Monty gives advice on herbs which can grow in shade, Flo Headlam visits a school where gardening is high on the curriculum, and Nick Bailey shows how to build a pond in a weekend.
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Come on, out you come.
Hello, welcome to Gardeners' World.
I had a fabulous week at Chelsea
and came back fired, inspired and, to be honest, jolly tired.
And I found Longmeadow looking glorious,
but the action hasn't stopped,
so things like the purple sprouting broccoli are full of flower
rather than delicious little florets to eat,
the weeds are rampant and there is masses to do.
But I have to say, I'm very happy indeed to be back here and doing it.
On tonight's programme -
Flo Headlam will be visiting an inspirational school in Hampshire,
Nick Bailey has some ideas for creating
a simple pond that will work in any garden
and we discover the challenges of maintaining
a floating garden on the Thames
and, also, the designer Arit Anderson is visiting
the Eden Project to see the long-term effects of climate change
on our gardens and I'm off to Chatsworth,
but not until I've got stuck in here at Longmeadow.
This part of the garden
has certainly seen big changes this year.
This area here is an officinalis garden.
That means it's full of herbs
that were used in medieval and Tudor times for medical reasons -
Now, this area, which we started a month or two back,
is our culinary herb garden.
It's divided into two halves, really,
and on this side, it's south-facing, hot, dry, sunny.
So all the Mediterranean herbs, like rosemary and sage and thyme,
will love it.
On this side, it gets a little bit more shady.
And if you've got a shady garden,
as long as it gets half the day in sun, doesn't matter which half,
then there are a handful of herbs that will love it,
like mint, chervil, parsley, chives, sorrel, sweet cicely.
These are all really good culinary herbs that can take a bit of shade.
Now, I'm going to start planting mint.
Now, just a word of warning, mint is very invasive.
It wants to grow sideways.
So if you put it in a border, for example, it will start to take over.
So, I've got these planting holes and I think they're
ideal for planting mint into because it's stone all around them.
If you haven't got a suitable space where they can completely fill,
always grow mint in a container.
Now, this is peppermint.
Peppermint is my favourite mint for drinking -
and mint as a drink is the best thing as a digestive,
either after a meal or, if you've got a slightly dodgy tummy in
any way, drink some mint and it works better than anything else.
Nell, can I have my trowel, please? I want to plant.
Clever girl! Come on.
Thank you. Thank you very much, indeed. Nigel would be proud of you.
Mint will grow in almost any soil.
It does best with good drainage
but it doesn't need much extra nourishment,
so we'll put that there, like that.
I'm just breaking the roots, not teasing them out,
and the reason why I'm doing that is they're a little bit pot-bound,
and when you break it
that stimulates new growth and that new growth
won't go round the pot but out into the soil.
I can't tell you the lovely aroma and, of course,
with the peppermint what you have is this purple-chocolate
coloured stems, and I'm going to fill this block, I'm going
to pack it, so we have great squares of mint.
These are tough plants.
You'll be pushed to damage mint.
And you'll notice I've just done a block of one type.
And the reason for that is you should never grow different
types of mint in the same container or next to each other in
a border because they contaminate the flavour of each other.
So the next one I'm going to plant is spearmint.
Very good for cooking.
So, six more of these can go in here.
This does smell, I suppose, above all else, fresh.
And if you think of using it in cooking, obviously there are lots
and lots of different dishes, but the most common and perhaps
the easiest is, say, with peas.
You would use spearmint, not peppermint because the
freshness of peas is not overwhelmed by the mint but is enhanced.
And if you're making a mint sauce, you would use spearmint.
There we go.
And of course you can grow these from seed,
you can grow them from cuttings, but if you buy plants,
even big plants like this, they are relatively inexpensive,
so they are good value and the return from them will go on
and on - these plants will last for years and years.
Right, my final mint...
And this is applemint.
Now, applemint really does...
..smell both minty and slightly appley at the same time,
but it's the mintiness you want and you can tell it from other mints
because it's got slightly furry leaves.
And we use it, almost exclusively, with potatoes.
New potatoes with applemint are wonderful.
And what you do is you boil the potatoes,
drain them and then put a few sprigs in on top of the potatoes,
put a cloth over that and let the steam come through
and they just infuse the mint and it's just delicious.
Right, that's done. Now, you may be wondering what this is doing.
It's to protect the rose.
I've planted Madame Alfred Carriere to grow up against that wall.
It was going fine until a couple of weeks ago when the rabbits found it.
And they've chewed it to a stump.
However, this is keeping them away,
it's starting to regrow and once it reaches the top of this,
it'll be too strong and mature to attract them.
