Joe Swift, Carol Klein and Adam Frost bring an exclusive look at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. We meet designer Jo Thompson as she prepares her show garden with a difference.
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Hello. Welcome to Gardeners' World.
Here in the cottage garden, the roses are all coming out at once.
We have this lovely, soft, pink explosion.
We've got about 40 different roses in here,
all chosen to be various shades of pink from almost white to
almost red and then that is balanced out by the pastel
colours of the flowers accompanying them.
And every day, they're just getting better and better and will
continue to do so into July.
And as well as Longmeadow rising to its peak of the year,
we've got a visit to a brand-new RHS show at Chatsworth in
Derbyshire and throughout the programme,
we'll be bringing you the very best from there.
Joe and Adam will be taking a closer look at the wide range of
show gardens, from the contemporary to the conceptual.
With two floral marquees
and a Great Conservatory to explore,
Carol is seeking out the very best of the nursery displays.
And Arit Anderson will be finding out how our gardens in the future
may have to adapt to cope with climate change.
Poor old topiary Nigel's a bit swamped by forget-me-nots.
Well, they are finished,
so it's time to start being ruthless and pulling them up and also
letting light reach the yew so it grows good and strong.
Actually, I've learnt from planting this
that I put it on the wrong axis -
it's west to east, which means the sun comes round and that side,
the north side of Nigel, doesn't get enough light, so it's not growing
strongly enough, let alone having to compete for light with other plants.
If you're planting a two-sided topiary,
you do want to go on a north-south axis
so all of it gets the same amount of sun,
but that's a little detail I didn't think through properly,
but by taking these out, that can now have all the light it can get.
Nige? Come here.
Come and have a look. Is that good?
Do you think that's suitable?
Do you recognise it? No. It's just a bush, isn't it?
We'll have to cut your tail back...
His poor old tail is thinning in old age.
We all lose our hair a bit, but Nigel in his tail.
I won't cut that until August.
Give it a nice trim, get it tight and then we get a new
growth spurt in spring and early summer, so I'll leave that
for the moment, keep it clear, keep the light and the air to it.
However, I've got another part of the cottage garden here where
I do need to clear away the forget-me-nots and do some planting.
When I left for Chelsea, this bed was still looking good.
Come back and...it's over.
This party is done and dusted and there's nothing for it but to
clear it all away and start again.
So, the forget-me-nots come out.
It looks very drastic, just to rip out barrel loads of forget-me-nots.
Don't worry, they WILL be back.
The thing about forget-me-nots is they do self seed aggressively.
This is marjoram.
You can see in this rich soil, it's very floppy.
What I'm going to do is cut it back hard, lift it,
take it to the new herb garden and plant it into poor soil and it
will stay more compact and act as groundcover.
Hello, where have you been?
Have you come to help? You're such a big help!
Good on you!
Right, having cleared a bit of space, I've got some dahlias
I want to put in and I will be adding some annuals,
but I've also got perennials that I've grown from seed.
These are the perennial foxglove Digitalis parviflora.
They are a distinctive caramel spike of colour.
These are smaller than the familiar
foxglove, Digitalis purpurea, which the bees love.
They can go at the back of a border or rise up through
a shrub and they can reach six foot tall.
These will never make more than about three or four foot.
I've also got some lupins and at Chelsea, lupins were everywhere.
Well, these won't flower this year, but...
get them in now and they'll be in good nick for next year
This is Green Star, which I grew last year as
a cut flower and that will mix in in the border.
I've got the yellow roses behind me, so I'm going to pick up that yellow
with a couple of dahlias and then plant around them.
This dahlia will add a splash of vibrant yellow to the late
If you lift your dahlias every autumn, which I do,
planting them is easy - just make a hole, bung them in.
If they're permanently planted, then they should be planted much deeper.
Right, let's start placing a little bit around them.
So if we have...
..gladioli and then we work some of the digitalis
a bit nearer the front...
And now the lupins.
They come in a mixture of colours.
And this seed was sown last summer.
Healthy plant there...
if you're planting them permanently, rather like dahlias,
need to be planted good and deep and that protects them.
But they do need really good drainage and I can't give
them that in this garden, so I treat them like I do a dahlia.
I bring them on in a pot, I will then plant it fairly shallowly
and when it's finished, I'll dig it up in the autumn and store it.
It's actually quite a successful system.
This is not the final planting, so I need to add to it.
But you do have to prepare for these seasonal changes.
You can't expect a border to look brilliant at one stage of the
year and then to go on looking good unless YOU contribute,
YOU make it happen.
Sometimes, that involves undoing things
in order to replace it with the new.
A good way to get inspiration for any garden is go and see
other gardens, go to flower shows,
see growers presenting their plants and gardens at their very best.
We've had Chelsea...
