's high Summer,
this is the dormant season for the Spring Garden.
One thinks of a dormant period for plants as being winter,
but actually, these plants are recouping their energies
and most of them will put major growing energy from August and early autumn,
so that they're ready to flower in late winter.
And over the years we've left this and just let it be over summer
and it's accumulated, it's seeded, it's grown
and it's, sort of, evolved it's own life.
But about once every five years it does need a clean out
and a reassessment and that's what we're doing this year.
Now, the first phase to that
was to take out all the cow parsley, as it died down.
Not because we don't like cow parsley,
but simply it obscures the view.
So, that's been removed, along with any obvious weeds.
Now, the next stage is to take stock of the plants
that we've actually put in.
And, by the way, while I'm standing here talking to you, I've noticed,
what has happened every year is that the Solomon's seal
is being quietly, but efficiently, devoured by sawfly.
Now, if you've got Solomon's seal, the chances are you will get sawfly
and it will eat the foliage, don't worry.
It happens to almost all of us
and the reason why it's happening here in particular
is that there's no ventilation.
Sawfly HATE being disturbed by wind.
Of course, this is beneath a tree, it's very dry,
it's getting darker by the day because the foliage is getting bigger.
It'll be fine, it'll come back next year without any problems at all.
But the lack of ventillation we can see shows itself here,
with the hellebores.
These are the oriental hybrids.
And you've got hellebore blight, which is endemic here.
It doesn't kill the plants, but makes them look sad.
At this time of year the thing to do it to go through and cut it out.
In amongst them we have got all these seedlings
because the oriental hybrids do hybridise with each other.
In other words, they cross-fertilise and make new plants
and those new plants will not be like either of the parents,
But I don't want to lose the opportunity of keeping
self-sown seedlings that might turn out to be really cracking plants.
If you look down here, these are this year's seedlings coming up,
nice and healthy, and dozens of them.
Hellebores are really expensive.
So, if you have got seedlings,
a really good way of saving money is to keep your own.
And if you're patient, you might end up with a gem.
Just dig up seedlings or a clump of them.
Just pot it into a bit of compost...
..and put that to one side for three to four years.
We are talking about a slow process here,
which is why hellebores are so expensive.
That could become one of those perfect speckled hellebores
that are one of the most beautiful flowers in the garden in February and March.
On the other hand, it's much more likely to be a muddy colour.
for every really good self-sowing hybrid, there are probably 999 ones that are a bit ordinary.
However, even the ordinary ones are lovely.
Now is also a good time to cut back.
It not only spruces up the border, but also helps to promote a new flush of growth.
This Geranium phaeum, which is very happy in here,
grows in the shade, grows in the sun,
a really good, strong doer.
I want to cut that down to the ground
and then start lifting it and moving it around.
Then seeing what else is around there - it is rather obscuring things.
You can be brave about this - you won't do any harm at all by cutting this back.
So I'll just get in there.
Take it right to the ground.
Once you've cleared away the foliage, you can clearly see those parts of the plant
that are thriving and the others that are not doing so well.
Here's a really good example of a clump that, when it was up here and growing,
looked completely solid.
What's happened is that the centre here is dying back and this area here has completely disappeared.
But it's spread, so you've got a good clump there,
a good clump there and the beginnings of a clump there but this area
is old and no good,
so I think...
I'll dig up one or two of these clumps,
divide them. That will leave more space and then I can plant something else into it.
This will divide up perfectly happily
No problem at all.
Although this is not conventionally the time to be lifting and dividing plants,
actually with the spring-garden geraniums, it's fine.
Cut them back so there's no stress from the leaves,
plant them out fairly quickly.
These will take and be growing again literally within days.
That's a really nice clump which I want to put in the Jewel Garden,
because it'll grow in the slight shade at the back of one of the borders
and its deep purple plum-coloured flowers will fit in beautifully.
Down at Glebe Cottage, Carol grows a wide number of geraniums.
In fact, a geranium for almost every situation.
I've been making the garden here at Glebe Cottage for more than 30 years.
During that time, there's one genus of plants that I've used constantly.
Within the garden, there's all sorts of situations. Some are hot and sun-baked.
Others are shady nooks.
You can find a geranium to suit every single situation.
Here amongst all these billowing plants, geranium pratense is in its element.
It's in complete control.
Well, pratense means "of meadows" and that's the sort of place that this geranium loves to grow.
I suppose beds and borders are really akin to an open meadow with lots of plants mingling together.
