Episode 10 Gardeners' World

Episode 10

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Now, I know that we've had a dry winter and spring,


and for a lot of people that's caused problems.


But I have to say, here at Longmeadow it's been a joy,


means that not only can you garden and get on with things,


but also a whole load of plants respond really well.


And none more so than here in the dry garden.


The irises, which I moved last year, are flowering gloriously.


But the stars of this border at the moment are the eremurus,


This is himalaicus, and I love these great spires of flower


and for a few weeks are the most spectacular thing in the garden.


Now, all these plants need good drainage


Well, the good drainage I've done my best to provide.


And the not too much moisture is courtesy of the weather.


On today's programme, Carol Klein will be celebrating the plant


that she thinks sums up the month of May.


Nick Bailey is investigating a plant that has become a menace


And we revisit Adam Frost's garden as he starts to plant his brand-new


and very ambitious herbaceous border.


They are now ready to go into the garden.


I don't know if you can see, but these have been touched by frost.


It doesn't look great, but it won't have harmed the plant.


The borders are pretty crammed at the moment.


It doesn't look like there's room for much at all,


let alone whopping great dahlias and cannas.


But I have created space in amongst the alliums.


And also it's really important when you're building a border


across the seasons, to keep the colour coming.


To make sure there is a constant display,


so while one lot's looking good, another is growing up through them.


Which has got rich plum-coloured foliage, and orange flowers.


Because it's been overwintered in leaf mould,


And you can see the slugs have been eating it.


But when I get it into our rich soil,


that will darken up and grow much more strongly.


Now, this is where having size 11 feet


and not the attributes of a dancer doesn't work well for me.


and do as little collateral damage as I can.


Wyoming will grow about six foot tall.


But if you're growing it on poor soil,


then you will need to beef it up and perhaps give it a weekly feed,


because you want it to perform to its best.


specifically to go with these cannas.


You've got the dark foliage and the orange flowers,


That's probably about three years old. A nice, healthy plant.


They will give you a good display if your soil is less than perfect.


Right, the soil will give them lots and lots of food.


But if the weather continues dry, both these plants will struggle -


These won't need watering in the border


I've never watered the Jewel Garden in 25 years.


But in a container, the dahlias will need a good soak once a week


and the cannas at least twice a week.


Neither of these plants will hit their stride for a couple of months,


and they will go on flowering until the first frost in November.


But Carol has been looking each month


at a plant that absolutely captures the moment.


And now, this is her plant for the month of May.


Oxford Botanic Gardens is the oldest botanic garden in Britain.


They hold one of the national collections of euphorbias.


It grows on every continent except Antarctica.


The common name for euphorbia is the spurge,


which thrive in temperate regions of the world,


that are of real interest to British gardeners.


These are the plants that shine forth with these brilliant beacons,


Euphorbia was named in honour of Euphorbus, a Greek physician.


It takes its common name, spurge, from the Latin expurgari,


The characteristic of euphorbias that attracts us


and the pollinating insects are these brilliant inflorescences.


but in actual fact euphorbias have no petals,


no sepals and their flowers are contained


in a unique structure called a cyathium.


Within each one of these units are the male flowers,


of which there may be several, and the female flower -


and nectar is produced in glands within the cyathium.


they pollinate the female flower here


Inside are the seeds, and as that seed pod ripens


and goes brown, on a really, really hot day


One characteristic all euphorbias share is the milky sap


that weeps out of the stems when they're cut.


causing severe irritation and burning.


If it gets in the eyes, it can cause blindness.


If you get it on your skin or in your eyes,


wash it off immediately with clean water.


I have abandoned my big gloves because I need a bit more finesse


when I'm doing this, and I'm also wearing glasses


both to help me see but also to protect my eyes.


Really important if you're taking euphorbia cuttings to make sure


that all your extremities are protected,


because this latex will really irritate your skin.


I can probably make three, possibly four cuttings.


First of all I want a piece about six inches, 15cm long,


It's not bleeding very much but what I'll do is take off a couple


so I've got a nice clean length of stem.