So, hopefully it'll survive.
Now, these are really tough plants, and they will grow,
but just because they're tough, don't forget to water them.
Once a week, if it hasn't rained, give them a good soak,
and then as they start to flower, which they will do,
cut back half right to the ground.
Then they will regrow, and while they're regrowing,
you've still got a supply from the other half and then when
the fresh leaves are coming through, you then do the same, so that
you're never without a supply of lovely, fresh, minty leaves.
Now, Flo Headlam has been going round the country visiting
communities that are gardening together,
and this week she's going to Hampshire, to Wicor School,
that has taken to gardening with real enthusiasm.
I'm about to go back to school,
where I'm told every pupil has green fingers.
Wicor Primary School has been part of the Royal
Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening since the
project launched ten years ago.
But what started as a small affair has blossomed into something
much bigger on their two-acre site.
So these will grow into sort of bush tomatoes and then they will
space out nicely and we can still get between them to harvest them.
Louise Moreton works full-time as horticultural teacher
and she's passionate about instilling her enthusiasm for plants
to her young horts.
This morning we're going to be looking at our Chamomile Treneague,
which we grow in the ground,
and do you remember how we fill our containers?
We have to remember not to pack it down,
-otherwise the plant won't like it.
-That's right. So...
Is this enough, Miss Moreton?
-About half full, please.
We're trying to show children that they can propagate from seed,
from division and also from wood cuttings.
Why would we want to propagate plants from our own grounds?
Because it's fun and it's kind of better, really.
It is fun to do, isn't it?
The fact that we grow so many herbs is to do with our sort of
healthy-eating beliefs as a school.
We love the fact that the children can grow their own food
and cook with the food, as well,
and they know exactly where their food is coming from.
So I'm going to start to split up the camomile.
-Flo, here's one for you.
Nice piece of stem, nice bit of root on the bottom.
Into the pot that's half full.
Gently crumble that compost around.
What other plants have you propagated?
-Bit different, wasn't it?
Wasn't from root division, was it? Where was it from?
-And how long did it take to grow?
One or two months.
Do you remember why they were flowering within such
a short period of time?
They have to be quite damp and in good conditions and we kept
-them in one of the polytunnels.
We've got six really keen gardeners here today.
Is gardening just for the keen or is it for the whole school?
We have over 430 children here,
all of who participate in horticulture.
I think that looks great, Caitlyn, what do you think? How do you think?
-Yeah, I think it looks good.
-Do you guys like eating herbs?
-Yes! I love it.
-And what's your favourite herb?
Mint, because it has a nice smell to it.
Louise, you're clearly passionate about horticulture and learning.
Where does that passion come from?
I think it's the fact that I think that every child
has the right to learn from the outside, look at plants,
look at trees, look at the world around them.
We've got the most fantastic orchard here at Wicor, where children can
come and draw, they can look at the native species we have there,
they can take the apples and harvest them, press them into juice,
we have a pond, where children can dip and look for wildlife in
the pond, and just generally different habitats for learning.
One of the areas they're proudest of is their allotment,
where I'm told there will be a sea of vegetables by midsummer.
Over the years, we've taken elements of Longmeadow, amongst other
gardens, and transferred them back
to our learning gardens here at Wicor.
Today they're planting tomatoes.
What sort of tomatoes are they planting, what varieties?
We've got Tigerella,
grown for the name and embedding that in the learning,
we've got Roma, great outdoor variety,
we've got Crimee Noire, great for heavy-cropping and harvesting,
and all about the flavour, really.
As the children get to appreciate the taste,
we love making chutneys and tomato soups and things like that.
We have our own pizza oven over there,
so the children get to use that as well.
Right, time to fill in.
That's a big pot.
-What you need to do is you need to, like,
put it all around the sides, so there's, like, loads of air space
and then you need to push your foot on it to flatten it.
And get the shape.
Yeah. Good. Yeah.
Now you've got the hole that the plant can fit into.
That's your job now.
Careful none of the roots...
-You keep holding it...
-Someone hold it.
-That's it done?
-High-fives? Yeah, muddy hands, high-five.
Headteacher Mark Wildman is as passionate about growing
plants as his pupils.
Children are naturally curious about their world.
They love plants, they love animals, anything to do with the
natural world, and they want to know what's here, they want to have
a poke around in the grass, they want to go bug hunting.
And I think it just provides a reservoir, if you like,
for children's curiosity.
I'm super impressed by what you do in the school.
It's part of who we are.
It's not actually just another curriculum area.
It is part of our school.
Every available space around the school
has been planted up to showcase different plants and habitats.