Well, now we've got RHS Chatsworth, a brand-new show
which I know is focusing above all on innovation and inspiration.
Last week, Adam Frost went up there to see how the final
preparations for the show were getting on.
This flower show is set against the backdrop of one of the most
beautiful stately homes we have in the country.
There's just one week to go,
so the countdown is on for the first RHS Chatsworth.
The show gardens are of course the main attraction and it's
a real privilege to be able to look at them just as the final
touches are being applied.
-Looks like it's coming together well, mate.
No, it's coming together really well, the last couple of days,
-Any problems along the way?
Just the usual kind of stresses,
but no, it's gone pretty well,
actually, kind of on track, so planting is very nearly completed,
it's got a couple of days just to settle and all knit together.
Yeah, nice. It's lovely - as you sit down, you straightaway...
There's a completely different perspective and also,
-I can pick up scent, as well.
The idea is you sit down in this kind of chaise longue or bench
and you're kind of encapsulated by the plants.
The influence of Joseph Paxton,
who was head gardener during the Victorian era and a real pioneer
in the science of horticulture is everywhere at Chatsworth.
And this structure is a homage to the Great Conservatory that
stood here until 1920.
It's going to play with technology,
so that idea of horticulture and technology,
which is ultimately what Paxton was doing, I suppose, 100-odd years ago.
If you look at this, I think it's going to be twice the size
and float in the air above a big,
big pool and there's little misters that are going to feed the
plants, for that idea I suppose it could be a rainforest.
One thing that's really standing out for me already
at the show is these free-form installations.
I just love the idea that designers are getting to push the
boundaries a little bit, but without the fear sitting in
the back of your head that you're going to be judged.
There's certainly some wild ideas on show,
but Chatsworth is all about ringing the changes and that includes
getting a younger generation involved.
One young lad that I've known for a few years is George Hassall.
He won Young School Gardener of the Year back in 2014 and
he's also the youngest ever RHS Ambassador.
While all the building work's going on,
George isn't allowed in the showground, but that's not
a problem, because we've got a great view from the terrace.
When you can get in there, gates open,
what are you looking forward to getting in and seeing?
Oh, I'd love to go in that little dome, there.
That massive dome, I should say!
Cos I can't wait to see the plant life they've got in there,
Saying that, do you think about design as a gardener or as
-a landscaper, or...?
-Erm, I enjoy landscaping.
I like water planting as well.
Obviously, when you plant, you're changing a grey area to
a green area, but with landscaping,
you can kind of make it, the actual plot, different in a way
that you can't do with plants and obviously with water,
you're building a pond, then you're getting this new texture,
new colour to the garden which can bring it to life.
So, in years to come, where do you actually see yourself?
Do you want to be head gardener here?
That'd be really good, yeah! I'd love to.
I'll see if I can have a word with the Duke for you,
put a good word in!
Chatsworth has been the ancestral home of the Cavendish family
for 16 generations.
But the 12th Duke of Devonshire,
with a keen interest in gardening himself,
is the first to welcome the wider gardening community to his estate.
-When you first took this garden on...
..what did it actually feel like? Because I would...
It felt very big, um, it felt a bit scary because of the...
You know, there's so much history.
My parents had been here for 50 years, they'd done an amazing job
and there was a wonderful team here already, so we were
a bit tentative to start with, but we've got into our stride a bit now.
-A lot of people are going to love the setting.
-I hope so.
You drive in and...
-I got goosebumps.
-Good! I agree.
Every time I come round the corner,
I get that wonderful real excitement.
And I know that it's a massive challenge building
a show like this, but has there been any moments when you've thought...?
Well, we've never done anything as big as this,
not as long as this, but inevitably,
there's going to be some issues.
We'll know more after this year.
We'll be even better next year... It will be BRILLIANT this year,
but we'll be EVEN better next year.
It's amazing that you're bringing a show to this part of the world
-and I'm sure when people walk in, they'll really love it.
Well, I'm sure it'll be a lot of fun.
Here we are, fella - Chatsworth flower show.
All the gardens complete.
-And what a setting!
-It is stunning, isn't it?
And look at the house - beautiful!
-I didn't realise it was yours!
You can come and stay any time you want! Lots to see here,
there are eight show gardens,
two floral marquees and a whole new category of gardens, too.
This idea of free-form,
which I think is fantastic - they're not being judged,
so for designers, they can really stretch themselves without that fear
of having a judge walk on a garden.
Yes, there's some quite traditional ones and more radical ones too,
there is a lot going on here,
including the Great Conservatory over there.
This is a 21st-century take
on Chatsworth's famous conservatory.
But instead of being composed of tiny panes of glass,
this pioneering design is one huge, inflatable hothouse,
packed to the brim with an array of tropical plants.