This one can fend for itself. It's always a big vigerous sort of plant.
But within that figure, there's such beautiful detail.
These lovely flowers, often with striations - little lines.
And on the back of it, this beautiful star,
where the calyx has expanded and now holds the petals.
And what mixtures it makes! I don't know how it does it,
because, invariably, it seeds itself in exactly the right place.
You get these associations, you could never have dreamed of making.
I love it, with this brown bupleurum. The colour is taken up
within the geranium head and then reflected again
in this bronze fennel. So you get this marriage
of texture and colour and detail. I couldn't have done it as well.
Sometimes, I want to decide where my geranium pratense are going.
And the best way to do that is by growing it from seed -
seeds produced from summer right through to the autumn.
Last year, I collected and stored some.
Now, I am sorting the seed from the chaff
and then sowing it thinly on gritty compost..
..covering it with grit
and pressing it down firmly.
Then, after giving it a thorough watering,
popping the pot in a shady place.
And shade is exactly where Geranium nodosum wants to be.
It's a prolific self-seeder
but this time, it puts itself about anywhere where there is shade.
Underneath the trees and between shrubs, that's where it's happiest.
And unlike most geraniums, it is evergreen,
so during the winter, you still have this ground cover.
And you get the benefit of rich autumn colour, too.
Well, out of the shade and into the sun.
This is Geranium sanguineum and the species is a native plant
and it occurs in really sunny places and often in thin, chalky soils
and sometimes in pure sand.
And because it thrives on poverty, it makes it an excellent candidate
for growing in a pot.
And it has several, sort of, strategies, to ensure its survival
in these really
very inhospitable kind of places. First of all,
it has got these very finely-divided leaves,
which means it doesn't lose much moisture.
And it has two sorts of roots.
It has fine fibrous roots, like most geraniums,
but it has also got these thick, chunky roots,
which enable it to store water in times of drought.
And, as gardeners, it also enables us
to propagate it for root cuttings.
Whether your plant is in the ground or in a pot,
first, expose some chunky roots.
Break off several lengths. You can feel the nodules,
where shoots will develop all along the roots.
Slice them into pieces a few centimetres long
and, crucially, lay them horizontally
on the surface of gritty compost,
so they are in intimate contact with it.
Wipe them down with grit. Root cuttings will work
for all forms of Geranium sanguineum.
Let me introduce you to what is possibly my favourite geranium.
It's geranium psilostemon and it's probably the most versatile
of a multi-talented troupe of plants.
It will grow practically anywhere. It loves full sun, it will grow
in the bitter shade - it is happy wherever you put it.
And it's even happy in heavy clay soil,
which is just what it is growing in here.
Now, 15 or 16 months ago, I stripped these borders,
took everything out of here.
There are just three or four clumps of Geranium psilostemon.
I divided them up, using back-to-back forks,
and made loads of plants
and replanted a lot of them.
And just look at them now!
They look as though they have been here forever.
And how beautifully they combine with all these other plants in here.
They are happy neighbours.
And when you look at the plant itself, with these dramatic leaves,
lovely red stems
and these gorgeous flowers. Sizzling magenta and set off
with these dramatic black eyes.
The whole thing is irrestible and whether it is Geranium psilostemon
or any of the other members of this marvellous family,
it's real privilege to grow them.
The plants in Carol's garden do always look astonishingly healthy.
That is because she is brilliant gardener
and looks after them really well, but also because she is careful
to make sure that the right plant goes in the right place,
where it's happiest. And that boils down to
where it is getting the nutrients that it needs.
All plants need a mix of them, but at this time of year,
there is a call on potassium.
Now, potassium is what plants need to form good flowers and fruit.
And fruiting plants, like tomatoes or gooseberries,
really have quite high potassium demands and you can boost that
at this time of year and improve fruit production.
One way is to go to a garden centre and buy
liquid or granular fertiliser, but if you are organic and do not want
to do that and also because there is no need - you can grow your own
supply of potassium really easily,
through comfrey. Now, comfrey happens to be a weed in this garden.
It gets washed in by the floods and we have to remove much more
than we keep.
It actually makes brilliant compost, so that's not a hardship.
But its main use for me in this garden is to provide
the raw material for a liquid feed that is high in potassium.
And to that end, I harvested a load of plants a few years ago
and lined them out in the top veg gardens.
The comfrey that I grow, Symphytum officinale, is the most common.
Now I planted a row all the way up this side of the hedge.
This is south-facing, so it's very sheltered.