There's a coastal bed,
and a tropical area.
Today, we're planting out the Mediterranean bed.
-I think we deserve a treat. OK?
This place is remarkable.
Wicor School has been transformed from a garden around a school
into a school with gardening at its heart.
I love the thought of a school with gardening at its heart.
I'm very flattered that they copied bits of Longmeadow.
By the way, this week is National Children's Gardening Week,
so the more children we can get gardening the better.
And once you've got the bug, it doesn't leave you.
And if you want to go and see Wicor School, you can.
They're part of the National Garden Scheme,
so if you live nearby and are handy, do go along, and you'll get all
the details of how to get there and when they're open on our website.
HE CLICKS HIS TONGUE
The mound is starting to look like its own place.
It was only sort of created last year
and always that first year it feels like...a bit temporary,
something that WILL be good.
But now it's starting to feel like a place that you gravitate towards.
But I'm tweaking and I'm adding and as we come into June, you can
be really confident about planting out tender annuals.
And I've got a tray of cosmos. This is cosmos purity here,
which I've grown from seed, but you can buy annuals
from garden centres or nurseries,
and the beauty of annuals is you can fill out a border really quickly.
I've grown six trays of cosmos Purity from two packets of seeds,
so it's a very, very cheap way of filling your garden full of colour.
It's probably a little late to sow them now, but for next year,
if you sow the seeds in April,
you can be planting them out in June and they will go on flowering
right through to November, unless you get a hard frost,
but the first frost will kill them.
Annuals you can dot in amongst other plants.
So you could have them in blocks, you can have them in rows, you can
use them however suits your style of gardening, and certainly in
here, in the mound, the style is to create
a kind of flowing tapestry of muted but harmonious colour.
So, for example, this peony - this is a Paeonia lactiflora -
is dominant. You don't want to compete with that,
but you can work with it.
And these whites and the lemons in here, by which the colour tone
is set by the perennials, then you pick up with the annuals.
And when you're shopping for them,
that gives you a sort of framework to work in.
And planting them is dead easy,
especially if you've grown them as plugs.
And the other way that I like to use annuals, particularly cosmos
like this, is to stagger the flowering.
So you've got a plant where you see it's grown up,
that's not going to give you anything.
If you're not careful, you can have an awful lot of stem and then
a flower, big flower, and that's it.
But if you pinch out the top, and actually cutting it out works
better, like that, that will encourage side shoots,
which will give us a lot more flowers a little bit later,
so you can stagger that tapestry.
The one thing with all annuals, whether they're hardy or not,
is they feed off the sun.
The more sun they get, the better they are because they want to
produce flowers and seed and that is their life.
So give them a sunshine
and then they'll respond by giving you lots of flower.
When you plant a shrub or a herbaceous perennial,
it can take years before it looks like it ought to,
like you want it to.
And that patience is an important part of gardening,
but sometimes quick results are nice, too.
And with annuals, you get quick results.
You bung them in the ground and within weeks they're flowering
and looking fantastic.
Now, Nick Bailey has been looking at ways of making changes in
your garden but with each job not taking longer than a weekend.
And this week he's making a pond.
In the last century,
nearly 70% of ponds have been lost from the UK countryside,
meaning garden ponds have an increased importance for wildlife.
Getting the position right for a wildlife pond
is absolutely paramount.
Now, looking around this garden,
over the other side there is a closed fence,
so it's not going to provide good access for wildlife,
whereas over here there are open corridors through this fence
where they can come through.
This is also a great spot -
it's partially shaded
and ideally you'd be looking for about 50-50 light and shade.
Now, there's a misconception that for wildlife ponds to be
effective they need to be large or you need to install
a huge liner, but actually that's not the case at all.
I'm going to be using this old French wine barrel
to plunge into the ground here, but it would work
just as effectively placed on top of a patio.
In fact, size really doesn't matter.
You could even use something as small as an old washing-up bowl
and you'd still attract wildlife into the garden.
This half barrel costs around £60.
Make sure you soak your barrel beforehand to get the wood
to swell up and make it watertight.
The barrel's totally secure now, completely level,
so it's time to think about the needs of the plants.
They all want to be at slightly different heights,
so I'm going to create what's called a marginal shelf
for round the back edge of the pool.
And the great thing about using bricks with holes in them
means that you create extra habitats for wildlife to hide away in.
To get the most diversity in a wildlife pond,
you want to get a really good diverse range of plants,
so I'm going for an iris to start with.
It's a beautiful purple flower.
This is in an aquatic basket, which means it's full of holes,
there's aquatic soil in there, plants will root out of it,
and it's very happy to go straight into the pool as it is.