And I'm looking at the RHS Garden for a Changing Climate.
There's a broad range of influences in the main show garden
with designs inspired by the local Derbyshire landscape,
some ideas from modern living and contemporary designs, too.
Adam and I checked some out.
This garden is called a Movable Feast
and it really is.
It's made up of all these planters on wheels and you can arrange
them differently, however you want them.
You can divide the garden up,
create seclusion and also change the planting.
The idea is that you can lift this entire garden up and take it
with you if you have to, so if you're in rented accommodation,
it's absolutely perfect.
Now, I really like this planter over here because it's got
a very simple frame with some twine which means you can grow
a climber like this lovely star jasmine up it and give it the
protection it needs against the fence,
but the planting beneath is clever too, because on the other side
there's spring plants - when they
finish flowering, you spin the whole planter round,
put them at the back and get your summer flowering geraniums at
the front, so you're getting more seasons for your money, as it were.
Now, what I like about this entire garden is it could be the
future of gardening.
Our spaces are getting smaller,
so we need ingenious ideas like this
to make the most of them.
Do you know, I love this little garden.
It's charming, imagine this at the end of your garden,
part of a bigger space.
Lovely and relaxing, but also it's simple, but clever.
What I like actually is these three beech trees that work their way
all the way through the space.
You could use something else if these were too big for you at home.
But after that, that number three is repeated
in these raised beds and they're raised beds, but they sit
in wild flower and you wouldn't necessarily think
that that worked, but it does here.
Then the circles, on the beds and then picked up in the fence,
and that really starts to bring the whole thing together.
Last but not least, is wild flower.
It's just wild flower turf - you can buy it, do it at home,
but I love the way it's been customised.
It had digitalis added to it, it's had sorrel,
so it gets that edible twist on it.
Do you know, if I'd had a hard day at work and I came home and
spent 20 minutes in this space here, I'd be more than happy.
Now, Jackie Knight has kindly let me scramble all over her
Just Add Water garden.
I have to say, it makes you feel like a kid again!
Not everyone can do this at the show, just me,
but I like the way Jackie has really embraced the
Chatsworth landscape, that lovely, uninterrupted view behind,
there's no big white tents or fences there.
And from here, I'm going to make a leap of faith...
Bit dodgy on the knees, there, but it seemed to work OK.
But water of course just completely transforms and changes the
dynamics of any garden.
There's the sound of it,
the movement of it and the wonderful reflective quality too.
And it also increases the range of plants that you can grow,
so you've got boggy plants which like their roots in the soil, but
permanently wet soil - plants like the gunnera,
and this lovely, delicate little trollius here,
that's called Cheddar.
So this garden, we've got water,
we've got rocks, we've got plants,
we've even got an extended view.
What more do you want?
This is the IQ Quarry Garden,
it's designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes and it won Best in Show.
What I love is where he's got that inspiration from, which was
an old quarry, but also Brutalism,
and that is brutal,
this space at the back.
But the Corten's used really well and then that repeats itself with
the arbour that's in here and that creates
a cracking little seating area and then you've got
a hole in the ground, but it's about
extraction - what would you
be left with after the quarry?
He's introduced this lovely little pool and planting,
but when you go into that space, it feels comfortable,
you feel hunkered down into the landscape and you're moving
through and all of a sudden, at the end, it's planting,
you've got to imagine a quarry being left and coming back to life.
It definitely comes back to life.
I love the way again the materials - the grey in the wall -
is picked up in the stone, but even in the gravel.
But here, it's about the plants and he's been clever,
because he's looked at native but also things that have
naturalised, that we've brought into the country.
You could do it at home, you know - gravel garden, lovely planting.
And then as you come back, do you know what?
You look at it and this garden has been beautifully executed,
but it's a massive undertaking.
Do you know, these show gardens are fantastic, but if you want
something a little bit different, Carol is in the Great Conservatory.
You can just imagine the gasps of amazement that went up from
those Victorian crowds when they saw Paxton's Great Pavilion for
the first time.
Well, I've never seen a structure like this at
a flower show and I think the crowds here are going to be just as
amazed by this wonderful construction.
At the very same time that Joseph Paxton was taking giant steps
forward in glasshouse innovation,
plant hunters were combing the world, bringing back to this
country all manner of wonderful plants never seen before.
The coming together of those two phenomenon meant that since then,
we've been able to grow plants, some of them even
from the tropics, both in our glasshouses and our gardens.
Although they're from Southeast Asia,
alocasia are grown as ornamental plants in many tropical gardens,
usually in dappled shade.
We can grow them here too, in pots outside,
where they make a striking addition to a courtyard garden.
They're tender, so they need protection during the winter.
Cannas originate in subtropical America.
They're popular plants both in municipal plantings
and in our own gardens.
