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Hello. Welcome to Gardeners' World.
I'm just lifting this euphorbia
because it's rather swamping the plants around it.
Staking at this stage of the year, when the whole garden is growing
in front of your eyes and plants are opening by the hour practically,
is not so much an exercise in control but in support.
Just get in there and underpin
and let things flow and look as natural as possible.
You want to celebrate what it's doing
rather than instruct it to behave properly.
Now, in tonight's programme, a little bit of instruction
but lots of celebration.
This week, Carol is celebrating blossom.
This year it's been a little late but it has been fantastic.
Whether it's a sloe in the hedgerows
or these glorious ornamental doubles,
it really doesn't matter.
It's their blossom which brings a whole season to life.
And we visit a couple in Yorkshire who share their love of begonias
with every single person that passes by their house.
CAR HORN BLARES
It's really embarrassing.
You'll be out the front garden doing a bit of dead-heading
and this bus will slow down to a crawl
and there's like 30 people with cameras at the window
taking pictures as they go past.
Later on in the programme, I'm going to be planting out my tomatoes and
I'm going to put them into different containers as an experiment.
At the end of the year, I'll see which has been the most successful,
but first I've got a job to do here in the Jewel Garden.
Now, last year, I bought this pot and I got it, to be honest,
because it was such a cheap price I couldn't resist it.
I bought it sight unseen
and when it arrived it was slightly daunting
because this is a huge, big pot and planting it up is not
just a question of putting any old thing in it.
You have to think it through.
Now, it doesn't matter what you plant
you do need to give it some drainage.
And you can buy chocks that you simply place the pot onto.
And you do that so that it doesn't get waterlogged.
So we just sit it up off the ground.
I like to add terracotta crocks too.
Now, I use terracotta because that's what we've got,
but you could use anything.
Polystyrene packaging chips work very well, too.
Apart from anything else, in a great big pot,
it actually takes up some pace.
Otherwise, it gets really expensive putting in compost.
When you're planting a big container of any kind,
you will have a lot of plants and they will make quite heavy
nutritional demands, so it's worth taking trouble with the compost.
Now, you can use an ordinary potting compost
but after about a month to six weeks,
you'll have to feed regularly.
I like to mix my own.
I use peat-free potting compost, sieved garden compost,
leaf mould and grit in equal proportions.
Now, you need drama in a big pot
and I plan a large container with three storeys.
You need a top storey, you need a mid-level layer
and then ground cover.
And for the top storey, for this container, I'm going to use a canna.
Now this is Canna Australia.
It's got lovely chocolate plum-coloured leaves
and then big striking red flowers.
Cannas come from Central and South America.
They like heat and they like moisture,
so if you plant a canna in a container,
you are committed to watering it regularly.
And also it does need plenty of feed.
Now, I'm going to plant that in the middle.
Take it out of the pot. There we go. Nice healthy plant.
It should flower at about eye level which is perfect.
Word of warning.
Cannas are very commonly being sold with a virus and this
streaks the leaves and loses them vigour
so look for a nice clean foliage.
So that's my top storey. Dead easy.
The next storey, the mid-level, is going to be dahlias.
Now dahlias, of course,
come from the same region of the world as cannas.
That's Central and South America
and they like the same sort of conditions.
Now this is called 'Grenadier' and I've chosen it because
the foliage and the stems pick up on the cannas' foliage.
It doesn't turn much darker than that
but there's this slight plum chocolatey colour to the stems
and also it's got a fabulous red flower.
Got the tuber in there.
And this, I've over-wintered, grew last year
and I'm going to put three in.
Pop that in like that.
OK, that's my mid-storey.
And, of course, at the moment, they're just a big as the cannas
but the cannas will soon overtake them.
Now, underneath I want to use annuals
and I've got a number of different ones here.
I've got a couple of petunias,
'Black Velvet' and a 'Surfina Bunga...' Bungadee?
B-B... I can't say it!
Of course, what I'm struggling to say is "burgundy."
I want the really rich darkness.
In fact, 'Black Velvet' has also got a flash of yellow.
And, of course, petunias, an annual,
they will like moisture
which is just as well as it's starting to rain,
and we use the two colours
and I'll put these all the way round and, of course,
they all grow and spill out to a certain extent.
These are plants that I bought in March
when they were tiny little plugs,
potted them on and they've grown really well,
so it's given me a large plant for the price of a very small one.
Now, I'm also going to introduce a flash of yellow.
This is an Osteospermum 'Voltage Yellow,'
almost a gold.
And perhaps it might pick up that flash of yellow on the petunia.
You can see it's grown decent roots. We've got a nice, strong plant.