This is an equisetum.
It stays evergreen year round, it's also really useful for
so many wildlife species which will lay eggs and larvae on the base.
Now I'm going to use this, this is Carex pendula.
It's a transitional plant that can grow both as a marginal
and as a woodlander.
So I'm going to put this here and plant some more on the far side,
so it transitions out of the pool.
And the water spearmint is the final of the marginals,
and it will slowly work its way across the surface of the pool,
providing that essential shade, but also foraging areas for lots
of insects that like to swim around and feed in the foliage.
When you're filling up your pond,
it's ideal to use rainwater from a water butt.
Try and avoid tap water, as it contains chlorine.
However, if you do need to use tap water,
let it stand for a few days to allow it to neutralise,
and don't use water from other ponds, as this can spread disease.
For the centrepiece of this pond, I'm using a miniature waterlily.
Of course it has the beautiful flowers that everybody knows,
and it provides a habitat for water snails to lay their eggs
on the back of the leaves.
When you're planting your wildlife pond,
cover about 70% of the surface with plants.
This will reduce the chances of algal bloom,
and it will also give lots of hiding places for the wildlife.
Now all the planting's done in the pond,
it's worth thinking about the peripheries, so I'm going to
use rocks for a wildlife bridge, and then further plants around the back.
For a bit of contrast...
..I'm going to use this ligularia.
Prefers a slightly damp soil, so each time the pond floods
when it's rained, it will keep it nice and moist.
And then the final element, this is Dryopteris filix-mas.
And that will help all the planting transition
into everything else around it.
Now, to keep the pool totally free of algae or duckweed,
I'm going to use a special product, it's a dye, totally non-toxic.
It won't hurt humans, it won't hurt animals
and it won't hurt your plants.
Putting the gloves on just to make sure it doesn't dye my skin.
And the way it works is, it knocks out a lot of the light,
and so some of the pond's nasties, like blanketweed or algae,
are prevented from photosynthesising.
They only need the tiniest, tiniest little quantity
and it'll keep the pool dark and weed-free
for about three months, and then you just need to retreat it.
Wildlife ponds are a great way of getting kids involved
with the garden, with nature and with wildlife.
If you're worried about their safety, you can use a steel grid
or a mesh over the top of the pool to protect them from the water.
Now that this is installed,
it's going to bring all sorts of benefits to this garden.
Not only is there a new growing environment to experiment
with different plants, it's also a brand-new habitat
that will bring in birds, insects and amphibians.
Well, Nick is right when he says that it attracts wildlife,
because it is extraordinary the way that, if you make a pond, suddenly,
seemingly out of nowhere, you have dragonflies and toads and frogs,
and if you're lucky, newts will come,
certainly more birds and bats,
and they just seem to gravitate towards it.
You don't have to do anything to get them there.
And it's not just for your pleasure - however fascinating it is
to watch these creatures - it's also for the health of your garden.
Because if you have that ecosystem, that food chain,
then everything else benefits.
If you take my hostas for example,
they don't really get eaten by slugs at all.
A little bit towards the end of the year,
but this time of year - hardly touched.
And that's because we have so many creatures
that are feeding off the slugs -
the toads, frogs, your hedgehogs, there are beetles,
and if you have that rich, balanced ecosystem,
of which a pond is absolutely central,
you'll be amazed at the improved health of your plants.
Well, it's always a good idea to bring water into your garden,
but sometimes you have to take your garden to the water.
And we went to visit Sophie Tatzkow, who looks after a number
of barges floating on the Thames, and each one with its own garden.
I became the head gardener at the Floating Gardens in 2015,
two years ago, in the summer.
The barges then were in a very overgrown state,
so my aim was to introduce a lot of different plants,
different colours, different structures and textures,
and just to have interesting planting going on all season,
on every single boat.
The Floating Gardens are seven interconnecting barges
of different planting schemes.
We are east of Tower Bridge and the gardens are attached
to the moorings and all the private houseboats connected to them.
The garden barges themselves have tenants as well.
There is a middle path for residents to get through.
There's usually two flats per barge,
so these people are living under the gardens.
Every single barge has sort of a different theme.
We have a Mediterranean barge,
we have large trees on other barges, we have two fruit tree barges.
I think gardening on a barge...
I basically think of the space as a large pot.
You're not connected to open ground,
so you're creating an artificial environment for the plants.
They have restricted soil depth, restricted nutrient supply,
Being located on the River Thames, we have a lot of wind
coming up and down the river, so the moisture is lost very easily.
They are exposed to sunshine,
as we are not very built up compared to anywhere else in London.
