Episode 2 Gardeners' World


Episode 2

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ROBIN TRILLS

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Hello. Welcome to Gardeners' World.

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I've got some bare root roses here

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and as with all bare root trees and shrubs,

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first thing to do is get them

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into some water and give them a drink

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and not let them dry out for a second.

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Now, I'm planning to plant these into the Jewel Garden

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if the rain holds off long enough.

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And also in tonight's programme,

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we'll be paying a visit to Hever Castle in Kent to get inspiration

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from their EXTRAORDINARY display of hybrid tea roses.

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Once you get your nose in that rose

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and smell the wonderful scent,

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you really will be absolutely bowled over.

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And Joe continues his series of masterclasses on planting design.

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This week, he's sharing ideas on how to create a contemporary garden.

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And Carol is in her own garden at Glebe

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celebrating an often overlooked and undervalued plant,

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the wonderfully fragrant mahonia.

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There's the most lovely, delicious perfume of lily of the valley

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as you come around this corner,

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and it's all emanating from this magnificent shrub.

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Now, before I can plant those roses,

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I need to create space in the border

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and now is the PERFECT moment

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to rearrange the borders and get them exactly as you want them.

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It's just at this moment,

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where spring is just starting to muscle its way in,

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that you can catch your mixed borders

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and really reorganise them

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and get to work with them.

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And it's because the plants are starting to grow,

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so that when and if you move them,

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they'll adapt to their new homes very quickly.

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This is particularly true of herbaceous perennials.

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Don't do it when they're dormant

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but, actually, when you can see the growth coming through,

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then you can lift them, divide them, reshape them,

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do whatever it is you want.

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Now, over here there's a really good example

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of how herbaceous perennials tend to grow.

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This is a monkshood, aconitum,

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and you can see that it's created a kind of doughnut effect.

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You've got this circle of fresh new growth coming up

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but in the middle, it's very sparse, almost died back,

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and that's the old part of the plant

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and the new part grows outwards.

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If we left it, it would just keep on spreading

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and you'd just have a complete hollow area.

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Now, that's no good in a border. You want solid blocks of colour

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and by the way, the aconitum, which is kind of a poor man's delphinium

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because the blue is a bit muddy,

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actually, I think, is a really useful plant

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because it gives you blue,

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which is one of the rarest colours you'll ever find in any plant,

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later on in summer

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and on into autumn.

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I hardly ever wear gloves in the garden

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but I'm going to put some on for handling this monkshood

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because it is poisonous.

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There we are, protected.

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See, that in itself is a decent-sized clump.

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I'll pop that in the barrow for the moment.

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When you're lifting and dividing a herbaceous perennial

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that's doughnutted, that is to say, the centre has got hollow,

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you can discard all the growth in the centre,

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put that on the compost heap, because all the energy,

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all the vitality is coming from the outside of that doughnut.

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Now, if this feels scarily radical,

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digging up your lovely garden,

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don't worry, this is the perfect time to do it.

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And actually, you can see by looking at it,

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because what you have is a good root system.

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Those roots have started to grow

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but the top growth is only just coming out,

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so the ratio of roots to foliage is very beneficial to the plant,

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so not only can I improve the way this clump works by replanting it,

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but I'll get...oh, enough plants for two or even three more clumps,

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so new plants for free

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and the old plant working better than ever.

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Now, in these borders,

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it's all about using the flexibility of herbaceous perennials

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to adapt and change the borders,

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but down at Glebe Cottage, Carol is celebrating a shrub

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that stays true and always looks majestic at this time of year.

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It's been such a long, wet winter

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but today, it's sparkling and bright!

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Every day, you're aware that winter is receding

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and spring is on its way.

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And it's not just your visual senses that are stimulated

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by all these lovely, green shoots and fat buds.

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The air is full of the most exquisite scent.

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There's the most lovely, delicious perfume of lily of the valley

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as you come around this corner

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and it's all emanating from this magnificent shrub.

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This is Mahonia japonica.