And I'll dip the end of this into some warm water,


It's less likely to rot in that case, too,


and we won't have latex all over the place.


..three. That's enough, I think, to start with.


Now, if you've filled your pot with nice gritty compost...


it's got quite a lot of loam in it as well.


So I'll just shake it down a little bit and all I need do is insert


these cuttings so that about half is under the surface of the compost.


And then just take some grit and put it right over the...


it will retain the moisture in there,


the third thing that the grit does is to make sure


because there's all that sharp drainage just around their stems.


They'll take several weeks, maybe a few months to take root,


and don't start to think about potting them on until you actually


see little white roots emerging from the hole in the base of your pot.


There's a euphorbia for every aspect and for all sorts of conditions,


An exciting hybrid is Euphorbia x pasteurii.


It makes an imposing architectural shrub


with handsome green leaves with white midrib.


It's evergreen, but on the tender side,


but if you can give it a sunny, sheltered, south-facing site


and good drainage, it will repay you with heads of brown cyathia


Its low-growing habit makes Euphorbia rigida perfect


for a rock garden or a bank in full sun.


Its pointed grey leaves clothe the stems in a spiral formation.


Its cyathia change from bright yellow to orange as they age.


Sometimes euphorbias hybridise spontaneously,


as is the case with this very glamorous Euphorbia x martini.


It's the result of a happy marriage between two euphorbias,


one from the Iberian Peninsula in the Mediterranean,


and another, a woodlander, Euphorbia amygdaloides,


This means that it's an extremely versatile plant.


You can grow it almost anywhere, from full sun to dappled shade.


It just shows you how versatile euphorbias can be and quite frankly,


It's nice to see Oxford Botanic Gardens.


Beautiful garden, haven't been there for a couple of years.


And did you know that the very first Gardeners' World


was broadcast 50 years ago from Oxford Botanic Gardens?


And also, if you think that euphorbias only come in shades of


yellow and green, you couldn't be further from the truth


because we use this euphorbia, griffithii Fireglow,


for its incredible orange intensity at this time of year.


They are fabulous plants and I completely agree with Carol,


Let's just check the roots. There they are, perfect.


They could probably stay there for another few days,


they will get away quicker and I'll have an earlier crop of beans.


I've chosen two varieties, so there's Neckargold,


and as the name suggests, lovely, golden yellow-coloured pods,


and I've got Blauhilde, which has purple pods.


The important thing is to keep the roots straight


If you haven't sown any climbing beans,


either runner or climbing French varieties,


You can sow them in plugs and root trainers now,


you can sow them direct and they will grow fine.


If you're sowing them direct, sow two beans per support


and then weed out the smallest of the two.


That way you can be sure you'll get one for each position.


And if you don't have a vegetable garden,


and with these purple or golden pods,


they're a really decorative plant as well as being delicious.


The pond is delivering its delights in waves,


this amazing virburnum, Viburnum plicatum Mariesii,


And actually, today it's probably at its very best.


But what really marks the pond out from the rest of the garden


is the lushness that is increasing all the time.


either in the water or on the water's edge,


are part of the delight of the season.


But all is not good, because the RHS has put out


a warning saying that there is one particular marginal plant,


which I've been growing for the past 30 years, for example,


and I've got here in the pond, which we should be very careful about.


It is potentially causing havoc in the countryside,


and Nick Bailey went down to Devon to investigate.


or more commonly known as skunk cabbage,


a rather unflattering description for quite a flamboyant,


Skunk cabbage is from the arum family and it gets its name


for a very good reason. Its leaves...


..and its flowers... HE SNIFFS


It's sort of a combination of rotting meat and vegetables.


But the plant isn't producing that smell just for the hell of it,


So certain bees and beetles are attracted to that nasty,


skunk-like smell, and that's why the plant gets its name,


It was introduced from the USA over 100 years ago


and it's grown predominantly in marshy,


boggy ground where gardeners wanted to take advantage of


its early bright yellow flowers and big, exotic-looking foliage.


this plant has another problem - it's an alien.


