Episode 30 Gardeners' World


Episode 30

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Now, most of us have taken a bit of a battering over the last few weeks.

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It's been very wet almost everywhere.

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It's been pretty windy in a lot of places, too,

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and our gardens are beginning to look a bit wrecked.

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The last few months we've been holding on to summer,

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we've been talking about it fading away.

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Well, it's gone. It's over.

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And actually, that's a good thing, because this is a new beginning.

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Now is the time to start planting and acting for next year.

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This week, Joe is finding out why recycling

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is at the heart of designers Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway's garden.

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Well, I was expecting a designer garden,

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It will be quite hard to leave it.

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And Carol visits Coughton Court to explore

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the history of the most romantic plant to be found in any garden.

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Who could afford to be without an old rose or two?

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Not only will it bring you glamour and wonderful fragrance,

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but it'll be a living piece of history right there in your garden.

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There you go.

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Now, the cottage garden is slowly coming into being.

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Used to be all vegetables in here, and over the last year or so

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we've gradually introduced more and more flowers,

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We've got an empty bed now,

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and a great chance to start introducing some flowers.

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And the bones of any flower border are shrubs.

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This is a really good time to be planting shrubs of any kind,

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and particularly roses.

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Now, I want to plant three groups in this border,

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and I'm introducing a new colour, which is yellow.

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Do you know, I've never planted a yellow rose in my life?

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What I'm planting here is a rose called The Pilgrim.

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It's a modern rose, introduced just in 1991,

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and has the most beautiful,

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soft, ruffled, primrose-yellow flower

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with a slight flush of pink at the base.

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And a really distinctive fragrance of myrrh.

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What I like to do with roses is dig a really substantial hole

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and put them all in the same hole,

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so what you end up with is one whopping shrub.

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But there's no need to add compost or manure directly

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to the planting-hole.

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Now, if I loosen the bottom so that the roots can work their way down...

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What I will add is some mycorrhizal powder.

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And it's very easy to buy - every garden centre sells it.

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Sprinkle it on, just as I am here.

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The fungus acts as a conduit between the soil and the roots.

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Plants will build that conduit in time themselves,

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but by supplying it from the outset, they take nutrition quicker.

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So, they establish more quickly and strongly,

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and therefore you get a healthier plant.

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Now, obviously,

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planting three roses where one eventually would do is extravagant.

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A shrub rose like this will cost you

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somewhere between ten and twenty quid, and, you know, that adds up.

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What watering does,

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as well as providing moisture for the plants,

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it's just as important

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that it pushes the soil in and around the roots.

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Mulch is important for two reasons -

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one, because it will feed them, to a degree,

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and two, because it will keep moisture in.

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And then they can be mulched again, if need be, in spring.

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There you go.

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Planted.

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Now, this is a new rose, introduced 20 years ago,

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and it's new to me, new to this garden.

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But Carol has been looking at the history of old roses.

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And their beauty, too.

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The Persians, the Medes,

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the Egyptians, the Romans, the Greeks.

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They didn't just admire it in the wild, they wanted it closer to home.

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They brought it into their gardens.

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It wasn't just part of their culture,

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but their horticulture, too.

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Almost certainly, the rose that Romans grew

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in their villa gardens was a form of Rosa gallica.

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Now, this is Rosa complicata,

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and it has gallica as one of its parents.

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And it gives us a real idea of the sort of roses you would have

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seen if you'd walked into one of those gardens.

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There's a fresco from Pompeii

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which clearly shows a rose tied to a cane.

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But it seems to have extra petals,

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a sure sign that not only were they cultivating roses,

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Gallica roses would have been grown by all those ancient civilisations

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across the region, but eventually they made their way to England.

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This is one of the first of those gallica roses on record.

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This is rosa Rosa mundi.

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It's documented as being around from Tudor times

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but it probably dates back to centuries before that.

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It's said to have been named after the fair Rosamund,

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the mistress of Henry II.

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They lived in the 12th century.

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Sadly, she was put to death by Henry's jealous wife.

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But this rose remains, as a tribute to her beauty.

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here's one story that rosa Rosa mundi

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may have been brought back from the Holy Land during the crusades.

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Many roses were cultivated in that area.

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And it wasn't just gallicas, it was roses like this beautiful damask.

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This is a rose called Ispahan.

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It's named after an ancient Persian city.

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These roses were particularly valued for their scent,

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their delightful perfume.

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In fact, attar of roses

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was distilled from these wonderful flowers,

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and conserves and confections were made from it too.

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Things like Turkish delight.

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You can just imagine the taste and smell of those things.

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Their flowering only lasts for a few short weeks.

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The hunt was on to try and ensure that roses flowered all summer long.

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We tend to think of all our ancient civilisations growing roses,

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but of course, roses is a hugely widespread genus.

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The Chinese have been growing roses, cultivating them,

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treasuring them for hundreds of years.