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It sounds as though it's from Japan. In actual fact,

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it's from China, in the Himalayas,

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and it was from China that Robert Fortune, the great plant hunter,

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introduced it and brought it to our shores

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but it was quite a journey!

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He faced death, disease, and even pirates to get it here

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but I'm so glad he did.

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I adore this shrub

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and at every time of the year, it's got something to offer

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but of course, above all...

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..it's the perfume that you adore.

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This was the very first plant I ever bought for this garden

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but when I planted it, it was planted much further back

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and the original died but meanwhile, it had layered itself.

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It's a really good way of propagating mahonias

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but the other way is to take cuttings.

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I'm using individual pots for these cuttings

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because they're pretty chunky.

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Now, from a piece like this,

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I should be able to get two decent cuttings

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but what I want to do is to cut just above the leaf

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because in there is a small bud

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which is going to grow into the new shoot,

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so straight across.

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Now, if I put it into the pot like that,

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chances are that the whole thing is going to fall over. It's top-heavy.

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I'm going to employ a little-known horticultural technique here.

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I want to keep this leaf

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because it's going to feed the cutting whilst it's taking root,

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so I'm just rolling it up.

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And then I'm going to get a rubber band...

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..just to secure that and keep it in place.

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Yeah, I think that's good enough.

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And then I want to lower this cutting into the compost

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and push it right down

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until that junction of the leaf and the stem

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is flush with the top of the compost.

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And that's it.

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There are many beautiful Asiatic mahonias

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but there are also another group of mahonias

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that come from the United States of America.

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This is one of them.

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This is Mahonia aquifolium,

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otherwise known as the Oregon grape.

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It was first collected by explorers

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searching for a route to the Pacific.

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I've chosen a dwarf variety to brighten up one of my woodland beds.

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It's called Cosmo Crawl

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because that's exactly what it does.

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It sends suckers out here, there and everywhere

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and at the end of those suckers pop up new shoots

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full of flower and these beautiful rubescent sort of leaves.

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I think this will be ideal because once these flower spikes come up,

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they'll provide marvellous nectar treats

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for any pollinating insects that are about. Isn't that gorgeous?

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So I think that's ready to go.

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It looks sort of as though it's longing to live in this hole.

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I really hope it enjoys living here.

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I'm sure it will.

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I'll just firmly plant it.

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Within a year, it should be popping up here, there and everywhere.

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WOODPECKER TAPS

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We gardeners owe a huge debt of gratitude to plant hunters -

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not just those we read about in the history books

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but the people who discover and bring back plants

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right to this very day.

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And once these new plants come into cultivation,

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then hybridders have a field day.

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There are all sorts of new cultivars that are coming onto the market.

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This one's called Soft Caress

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and no wonder

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because it's so soft,

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and it's completely different

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from all the other mahonias that I've ever known.

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I'm not quite sure where I'm going to plant this

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but I'll tell you what - wherever it goes,

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it's a wonderful addition to my collection of mahonias.

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WOODPECKER TAPPING

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I like that leaf-rolling technique.

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I've not tried it, but I certainly will.

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My single Mahonia media 'Charity' is nothing like

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as big as Carol's but it does produce flowers with

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the most astonishing fragrance and one little bloom put in a vase,

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put in the kitchen, just fills the room with its scent.

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And talking of scent, it's time to sow sweet peas.

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Last year, we did a sweet pea trial here at Longmeadow.

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I wanted to find out the best time to sow them

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in terms of getting maximum flower for your time and energy.

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Now, traditionally, sweet peas are sown in October

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and planted out in spring.

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You can sow them in early spring

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or you can even sow them direct round about May, so I did all three.

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I came to the conclusion that sowing them in spring

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gave you just as many flowers,

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they extended the season, and it was a lot less trouble

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because you had less plants to look after

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so that's what I'm doing this year.

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It doesn't matter what varieties you sow, the technique is identical.

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I've got a whole mixed lot of varieties there.