From March last year, the EU labelled the skunk cabbage


as an invasive species and banned the exchange or sale of it.


The reason that the legislation is in place is that skunk cabbage


is running amok in our countryside and it stands


a real chance of wiping out native plant species.


And it's particularly prolific in waterways and ditches.


Skunk cabbages grown in gardens are dropping their seeds


into streams and ditches. The seeds float off into the wild


where they germinate, and the plant flourishes.


The problem is now so bad that it's in danger of being


out of control and overwhelming our landscape.


There's even a colony romping away in Snowdonia,


where it has no problem thriving as it has an uncanny ability


up to 35 degrees so it can melt its way through ice


and flower while the ground is still frozen.


Part of the legislation - we'll ignore Brexit for now -


states that gardeners who already have it in their garden


must ensure it doesn't spread any further.


Which is where Michael Pell comes in.


He's been growing it in his garden for over 25 years.


Michael, when and why did you first introduce


and I planted it because they are such gorgeous plants.


And so are you happy with them in the garden?


Have you got aspirations to get rid of them? Certainly not.


No, no, no I'll maintain it, but I won't get rid of it,


unless the law comes down on me and says I have to.


Now, Michael, there's skunk cabbages all over your garden but


it's particularly effective here and I guess that's because


the soil's so damp, it's humus rich,


As gardeners, we've got a responsibility to prevent it


removing seedlings is one way of doing it.


The other technique is about preventing the seeds


from spreading, of course - they go up and down water courses.


When do you tend to do that? How do you do that?


As soon as the flower is finished. Before it goes to the big pod,


as you can see there, come along and cut them off.


we can see that it's been pollinated,


the spathe, the yellow bit on the back has fallen away,


so it's at that moment that it's going to start forming seeds.


So by taking it away now we prevent those seeds from developing,


I suppose prevent it from escaping any further into the wild.


And then these need to be taken away.


Taken away and left to dry before you burn them.


Stopping the plant from going to seed is one way of controlling it.


Now, Michael, there's parts of the garden where you want


the skunk cabbage, but here you're trying to keep it under control.


Now, this is a relatively small plant,


but already we're struggling to get down into those...


THEY GROAN There's some movement.


You have to be so careful it doesn't break off.


Such a clay soil. There we are. Wow, there we go. Look at those...


Look at those roots, they're just incredible.


And of course these are contractile roots,


which means it's got that extra survival ability


that it can draw itself deep into the soil,


which can make a plant like that almost impossible


to get rid of, can't it? Exactly. Yeah, so really important.


And I guess as well this is the ideal season.


It's just flowering now, just producing a little spadix


in the centre there, but no seed formed yet.


How do you actually sort of eradicate these finally


A compost bag, lay it out in the sun,


lay those on the top and let them dry and then I burn them.


Wow, so that's total eradication. It's eradication, yes.


I mean, this plant represents a real dichotomy.


In the garden, well-managed, it's a good plant,


but of course if it escapes into the countryside


it presents a real risk to our native flora.


Just bear in mind the advice we've had and take the RHS's warning.


These are potentially going to clog up the waterways


and if you've got it in your garden now, do so this weekend.


And I will dry these and either put them in the bin to be


taken away and disposed of or burn them.


Right, enough of trouble. Let's have some good things.


I've got an aquatic canna, canna Erebus,


which I grew in here last year, and I was talking to a canna grower


and he said the truth is you could plant the aquatic canna


in a border and you could plant a border canna in a pond.


I thought, well, OK, that's what I'll do this year


which I've stored over winter in the greenhouse.


And the main point of difference to other cannas is the foliage


is longer and thinner and the flowers are less conspicuous.


Right, that's the aquatic canna, canna Erebus,


Remember, I planted this in the Jewel Garden,


I don't know if it's going to be OK submerged,


but by all accounts it should be fine.


The difficult thing is getting a spot where it's not too submerged.


All right, that's too deep, so let's put it there.


As long as the pot is covered, that's the important thing.