Now, I'll give that a good soak
and it will settle and it will take a few weeks to get going but then,
as soon as the nights get warmer,
the cannas and the dahlias will really start to grow,
so we'll have these wonderful big canna flowers on the top storey,
the 'Grenadier' dahlias round about this level,
and underneath, the bedding.
And that will go on right into autumn.
Now, I love mixing up all these different type of plants,
but you can achieve really good effects just using bedding.
We visited a couple in Yorkshire who don't just love bedding,
they're obsessed by it,
and they share their magnificent obsession with every passer-by.
We get an awful lot of holiday traffic,
people travelling from West Yorkshire up to the Lake District.
We get people tooting their horns,
people stopping, taking pictures, knocking on the door.
We've become a bit of a tourist attraction in our own right, really.
CAR HORN HONKS
LORRY HORN HONKS
It's really embarrassing.
You'd be out in the front of the garden there,
doing a bit of dead-heading and this bus will slow down to a crawl
and there's 30 people with their cameras at the window
taking pictures as they go past.
We started 27 years ago putting the flowers out.
It grew and it grew and it grew.
And every year, it's still growing.
This village is not called Coniston Cold for nothing.
It is cold, as you can gather,
and we get a lot of wind and very cold weather.
So we had to find a plant that would withstand our climate
and we ended up with the begonia.
I would always recommend begonias.
You can let them dry out. You can over-water them.
They will always grow, no matter what.
In this climate here, that's been proven time and time again.
We get plug plants, very mall plug plants which need potting on
so that will start in February-March time
and run right through till May.
When we start planting, it's late May before we can plant out here.
But we can get frosts well into June here
but it takes about three weeks to put them all out.
One year, I worked out by counting the plant pots,
I grew 6,500,
which is a bit frightening.
It used to take me approximately two hours a day to water them by hand.
Sometimes, in mid-summer, when it was hot,
you'd do two hours in the morning and two hours at night
which is a lot of time.
Now it's all done by computer.
It switches itself on and off, which is a lot better.
Feeding I will usually commence
in an evening because you don't want direct sunlight.
When I'm feeding the plants, I've found that
tomato feed mixed with seaweed extract
is the best, without a doubt.
But you've got to be careful with seaweed extract.
You must stick to the dilution rates.
If you don't, you'll kill the plants. It's very powerful stuff.
Personally, I can't see any room for expansion anywhere.
I think they would basically have to hang them from the roof
if they were to put any more flowers up.
But I know that next year Robin will say,
"I've ordered a few too many flowers now, I've got some left -
"where shall we put them?"
And I'll say, "There's nowhere, Robin."
And then all of a sudden I'll hear him drilling the wall
and he'll have found another place
and there will be more flowers going up.
Where there's a will, there's a way.
There have been times where we've thought,
"We can't carry on with this,
"it's too much of our life, it takes too much time."
But it is the nice cards that we get sent.
People waving out their cars and off of coaches.
-It makes you feel very humble.
-Makes you feel good.
Making the world a brighter place. Yeah.
The pond is starting to get lush and mature.
But it is only 12 months old. All this planting
has been done in the last year.
And one of the things that I'm keeping an eye on
is quite subtle, which is a line
of reflected light, exactly along the line where I am now,
which is through the gap in the hedge.
And I deliberately wanted this line
to continue the path across the surface of the water.
And of course you can do that with water.
You can play with reflections and light.
And the water mint, which I planted last year
as one little clump, has now grown across that and of course
is spoiling the reflection. So I want to just thin it back a bit.
Now is a really good time to divide any marginal plants,
to plant any aquatic plants, because it's warmed up.
In fact, there's quite a chilly wind today,
but the water is much warmer than it was a month ago.
And it's getting clearer too.
I think perhaps the barley straw I put in about four or five weeks ago
is beginning to work, although the whole balance of a pond
is a subtle and shifting thing,
and it's to do with light, shade and minerals.
So one of the things you have to do is keep some of the water covered.
You want to keep a third of the surface covered by plants.
But this water mint, you can see, is spreading across here. Look at that.
It's really minty.
Now I'm going to divide that a little.
It's as tough as old tough.
And you can see the roots are there.
So I haven't harmed what I've taken,
I can move it to another place if I want, or I can compost it.
One of the things that I'm very aware of is that
if you want to really encourage newts and frogs and snails
and dragonflies and all the lovely things
that will come to a pond like this,
you must have lots of cover for them.
Let's put a little bit of this water mint down there.
That will bed down in and this can go to the compost. Over you go.
This is tinkering.
Playing, really, in the water,
and any kind of water lends itself to nice playing about.
But it's important and it's timely, because plants
can very easily re-establish if you divide them,
and if you plant new plants,
they will get going very fast in the water.