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And I've got some seeds here, Painted Lady, that I collected

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from plants that we grew last year,

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so these are the ones I'll sow. I like to use

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three-inch pots, partly because I've got lots of them

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but also a pot allows decent root development,

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whereas if you sow in a seed tray,

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by the time they're big enough to prick out,

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the roots are getting rather crammed on the bottom of the tray.

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This is actually a seed mix

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but a normal potting mix will do the job perfectly well.

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Fill the pot, and then...

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just take the seeds.

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All the varieties tend to be the same.

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They range in colour from very pale brown to dark brown.

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You don't need to soak them, you don't need to nick them,

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they'll all germinate perfectly well.

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And I've put three seeds in a pot.

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Just push them in like that.

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Now, there's one thing I would say,

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and this is learned from bitter experience,

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is label every single container,

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so it's "Painted Lady".

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I just can't imagine a garden without sweet peas.

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It's to do with June and July

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and the fragrance and all the range of colours,

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which tend to be incredibly fresh and bright.

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They really are one of the first flowers that I'd want in any garden.

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Now, you may not be planning to sow sweet peas this weekend

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but here are some things that you can be doing.

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It's time now to get your dahlias out of store and check through them.

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If they've dried up, they'll have to be discarded

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and if the mice have got to them, that won't do them any good either

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but if they're nice, plump tubers,

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pot them up and put them in a warm, light place

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so they can start to grow

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and then they can be planted up after the last frost.

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Rhubarb, is now starting to grow strongly.

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If you have any plants that are just appearing above the ground,

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you could force them.

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Cover them up with a bucket, an old chimney pot,

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anything that will completely exclude the light.

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The stems then grow long, pale pink with hardly any foliage.

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And, importantly, they're deliciously sweet.

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One of the first vegetable seeds to sow are leeks.

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They're slow to develop and have a long growing season.

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I like to use pots so that the roots aren't disturbed.

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Fill the pot with general purpose compost

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and sprinkle the seeds thinly on the surface.

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Cover them lightly and put them in a sheltered place.

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It doesn't need any heat.

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There they will geminate and grow steadily

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until they're ready to plant out in a couple of months' time.

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Now, these hybrid tea roses have had a good drink,

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so they're ready to plant.

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I'm going to put them in the Jewel Garden.

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I would say that that any bare root plant you get,

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first thing you go is give it a drink.

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Hybrid teas aren't very fashionable at the moment,

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but they've got fantastic colours

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and they can be exactly the right plant for the right place.

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And to get inspiration, last summer we went to Hever Castle in Kent

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to see the huge collection of hybrid teas.

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CHIMING PIANO MUSIC

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My name is Neil. I'm the head gardener of Hever Castle

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and I'm really responsible for about 68 acres of formal gardens.

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The main heart of the gardens here at Hever Castle is the Italian Gardens.

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For many years, William Waldorf Astor was the United States

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ambassador to Rome,

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so the influence he had in Italy whilst he was out there,

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he wanted to bring back to his English country garden.

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The Rose Garden's probably been here about 40-50 years.

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And it's home to over 4,000 mainly hybrid tea

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with a few floribundas and climbers and ramblers.

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It's actually in a walled garden,

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so ideal location for the warmth for the roses.

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And we feel it's part of the quintessential English garden.

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A lot of people find hybrid tea roses maybe a bit blowsy,

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a bit in your face and a bit kind of old-fashioned,

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but once you get your nose in that rose,

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and smell the wonderful scent, you really will be bowled over.

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A hybrid tea rose is famous for the large, blowsy,

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one big bloom on the stem.

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Beautiful colour. You've got every colour under the sun.

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And really the other thing that makes a hybrid tea rose

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good quality is the disease resistance.

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This is Buxom Beauty,

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one of the largest hybrid teas you're ever going to find.

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You just think of the name,

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look how flirty and brazen this particular bloom is.

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The bloom will cover the palm of your hand

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and the scent is absolutely knockout.

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This is another one of my favourite hybrid teas. Just look at that.