OK, well, I stress this is the first for me,


and if it does grow and we get these great big


purple foliage with the tall orange flower, that will be brilliant.


Even if you're not planting, it is worth getting in the water


getting rid of the dead leaves and any fallen twigs


and increase the fertility of the water,


because although that sounds like a good thing, it's not.


the more likely you will have weed and algae.


So scoop out as much as you can, but in doing so, be really careful -


put on the side of the pond and leave it for at least a day.


And all that is to protect the wildlife which, of course,


is most of the reason why you have a pond in the first place.


Now, I have to say that this pond and the damp garden around it


has been the easiest thing at Longmeadow.


planted it up and I've hardly touched it ever since.


It just does its thing and it does it beautifully.


making a new area of a garden is always thrilling.


to see how his new herbaceous border is getting along.


I tell you what, I have been so looking forward to this day from...


You know, that idea of having my own herbaceous border.


I spend my life sort of creating them, I think, for other people,


but to have my own space that I can play in is absolutely brilliant.


..to start laying out and get planting.


I've chosen an area three metres by three metres, just to give


you guys at home sort of a real concept of a smaller space.


You know, we go to these gardens and we see these big herbaceous borders,


but how do we bring those ideas home?


I'm planting this border up in interweaving layers,


using a variety of texture, shapes, colours and edibles.


I'm beginning with the key structural plants


I've inherited a pear tree, which is beautiful, but it sits up.


It gives this big height along this sort of long, flat border.


So the first thing I'd do is introduce


a bit of height at the end, which is my chokeberry.


I'm going to work the other plants in around them.


is work these grasses through the back.


This wonderful Calamagrostis will sort of grow up to nearly 1.5.


That's going to give me structure at the back of the border.


And the flower head's going to carry on in autumn, but the plant's


going to keep its structure right through the winter months.


The next layer should be filled with your favourites,


the plants you just can't live without.


And not just because they've got this wonderful flower.


It was actually the fact that it's got


a lovely little sort of red detail on the stem.


The third layer should be those impact plants that you can


weave through the border and really add drama.


And you know what? That's sometimes a pretty good idea,


to have a word in your head about how you want that border to feel.


But this, Angelica sylvestris Ebony.


Going to work its way back to the front of the border.


That's one thing you shouldn't worry about.


Every now and again, having a bit of height right at the front


The fourth layer should be filled with plants that really help


I'm going to start to use this Baptisia australis.


So the first thing that's going to do is give me a ribbon of blue


that works all the way through which will pull the other plants together,


that sort of cream and the darker colours.


Work well against the grasses. Beautiful.


I'm going to work in these lovely little echinacea.


They work really well, first of all,


But after that, actually, they hold really well into the winter


so, a nice spiked flower that hangs down.


..we're going to add these little ageratina.


And I suppose what this plant does is it's a companion.


It gets the best out of the other plants,


but then it grows up to about a metre, has a lovely white flower,


with the blues and the sort of creamy yellows.


So sometimes it's not all about the plants that you think


are the most beautiful plants in the world.


This, for me, actually starts to tie the whole border together.


The fifth layer of plants adds stunning detail right across


This lovely little grass, Briza media,


which is a native grass, but when it comes up and flowers,


they're more-or-less like little lockets


that sort of hang, and the slightest little bit of wind


and you get this movement which will be beautiful


And then this lovely centaurea which is called Jordy.


Fantastic plant. Grows to about sort of 600 high,


so sits good at the front of the border, but it's the flower,


the flower's stunning and after the flower's finished,


the seed head looks really good so, again,


that gives me that sort of carry on into the back end of the year.


And now we're putting in the final few bits,


so some lovely geraniums to work their way through.


What I love about it is this dark splash on the leaf,


which really starts to pick up on the other plants,


And last but not least, is astrantia.


Beautiful sort of paper-like flowers.


Pop the last one in and then they can all go in the ground.


the key is really not to plant it too deep.


It's a decent weight, so when it goes in,


And there is one plant that won't be going in today, this peony.


but I actually bought them online, bare root through the winter.