In fact, it was a double row, so we have had to dig it up
to make these beds and it is popping up all over the place.
Now, a word of caution about comfrey is,
once it gets established - it has got deep roots -
and is quite hard to get rid of.
However, you don't want to get rid of it too much, because it is so useful.
If you want to use it, the thing to do is to cut it back,
Take that whole plant like that,
because that will stimulate good re-growth just of leaves,
and it's the leaves that are most valuable.
Now, it's a question of just picking off the leaves
because that has the most potassium in it.
But the stems are very good for the compost heap.
And the idea is to either loosely fill a bucket
or just put what leaves you've got.
Then we're going to put water in on top of that
and leave it to brew for three weeks.
And then, when it's properly made,
it'll form a black vile-smelling sludge and I'm not exaggerating.
It smells disgusting.
And I have got a brew on the go that's about a week old. It's here.
You can see it's covered - not to protect the brew,
but to protect us from its vile smell.
There it is. It's doing nicely.
It's gone brown and green and just be thankful
that your television doesn't have an olfactory system!
Cos this is not a good place to be.
And I'll dilute that ten to one.
So, strain it, strain the leaves out, filter it off
and then mix it with water ten to one and just water it on.
You can use it as a foliar feed or to the roots.
But if you've got spare leaves, you can also put them down as a mulch.
Now, I put any extra leaves I've got as a mulch around tomatoes.
And I just put them on as thickly as I can spare them.
It doesn't have to look pretty and there's no set thickness.
And that will very quickly start to decompose.
And, as it does so, the goodness will go into the soil
which will get taken up by the roots.
The nice thing about this is it doesn't smell vile, unlike the tea.
And, of course, at the same time, it's suppressing weeds
and keeping in moisture so it's working on every level.
Now, this is all fine-tuning,
trying to get the very best from our garden.
But sometimes we need to think about the bigger picture too.
Joe has been to Cothay Manor, which, although it's a large, grand garden,
is made up of smaller rooms,
each with a different theme and each full of inspiring ideas.
The UK is full of fantastic historical houses.
And Cothay Manor, nestled deep in the Somerset countryside
is up there with the best of them.
To create and nurture a garden to sit comfortably with such a stunning
and important house needs the talents of a very special gardener.
I always think of the long corridor, which is 200 yards long,
as the corridor of a house. And then in the middle is the hall,
off which are all the little garden rooms and, like any house,
they are all different in character.
So are you a real hands-on gardener, Mary-Anne?
-Well, I like to think so, yes.
-Cos you're in your dungarees.
Do you like to get stuck in?
Yes, and although I haven't got them on now,
I always wear gloves because I hate having potato hands.
This is a gorgeous garden, isn't it? It's very soft and blousy.
I love the repeat planting. I repeat plant everywhere.
So you just keeps the eye just running...
Draws the eye and always, always soft colours under our pale English skies.
The alstroemeria there
with the crambe cordifolia at the back is wonderful.
And then the verbascum,
the nice vertical spires of the verbascum chaixii - is it that one?
That's what I call it, verbascum chaixii.
The alstroemeria is a good one, too. Which one's that?
This one is one of the ligtu hybrids.
They're so good for cut flowers.
They cut them but it's best always to get your hands
right down the bottom and pull.
-Pull it out.
-And leave space for more growth
and it'll flower right through the summer.
You do it with bluebells and tulips and various other bulbous plants.
-Pull 'em out.
-Pull 'em out, not cut 'em.
-So which one's this, then?
-So, we're in the cherry garden,
so-called obviously because of the old cherry tree Ukon.
I love that fern in the hanging basket as well.
It breaks up the eye-level here. What a brilliant idea! It looks great.
It's rather beautiful, isn't it?
Yeah. It comes from Fiji. It isn't hardy.
If you lift up the fronds...
-..you'll see why it's called the rabbit's foot fern.
It's quite easy to propagate.
You just break off little bits and then shove it in some potting compost
with some grit, and it takes quite easily, it takes about six weeks.
I like the planting in this garden as well, not being tempted to throw in lots of colour,
just relying on cream, really.
Absolutely. With the hostas that don't have any holes in it.
I think it's because we've seen so many frogs here.
And also they're really long lived if they're happy where they are. They can last 15 to 20 years.
I didn't realise that. They were long-lived, yes.
The Veratrum viride, with the wonderfully plated leaves,
which takes a long time from seed.
-I love green flowers.
-So do I.
Against that U-backdrop, a lovely, simple composition.
I love the way it's divided up into these rooms.