If you want to add stature and excitement to your garden,
their large leaves and their heads of resplendent flowers in vivid,
flame-like colours are just the job.
They'll blaze away all summer long,
but in winter, bring them in.
These tillandsias are an absolute wow.
They're from Central and South America and they grow way up
in the trees without any compost,
any soil at all,
which means they are excellent candidates as houseplants.
All you need do is replicate their rainforest conditions by
immersing them every couple of weeks
in a bucket of water.
They're just the thing to brighten up a dull day.
They're great growing on a windowsill,
out of direct sunshine but in quite bright light,
but they're even better in a glasshouse.
Thank you, Joseph Paxton.
In the spirit of innovation,
the Chatsworth show has introduced a brand-new category of gardens
this year - they're called the Free-form Installations and
they encourage designers to let their imagination run wild.
They can be any shape or size you want.
For me, they have to really grab you visually from the off.
They have to work with scale and proportion and really think
big with the ideas.
Once they've grabbed you visually,
you really want to find out more.
Now, at the heart of this garden is a mobile which flutters in
the wind and it's made up of pieces of paper, but without any writing
on them, and it represents all the people throughout the world who
have difficulties and feel powerless expressing themselves with words.
They've had some strong winds, but this oak hasn't fallen down,
it's just about to be planted
and this garden represents all
the unsung heroes,
the gardeners up and down
the country who have planted
gardens, make show gardens like this,
but also over the hundreds of years,
planted Chatsworth itself.
As one of the UK's top garden designers, Jo Thompson is
no stranger to the show garden scene,
but taking on her brief for the Free-form Installations meant
that she had to approach it in a completely different way.
I spent the day at the site
and took in the landscape,
took in the trees,
the vastness, the history.
I mean, this is a historical site and I felt
a real duty not to interfere too much and realised that maybe
it was more about an intervention than creating an actual
The River Derwent is a huge element of that site
and I think I was inspired by the lines of the river
and how it flows through that landscape.
I'd been smitten by the idea of reflections and how they
could be achieved so I then looked at a structure which could
sweep down the river bank,
out over it and back again.
I started to wonder how on earth I was going to build it,
what was I going to make this out of?
Instead of doing what I normally do,
which is looking at local materials
and being inspired by those
and using them on site,
what I needed to do instead was have a contrast and then a few days later
I was standing in a builder's yard and saw
a piece of steel reinforcing bar - rebar -
and I realised that was exactly the right material.
It would create the shadows that I wanted,
but also it had that colour,
that kind of rusty brown which
would sit well in the location it's intended for.
Once I'd got a strong geometric framework,
I had to think very carefully about the natural elements -
the planting...particularly the trees.
The existing trees on the Chatsworth estate are majestic,
they're beautiful, and I knew that any tree I found in
a nursery couldn't match the size and the splendour of those trees,
so instead, I looked for something to complement them.
I've come to this nursery specialising in semi-mature
and mature trees.
This is one of the two hornbeam that I've chosen for the garden at
Chatsworth and it's the first time I've seen it since October.
When I saw it in October, it didn't have any leaves on,
it was naked, and now it's got all its clothes on!
Look at this lovely green foliage.
This is the reason why I've chosen this tree, it's really beautiful,
delicate, lovely fresh colour.
I like to use it where there's a damp area of ground because
it doesn't mind getting its feet wet, unlike say, a beech,
which does need to be a little bit drier.
The other reason I've chosen this tree is because of these
They're sculptural - they're going to be perfect.
It's not just down to the hornbeams,
there's another beautiful native tree that I want to show off.
These are the four field maple
which are going to be in the garden.
I've chosen them to contrast with the hornbeam,
but also to go with it.
It's another native, it's got a beautiful green colour and
a completely different shaped leaf.
They've also got the dearest little seedheads which,
in the autumn, flutter to the ground like helicopters.
The planting needed to be quite relaxed as it merges out into
the landscape, so we've got wild flower meadow turf which
just joins into the grass around.
I'm using wild roses as opposed to shrub roses,
we're using grasses, things with
long, thin stems, a bit wiry,
creating a kind of veil as opposed to a mass.
Chatsworth is a really exciting project.
I've got total freedom in terms of space and design.
So, Jo, how have you found the whole experience of not being
constricted to a shaped garden, not being judged?
It's been wonderful,
it's been really liberating being able to do a garden that could be
any size I wanted, any shape,
It's been wonderful.
Well, the garden's worked out beautifully and there's huge
swathes of perennial planting which looks fantastic.
How have you actually put this together?
Cos it's not just individual plants going in, necessarily.
So I wanted a theme, so we've got grasses running through it,
but then it changes as you go round the garden, cos I wanted
to give people something different to look at as they looked at
different parts of it.