It's started to root, but if I knock this out now and plant it,


it will put this plant under so much stress


so they're going to go back in somewhere safe,


The rest of the plants, to be fair, are all quite straightforward.


All this needs now, drop of water and they'll be away.


They're herbaceous. They'll just put on loads of growth.


But you might have noticed I've left a few little gaps


and that twist is going to be edibles.


I want you to walk along this border,


see these beautiful plants but then all of a sudden,


have something that actually you can enjoy and you can take to the table.


On top of that, summer bulbs to go through,


and actually, a few little sort of self-seeding plants that will


work through the back just to make the whole thing feel quite natural.


Whilst of course I, like everybody else,


want to see how that border develops,


is seeing a top designer at work on his own garden.


But the real excitement, however you go about it,


is seeing the garden grow and develop and we will all share that


with Adam's garden as it gets into its stride.


Now, we've got lots more to come on tonight's programme.


Mark Lane visits a community garden with a very unusual history.


And Rachel De Thame goes to Ramster Hall, which is famed


for its fantastic display of rhododendrons and azaleas.


But first of all, we have our Golden Jubilee plant.


This is the last of the ten that we've put forward and this week,


Cranesbills, hardy geraniums, have seen their star in the ascendant


Geranium Rozeanne burst on the scene


Great big chalices of sumptuous blue with white centres


She grows at least a metre in every direction.


And she'll grow absolutely anywhere from dappled shade to full sun.


You don't even need a garden to grow her.


She's definitely my Golden Jubilee plant.


If you agree with Carol that that particular geranium


is the most influential plant in the last 50 years, well, very soon,


you will be able to express that opinion because all ten


of our possible plants have been put forward, and you can vote.


And we'll be announcing the winner at Gardeners' World Live


and we'll be telling you how you go about voting


Now, Mark Lane is in London visiting a National Trust house


with a garden that is, at the very least, unexpected.


I'm in Hackney, east London, and this is Sutton House,


I've been wanting to come here for a long time


Now, from the outside, it looks just like a normal Tudor house,


but if I go through to the garden, I know I'm in for a surprise.


Named The Breaker's Yard because it was


a car breaker's yard from the 1920s right up to the 1990s,


it was transformed into a modern garden space in 2015 by Daniel Lobb.


Daniel, this is such an amazing space.


I mean, it's not really what you would expect


from a Tudor house, is it, really? No, absolutely.


Part of the brief was to create something that referenced


the 20th century history of the site.


It was formerly a car breaker's yard


so elements of using vehicles and metal and rusty metal around...


The National Trust went out to the local community and asked


what they would like in this space and overwhelmingly,


the thought came back to reflect the breaker's yard history of the site.


There are echoes of the Tudor history


from the bricks that have been used with the herringbone pattern


and even the tyres themselves, with the chevron tread


reflecting back to the herringbone bricks.


So there's little echoes here and there of the Tudor part.


You've used vehicles to break up the space. Where have they come from?


So there are two main vehicles in the garden.


The exterior is loosely modelled on a boat


with a balcony on the front and a small one on the back.


And the interior is modelled on a stately home.


So, there's a chandelier in there and a Adam-style fireplace.


Can you tell me something about this vehicle?


It was formerly used for royal staff transport


from Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham Palace.


So it had very low mileage! THEY LAUGH


But, erm, we've repurposed it into a greenhouse for the garden.


Can you tell me what the place was like before you took it over?


When I was first appointed, the site was very overgrown.


Quite neglected, lots of self-sown buddleias and sycamores coming up.


Generally quite overgrown and unkempt.


The ground is quite badly contaminated.


Down to a depth of six or seven metres, various heavy metals,


waste engine oil... As a solution for this,


we were recommended to install an impermeable membrane over the


entire site and that means that all of the surface water


has to be dealt with above, and all of the planting is in containers.


We formed the rill, which collects all of the surface water.


Also, there are very large rainwater storage tanks. I saw those.


And they have a sedum roof, so the water filters through the sedum


into the tanks and then it's pumped by children when they come


and use the space. There are little hand-pumps.