I can relate to the smaller spaces myself,
and the rose, this rose over here with this sweet pea.
It's lovely! It's called Raubritter.
I think in English it means "thief in the night".
You always think it's going to open more,
but it never does, it just remains like that.
They're little pink peony flowers.
-The sweet pea that's running through it.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
It's one of my favourite plants. It's Lathytus tuberosus.
-And it seldom sets seed.
-That's the perennial one?
-The perennial one.
And seldom sets seed except after a very hot summer.
Ah! Wow, look at this!
-This is so different from the other gardens, as it were.
I think it's the simplicity of it.
It's just a very different mood, isn't it? It's beautiful!
It used to be the kitchen garden.
These robinias holding the whole thing together. And using the whole length of it.
-I took these as cuttings.
Oh, gosh, years and years ago.
The containers are very important, especially this one,
which is where I am going to have my heart cut out when I die,
and it's going to be buried...
I'm not sure where, whether we'll have to take the whole thing up,
or just in the bottom there, and I have spoken to the butcher...
-Don't! Stop it!
-He said no, but my son will do it!
It shows how wed you are to this garden.
You want to stay here forever. This is your place.
I just like beautiful things,
and I would love to be able to paint.
In my dreams, I can paint.
But when I pick up a paintbrush, it doesn't work.
But I can make a garden instead!
I went to Cothay Manor about 10, 12 years ago.
Looking fantastic then, and looking even better now.
Still to come on tonight's programme,
I shall be adding plants to late summer colour.
Rachel is getting expert advice on the pruning of spring-flowering shrubs,
and Carol is visiting the extraordinary garden at Waltham Place.
The main Jewel Garden is really all about the controlled use of colour.
And it's very labour intensive, and always work in progress.
It's never quite right, but often really very good and pleasing.
Whereas these four beds here have a completely different goal.
The idea behind these is to have tall, loose,
elegant plants that do their own thing.
In other words, very low maintenance, but very high impact.
Grasses are great for this kind of planting,
because they have an elegance, need practically no maintenance at all,
and also, you can see through them.
You can plant with and around them.
Here, some stipas that I'd bought from Gardeners' World Live,
and by the way, if you contributed to the bring-and-buy stall at Gardeners' World Live,
thank you very much indeed, and you were part of an amazing effort
that raised over £6,000 for Children In Need.
These are Stipa calamagrostis. I say these, because I have got three.
One, two, three.
I planted them as soon as I got home,
and they're already beginning to get settled.
Stipas all need lots of sunshine, lots of drainage.
I have got Stipa gigantea here. This is the oat grass.
This is one that I moved from the dry garden.
It's taking time to adapt, but last night, I was looking through
the sun as it filtered through these oat heads, and they catch fire.
They blaze with light. Fantastic grass for midsummer.
I have got the pheasant grass, Stipa arundinacea, over there.
which has this bronze-y form.
Stipas are really good, but you must give them good drainage.
And I put lots of grit under these.
I have got other grasses that adapt very well to a rather heavier soil.
This is a miscanthus. And it's Miscanthus sacchariflorus.
And it has these plum-coloured stems,
and really bright green leaves.
But the great thing about miscanthus is that it stands upright.
It doesn't flop, so you can put it in the middle of a border,
and it's a really good focus piece.
This is a fabulous big plant. It can divide up perfectly easy.
And I intend to make two or even three plants from this.
So if we take that out of the pot...
Although it's a great focal plant,
this particular miscanthus will only flower if there's a long, hot summer.
And if that looks slightly alarmingly semi-circular,
and obviously divided, don't worry.
It'll very quickly fill, and very quickly become natural.
But it won't invade. Miscanthus spreads, but slowly.
This is Miscanthus malepartus,
that will flower, reliably.
Fantastic plum-coloured plumes that then change to silver,
and they'll last most of the winter.
And it's particularly rigid.
It's dead upright.
However, if you've got wet, heavy soil,
and a bit of shade, this is perfect.
This is deschampsia.
You have these bright green leaves,
and then they throw up a great mass of these elegant, feathery wands.
So there are grasses for every situation.
And finally, you don't have to buy the plants, you can sow them.
I sewed these in May. This a panicum or a millet grass.
And this also has a wonderful plum-coloured flower.
I have got it growing already in here.
It's an annual, but it will last.
It'll seed itself and spread.
The only disadvantage of this is that it can get into nooks and crannies where you don't want it.
It can be slightly invasive.
But in these borders, I don't mind, because we're going to let it do its own thing.