But you may not have water.
Nevertheless, here are some other jobs
that you CAN be doing in your garden this weekend.
If you took cuttings in spring from plants like dahlias
or delphiniums, check them over,
and if you see new growth from leaves or roots,
it's time to pot them on.
Remove them carefully
and pot up each cutting individually into fresh potting compost.
Water them, and put them in a protected place
where they can grow on so they should be ready to plant out
in late summer.
Late-flowering clematis grow very fast at this time of year
and can get in a real tangle.
So, using soft twine so you don't damage the delicate new tendrils,
unravel them and tie them in.
And then when they do flower,
they'll be exactly where you want them.
# Missed the Saturday dance
# Heard they crowded the floor
# Couldn't bear it without you
# Don't get around much anymore. #
It's time to earth up potatoes.
Draw the soil right up over the foliage.
This will protect them from any late frost,
and more importantly, mean that the tubers are well covered,
and thus protected from light,
which turns them green and poisonous.
There's a final benefit,
because an extra layer of soil will also provide protection
from blight spores that might occur later in the summer.
The blossom on my step-over apples is a relief, actually,
because the poor things have been moved.
They were in with the soft fruit and they had to be moved
to make room for the greenhouse, and now I've put them in here.
And they seem to be adapting.
And of course the great thing about step-over apples
is not only do they look good,
and you can have them as a decorative element
in amongst vegetables, but also it does give you fruit
in a very, very restricted space.
But the blossom is as good
on a little apple tree as the biggest one.
It's the same flowers, and hopefully the same fruit.
And there's something about any blossom
that just makes your heart sing.
Well, I don't know if Carol's singing,
but she's certainly celebrating blossom.
There are so many blossom trees that light up our gardens
and hedgerows from spring to early summer.
Their delicate clusters of flowers are a seasonal delight for us.
And for the wildlife.
Sloe is the first sight of spring in our countryside.
It's called Prunus spinosa because the whole thing is spiny, spiky.
It's a very well-armed sort of a shrub.
And those spines are poisonous,
but they're there to protect those flowers
and the fruit that follows them.
The wood itself of sloe is extremely hard
and the Irish use it to make their shillelaghs.
Not only do birds nest in its branches,
but the whole thing is humming with activity.
And after the flowers have fallen to the ground,
there are the most wonderful small black fruit - sloes.
There's no avoiding sloe.
It's in-your-face, it's instantly recognisable, it's there.
But it's not until you stroll in the woods
that you come across our wild cherry, Prunus avium.
This too is packed with all sorts of nectar,
and as the sun shines in here, wildlife come to visit.
You can see immediately, though,
when you look up into these branches,
the similarity between this and all those ornamental cherries
that grace our gardens and pack our city streets.
It's hard to believe that the ornamental Japanese cherry tree,
so popular now, only came to our gardens around 100 years ago.
In Japan, sakura, cherry blossom,
plays a hugely important role in daily life.
The optimism and yet the ephemerality
of these beautiful blooms opening wide
represents life itself,
followed by the inevitability of death,
as those petals fall to the floor and carpet the ground.
The blossom too signifies clouds,
as tree after tree opens its snowy blooms
and moves across the countryside.
Here at Batsford Arboretum in Gloucestershire,
they've got 130 different types of ornamental cherry trees,
many of them a familiar sight in British parks and gardens.
And this is one of the finest examples. It's so blossomy.
This is Prunus sargentii.
Just look at the scale of this! It's huge. It's massive.
It's a structural monument to the beauty of cherry blossom.
Too big for a lot of gardens, but what a spectacle!
And as if that wasn't enough,
when the autumn comes,
this is one of the first of all the cherries to change colour.
Head gardener Matthew Hall is showing me
the national collection of village cherries held here at Batsford.
These trees come from villages in Japan
and flower in succession right through the season.
We've got yedoensis.
This is what starts the flowering cherries.
Everything goes on from here.
The whole thing travels up the country, doesn't it?
That's right, yeah.
Batsford has trees that are perfect for smaller gardens, too.
-What a picture.
-Absolutely perfect, isn't it?
-Yeah, it is.
-So this is prunus incisa?
-Incisa, yeah. It's a Fuji cherry.
It's an ideal cherry for the small garden.
Well, you can imagine that going anywhere, can't you?
-Yeah, you could.
-Even on a tiny, tiny plot.
You can grow it two different ways.
You can have a straight, upright stem,
-or you can have maybe multiple stems coming off.
It's small leaf, really compact flowers.
-It's two to three metres and is quite shrubby.
-I've got that tiny one.
-Kojo no mai.