So that water can then be discharged into the rill.


I just want to go and explore. Yeah, let's do that.


I noticed there were a lot of planters in the garden.


It's a good height for a raised bed. It's a brilliant height for me.


And good depth of soil in there for the planting.


We've got thyme, we've got sages, we've got oregano.


And then right next to it, we've got this wonderful thing


which I assume is a bug house, is that right? Absolutely, yeah.


It's a tool chest from, you know, the back of a pick-up truck


which we've repurposed into a bug habitat.


And, of course, who cannot notice this beautiful Indigofera?


I wish I could grow this at home but, of course,


So there's this wonderful microclimate, I would imagine.


That's the benefit of being in the city, I think, that we can


get away with growing things that are a little bit more tender.


And, of course, there's some under-planting as well, isn't there?


Yes, we've got hakonechloa under there, the deciduous grass.


It's all planted within a tyre and the planting


I think because of the shape, it creates a little dish


in the base of the tyre to retain some moisture in there.


And what a real novel idea, this mini orchard.


What sort of trees have we actually got here, Daniel?


that are local to the south east of England.


so they won't get too big in these containers.


And then right to my left is a lovely specimen.


Yeah, chosen there because when, in the winter,


when the deciduous apples lose their leaves,


we've got some evergreen against the building here


and the underside of the magnolia leaf picking up some of the tone


And in front of us are these wonderful specimens right


The Chamaerops humilis palm was an introduction to this area.


It first came into the country to Hackney in the 19th century.


And the other large specimen plants are yew and box


grown as topiary pyramids, again, referencing that Tudor history.


This place isn't just about designer planting, it's about people.


They have all sorts of local visitors from preschool children...


..to the group calling themselves the Recycled Teenagers.


but you can also sow them onto a seed compost.


Lot, a lot of rain, every single day.


They'll need a lot of moisture and heat.


I drown the poor little things, you know?


I'm taking things before they even start going. You know?


It's what good garden design is all about,


is that right from the start of this project,


so it doesn't just reflect the community,


it also benefits them and it will do for years to come.


So, who could imagine that a yard of old cars


could turn into such a beautiful garden like this.


What's so fabulous about that garden is that it's got such energy.


There's a real sense of dynamism and I love the recycling.


The shed behind is all using old tin and old windows


as many found objects as we possibly can.


Sorry, did you hear the cuckoo? Listen.


I'm cutting it because it's going to seed like mad.


You can see that it's nearly all stem.


and that means that there's far fewer leaves,


the leaves that are there are tougher,


they're less sweet, they're much hotter.


So what I do is cut it now and then I'll do another sowing in July and


August and we can start the cycle again in late summer and autumn.




I think one of the best ways of learning about gardens


and getting inspiration for your own garden


And this is the 90th year of the National Garden Scheme


and the beauty of it means that you can visit gardens of every kind


from the smallest to the grandest and very often,


within quite a small area, you can visit a number in an afternoon.


And some of these gardens have been open for a long time.


Rachel has been to visit one of them.


with a wonderful canopy of oaks, larches and conifers


under which flowering shrubs flourish.


It's a garden laden with Eastern influence.


Explosions of rhododendrons and azaleas at every turn.


It's one of only two gardens that have opened every year


under the National Garden Scheme since it started back in 1927,


So Ramster Hall really is in excellent company.


Miranda Gunn and her family have owned Ramster Hall since that


very first opening when Miranda's grandmother, Lady Fay Norman,


My grandmother had been brought up at Bodnant Gardens,


so she was really keen on having a rhododendron garden


She planted a lot of the famous loderi rhododendrons.


And then she introduced a lot of the azaleas for the azalea garden.


So what are some of your earliest memories


of the garden being open for the NGS?


My grandmother was a slightly formidable lady,


very well-known locally, and she always wore


a large straw hat and she used to love NGS open days and we would,


the grandchildren would be following behind her,


and she'd go up to every visitor and she'd say,


"So glad to see you going round the garden."