So it's not a garden that's looking after itself.
If you have, for example,
a week of no rain in the middle of August,
the trees will start wilting and it's a garden
on constant life support, if you can call it that way,
so you have to react very quickly to the weather conditions.
One of the advantages here is,
the garden barges have their own little microclimate.
In the winter, people living in the boats have the heating on,
so my beds basically get warmed up.
It's a nice plus, being able to grow tender plants.
So this is my absolute favourite boat.
Here the succession planting has been a real success.
We have a season from probably late winter
all the way through to autumn.
At the moment, we have the digitalis out, the alliums,
I have planted lots of different types of alliums
for different colour and different height.
My favourite plants, I'm really happy they work here
because of the mild climate, are the echiums.
We have Echium candicans here.
I'm very happy to have established the echium plants here on the boats.
They are tender plants, but because of the climate in central London,
the conditions, they are now in their second year flowering.
Even though we are surrounded by water,
the biggest challenge here on the barge is watering itself.
Therefore I have adjusted the planting
to drought-tolerant planting,
and especially here it's a barge consisting
of nearly only drought-tolerant plants.
Because the Floating Gardens are like large pots
and we have limitations to the soil,
the plant preparation is really, really important.
The depth that we have available on the boats is about a spade's depth.
This is all we have.
So I'm treating it with a rootbuilder, mycorrhizal,
adding it to the ground, so the soil needs to be wet and the plant
itself should be nice and moist as well.
This will help the shrub to establish.
Here we've got a hydrangea that is going in.
This new, new addition has its own little spot and it will
probably take up to four, five, six months for it
to really establish and then start growing.
Heel it in, and then I'll just add a little extra compost on top.
This way, we are giving it the best possible start.
The tree specimens have adapted very well to their growing conditions,
because they have been planted as small specimens,
therefore they had enough time to grow into their spots
and cope with the very little soil they have available.
Even though we have an issue with drought here, for certain plants,
others are extremely happy in their growing conditions.
They are more adaptable and tolerant. For example,
this Choisya ternata needs to be pruned quite regularly
and heavily in order to
keep the competition down for other plants.
The one thing that gives me the most joy in spending my time
gardening here is walking onto the barges and being in this
exclusive spot in central London,
but finding complete peace in a green oasis.
I'm really happy to now actually see the fruits of my labour
and see how everything is flourishing,
and also to bring joy to the people that live here.
I think what that shows is, if you can think laterally enough,
almost anything can be a container - from a boat,
to a roof, to a window box of course.
The one thing to remember, that all containers, whatever they are,
must have good drainage.
Other than that, the world is your oyster,
as far as containers and gardens go.
Now, still to come on the programme -
the designer Arit Anderson pays a visit
to the Eden Project in Cornwall,
to see the ways that climate change is affecting our gardens.
But first, we have a brand-new RHS show.
This is taking place next week at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.
This is a palatial house on the most glorious grounds,
and a few weeks ago I went back there to revisit
that fantastic garden and location,
and to see how they were preparing for the show.
Chatsworth House is the setting
for the first RHS Chatsworth Flower Show.
The 105-acre garden by the banks of the River Derwent
is the ancestral home of the Cavendish family.
Inspired by over 500 years of gardening,
these marvellous grounds at Chatsworth are to host an exhibition
of the very best of modern British garden innovation and design.
On this gently sloping ground between the house and the river,
there will be 16 show gardens,
eight of which will belong to a brand-new category.
These are going to be the FreeForm gardens
and everything about them is free.
They have no limitations on size or shape or format,
and really importantly, of brief.
And this means that the designers can let their imaginations run free.
The gardens at Chatsworth are no stranger to new ideas and represent
every period of garden history from the Tudors to the present day.
Like all great houses of the late 17th century and early 18th,
Chatsworth had a formal garden, tightly clipped, controlled,
and designed above all to keep nature tightly under control.
But then, led by the work of William Kent, but most famously by
Lancelot "Capability" Brown, there was a gardening revolution.
Brown came here to Chatsworth and what he did was not
so much let the house and garden go out into the landscape,
but he let the landscape come in, by carefully manipulating it,
planting and controlling, so there was this seamless flow,
from the walls of the building, to the distant horizon.
The landscape looks natural.
It is actually anything but.
And took 25,000 men nine years to create,
costing over £7 million in today's value.
'Today, a team of 90 look after the grounds,
'led by the head gardener, Steve Porter,
'who will be opening the gates to an expected 100,000 visitors
'to Chatsworth's first show.'
-What does that mean for you as head gardener?
-That is fantastic.