So we've got the campanula which I can't normally use and I love that
because it works well just under trees and coming out.
You've got the lovely purples and dusky pinks of that.
We've also got dahlias in there because somebody said to me
you couldn't have dahlias in show gardens,
-so I immediately stuck quite a lot in.
-You've got a lovely rose, too.
Yes, the rose are Rosa multifloras so it's got this quite wild
shape to it, which is what I wanted
because anything more ornamental
would have looked odd by the river.
At this height, you're sort of looking through this wispy planting
and looking over the river, too.
Well, I didn't want to hide the landscape.
I knew we were going to be by the water,
so I knew we needed to be able to see that,
so in some areas we want to look through the planting.
We've got tall planting at the front.
People say tall and medium then low planting at the front.
I thought, "No, no, that's rules,
"so we need to break those" and it's lovely to be able to create
a kind of veil I suppose that you can look through and just see
the water and the landscape beyond.
I think, you know, this is the first year at Chatsworth,
you've brought this wonderful garden here.
You can say, in many years' time, "I was there at the beginning".
Yeah, I was the first!
There are two huge floral marquees
here at Chatsworth and they
really are a time machine of plants.
Take acanthus, for example.
They're from the Middle East and all around the Mediterranean and
they featured in the art and architecture of many ancient
civilisations, symbolising immortality.
The Romans carved their leaves at the head of their Corinthian
columns and here at Chatsworth,
that same theme has been picked up
in the architecture.
Most acanthus have big, bold, handsome leaves,
but there's one exception on this
stand and it's absolutely lovely.
It's the smooth leaves of dioscoridis,
which is so unusual because it was the big, bold leaves of
Acanthus mollis which were the inspiration
for all that ancient ornamentation.
Fuchsias come from Central and South America, they were first
introduced to the shores of Europe by Portuguese and Spanish explorers.
But it wasn't until the 19th century that they became really
popular with British gardeners.
There are more than 14,000 different cultivars.
Most of them are very showy, but tender.
During the winter, they need protection from the frost,
But you can start to water them in about March and then water
them regularly and give them feed - high potash feed,
to induce lots of flowering.
If you want them to flower even more, then nip out the growing tips.
That will make all that lateral growth develop and you'll
have masses more flowers.
New cultivars are being introduced all the time and this is
brand-new this year.
She's called Linda Hinchliffe and she's named after
a fuchsia fashionista from Yorkshire.
She's got upward-facing flowers which is
a really new development and not only that,
Linda has been trialled at Harrogate for the last five years and
she's been found to be completely hardy!
Us gardeners owe a huge debt of gratitude to South America,
both in our flower gardens
and in our vegetable and fruit gardens, too.
People often think of the tomato as coming from Italy.
Surely it's Italian? Not a bit of it!
It comes from South America.
It can be found in Peru growing on riverbanks,
tumbling down in that lovely hot, humid atmosphere.
It was the Spanish who introduced the tomato, took it to the
Spanish court, where it was looked upon with some suspicion at first.
People thought it might be poisonous.
Eventually, when they found out not just how edible it was,
but how delicious it was, it was given as a token to your lover.
It actually had the name "love apple"
because it was believed to be an aphrodisiac.
In recent years, lots of different tomatoes have been developed -
each culture and country around the world has their own varieties,
but one of the major problems that British gardeners have with
growing tomatoes is blight.
It causes the whole plant to collapse and the tomatoes to rot.
But this is a brand-new variety, Crimson Crush.
It's supposed to be as blight-resistant as any tomato
at all and what's more, it produces these big, gorgeous, edible fruits.
Absolutely delicious in salad or cooked.
So remember, next time you're in your garden looking at your
tomatoes, your dahlias, your fuchsias or acanthus, they represent
hundreds and thousands of years of horticultural history.
Do you know, for me, June is when these wonderful astrantias
really come into their own, but a couple of weeks ago,
we caught up with Caroline Samuel, who is a top grower and she
was busy preparing her plants at her nursery in Scotland.
Well, I've got about 40 varieties of astrantia here.
There's about 80 in total registered in the Plant Finder and I
grow the majority of them myself to take to shows with me.
I think they're really versatile, they're good cut flowers,
they're good dried flowers, as well.
They look lovely in the garden.
They're long flowering, they're hardy, the bees love them,
the butterflies love them.
Everybody loves them!
They are really good for novice gardeners.
If they've got decent conditions, so not too dry,
not a baking midday sun,
as long as they plant out in the ground,
water it in well, then they should do OK for them.
Some aren't too suited for small gardens because they can self-seed
and take over a bit,
but you'll always find one that will suit your requirements.
My favourite astrantia,
due to the colour and the toughness
would be Astrantia Star of Love.