And then she'd proceed to tell them all the names of the Latin plants


and things like that and the poor visitors would be


absolutely tongue-tied and petrified and couldn't wait to scuttle


And us grandchildren used to look and see that the more savvy visitors


when they saw her straw hat coming down the path.


In the days when we only used to open for the NGS,


then it was a great challenge to get it all up and running.


I think one of the funniest things that we ever had was one day


we were sitting having lunch and the neighbouring farmer came by


and looked through the window and said, "Oh, I've lost 23 heifers.


Of course, that set panic and we had a real old rodeo


trying to round them all up and get them under control


So, it sounds like there were adventures. Always the unexpected.


when you're dealing with garden open days, yes.


I think people who want to open their garden for the NGS,


they get so much pleasure out of sharing the garden with visitors.


I think one of the joys of this garden is sharing it with people.


It's still a great honour to open for the National Garden Scheme.


And what a treat lies in store for those visiting this magical place.


As many as 1,000 rhododendrons grow here,


Rama Lopez-Rivera is one of the gardeners and a rhododendron expert.


So, talk me through the collection here.


I mean, Ramster Hall isn't that well known, is it?


No, it's really gone under the radar for the last 80 years, probably.


It's been a low-key garden but that's been part of its charm.


You start off at the front of the garden.


Frome azaleas, you get from southern Japan.


We have the loderi collection here.


Large blooms of heavily scented flowers and


We go up into Ant Wood, which is our collection of hardy hybrids.


The old world rhododendrons, really a range of flower types and colours.


Rhododendrons are often traditionally known for their


grand stature, but Rama is currently working on an exciting project


to develop more compact varieties for even the smallest of gardens.


We've got things like the azaleas here that like full sun.


They look great in a pot, at the front of the border,


so, you know, really versatile as a plant.


Ooh, and that colour there. This one, Graziella.


Luxurious foliage, linear leaves,


set against almost glaucous green of the foliage.


That's a stunner. This is going to grow after ten years


to a metre around. And it could go in a pot?


It could go in a pot and that's going to restrict the size also.


Avoid chalky soil, so anything above seven on the pH scale is something


And is there a better time of year to plant them?


The best time for rhododendrons is autumn.


Plant them in autumn, the soil temperature underground still


has the heat from the summer, so when they're planted,


the roots still have growing time before the winter sets in.


I love what you're doing in this area because you've got all


this richness of the history of the rhododendrons at Ramster Hall,


making them relevant for the 21st century.


It's a fantastic opportunity, and to be able to share my passion


and knowledge of this genus and for the public to come and see round


Ramster Gardens, what an excellent place.


You're here for life, aren't you? Absolutely!


Seeing rhododendrons in flower on that scale is always


an incredibly dramatic, awe-inspiring thing,


but if you want to experience either Ramster or any of the gardens


open in your area, do go along, and the National Garden Scheme


is having a big celebration over the bank holiday weekend.


For details on that, you can go to our website.


Now, one of the features of Ramster is that it has ericaceous soil,


so it can grow all those amazing azaleas and rhododendrons,


and I've tried to grow Meconopsis, which tends to prefer


ericaceous soils, for the last 30 years and failed dismally.


And these now are in their third year, which may not sound


a lot to you, but it's a triumph for me because to have them regrowing


and flowering is something that I've wanted in my garden most of my life.


There's very little else that has that intensity of blue


that you'll find at any time of year, let alone now.


And the key to growing these, as well as having


a slightly ericaceous soil is to keep them moist in the summer.


And that doesn't mean wet at their roots, but having the air moist.


And last summer, when we had a dry spell,


I misted them and I did that every day and I think that helps


and you can see how they're covered in these little hairs on the stem


and on the foliage and it holds the droplets of water


Now, moist air is by and large beyond our control.


