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Come on! Don't chase the chickens.
This is not a programme about keeping pigs.
It IS Gardeners' World.
You're at the right place and the right time.
These were given to me by my son for a birthday present a month ago.
The idea being they would eat the windfalls in the orchard.
But, so far, they've just ripped the orchard to shreds.
But they've given us a lot of pleasure.
Now, I love the way that this time of year is just filled
with rich and sumptuous colour. In tonight's programme,
I shall actually be trying to carry that forward baton on
by planting bulbs for colour, both this autumn and next spring.
Carol is out and about,
in search of a garden which promises ideas for all-year-round interest.
Ooh! The tinkling of water and the singing of birds!
Isn't it beautiful?
And Joe discovers a child-friendly garden
that mixes traditional planting with innovative design.
The next room couldn't be more different.
It's about contrast, it's about texture,
but, above all, it's about colour.
Although I'm planning for keeping the colour going into autumn,
you can't overlook the highlights
of what's happening in the garden right now.
Colour is just bursting out in every area.
But I like the unexpected colour here in the damp garden
because it's such a lush place. It's dominated by green.
Even though it's been doing this for years and years now, I forget.
I forget every year how much colour there is in August.
And it's coming from these heleniums.
This is Helenium 'Kanaria' that I've put all over here.
The lilies. The Lilium henryi.
Then the combination of the two colours is picked up
in the Ligularia 'Desdemona'.
They've got these wonderful purpley, big, fat leaves
with these egg-yolk yellow daisies just bursting out from them.
And it is important just every day, as the year is only edging away,
just to relish everything it has to offer.
Now, the bulb-planting season is almost on us.
Although, to be truthful, I tend not to plant spring bulbs till September
because somehow it feels like it's encroaching into summer too much.
However, autumn-flowering bulbs should be got in the ground
as soon as possible.
And to have bulbs that look spring-like
flowering in September and October adds a real seasonal touch.
And autumn-flowering crocus and colchicums are the two best-known.
I've got colchicums here. Two types.
I've got Colchicum autumnale,
which is a corm, and grows really well in grass.
Put it in the ground now,
and that will produce flowers in about September or October.
And I've also got Colchicum speciosum 'Album'.
Both of them white, both of them really good flowers.
And the cycle is that you plant now, in August.
They will produce flowers, September or October, but no leaves.
The flowers will then die back and the leaves will appear in spring.
They'll appear, they'll grow large, feed the corm
and then totally vanish by midsummer.
And then the flowers will come through in autumn,
and so the cycle goes.
The flowers last for about two or three weeks if the weather is good,
and the plant will last for years and years.
So what I put in now is an investment.
Now, this is a little bit of an experiment, but I'm going to plant
a row of speciosum along here, just under the lee of the hedge.
Because so often with a hedge, you have a very dry area
and I think the colchicums flowering under here will look great -
the white flowers against the rich green of the yew.
Now, what they like is really good drainage.
So I've got some leaf mould -
this is not compost, this is just simply leaves collected up last year
and rotted down, and I'm going to add that to the soil
and then just fork it lightly in.
And leaf mould is better than compost
because it provides a lighter soil.
It tends to be very good for spring-flowering plants
or bulbs in general.
There we go.
Well, you can hear that that's very stony,
and obviously, the roots of the yew are in there,
which, for most plants, would be bad news,
but actually, in this wet garden, I think is a good thing
because it means that the corms will be nice and dry
and that IS important.
They do not like sitting in damp, wet soil.
OK, let's get them in the ground.
As far as spacing, the leaves grow quite big,
so they want to be at least six inches apart.
Now, I'm trying to plant these as close to the edge as possible,
partly so they're away from the hedge and also
so that they'll get reflected heat from the stone
and they can just spill over if they fall, and that should look nice, I think.
Get that down in there.
All I have to do is just cover those over.
As I say, I am going to bank that up.
I'm going to build up the soil with leaf mould. And then that's it.
Nothing more to do at all,
except for wait for them to flower and admire them when they do.
I've decided to put these Colchicums,
Colchicum autumnale, "Album",
in an informal group in this part of the copse.
It's very shaded at the moment and very dry,
but in spring, there's lots of light in here.
In fact, it's covered with crocuses in March.
And that's the important thing,
because the leaves will get light in spring when they need it
and then in high summer, when it's fully shaded, they die back anyway.
The flowers will come through in the shade and they won't mind it.
It's dry, it's well drained.
The only problem is the ground is like rock.
There we go.
And then you just pop them in the hole like that.
Carol has been to visit a garden in Staffordshire,
and it's called the Secret Garden.