The darker varieties of the astrantia prefer to have
a bit more sun, just to keep that really good colour.
If you've got a really shady spot, though, the White Major varieties
will tolerate drier conditions, shadier spots.
They're just a bit easier to deal with those tricky spaces.
If your astrantia is maybe looking a bit like it could do with
a few more flowers,
I always say something like a tomato type food, you'll always get
the lush foliage, but just for a little boost to the flowers,
and they could always do with a good organic mulch at the end of
the year, so some leaf mould or some well-rotted manure.
When you plant an astrantia,
if you bought a 9cm pot,
you would be looking for it to double in size each year.
After may be about three or four years,
once you've got a really nice big clump,
I would say just dig it up and look for
a natural division in it, which you'll see in most of them.
And I would take the shovel through the middle of it, or if you can
pull it apart and I would normally do that roundabout
spring, early spring, just before they're coming into growth,
so when it's dormant.
Replant and just water in really well.
When you're getting ready for a show,
you want the astrantias to be in full flower.
A nice show plant will be one that's got lots of nice healthy,
lush green foliage and lots and lots
of flower spikes on it,
with more to come, so that it looks good from the day you put it on
the display until the last day of the show.
So I'm just going to have a look
and see which varieties I'm going to take.
This is Buckland, and it's looking quite nice - the flowers
are nice and open and there's still some that have got to open fully,
so these could go on the display.
This is Sparkling Stars and this will be...
This is definitely coming.
This was just introduced last year and the public love it just
because it has this stripe and it looks really good.
And this is Lars, and it's really nice, but it's too small,
it shan't be coming to Chatsworth.
We've got some Rose Symphony over there - it will probably come,
that's a nice plant that's really easy.
People like it.
They like the pink varieties.
Chatsworth is just going to be spot-on for the astrantia -
the judges are going to love it.
Caroline, it looks absolutely fantastic and I love astrantias,
but when did they first catch your eye?
Um, probably the show gardens at Chelsea because...
Well, you probably used them yourself!
I have used them, more than once!
They're a great working plant.
They're great plants, they are, they're really good.
Do you know what I really love about these astrantias in
a sense is what else they bring to the party, so when I buy
herbaceous plants, that's what I say to it - what else are you bringing?
For me, some of the stems are beautiful colours, but also,
some of the leaves, the shapes work really well with ferns.
There's one for every size of garden - you've got small ones,
tall ones, big foliage,
-And condition, as well.
some will tolerate much drier conditions than others.
Have you brought any new ones for the show?
Star of Love, which is really dark and lovely and Sparkling Stars,
those are both relatively new, yes.
-How long do you actually get to set up?
-About three days.
And you've come a long way down from Scotland. Where do you stay?
-I stay in the back of the van.
-You don't really?!
-I do, I do.
It's fine, I'm used to it.
Quite a lot of the exhibitors have got nice caravans,
so I get to sit and read of an evening, so it's quite good.
-So how's the show been so far?
You've seen the location, it's just... It's amazing.
As gardeners, we're always observant of the weather,
because it affects everything that we do.
The impact of climate change affects the extremes of weathers
and we've seen that over the last few weeks, even days.
Here at the show is a garden designed with just that in mind.
So, Andy, tell me - what is this garden all about?
The garden takes its inspiration
from a recent report by the RHS
on the impacts of climate change on our gardens, looking to the future.
So we've got two gardens here -
the garden of today and the garden of the future,
where we're looking at a much more turbulent climate, where it's going
to be drier, warmer,
but we're going to get heavy downpours and heavy rain.
So these plants need to be much more resilient to that environment.
What I was also drawn to was this boundary,
it's not a traditional fence panel that you've put up, why is that?
What we're trying to do here is recognise it's going to be more
stormy, more windy, as it has been here for the last couple of days.
It certainly has, yeah!
So the garden edge takes on a sort of zigzag,
it becomes much stronger because of that,
but also you can see we've got these very thin slats of wood and
that's to allow the wind to rush through, but it also gives us a
space that we can grow plants on, so it gives us more space for planting.
Now, the other thing that I've seen, which I think is brilliant
are these trees in their sort of little greenhouse elements.
What we're trying to do here,
using these little glass structures is create a space where those
more tender plants, we can take them out, but we can also slide
them back in, so if it gets stormy, gets colder, we can push them away.
So I'm hearing water in the background.
Tell me what is going on with this.
So in this climate of the future,
we've got to be more precious about how we treat water,
so what we're doing here is taking water off the canopy,
and storing it in these large white plastic containers that you
can see, and that water can be used in periods of drought to water and
irrigate the garden, but what we've got here is a time when we've got
too much water, it's overspilling, it's coming into a series of
ponds and that's gradually being let out into the garden where it
can soak away and what we're trying to deal with there is
stormwater flooding, we're trying to reduce the amount of water
going into our combined sewer system.