It's exciting. It brings something new for our visitors as well,
but it also gives us the opportunity to tell our wonderful
horticultural stories at the show.
So we're hoping to engage with people
and tell them about the garden, about the history,
about some of the great plants that we grow.
You've got the historical context to put this into,
but are there any factors that you've had to consider?
We thought we knew, you know, we knew about the trees and we knew
what was going on within our parkland,
but actually we didn't know enough
about what was going on under the ground.
So what we had to do is, working with the RHS, is to do lots of
investigation, find out more about what's under the ground,
the archaeological features,
so we can lay the show out around them and avoid them.
What contribution will you in your team be bringing to the show?
Well, we're going to be heavily involved.
And right in the middle of the showground,
right in front of the house,
we're going to be working inside an inflatable Great Conservatory
that's being constructed
that represents the Great Conservatory that was here in
the 1840s, the largest freestanding glasshouse in the world,
built by Joseph Paxton.
Joseph Paxton was not just one of the great gardeners
of the Victorian era,
but one of the great men of the whole Victorian period.
He arrived here at Chatsworth in 1826, just 23, 24 years old,
and found a garden that was frankly derelict.
And he transformed it into one of those great gardens.
And great, not just because it was beautiful and impressive,
because it was right at the cutting edge of what was then
the latest technology,
and that involved steel and glass and that meant he could grow
these plants that were pouring into the country and develop them.
And this is where people came to see the very latest and best
So, the banana that we're looking at now,
is that a direct descendant of Paxton's banana?
They will have been grown in the Great Conservatory
and they would have moved to other glasshouses,
and eventually ended up in this glasshouse.
So they are direct descendants.
And what's really important about this story is that just
a few years after he first got them to bloom and fruit,
a missionary came here to take plant material out to some of the
new colonies in the South Pacific, and the banana was one of the
plants that went out on the boat to places like Samoa.
And in Samoa they planted it and they got it to flourish and
then he started to sell them and it became a commercial crop.
And it's still grown across the world today and sold and eaten by
so many people.
It's an extraordinary story.
-Coming here and then spreading back around the world.
In terms of size and longevity,
how big will it get and how long will it last?
Well, the plants don't actually get that big
and they grow quite quickly,
so you can grow them on a windowsill or in a conservatory,
on a porch, and they grow very happily.
Obviously, the challenge is as they get bigger, they need more space.
And if you ever want to grow your own bananas,
then obviously you need a lot of space.
But they will quite easily be cultivated -
plenty of water and plenty of feed and they're very happy.
And how long will they live?
They'll take four, five, six years to get up to full size.
And then a few more years to fruit, probably.
And then, of course, after they flower and they fruit,
they then die, so that's the end of your banana.
You have to start again.
I think that the combination of this beautiful setting
and all its weight of history, with a new show dedicated to innovation,
is going to be a magical combination.
Can't wait for it.
The show starts next Wednesday and we'll be bringing you the
highlight in next week's show.
And you get all the details from our website.
And I can tell you one thing, it may not have looked it,
but that was one of the coldest days of filming I've ever done.
Well, inspired by those Cavendish bananas,
I've decided that it's time we went bananas in the Jewel Garden.
I actually do grow bananas here.
I have the Abyssinian banana, Ensete.
And I've got a small version here,
which I think has the most beautiful colouring of any banana.
These lovely burgundy-coloured stems
and their foliage really is fantastic.
The big ones are still hardening off.
I daren't plant them out quite yet.
Another week or so,
because the great drawback of this is it's very tender.
And if you live somewhere where you might have a cold night -
I don't mean frost, I just mean cold -
it won't like it at all.
And if there's frost, it will kill it.
I think if you are going to grow bananas,
you want to start with one that is reasonably hardy.
And the hardiest of the lot is this.
This is the Japanese banana, Musa basjoo.
Now it doesn't look a very good specimen, this.
There's scorch on the foliage.
It's drooping a bit.
But I'm happy that the new foliage is fine.
And the real problem is that this is in a small pot.
It's bone dry, it's a sort of peat-based compost,
and what bananas want and need is
as much food and drink as they can get.
They're really greedy plants,
which is why I am going to be putting them
in these great big pots and giving them a special mix.
This is 50% garden compost, 50% leaf mould.
Now I know most people don't have leaf mould,
but if you've got it, now's the time to wheel it out.
And if you haven't got it, you could use a bark-based compost
and just mix that up.
Although they want lots of water, they do need drainage, too.
So, a bag of grit in there.
And the grit is not going to lessen the ability of the compost
and the leaf mould to feed and sustain the plants.