The only problem is, it's so secret,
she had some trouble finding her way in.
It's a very well kept secret!
I seem to have been walking for ages and ages.
Still no sign of the garden.
These must be the privies.
The tinkling of water, and the singing of birds!
Isn't it beautiful?!
Ah! There's another little garden over here!
There's so many different ways to go.
Which one shall I choose?
Over 30 years, Derek Higgott has created a garden
that's full of all sorts!
It's not just a surprise when you eventually find it,
but the element of surprise continues as you journey round.
Immaculate grass paths surround island beds.
And here and there, ornate roofs of summer houses appear
through mature conifers.
The whole garden's full of structures, statues
and above all, plants.
When Derek started the garden here,
it coincided with a height of popularity.
The whole concept of island beds.
He took that idea on board,
but he individualised it - he made it his own.
Lots of gardeners pay lip service
to having a garden that's good all the year round,
but Derek actually does it.
What's your soil like? Is it heavy?
It's very good loam.
There used to be a pig farm at one time here,
so it's about this deep heavy loam
and it's sandstone in places, and gravel in other places.
-Really good stuff!
I keep adding to it as well!
I love the way round each corner there's a completely different view.
And not just one view!
You can go up, you can go down here.
Oh, look. I love this!
I love the way you use these plants that just ramble everywhere
-and let them get on with it.
-But it's a good doer.
And your gorgeous golden hop.
I wouldn't be without that. A really good doer as well.
This garden looks so good, it's no surprise to learn Derek is a professional gardener,
working at nearby Shugborough Hall.
But he's not elitist in any way when it comes down to plants.
I adore the way that nasturtium just wanders right in through this cornus!
A really posh plant and quite a common, ordinary, you know...
But it's lovely, the way they mingle! It really is.
Tucked away in a corner is another extraordinary structure.
It's Derek's completely esoteric bothy.
So this garden can be enjoyed
come rain, or shine, or even snow.
This is a proper tree house!
It is. It's got trees even growing through it.
That's a Siberian spruce there.
Over here I've got a twin trunked silver birch.
Look at that. And one going through as well!
Did you just see the trees and think, "I've got to build a building round them?"
Yeah, cos they can't grow much here.
But it's lovely in the winter, cos next door I've got a wood burner as well.
It's a lovely place to sit and share it with your friends.
Well, it's all so original too. It's so you, isn't it?
It is, yeah. Recyclable.
But the whole place.
A place to put me lanterns as well.
It's lovely. It really is.
The planting means that there's plenty to enjoy,
even in the depths of winter.
Conifers are a vital element.
Derek has dozens of them, many combined with climbers
and they provide colour, structure and interest all year round.
The colours and forms and textures of them are so different.
I like this, though. It's got this nice lumpy quality to it.
It was getting too lumpy and after seeing you on television,
to prune your box, I come out with the torch
and I looked at it and thought, "Shall I get out the candles and do it now?"
but I waited until daylight!
Conifers really come into their own during the winter.
Oh, they do.
They've got such structure and they're all so different too.
Oh yeah. Different shapes, sizes.
You've got the horizontal and then that vertical.
-Look at that. Reaching for the sky.
But they're not very fashionable and yet you seem to be able to use them,
and that whole idea of island beds,
in a completely different, novel sort of way.
Everything comes back in fashion, doesn't it, some time or t'other,
so don't throw them boots away!
That style of gardening, of course, was exactly what I grew up with.
My parents had a garden very similar to that.
It does seem to me terribly old-fashioned, but he's right -
if you wait long enough, everything comes back into fashion sooner or later.
If you want to go and see it, you can,
but you need to do so by appointment, so contact him,
before the end of this month,
and you can get all the details from our website.
I felt it start to rain, and I thought it would pass,
but actually it's kicking in,
so I'm going to quickly get these Cyclamen into the spring garden.
Cyclamen hederifolium is one of those plants
that seems completely out of place but in the best possible way
because it's a very delicate affair.
You can see this is a pink Cyclamen hederifolium,
which just rises up from the foliage
and rather modestly bows down.
I've got a few white ones here in the ground.
I've got a couple, so I'll add some pink and some white to it.
They're very easy to plant
because although they are a tuber,
you don't have to plant them very deep,
just fork over.
Even though it's pouring with rain, the ground is like dust.
One of the great things about Cyclamen
is that they're quite happy in dry shade.
It's very hard to find enough plants to fill that.
So they're doing a useful job
as well as exactly what I want in this garden at this time of year.
When you buy them, they can seem very minimal indeed.
That is not a lot to account for itself - but they will spread
and the tubers spread out and they'll spread by seed.