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Scent-sation.

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A wonderful, buttery, gold centre

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and as it matures, the petals fade to

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an almost whitish pink.

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Not only does this rose look wonderful,

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but the scent is a kind of a very

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mellow Turkish Delight fragrance.

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Absolutely stunning.

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As with all hybrid tea roses, regular dead-heading is absolutely essential

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to guarantee blooms right through to the end of November.

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They will continue really up until first frosts

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and, as you can see, loads of these green buds now.

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They will guarantee colour right through for the next few months.

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If you have any diseased leaves, pick them up and burn them.

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And probably the third real tip is really enjoy them.

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The roses are there to be enjoyed.

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Come on.

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JAZZ MUSIC

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In here. Up you get.

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Go on. Get up. There's a good boy. Up. Good boy.

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On a grey day like this,

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to see those THOUSANDS of roses looking so good

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is the inspiration you need. It just lifts everything and gives hope.

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And hybrid tea roses on that scale are stunning. Really stunning.

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They're not stuffy, they're not old-fashioned,

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they're just bright and vibrant.

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And I've used them here in the Jewel Garden before

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and I want to add some more.

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And that's because I can select a colour,

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in this case it's going to be really strong, rich red,

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and know that it will perform from June

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right through to the first frosts if I keep dead-heading.

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Now, it doesn't matter what type of rose you're planting

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the method is the same. This is Crimson Glory,

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incredible rich, globular blooms,

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slightly spindly stems

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and not a particularly vigorous plant, but that doesn't matter,

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because it'll do its job through its flowers

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rather than the shape of the shrub.

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But you can see from this that there is a graft here

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and the top growth is coming from a root stock.

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I was taught how to plant roses by Peter Beales,

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who sadly died earlier this year.

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He was a great rosarian

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and what he said is you should bury the root stock.

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So plant it so you've just got some sticks sticking out the ground.

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So I'm going to need to dig a hole

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that is big enough to accommodate those roots.

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While I'm digging a hole,

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it's important to put it back in the water.

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You mustn't let bare root plants dry out even for a minute.

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So that goes back in the drink. Then move that out the way.

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Now, micorrhizal fungi helps the take up of nutrients and water,

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it acts as a conduit between the root of the plant and soil.

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And hold it over the hole and just sprinkle it on like that,

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so that there is real contact.

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Place the plant in like that.

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And I want it to be about that sort of depth.

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And backfill gently around it.

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Now that will get a good soak,

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which will work the soil round in amongst the roots.

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And then a nice thick mulch.

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It looks pretty insignificant now,

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but I know that that is a bomb waiting to explode into colour.

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And it doesn't matter whether you're planting a climber,

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a shrub, a hybrid tea,

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whatever type of rose it's the same principle.

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Now, last week, Joe started his new masterclass in planting design

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and we saw how cottage gardens can be planted up.

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This week, he's having a look at how to plant up a contemporary garden.

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A contemporary garden is a modern space where the plants have been used

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in a really graphic way to make a bold design

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that complements strong, hard landscaping.

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This week, I'm looking at the key design elements of structure,

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texture, colour and seasonal interest

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to help show you how to plant a contemporary garden.

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Structural planting in a contemporary garden is very important

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in holding the garden together all year round.

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Now, in this small city garden designed by Declan Buckley,

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he's used evergreen plants for hedging

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and evergreen climbers as well to cover the boundaries.

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In this central bed, he's used three different plants, the olive tree,

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the three box balls and the lollipop bay in the corner.

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Now, these add a lot of punctuation to the space and a lovely rhythm too.

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They play on heights but there's a connection between them,

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because they've got these lovely rounded heads.

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All of them playing on scale and dimension too.

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So they're there permanently,

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whereas the grasses and the perennials plants,

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they come and go seasonally and play off them.

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When it comes to texture, it's best to plant in bold blocks

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and hold back on the number of plants you choose.

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At the front here, we've got the lavender hedge

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running all the way through on this raised bed,

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making a very graphic statement.