I have been very influenced in this very style of gardening,
which is very free and very easy.
I paid a visit a few years ago to Johannesburg
and a garden called Brenthurst.
That's owned by Strilli Oppenheimer,
and Strilli has another garden here in England called Waltham Place.
And Carol has paid it a visit.
At first glance, Waltham Place contains all of the elements
you expect to find in the garden of an English country house.
There's a kitchen garden, some beautiful mature trees,
and a long border.
But that's where all resemblance to a traditional garden ends.
Look at these huge, dramatic clumps of plants!
But not at all what you expect from a double herbaceous border.
Usually it's tallest at the back, shortest at the front,
and the whole thing very regimented right the way down.
All these huge clumps of plants, mixing and mingling,
and just being themselves.
And then, suddenly, this interruption of this great horseshoe of beech,
with a semi-circle of stipa in the front.
And this marvellous plant. What a statuesque plant is that.
Look what it's doing.
It's actually the support for a bindweed,
and the bindweed isn't pulled out.
It's celebrated, it's a beautiful plant,
and everywhere is full of the buzz of insects,
and the songs of birds.
Bindweed, bryony and docks? Most gardeners would pull them out.
But in this context, you can see them as the beautiful plants they are.
Not as a menace to be eradicated.
And they jostle for space with choice perennials,
like this veronicastrum on equal terms.
To me, it's incredibly exciting to see plants re-evaluated
and used in this way.
This unique and beautiful garden is the result
of a ten-year collaboration between its owner, Strilli Oppenheimer,
and Dutch garden designer Henk Gerritsen.
It was in 1999 that Strilli Oppenheimer persuaded Henk Gerritsen
and to visit the gardens at Waltham Place and advise her.
It was to prove to be one of the most creative garden relationships of all time.
Strilli brought to the table a wide understanding of plant communities.
Henk, a depth of knowledge of plants,
and an understanding of the relationship between gardening and nature
that was to result in one of the most innovative gardens ever.
The core of what they created is a garden full of plant communities.
Things that will thrive together without the need for constant control.
Either by gardeners, or chemicals.
They're allowed a free rein, but only within the confines of the structural elements of the garden,
closely mown lawns and clipped hedges.
These two are their own character.
The lawn cut in a sweeping arc,
hedges that could be clouds, or caterpillars.
Even the paths punctuated by fountains of stipa get in on the act.
Head gardener at Beatrice Krehl worked with Gerritsen before his death in 2009.
He keeps this formal structure, doesn't he?
And just subverts it, and changes it into something quite different.
And he's introducing something playful with the caterpillar hedge,
connecting the different parts of the garden
but also separating plantings.
It forms a boundary here with this big, vigorous planting.
Yes, I call it our jungle.
Here we have competitive plants that are able to grow with ground elder.
These plants, they have elbows,
-they're strong enough to keep up.
-Yeah, push each other out of the way.
The whole thing is fizzy and jostling, isn't it?
It's got this wonderful energy,
you feel as though plants can be themselves.
I'm always very impressed when you cut this planting back in March.
Afterwards it takes two months and you have this jungle up again,
-walking through two-metre tall plants.
-And you leave everything to seed?
-Yes, everything is left.
We allow the plants to fulfil their life cycle
and then we get some seedlings.
Plants are moving around.
The stipa tenuissima has been planted in the gravel,
but it rather goes into the path, and it's growing there.
You feel like rolling up your trouser legs
so you can literally walk through there, can't you?
Just feel it touching you. You know, they always look apt when they've chosen their own spots.
-They're bound to look right, aren't they?
At the very end of Waltham Place is the new garden,
where beds planted naturalistically link the garden to the fields beyond.
-There's lots of native plants.
-Beautiful burnet, isn't it?
It's my favourite part of the garden.
It's a beautiful combination, isn't it?
These really rigid, short paths, and crisp edges.
I bet it took you a while to do that.
Yes, most of the work we're doing here is keeping the edges
well cut, to define the beds.
So do you do any gardening in here at all?
-I've had an instruction from Hank to garden like a cow.
What do you do, get down and graze it?
I fortunately don't need to eat it,
but he meant, not going to weed, but like cows do, pull it.
-Can I have a go?
-Yes, of course you can also play...
When you come to a garden on this sort of scale,
sometimes you think to yourself, "Well, it's wonderful,
"but what's it got to do with my little plot?"
But we can learn so much from Waltham Place.
The way that plants are just allowed to do their own thing,
to be themselves, it says to us, "Don't worry about control, relax.