And just pop that in the ground.
And don't plant it too deep...
..but plant it the same depth that it is in the pot.
And as they grow, the tubers will rise up a bit
so they need a regular mulch.
And that will cover them up and that will spread out into a clump
so if I put another one about six inches apart from it...
This is Cyclamen hederifolium Alba.
Pop that in.
Just keep the labels so I know it's there.
I've got some mulch.
I'll add a little bit of leaf mould to that.
There we go.
I've got more to do and I want to spread them round
but I'll pick away at that over the next few days.
But I also, while I'm here, want to plant for next spring.
So these will flower August through into September
and keep going for about three or four weeks.
But I want to put in a bulb that won't start flowering
until next April but when it does, it's a good'un.
Now, these are bulbs which will really dominate the spring garden
and I know that because we've already got them.
These are Crown Imperial fritillaries.
We have a stand just in there
and they are Fritillaria imperialis Rubra.
They're orange and they're fabulous
and what I've got here are Lutea Maxima
and they're yellow and, of course, the yellow fits in with the whole spring theme.
The great thing about fritillaries
is that they need to be planted truly deep.
One often pays lip service to deep planting with bulbs
but these really do need to go down.
Almost the size of a baking apple.
And they've got a curious hole in them,
which dictates how you plant them.
It comes from Kashmir and likes really good drainage
and is distinctly exotic.
It grows up with this great pineapple head
and then the flowers droop down.
But getting it in the ground, this is classic summer gardening!
Pouring with rain, getting a little bit chilly
but the ground's so hard and dry I can't dig in to it!
I want to get these down at least six inches
and actually more like about eight.
There we go.
It's like a little post hole but that's right for this.
And then the key for planting these Crown Imperials
is you plant them on their side.
Don't plonk them down because the moisture can get in
and rot them in the hole.
You just pop them in on edge.
And the plant will come out and right itself.
So roots coming out that side, the hole on that side.
Pop it in the ground.
And that's it.
And then fill that back in.
I've got really wet and it might ease off
but I might pop in and change I think.
That's one of the great beauties of working from home.
You can just go in and out.
Occasionally you come across a garden that's not attached
to any kind of building at all.
That's the situation that Joe found himself in
when he went to visit Marks Hall in Essex.
This photo of Marks Hall was taken in 1898
and the bridge is still there
but the house up on the hill,
well, that's gone.
This place is called Marks Hall but there's no house here whatsoever.
What's the history of this place?
There had been a house here for 1,000 years.
In 1897 it was bought by a gentleman called Thomas Phillips Price
and he wanted to leave it to the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
to preserve it all but after his death there was 60 years of neglect
and it's only more recently that it's been resurrected
and new life has been breathed into it so that his wishes come true.
But there's no house.
The house got demolished in 1951
and things changed at Royal Botanical Gardens Kew
so they didn't take Marks Hall on so it's a private trust
and we're working hard to create a new garden here.
Ten acres of the estate has been dedicated to plants on the southern hemisphere.
We've got eucalyptus.
Five different varieties were planted en masse.
There's over 200 trees in total.
And then these pampas grasses
just shooting through this long, meadow-type grass.
I have to say, this whole place is really quite surreal.
I can't believe I'm in Essex.
One of the parts of the estate that had survived
were the walls of this garden.
Now, the obvious choice would have been to recreate a kitchen garden,
but instead the decision was taken
to create something altogether different.
In 2003, this garden, designed by Brita von Schoenaich,
provided just that.
I've come in through the entrance there and I'm within the walled garden
but I can't actually see what's going on because this hedge
has been cleverly designed into the space so I have to keep walking past it,
and the sense of expectation really rises until I get here,
and then I get that view
of the whole garden, that long border all the way down.
I get a real sense of scale.
And then there's these divisions cutting across and it draws me in.
Alongside the long border is a series of five rooms
that lead from one to the other and the first is not what you would expect.
You'd expect to see something quite ornate and intricate
but it's really playful - it's a nice, wide open space.
And I love this piece of land art.
It's as if a giant boot's come in here, whacked into the ground
and displaced this soil.
And all it is is turf
and then this simple path that leads you round to the next room,
but the path sort of bleeds out into the lawn itself.
The next room couldn't be more different.
It's about contrast, it's about texture,
but above all, it's about colour.
There are some really fab planting combinations,
such as the red buds of the Origanum Herrenhausen
against the silver foliage of the Anaphalis Summer Snow.
And the blue Agapanthus at the back add height and create
a beautiful backdrop to the trio.
The middle room's called The Linear Garden
and it's much larger than the other spaces.