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And the miscanthus grasses behind create real drama.

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It's about being graphic, bold and a bit daring.

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When it comes to colour when planting a contemporary garden,

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you can do whatever you want to personalise it.

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But I think the way to go is to be restrained, keep it simple.

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Pare it down to some simple combinations.

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In this garden he's gone for blues, whites and pinks

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from the cool colour spectrum

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and they work beautifully together, they're not fighting each other.

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Because of the limited palette of plants in a planting style like this,

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every plant here has to really earn its keep,

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but if you have all evergreens it looks a bit static

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and it doesn't really reflect the seasons.

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What you want are key plants that are going to do that job for you.

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At the moment we've got the wonderful miscanthus grasses,

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the Verbena bonariensis

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and the seedheads of the eryngiums and the alliums,

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reflecting the late summer into early autumn season.

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Here's my plan for a garden

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with a really contemporary planting scheme:

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I've got two beds slightly offset with a path between them.

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The first thing I'm going to do is put in a really nice big

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multi-stemmed shrub/small tree.

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I think something like a cornus would be fantastic.

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Next I'm going to put in a really graphic feature using a hedge

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clipped in a wave that's starting on one side of the planting

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and then coming through to the other side of the path as well

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so it has a lovely continuity right across there.

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Ilex crenata's a really good hedge. And then...

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I've got some good structure coming in already

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and I think just to counterbalance it

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I need something on this corner here,

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a nice soft, rounded low-growing shrub.

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Box would be pretty classic, but I also like Pittosporum tobira.

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So I now need to plant the boundaries either side and I think this garden's

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fantastic with its trachelospermums all the way around the boundaries,

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so some of those would be great and I could train those

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and fan them out nice and neatly on wires.

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Now to soften it all up, get some texture in there.

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Anemanthele lessoniana...

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Maybe rows of two each side, planted on both sides of the path

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so it carries on through and you feel as you walk through

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that you're in amongst them.

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And then, I think something planted within this deeper,

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something like alliums would be perfect.

0:26:210:26:24

White alliums with their pompom flowers

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floating above the grasses would look fantastic.

0:26:260:26:28

But now I'm going to plant a groundcover geranium

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and then at the front of the border, something really low-growing

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and textural, and thyme - lovely purple flowers in the summer.

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And then on the other side, Japanese anemones are absolutely perfect.

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A huge block of them in the back there,

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so they make a real impact when they flower together.

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So there you go.

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I'm pretty pleased with that, I used a total of nine plants

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but it's the way I've used them - I've controlled them very much.

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So that's my recipe for a contemporary planting scheme.

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Now, if you go to our website you can see a list of plants

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that Joe used this week and next week he's showing us

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the planting design for an exotic garden.

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Right, I'll give these roses... a nice drink.

0:27:400:27:44

Let that settle. And as well as watering them,

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that'll push the soil around all the roots.

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And then mulch them.

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And that will stop the weeds coming round.

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Now, I've still got some moving around to do,

0:28:020:28:04

lifting of plants, dividing them... Get them exactly where I want them.

0:28:040:28:07

Get the jigsaw looking as I hope it will pan out in the summer

0:28:070:28:11

and then I can finish the mulching.

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Hopefully, I'll have all that done by next week

0:28:130:28:16

when I'll see you back here at Longmeadow.

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Until then, bye-bye.

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:28:440:28:47

Monty Don revels in his passion for roses as he sets about planting some bare root varieties in the Jewel Garden at Longmeadow in readiness for a colourful spring and summer. Continuing the rose theme, there is an inspirational visit to the magnificent formal rose garden of Hever Castle in Kent, home to a breathtaking collection of hybrid teas.

Carol Klein is in her Devon garden at Glebe Cottage, where she is delighting in the seasonal scent of her mahonias, while describing their exotic and dramatic history.

And Joe Swift continues his planting design series by sharing ideas and top tips on the different types of plants to choose when creating a contemporary garden.


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