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And it was a serendipitous meeting between East and West

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that really played a huge role in the development of the rose.

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In the middle of the Indian Ocean lies the Isle de Bourbon.

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It was here that French traders

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and Chinese traders brought their wares, including their roses.

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More imports from China flooded in, including yellow roses.

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The stage was now set

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for the kaleidoscopic range of roses which grace our gardens today.

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It's been a mild autumn, but even the courgettes are coming to an end

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and time to clear them away.

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In fact, it has been a really, really good year for courgettes.

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And that applies to pretty much all fruiting plants.

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which was very late, everything caught up.

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I think this year has been a really good example of how you need

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to both respond to what the weather is actually doing,

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rather than doing everything by the book,

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and also spreading things a little bit,

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so if you sow all your lettuce seeds in one go

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or all of your peas at one point

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and then you get a really cold snap, you are going to lose them,

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or they will not do very well, so look at succession.

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Divide seeds up into two or three lots and split them up

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and the chances are, if one lot fails, another will succeed.

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Most of us move house at some time or other in our lives,

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The first thing that attracted us to this house was the garden.

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We moved here in August 16th of 1985,

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which now makes it 28 years that we have been here.

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We absolutely loved it.

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The first thing we did do was the garden and not the house,

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just got stuck in with it, really.

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We always loved gardening,

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even when we were extremely young.

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I do like roses, and I also like clematis in particular.

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I like most plants, to be quite truthful.

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Every time something is in flower, that is my favourite plant.

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That's how gardening is, really.

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It will be quite hard to leave it, but we have got to be sensible.

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It will be nice to be a bit more relaxed with a smaller garden.

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We'll be taking plants with us,

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we had to leave all the plants in the borders

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because that is part of the sale, but we have so many plants potted up

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already that there is quite a number coming with us.

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I decided I would divide two or three of the perennial plants.

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I can take a section with me

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and also, it will rejuvenate the plant which we put back in place.

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This one here is Aruncus aethusifolius. Strange name.

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It's a dwarf Aruncus, really nice plant. One that I want to have.

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This is the one that is going to Cheshire.

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It doesn't look much at the moment, but it will soon take.

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At one time, we had hundreds of begonias in the garden.

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For the new garden, we will want more permanent plants,

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but however, I do like this particular begonia.

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It's Royal Renaissance Flamboyant.

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I will dig them up, dry them off in the greenhouse

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and then we'll take a few tubers with us.

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It is secluded and in the summertime, it is just really nice.

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Rudi, the cat that we had before, he is buried up in that garden,

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that was his favourite place.

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He was a big, brown Burmese, a beautiful cat,

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so I just like being there.

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I usually say "Hello, Rudi"

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every morning to him when I pass.

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I came across a peony called "My Pal Rudi"

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and because the cat was called Rudi,

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I bought the peony and it is really nice as well.

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It's a big, blousy bloom, but it is beautiful, perfumed as well,

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which is nice.

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That is one plant that has to come out of the border.

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I am sure the new owners will understand we had to take that one.

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It's looking a sorry state, but I'm sure it will come away nicely.

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Whoever buys that house is getting a beautiful garden as well.

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I've got it here, Nige!

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This is my asparagus bed, and it is not happy.

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I planted this in the spring of 2011.

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By now, I would expect the ferns to be all six foot tall

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and really thick and strong.

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They're not. This is as good as they have been since I planted them.

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I think that is as much as anything else

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to do with the weather over the past few years.

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If you remember we had that miserable, cold, wet summer of 2011,

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that was the first one after planting.

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2012 wasn't a lot better, and then a very cold spring this year,

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just as the asparagus was expected to get going.

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It just hasn't established properly. In a way, that is good news,

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because it means there is nothing wrong with the crop,

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nothing wrong with the way I am growing it, it is just bad luck.

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For the first few years of any asparagus,

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you don't harvest it at all.

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You let the roots establish.

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And part of that process is letting them die back in autumn,

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because that feeds into the roots, and then cutting them back

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and mulching them heavily.

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is one of life's great, great delights.

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Now, not everybody grows asparagus

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but here are some jobs that you can all be doing this weekend.

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I suspect that we've all got too many packets of seed

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that are either past their sell-by date

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or have been half-used for more than a year.

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It's a good time to go through your seeds and ruthlessly sort them out.

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Any that are more than a year past their sell-by date

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should be discarded.

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And if you have far too many of one type,

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you know what not to order next year.

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Artichokes are hearty, as long as they don't get wet and cold.

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The leaves are streaming off the trees by the day.

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But it's important not to waste a single one.

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Rake them up. If you can chop them by mowing them, so much the better,

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and store them in a loose, open-sided container.

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Make sure they're damp and then leave them for a year,

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and they will turn into lovely leaf mould,

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which is a superb addition to potting compost,

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as well as a useful mulch.