Everything's planted in straight lines and laid out on a grid here.
It's got a very sort of European courtyard feel - plenty of space.
The structure comes from the graphite box balls and the box cubes
over there. It all comes together. I really like this space.
This next one encapsulates part of the design that runs through
the whole garden, really, because I've got a choice of ways to go.
I could go right down the middle and have planting on either side
but just imagine for a minute you're a kid.
There's another route through the garden, which is encouraging kids
to walk through and get onto this wall, and the wall undulates
up and down and moves around the garden
in a completely different route.
And what I like about it is it's encouraging kids to come and play and interact with this space.
Well, after all that excitement
and all that colour, it's nice to enter another cool, calm green space,
which echoes the first room in a way - the nice symmetry to it.
And this has got another landform - really simple shape,
and slate on edge in the middle. It works beautifully well.
And just as you think you're coming to the end of the journey,
there's one more surprise in store.
Marks Hall is open all year round
and certainly when I'm next in Essex
I'm going to try to have a look at something really interesting.
I don't know how interesting you find cucumbers
but these are the ones that I planted a couple of months ago.
We've been eating cucumbers for weeks now.
They're not prize plants or prize fruits,
but they're really delicious and that's what it's all about.
And they do grow perfectly well in pots.
These are not huge pots.
I've put plenty of compost in so they've got good feed.
And they love the heat and moisture
of this propagating end of the greenhouse.
It's a fairly small enclosed space.
It's not heated at this time of year but it does get very muggy
and the hotter and the damper it is, the more they thrive.
The only thing to remember is don't forget to give them some ventilation,
because although they want that heat and moisture,
if it gets too airless, then you're going to start getting problems with mould
and particularly mosaic virus, which you'll notice by the yellowing and the mottling of the leaves.
Cucumbers are prone to that.
So I give those a weekly seaweed feed. Comfrey would do just as well.
They're both high in phosphates, which is what they want.
Whether you grow cucumbers or not, there are plenty of other things
to get on with in the garden this weekend.
Now is also a good moment to give your tomatoes a late summer boost
of feed to maximise fruit.
Again, I use comfrey fertiliser.
One part comfrey to ten parts water.
When lavender has finished flowering,
it's the best time to cut it back.
And don't just snip off the seedheads but cut back hard,
although try to avoid cutting into old wood where possible.
This will maintain a tight, compact plant,
that won't be broken up by bad weather
and which will retain its shape and grow back strongly next year.
Red and white currants are pruned in early spring
but now is the perfect time to prune blackcurrants -
immediately after harvesting.
They produce their best fruit on second- and third-year growth,
so the easiest way to do it
is to remove a third of each plant every year,
taking out the oldest wood every time.
That way, the plant renews itself every three years
and remains at maximum productivity.
Now, here's at first what looks like a dramatic problem
with my potatoes.
These are lettuces, that I sowed between the rows and they're great
but I'll remove those out the way -
and I'll give them to the pigs, who love them -
so I can show you the potatoes more clearly.
Now, you can see here that the potato leaves are covered
with these brown marks, and they're rather dry, crispy stains
that will reduce the foliage completely
to shreds and brown tatters.
This is a kind of potato blight
but it's not THE potato blight.
Another name for it is "target spot" or "early potato blight"
and it's a different fungus from the main enemy.
They tend to attack potatoes that are either very dry or getting old.
In the case of these, a bit of both.
They're reaching harvest age and it has been very dry and I haven't watered them.
This is a variety called Sante
which a lot of organic growers grow because it's pretty resistant to blight.
And it means that the potato itself won't suffer.
The leaves don't look good and obviously that affects the growth, but the potatoes are fine.
If I pull one up, or dig it up,
I think we'll see that there's a perfectly healthy crop there.
These potatoes are good.
We have lots of small ones because it's been so dry
it hasn't developed as well as it might. But that will store fine
and it's perfectly healthy.
So target spot, or early blight, is not a disaster.
However, I will clear away all this foliage, dig up the potatoes -
that clears a bed for me and then I can move on.
Just one word of warning - this time of year, real potato blight
is very likely, particularly in this part of the world,
and you can tell the difference because that tends to start as a sort of chocolatey brown stain,
and then spread in a circular way, and it collapses the foliage,
so it's soggy and rotten,
whereas this crisps it up when it's brown,
and it's very, very different.
And if you're foliage turns soggy and rotten,
clear it and get the potatoes out,
because you don't want the spores to infect the tubers themselves.
OK, that's it for this week. I've got lots to do this weekend.
I hope you've a really good weekend yourself
and I'll see you back here at Longmeadow next Friday. Bye-bye.
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