It's just going to mean that it doesn't get waterlogged.
And, finally, I'm adding some soil.
This is sieved soil from the garden.
And I'm doing it to add bacterial and fungal activity,
as much as anything else,
so that the relationship between the roots of the banana and the
goodness that you've got in the compost is made as direct and
as fruitful as possible.
If it won't grow in that, it won't grow in anything.
So, some crocks in the bottom.
We'll take this out of its pot.
There we go.
A nice root system.
Tease that gently...
That sits there like that.
I'm not going to underplant for two reasons.
One, because these are dramatic statement plants.
If you underplant it,
it can look a little bit like the worst Victorian bedding.
And the second reason is that they want every scrap of nutrition
and moisture that's available.
One of the biggest problems of keeping bananas looking good
is not just giving them enough to eat and drink,
but also the wind can really tatter their foliage.
It rips it.
They're so big and so full of moisture that they are
So it's always a good idea to put them somewhere sheltered.
If it's a windy corner, then they won't like it at all.
And, obviously, to start with, the plant is not very secure.
Roots will quickly grow out and will fill the pot before I take
it out in October,
but just keep an eye on it for the first few weeks.
That will need watering with a full can of water twice a week,
and if it's very hot, three times a week.
These really do need an awful lot of water if they are to be
fully happy, and they also need feed, remember.
Once a week, add to the water a high nitrogen liquid feed,
not a tomato-based feed.
You won't go wrong with liquid seaweed, but if you can make
it yourself, a feed made from nettles will be absolutely ideal.
Now growing bananas in pots or in a border here at Longmeadow is
a question of playing the weather.
You mustn't put them out too early in case it's too cold, you need
to get them in before winter comes, protect them from the wind.
And that's fine, it's fun.
It's part of gardening.
But Arit Anderson went down to the Eden Project in Cornwall to
see how climate change is actually affecting the plants that
we choose to grow and how we manage their growth within our garden.
Set around two giant biomes, the Eden Project in Cornwall is home to
a unique collection of plants growing in Mediterranean and
tropical conditions, just as you might find in the wild.
This place absolutely blows me away.
We're looking out over a rainforest, representing the lungs of our world.
And it's incredible.
Many of the species found here are ancient.
The life-cycle of these plants over millennia are what have become
the fossil fuels of today.
And it's our reliance on fossil fuels and the changing climate that
inspired my Near Future Garden.
As a new designer,
I was delighted when I won a gold at Hampton Court Flower Show last year.
Five years ago, I absolutely fell in love with gardening,
and it was at that point I decided I'm going to swap
fashion for flowers and retrain and start designing gardens.
However, if you'd have asked me back then if I was going to have
a garden HERE, I so wouldn't have believed it.
Here at Eden, we are now installing elements of that garden
as part of a bigger project they're doing about the evolution
of plants and fossil fuels.
The focal point of my design is the vortex...
..a water feature which represents oil.
We've reached the place where the vortex is going to live,
which is brilliant. I'm really happy.
It's nestled in amongst all of these cordylines and it's going to be
planted with species of tree ferns that are over 400 million years old.
These species were the first plants that laid down coal and the
fossil fuels that we use today, so looking at the vortex,
the idea of it is that it depicts the fact that it's only
a finite resource that we've got.
These sculptures are about renewable energy.
Each sculpture has been designed to show how man
has to encapsulate the energy of the sun, the wind,
the rain and that's the energy that we need to be using for the future.
When you take a look in one direction
you will see man facing you,
come 90 degrees, and the whole sculpture shifts and changes.
And each sculpture does the same thing.
It is pretty bare at the moment,
but it is going to be planted up with grasses, Wollemi pines
and the National Collection of Kniphofia, which is just brilliant.
Kniphofia, more commonly known as red-hot poker,
is a native to South Africa.
Its 70-plus species tolerate a wide range of conditions
from soggy swamp to arid plains.
As our own climate changes, it's versatile, exotic species like these
that we British gardeners could be looking to in the near future.
Catherine Cutler works with Kings Park in Perth and is curating
an amazing collection of drought-tolerant plants from
60% of the plants here are found nowhere else on the planet.
What can UK gardeners take away from this Australian planting, then?
You need to be starting to think about how our climates change
and planting for the future climate that we're likely to have.
So, extreme weather, yes,
but probably longer, hotter, drier summers.
So the flora that we have here in the Mediterranean Biome
is hopefully inspirational for people for what they might be
able to start thinking about for their own gardens.
So could I see something like this in my garden, then?
-Absolutely, you could.
-Cos I just love it.
I love the colour and I just think it looks fabulous.