So, let's see what the weather holds in store


Good evening. Some parts of the country have seen their fair share


of moisture this past week. There has been a lot of rain in some


places, much-needed rain. 55 millimetres has fallen over the last


few days, over two inches. Not much of that has reached the North of


Scotland. That will change a bit through the weekend. While in some


rain at times on Saturday. Some sunny spells as well. If you're


heading out into the garden, perhaps to sort out the pond, Sunday should


be a dry day for many. On Saturday, you can see a lot of showers across


the country. Across the northern half of Scotland, it will be quite a


cloudy afternoon with some outbreaks of rain. Some of that could be


heavy. Across Northern Ireland and in true northern England and the


Midlands, lots of showers, some of them heavy and boundary. Parts of


East Anglia and the south-east won't see so many showers, more dry


weather. Across Wales, down towards the south-west, some heavy shower


was coming through. Most of those will fade away on Saturday evening.


On Saturday night, it will be quite cold. Most places should avoid a


frost. In very prone spots I couldn't pull it out.


Nick Bailey is investigating a plant that has become a menace


Well, for most of us, we are moving into a warmer time of the year,


I was actually away and when I left, this magnolia Black Tulip


it was healthy and when I came back, it was reduced to this.


Tatters and rags and, of course, spring frosts do that.


you get a touch of frost and they are really affected.


Now, people have asked what to do about it and the answer is not much.


Don't get the secateurs out and cut it all off,


let new growth come through and then you can tidy it up a bit.


let the plants shed their leaves if you can,


because there is the risk of damaging other tissue.


But if it's any help, it looks much worse than it is.


There's nothing much you can do about it.


and here are some jobs for the weekend.


If you're taking cuttings, check to see if they've rooted


and if you see the roots at the base of the pot,


as little damage to the roots as possible,


and give each cutting its own new pot with fresh compost.


And put them somewhere protected to grow on


and they'll be ready to plant out in a month or two.


If you grow tulips in a nice terracotta pot,


it can be frustrating as the foliage slowly dies back.


What I do is tip them out of the pot


and put the tulips into a seed tray.


so that the little baby daughter bulbs


can absorb all that photosynthesized goodness.


In the meantime, give the pot a scrub


they can be bashed about by the wind and the rain.


So give them some support, and the best way to do this is put canes


or sticks in the corners of the rows and wrap a layer of string around,


and then you can add as many layers as are needed


I probably don't need to remind you by now that this


is our Golden Jubilee year and as part of the celebrations,


we have chosen the ten plants that we, the Gardeners' World presenters,


think have had the most impact on our gardens during those 50 years.


Well, the time has come for you to choose which of those ten


is the one plant that has influenced us most.


Now, let me remind you what those ten were.


I started things off back in March by choosing bedding plants


and then it was Nick Bailey's turn and he nominated dahlias.


whereas Mark Lane selected echinacea.


Chillies were championed by Frances Tophill.


And Flo Headlam opted for the common jasmine.


It was the Japanese maple for Alan Power.


And finally, geranium Rozeanne was Carol's Jubilee plant.


If you go to our website and look for our Golden Jubilee plant award


you can make your selection now, and it will be open until


And then we'll be announcing the winner


of our Golden Jubilee plant award at our big celebratory bash


at Gardeners' World Live on June 16th.


But no more celebrations today, I'm afraid.


We've run out of time and I shan't be here next week


because all next week, along with the rest of the team,


so I hope I'll see you there, and back here at Longmeadow


in a couple of weeks' time. Till then, bye-bye.


The race is on to complete London's most ambitious railway.


I don't think we've seen anything to this scale and complexity before.


There is work to be done around and in the pond this week and Monty Don also begins planting out his dahlias. Adding zing to the month of May is the euphorbia and Carol Klein visits Oxford Botanic garden to view their extensive collection. Mark Lane is in Hackney finding out how a car breaker's yard at the side of a Tudor National Trust property has been transformed into an award-winning garden used by the local community, while Adam Frost explains how to plant for structure in his herbaceous border.

Rachel de Thame visits a garden which has opened to the public every year for 90 years for charity as part of the National Gardens Scheme, while Nick Bailey is in Devon where he discovers how a pond plant has now escaped into the countryside and is invading waterways. And we reveal the final candidate for our Golden Jubilee plant and open the vote.

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