"Let nature in."
Here's an accident that is giving us a lot of pleasure.
The accident is the corydalis growing amongst the pots. It's a weed,
and it's gradually spread across this part of the garden.
We used to weed it up, but then we realised that it looked really good.
This wavy sea of yellow flowers with these controlled bobbles
rising above them is a perfect combination.
And just for a few weeks now in July, they look fantastic.
And just next to it,
the lilies that I potted up in March are now at their best too.
They don't just look amazing, they have the most fabulous fragrance as well.
The intense sight and fragrance of summer flowers
is one of the highlights of this time at Longmeadow.
But here in the lower Jewel Garden, I want to create a space that is
low-maintenance and feels very natural.
So alongside the grasses,
I'm also adding a variety of perennials for late summer colour.
What I'm using here is an American plant. This is Rudbeckia maxima.
It's a great big daisy, and that's going to give me
the late summer colour I want to add to these borders.
The grasses is the structure.
We can see through it, it adds texture, elegance and movement.
But this will give us the colour.
Now, rudbeckias are a big family, and they're all essentially coneflowers
and daisies, but this one is the biggest of the lot,
and will grow over two metres tall.
This is just one, and it's not going to do an awful lot on its own,
but I'm planning to divide it. There's a little off-shoot coming from it.
We'll be able to increase our stock over the years.
Right, that's one rudbeckia, and now I want to add another.
Now, this is Rudbeckia fulgida 'Goldsturm'.
The perfect daisy, brilliant yellow.
That will spread, become a clump, and I can divide it and work that through.
But it'll fill that space, and rise to about this sort of height.
Now, this may not look like much in this state,
but it's Inula magnifica, and it is magnificent.
It's one of those daisies that has very fine petals that spray off
from it, and again, it'll grow about two metres tall,
and flower and flower, August to September and into October.
This is a plant I bought at Gardeners World Live, and I haven't
planted yet, though I have put in a couple of others I bought there.
It's Cephalaria gigantea, and it will grow to six foot tall.
It's got these beautiful ivory-coloured flowers,
like fluffy daisies.
Again, that daisy theme keeps coming for late summer colour.
It sort of works perfectly, attracts insects,
and the shape and form of these flowers, although they come from
different parts of the world, have different colours, repeats itself.
I want to thread this through the borders.
Instead of planting them in groups, plant one over here.
So we're just picking up and repeating the refrain.
The last plant I'm going to put in is a kniphofia.
I want these to link the Jewel Garden with these beds, because
if you've got two separate pieces of garden or two separate borders,
it's no good having a dramatic change from one to the other.
There's got to be some continuity so the eye can easily make
that transition, and also so they can mingle.
It's not a separate garden, it's a separate idea.
These kniphofias work perfectly for both.
They come from South and Central Africa.
In fact, they're named after a Dr Hieronymus Kniphof,
and we should call them "nip-hoffias".
They're beautiful, and you don't just get red hot pokers,
You can get kniphofias in every shade of yellow
and orange that will take you right through the summer into autumn.
You can see here I've got little offshots coming,
so next year I can divide that and I'll get two free plants.
That gives us an instant flare of colour.
That'll be picked up by the coneflowers and daisies
and carried right through into autumn. You don't need a big garden to do this.
Just a small patch of ground, you can get the idea of that
and translate it, and it will work really well on any scale.
Now, we've had a number of queries.
I've got a couple here about shrubs and pruning them.
One from April Axton in Gloucestershire, saying
her small shrubs are becoming trees, and how does she cut them back?
Another from Shirley Lane saying her shrubs are dying in the middle. What does she do?
Well, Rachel has been along to RHS Wisley, specifically to find out
from the experts the best way to prune spring-flowering shrubs.
So, midsummer, surely a lot of people are going to want to sit
in the garden and enjoy it, but there is pruning to be done, isn't there?
There is. This is a very good example.
We've got three flowering here, and we need to cut them back now,
because they'll put on a lot of new growth which will ripen over the rest of the season
then the flowers will come from that.
So this is one of the classic shrubs that flowers on the previous year's growth.
So partly about improving the flowering for next year,
but also the overall shape, the height of where the flowers come.
Yes, because of the nature of the growth,
they can tend to start looking a bit bare at the base,
and look a bit like flowers on stilts, which isn't really ideal.
So the more we're getting in there in the summer and cutting out
the older growth from the base, you'll get new growth,
a bit of flowering, right throughout it, and much better flowering, anyway.