Kangaroo paws are absolutely fantastic, aren't they?
So we've got a whole range of them here.
There's a fantastic one called Big Red, grows up to about five,
six foot, even.
They are pollinated by birds.
So you can see, as the flowers open,
the bird can poke its beak inside
-and then it gets dunked on the back of its head.
Like all the plants here in the Mediterranean Biome,
they're used to harsh, tough conditions. Hot in the summer.
-Yeah, extreme, and really poor soil as well.
And things like the kangaroo paws, there's been a lot of breeding work
in them and we're starting to see them coming into the UK market.
I think this year you'll be able to buy them quite easily and grow them,
perhaps to begin with as bedding plants,
but then later on we might find them going right through the winter.
Fab. I love them. I think they're absolutely great.
They are, aren't they?
Climate change is going to be a challenge,
but, as gardeners, we want to be part of the solution.
So that means thinking about different plant species that
we can put into the garden, and also treating the garden like
a carbon store, getting more plants into the ground.
So I think that's a great excuse to get out there and get gardening.
In practice, climate change is only gradually changing the plants
that we can grow. It's how we grow them that is really the thing.
I mean, for example, all these succulents
are never going to survive winter here at Longmeadow.
But I have them outside in pots, they can look great
and then pull them back in as the weather starts to turn.
And this Tulbaghia I've seen growing perfectly happily
in Cape Town earlier this year.
Keep it in a pot. And that too, even, I wouldn't keep outside.
However, I've never grown a kangaroo paw, but I'd like to try it.
But I think the thing to do is treat it as an annual.
Don't try and let it survive winter.
Just enjoy it for the summer months.
But to get the best from it, I do need to treat it hard.
So...plenty of drainage.
And I've mixed up a compost based of a seed mix,
so fairly low in nutrients, some builder's sand and some grit.
So this is very free draining and very low in nutrients,
exactly as if I was planting up a Mediterranean herb.
Now the thing to do is to put that in the sunniest spot you can.
It will be fine on a windowsill,
but I'm going to keep it here with the other succulents.
And it can bake all summer long.
Now I don't know if you're planning to plant up any kangaroo paws,
but here are some jobs that you might want to do this weekend.
The Chelsea Chop is often misunderstood.
It's not a question of tidying away spent growth but pruning
herbaceous perennials to encourage stockier, bushier growth,
with lots of side shoots,
and these will extend your flowering period and also add diversity
to the height and texture of your late summer border.
If you grow cordon tomatoes, either indoors or out,
it's important to regularly pinch out or cut off with a sharp knife,
the side shoots that grow at 45 degrees
between the main stem and the leaves.
This will keep all the energy in the growing plant,
and importantly, the fruit, as it forms.
It's too early to cut hedges because this will disturb nesting birds.
But now is a good time to give a light trim
to the vertical faces of entrances and exits.
It transforms the garden, making it instantly look much neater.
The Dry Garden has absolutely loved the blazing we had
whilst I was away at Chelsea.
And things like that stipa, the Stipa gigantea, I couldn't grow
in the grass borders, or at least if I grow it,
it doesn't last more than a year or two because it's too wet and
the ground gets too cold in winter.
But here, with stony soil and good drainage and hot sun, it loves it.
Now, I don't know whether we're going to have hot sun this weekend
or cold rain, but let's go and find out what the weather will be like
for us gardeners this weekend.
The Writing Garden is hitting almost a perfect balance of
untrammelled abandon and careful poise.
Of course, no plant is more poised at the moment than this
lovely white allium, Everest.
But things like the silene and even
a little bit of cow parsley, still just flowing easily.
But I'm afraid no more easy flowing for today,
because that's the end of tonight's programme.
But next week we have got Chatsworth and Adam, Joe and Carol will
be there, while I'm still here.
And the week after, we all go to Gardeners' World Live,
and, of course, we'll be announcing our Jubilee plant there.
And thank you so much for all the votes.
There is a result.
But I don't know what it is!
However, along with you, I will be finding out in two weeks.
But, until next Friday, bye-bye.
Now, you want to go for a walk, don't you? Come on.
Monty gives advice on herbs which will grow happily in shade and has an unusual choice for his summer containers - bananas. Earlier this year, Monty paid a visit to Chatsworth House to find out about the history of the extensive grounds and gardens and also about the challenges of putting on its first RHS flower show in June 2017.
Flo Headlam visits a school where gardening is high on the curriculum and Nick Bailey shows us how we can build a pond in a weekend. We also meet the head gardener who manages a garden situated on a barge and discover how and what plants thrive in such extraordinary conditions.