-Kojo no mai. I've got a couple of them but I grow them in pots.
That's right. Good for pot culture.
So even if you haven't got a garden, you can have a flowering cherry.
That's it, that's right. That's the beauty of them.
Thanks to the introduction of these ornamental Japanese cherries,
we really can choose from a wealth of blossom trees
as well as enjoying our own wild species.
Whether it's our sloe in the hedgerows
or our wild cherry, Prunus avium,
whether it's the village cherries from Japan
or these glorious ornamental doubles,
it really doesn't matter.
It's their blossom that brings a whole season to life.
I last went to Batsford 10 years ago. It was absolutely fantastic.
I must go back next spring.
This spring, one of the great delights has been the apple blossom,
which of course has been very late, like all blossoms.
Because it's all come out together,
there should be really good cross-pollination and, touch wood,
a nice crop of apples.
So, to have apple blossom in late May is unusual,
but it's been a real treat.
Now it is time to plant out tomatoes.
I've got a batch here of gardener's delight, one of my favourites.
It's got a fairly small tomato,
delicious raw, even better, I think, roasted.
Absolutely perfect. These I grow from seed.
You can see they've got a nice root system. They're not pot-bound.
If I plant these out, they'll grow really strongly over the next month or so
and then start to set fruit.
I've grown tomatoes, oh, for at least the last 40 years,
and I really had thought until last year I pretty much knew how to do it
successfully every time. But then I paid a visit to Richard Sandford,
who is a superb vegetable grower.
All of these tomatoes look really impressive,
but this pair here are incredible.
These are the best tomatoes I have ever seen in the UK.
Very kind of you.
Richard made me rethink everything about tomato growing,
because he grew those amazing tomatoes, and they were stunning,
in terracotta pots about this sort of size.
And what was extraordinary was that the pots were certainly
no more than half full of compost mix.
So that they had a tiny root run,
but he fed them every single day from home-made feeds.
So the upshot is this year I want to experiment.
I want to try different ways of growing tomatoes.
I shall be growing some in the other greenhouse,
but I'll also grow some in different containers in here.
I've got a grow bag here, so I'll grow some in those.
I've got some terracotta pots. I'll grow some in those.
And I'll also grow some in what I normally use,
which is a large plastic pot. So it's got a decent root run.
And if they're all gardener's delight,
I can just simply compare how they grow,
and most importantly of all, what the fruit are like.
Let's start with the grow bag.
To be honest, I haven't used a grow bag for about 10 years.
I used to use them and they were perfectly successful.
When you buy them, give them a really good shake,
because they're stacked on pallets and they get very compacted.
So just make extra holes along the bottom so that can drain out.
And then I would grow three tomatoes in a bag like that.
And then you simply take a plant.
Now, as a rule of thumb,
I've always said that you should bury tomato plants
at least up to the first leaf.
It wouldn't hurt going up as much as that.
Then you get roots growing from the stem
and you get a more secure plant,
because this is going to get very big and heavy.
However, in a grow bag that's tricky,
because what is astonishing is how shallow the bag is.
It really doesn't feel as though there's enough depth of soil
to support the plants. But we'll see.
OK, that goes in there.
And that's in there.
Right, next I am going to try Richard's technique,
which is a terracotta pot
with a dangerously small amount of compost in it.
That's really all he had.
It seems absurd to me, but come on, let's try, let's try.
Just one plant.
And put that in.
I'm going to put a little bit more compost in there to bury it,
not to cheat but just simply to anchor it in place.
There we go. And I'll do a couple more of those.
Put that in nice and deep.
There we go. Exhibit B.
And finally, the tried and tested large plastic pot.
Now, I have deliberately been generous with my compost,
left enough room to hold water on top.
But that allows a fairly decent root run.
And in the past I would say not overgenerous,
but, having seen Richard's example, it now looks enormous.
But we'll see.
And this I will bury, nice and deep.
That goes right down in there to bring the soil up around underneath that first leaf.
Right, let's call that exhibit C.
I'll treat these as I always treat tomatoes.
Richard's... I will remember his guiding principle,
which wasn't prescriptive, but what it was was pay great attention to their feed,
and if need be, feed them every day.
The grow bag, I will just try and use my common sense
and look after as best I can.
And we'll see.
If you grow tomatoes in a particular way,
I'd love to hear from you.
If you've got any secrets, share them.
Now, we'll only know the proof of this come August and September.
But we'll be back here before then.
I'll see you next Friday, here at Longmeadow, at the normal time.
Till then, bye bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Monty Don plants up summer bedding in the Jewel Garden and starts a new tomato experiment, while Carol Klein celebrates the blossom at Batsford Arboretum in the Cotswolds.