So first, the obvious targets - the three D's.
Anything diseased, damaged, dead, get the chop straight away,
just above the node.
Next to go are crossing stems which will rub each other,
letting infections into the plant.
I've got quite a lot of crossing going on here.
We could take one piece of that out for the moment. Still keep this.
Give that one benefit of the doubt.
-It's like being judge and jury, isn't it?
Thing is, you can step back and take more out later.
The worst thing is stepping back and thinking, "I wish I could glue it back on."
Because we want to give it an elegant shape,
out go any twisted branches or any growing at a crazy angle.
-So we're starting to get a bit of shape.
Let's have a quick look at it.
How do you decide what proportion of the big, thick,
older stems you're going to take down to the base?
Cos then you get lots of lovely new growth.
Usually you wouldn't take out more than about a quarter.
With quite well-established shrubs you can get away with a little bit more, but that's what you'd aim for.
I'm getting in the flow now.
Isn't this typical? You start a job in sunshine.
Have you got a jacket there? Let's put them on.
And don't be afraid to cut them back hard.
That way, next year, you'll have flowers at eye level.
We're nearly there. What about this? That's touching there.
Yeah, we did miss that one, and actually,
it's crossing this new one back here, so that could be our final...
This one here.
So again, we talked about not taking out more than a quarter.
We haven't been counting, but we kind of know.
I would've thought it's probably about a quarter.
-Yes, that's better, isn't it? Much better. Lovely.
Next target, a physocarpus in need of a haircut.
This is a really big specimen, isn't it?
I love Physocarpus 'Diabolo', one of my favourite shrubs.
I absolutely love it, and I do like it
when it's allowed to do its own thing, if you've got a huge garden.
Most people don't, so what do you do when it gets this big?
We have an enormous garden,
but it's growing into things beside it.
Also this hasn't been pruned back in quite a while,
there's a lot of old wood.
As much as we'd like to keep these lovely fruit,
which are gorgeous, we are going to cut this back.
It's been a few years since this physocarpus has been pruned,
so cutting it back hard will really rejuvenate it.
The aim is to keep flowering shrubs like these in a juvenile state so
they produce lots of attractive new growth and an abundance of flowers.
Fortunately, or should I say unfortunately,
this is a job you can do whatever the weather.
It's so wet that you just want to get it done, don't you?
You feel, let's just chop it all back!
Right, so now we've perhaps got rid of the main stuff,
it's just the tidy up.
So what do we want to encourage next?
We want to encourage young growth,
we want to keep some of the nice young growths
that are coming from round the base, so actually coming from the ground.
But we've got an awful lot still in here.
We can go through and anything we think is a bit spindly,
we can take that out as well.
The temptation is just to keep on snipping, isn't it?
-Move away from the shrubs!
This probably looks a bit unsightly,
but we're leaving some of the decent big wood in as well,
so that we're not completely going to the ground.
Leaving this old wood as well as new growth ensures that the plant
doesn't go into shock, despite a really good pruning.
Come back next year and help us to do the formative prune
and we'll see how it goes.
Next year? You'll be lucky! Come on, let's clear up.
It does show that when it comes to summer pruning,
you've just got to be brave.
Go for it and trust the plant, that's the key.
It'll respond and sort itself out.
When we sorted the Jewel Garden out last winter,
and cleared as many plants as we could lift,
to get rid of the bindweed predominantly,
but also to have a sort through, clear it, divide,
that was quite a shock to us as well as to the garden.
It was like emptying a room that you've lived in all your life.
But that room has filled and these glorious poppies have appeared.
And almost out of nowhere because none of these have been sown.
All these poppies have germinated as a result of disturbing the soil.
And that has given us this great rash of colour.
Whilst it's fantastic and I wouldn't dream of removing any of it,
it's not exactly the colours we want to promote
for this part of the garden.
What we're looking for here are rich colours,
strong, jewel-like intensity.
So I'm marking the ones that I know I want to keep.
That, for example, is fabulous, that plum colour there.
That's fine, that's good, but for example this here, is not.
A really nice poppy and it would look great in the walled garden,
but wrong for the Jewel Garden.
So we'll pull that up later. There's one in there I want to get.
Just by tying a bit of twine round the stem, when the petals drop,
I'm bound to forget what the colours were, I know to keep that one
and either just to leave it there and let the seeds
drop around the parent plant, or to pull it up
and store it carefully and then sow the seed next year.
The idea is not just to mark those I like,
because in the end they're all beautiful, but those
that are special and that you would really happily pay good money for.