And then, behind this wall, there's a separate area which is
taking all of that water off the houses.
In the future, we can imagine a time where housing regulations
change and we're allowed zero run-off,
so we've got large attenuation tanks that sit underneath the deck
and that water might be temporarily stored there,
it might be for all houses, and then gradually,
that water could be released into a community wetland,
so we start to think about how we can integrate our gardens and
bring them into our public spaces as well, so they're working together
rather than seen as isolated fragments of our urban landscapes.
I really love that idea.
I love the fact that our gardens actually could start to play
a wider role in the bigger environment.
So, oh... So many ideas to take away
from the garden, thank you so much, Andy.
-You're very welcome.
-A pleasure to meet you.
-You too, thank you.
When it comes to growing plants from hotter climes,
you just can't beat an agapanthus and family-run nursery Hoyland's
are at the show and have been given the title of
Master Growers in recognition of their skill and experience
growing these beautiful South African natives.
We used to propagate a general range of shrubs and perennials,
alpines, conifers, you name it,
and then years ago,
my youngest daughter Heather
bought me an agapanthus from one of the flower shows around about
my birthday in June
and this was about 20 years ago.
In a funny way, I think I sparked the interest.
He was already interested in fathering plants as it were
and agapanthus was just the next new thing, I think.
It was the boldness of the flower and the leaf shape,
it just fascinated me.
They're so versatile, they're so easy to grow,
they're virtually weatherproof,
they naturally grow on the clifftops
around the Cape, so they're used to the winds and they're
a piece of cake - they thrive on neglect.
We didn't deliberately go out to specialise, it's something
what happened, it just happened,
it was just meant to be, I suppose.
All my three children have had an interest in plants
from the word go, even as youngsters.
Colin used to put empty plant pots in carrying trays for
me to fill up with compost.
You don't even realise it,
but you grow up on a nursery like this and you sort of just
take it for granted that you help out, it's all part of it,
really, you're all in it together.
It's in our blood and we're used to it.
It's help and support when they're really busy -
it's only certain times of the year,
with there being big flower shows, summertime's chock-a-block.
It's a real family affair, really.
I shall never retire, I know that for a fact.
It's a hobby which is my profession,
but now, getting older,
my son has taken over more.
I do a lot of the day-to-day sort of maintenance of the nursery,
so really just making sure all the stock's growing and growing
as it should be, making sure we're potting the right number of
plants in spring, that we've got plenty of stock plants,
display plants ready for the public to see.
We're virtually on the same page, we have our fallouts.
My dad's got his methods of working,
I've got my modern approaches to working, if you will!
Colin's got the young ideas and the vigour and stamina
to get the job done quickly.
My dad likes the old-fashioned butcher's cleaver, you know.
I tend to go down the power tool route, really,
so I can do four or 500 in an hour and not half a dozen.
They're sort of four or five year-old pieces,
so the high time you divide them rejuvenates the clump and
allows us to multiply them.
You always want a good chunk of rhizome in there,
which is that big, fleshy root system there that you can see.
It doesn't matter if the leaves come off as long as that piece of
rhizome is intact, so it's not a matter of just hacking it,
cutting like a pie into equal sizes.
You've got to look at the plant and judge it.
I'll chuck a load of compost in around him.
It doesn't have to be too fertile as long as it's free draining.
We say mix that bit of grit in,
you can never go wrong mixing the grit in, and that's all, really.
With the agapanthus, we've turned something which, 20 years ago,
not many people knew about or thought it was some
difficult-to-grow plant, into a common plant now.
I'm hoping to do the same with the clivias.
It's a pot plant, it's not frost
hardy and it likes the shade,
but it's quite indestructible.
A quick check,
if you hold your hand about a foot away from it in sunny weather,
if you can see a shadow on the leaves, it's too sunny.
They will grow in shade when nothing else will in the house.
I'm hoping that in the next 15 or 20 years,
nearly every house in the country will have one.
We're mainly known for the agapanthus and tulbaghias, but yes,
we're big into nerines... They're great because they follow on
from the agapanthus, when the agapanthus are dying off and
not looking their best in sort of September, October,
the nerines are just coming into their own, so for us,
it extends that season and gives us quite
a lot of colour and excitement
right up to Christmas, really.
And then, after Christmas, we start with the clivia then,
but they kind of cover late winter, early spring, so we really feel
now we've got a good range of colour
and interest all year round as well.
My ideal world,
if I was to be asked would be to be in my greenhouse, on my own,
dogs around me, favourite music on,
to be left alone to do my potting, my propagation, my pollinating.
I do tend to just go along with the flow.
You can't control him, he won't stop.