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Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway are famous for the range

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and the distinctiveness of their designs,

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running from shoes to public housing projects,

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and this summer, Joe went to visit them at home

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to see how they applied their skills to their own garden.

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and his wife, Gerardine. Their leafy Sussex garden is dedicated

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to bringing the indoors out.

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You really live out here, don't you? It's an extension to the house,

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so there's a series of different, what I call "rooms" outdoors,

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from the circular lawn here

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to all the different elements in the garden.

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It's just so many different places you can go.

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She actually has to keep building and designing,

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so we've probably reached the extent

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of any planning permission we could get for this house,

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so the next stage is these outdoor rooms, isn't it?

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Did you draw it and is it part of a master plan,

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or has it grown more organically than that?

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A bit of the two, really.

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The basic for the circular lawn that we're stood in now

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was master plan and then it was a case of

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everything else sort of evolved.

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Can we go and have a look at the garden?

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Yep, we'll go and have a look at the first installation.

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This is our outdoor tepee.

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When we first built it, it's quite architectural.

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It's made out of recycled telegraph poles.

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It's got a lovely, jungly feel in here, I have to say.

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The wisterias are beautiful.

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I think we've got about 12 varieties of wisteria in the jungle walk

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and the evergreen, jasmine and clematis. It smells good.

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I can smell the wisteria. The scent gets contained.

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Just the right time of year, isn't it?

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Because you're looking out onto quite a manicured lawn, as well.

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This is sort of a reinvention

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of a classic pergola structure in a way,

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which had roses and wisteria, but it would have been much more formal,

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whereas it's just a bit looser, isn't it?

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I think because gardening is not my full-time job,

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it's a hobby, so it has to fit in with the time that you've got

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so if you try to be too pristine about things, it takes too long.

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But it also gives a lovely, relaxed style to the garden, as well.

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Some gardens are quite formal

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and you're not those sort of people, I guess.

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He wasn't going to sell it,

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he was just going to get rid of it, so we thought we'd take the lot.

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You've got a huge hedge of it there.

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You're got a massive hedge of it here.

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Gera harvests it every year for poles for your...

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Staking up the veg in the veg patch. Things like that.

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The chicken hutch through there, the chicken pen, it was the Wendy house

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the kids had when they were young, and that was built by Gera's dad.

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And he had a similar philosophy.

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Free-range kids, that was a term you've always used.

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Yeah, we were both lucky enough to be free-range kids.

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We both lived in working class areas but with access to outdoor space.

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So I'm getting a sense that some areas are more yours,

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and some areas are more yours

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in the garden, as far as ownership is concerned.

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Yeah. Say that's right?

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Yeah, I mean, Gerardine spends a lot of time doing the detail

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and knows about plants and loves plants

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and I like doing things that men like to do

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to prove we still are men. Hang on, what are you talking about?

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Flowers... The creative side of things.

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The planting and things like that.

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And the order. And you've got a vegetable garden.

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And the vegetable garden, as well.

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Oh, this is beautifully kept.

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Do you get any help with this or do you do it all yourself?

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No, I do it all myself, actually.

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The only help I get is when I need more compost bringing round.

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Wayne will go and fill the barrow with compost for me

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and bring it around.

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I absolutely love my compost heaps.

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Come and look at the compost. Proud of his compost heap.

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Beautiful stuff.

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I like digging into this and we've got three big piles

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which are over three years.

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The bottom of that's going to be five years old because...

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Five years old? So what we do is, we have three different piles.

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Lovely stuff. Lovely.

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We get somebody in once a year to turn it.

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Everything's sort of got that designer touch

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but it's also about the practicalities, isn't it?

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As a designer, you can actually live what you do

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in your work as well and you can bring all that together.

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You get things right.

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We don't design outside of our life and our knowledge base.

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When we're doing housing and when we're doing landscape,

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this is the perfect place to experiment, really.

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MUSIC PLAYS

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MUSIC STOPS

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There are times, at this time of year,

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when it's too wet, too dark or just too miserable

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to do anything outside,

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so this is when all those inside jobs can be tackled.

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One of the least glamorous,

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but actually really useful, is cleaning labels.

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We get through hundreds, if not thousands of labels every year.

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and it's not hard work at all,

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the writing of this supposedly indelible marker comes off.

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Hey, presto, you've got a new label.

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There are scores and scores more to be done, and it will take ages.

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But we shall be back next week for our last programme of this year.

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So I'll see you then. Bye-bye.

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There's plenty to do to prepare for the season to come. Monty Don is clearing out spent crops and mulching his asparagus.

Joe Swift's been to visit keen gardeners, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, to see how they combine sustainability with their designer-style.

Carol Klein's exploring the history of the rose at Coughton Court, one of our best rose gardens and Monty plants a new rose of his own.

What happens when you have to downsize and leave your much-loved garden? We catch-up with an Aberdeen couple, to see how they're making sure that some of their favourite plants can travel with them to their new life.


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