Those are going to provide beautiful plants for next year.
So those are the parents of the next generation.
Right, there's a decent hole.
I've been wondering for the last few weeks,
on where I was going to grow my pumpkins and squashes.
They've been sitting in a cold frame for about a month longer
than I would have liked them to have done, because it's been too cold.
There's no point in putting out pumpkin or squash
if the temperature is cold.
They just won't grow. Now it's warming up I can get them out.
But I haven't got any room for them to spread,
and suddenly I thought, I know, I could grow them up.
I then thought about some beansticks I had,
lovely bits of wood, chestnut, but they just feel wrong for beans.
But perfect for growing a pumpkin or a squash up.
So I've put four in a bed over there, and another four in this bed.
I've started by digging a pit, which I will fill with compost
because pumpkins and squashes are very greedy plants.
Bit of soil over the top.
So that's in position.
And then I'll put up the structure.
I've got a bar here, so make a hole for them.
Now if you think about it, a pumpkin can be a very heavy thing.
So this is no good for pumpkins or squashes bigger than
a football, but perfect for acorn squashes or butternuts,
or any of the Japanese squashes.
They come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them really quite small.
Nevertheless, the support does want to be robust and strong.
So I've sharpened a stake, and just drive it in the hole.
Now, that is really robust, which it will need to be
because with any luck we'll have three, four,
maybe even five, good size squashes on there.
Right, let's go and get one to plant.
This is a squash called Blue Ballet and I've never grown it before.
But anything with a decorative skin, anything that looks good
I think is a great virtue in a pumpkin or squash because
although they're delicious to eat, they're very decorative plants too.
I will tie these trailing stems up the tripod, so instead
of spreading along the ground all that growth is being channelled up.
And with any luck it'll rise up, respond to it and flourish.
That way I get to grow a really big,
sprawling plant in quite a confined small space.
But I would say if you're going to do this, make sure the support
is really firm, cos come October they'll be a lot of weight on there.
Now I'm going to finish these other three.
But here are a few other jobs you could get on with this weekend.
If you're growing tomatoes, especially if you're growing them
like me in a greenhouse, you do need to keep them well ventilated
now the days are getting hotter and the plants are getting bigger.
Other than keeping doors and windows open,
the best way to do this is to gradually remove
the foliage from the ground up.
Start by taking off leaves up to the first truss,
and as the fruit ripen, continue the process up the plant.
By the end of the summer you can remove all the leaves
without harming fruit production at all.
As your delphinium and lupin flowers fade,
the spikes develop a mass of seed pods.
These will take energy away from the plant
and stop any further flowering.
If you cut back to the first set of healthy leaves,
you could well get repeat flowering later in the summer
and also a stronger plant for even better flowering next year.
One of the best things about this point in the summer is that
the harvest in the veg garden starts to really roll in.
All that work, all that preparation throughout April, May
and really a lot of June starts to bear fruit.
These are purple podded mangetout peas.
They're a new variety, they don't have a name,
These are a trial variety that I'm growing, and they are fantastic.
You eat them just like that, you don't have to pod them.
They look beautiful.
They taste good and I suspect these will be on the market soon.
But you can get purple podded peas, named varieties,
and they're well worth growing because they do look good.
These are particularly nice just mixed in with a stir fry,
Or eaten raw. Very good.
Although I love growing vegetables I think the greatest pleasure
is from going out with a basket and just marketing.
Just going around seeing what's ready,
picking a bit of this, picking a bit of that.
It's like shopping in a really good market
and yet it's in your back garden.
And I think it's as much a pleasure to make them
look good to the eye, so when you're picking them, you're creating,
like making a bouquet of flowers but with vegetables.
If they look really attractive in the basket,
it's all part of making a delicious meal.
And it's likely to look better on the plate.
Right, so far, so predictable.
Lovely veg, but I'd expect that this time of year.
But I don't know how my potatoes are.
Yet, today is my birthday and we have this tradition
that's grown up over the years that we don't dig the new potatoes
until my birthday, but we always see what we've got
and then eat them on July 8th.
Oh, that's a good start. I like that.
Let's have a rummage.
There's something about rummaging in the ground for those first potatoes.
Right, I shall go straight in now and prepare my birthday meal.
I shan't be back here in a week's time because it's the proms.
But in a fortnight, I'll be back here at Longmeadow
and Carol and Joe and myself will also be visiting
the RHS Tatton Park Flower Show.
So join us then. Bye bye.
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