Because like women with shoes, he sneaks the plants in.
When I'm testing new varieties,
I think the height of the season, the thrill if you want,
for a better expression,
is when they're just opening for the first time and you know there's
nobody ever seen that flower before, you're the first one and you're
making the decision whether it's worthy or whether it's not worthy.
That's fascinating for me.
And we want to tell a story, really, at Chatsworth.
It's more the story about how the nursery
has developed and evolved over the years.
We all work, really, as a team,
we'll get the basic idea in our minds, but then, you know
best laid plans and all that, you know,
we might change it in the end!
-So, Colin, did everything go according to plan?
We got here quite early and got a good start and yesterday
we got kicked out of the marquee because of high winds,
so we had a job on this morning, but we're happy with it.
I think it shows the nursery off really well and what the
-nursery is all about.
-Yes, and the development of these plants.
Yes, people know us for agapanthus and tulbaghias, but...
Now they're going to know you for clivias as well.
Clivias are the new thing, really.
We're doing a lot of hybridisation at the nursery,
where we're picking specific ones for specific traits and we're
hoping to make them more affordable and accessible for people.
Whether it's one of the established varieties of clivias or one
of your new ones, what kind of conditions do they like?
To make them thrive,
I recommend watering them twice a week at this time of year,
because they're in active growth,
they're putting on extra roots.
When you get to sort of October, November,
keep them dry right from November until February.
Start watering them again and you'll see flowers in March, April,
going into May - we're at the end of the season now.
The key thing to get them to flower is they like a bit of
a cold period from about the beginning of November until
the end of December, so get them as close to zero as you dare go.
But not below zero.
Not below zero for any prolonged period of time,
and that initiates the bud in the plant, you see.
So the best of luck with your breeding programme,
we're looking forward to seeing loads of new clivias!
Thank you very much.
Well, the weather's great now, but we've had a mixed bag over the last
-few days, haven't we? Hence the wellies!
Adam, what's really grabbed your eye?
For me, it's got to be Sam Oven's garden - the geometry of it,
the walls, the planting. He's brought it together beautifully,
-it's one of the best things here.
-It's a strong garden, that one.
-Well, the beautiful setting.
I mean, it couldn't be better, could it?
And as far as the marquees go,
absolutely terrific stands and I love Hopley's one.
Great long, narrow border that you could just roll up and take home!
Oh, that sounds good! I might have to do that! Arit?
-I've managed to find some dandelions.
-They are weeds.
No, these are lovely sculptural dandelions down by the floral
bridge and they're really lovely.
You see them in the light and they're all twinkly and gorgeous,
-so I liked that.
-They're beautifully well observed, aren't they?
-But on a massive scale -
thank goodness dandelions aren't that big!
Well, that's the thing about this show, you can play around
with scale, really, and using the landscape, as well.
There's a garden ever there, Time For Everything, and you look through
the garden and see the landscape beyond and it looks stunning.
It really puts the garden in its place.
Don't you call that borrowed landscape?
-You sound like a designer!
-All right, I know my place, Carol!
Yeah, watch out!
-I think this show's got a great future, don't you?
-Fantastic, it is.
Well, now it's back to Monty at Longmeadow,
who's enjoying some pretty good weather himself.
I think I've missed out, there.
It looks like a really good show, certainly the most beautiful
location and it's very exciting and inspiring to have
a show that is focused on innovation and combined with the
glorious historic setting of Chatsworth, that is a powerful mix.
Well, I shall certainly try and be there next year.
But, for those of you, like me, who will be spending the weekend
in the garden, here are some jobs you can do.
If your garden is anything like Longmeadow,
the weeds are growing like mad.
To keep on top of them, nothing works more efficiently than a hoe.
Use its sharp blade to cut the roots just below the surface of the soil.
Leave the vegetation on the ground and they will dry out and die
and ideally, you'd do this in the morning of a dry day.
Garlic has a tendency to run to seed in response to very dry,
hot, or even very cold weather at this time of year.
This takes goodness from the bulb.
So cut off these flowering scapes with a knife
and that will allow the bulbs more time to develop.
Lily beetles can cause havoc on lilies and fritillaries.
But they are very visible with their bright orange backs.
The best way to deal with them is to gently approach them and
remove them by hand.
However, if they feel the vibrations of your approach, they will
fall off and lie on their backs
and are almost impossible to see.
I love the way that the flowers of Rosa moyesii -
this is moyesii Geranium...
are spangled across this great arching shrub and then
of course, later, they are followed by hips that look like flagons.
It's a flower that I associate with June
and long, warm evenings,
with the garden sort of stretching out like a cat into high summer.
it needs to be warm and it needs to be dry to appreciate it properly,
so let's see what the weather has in store for us gardeners this weekend.
This is my favourite part of the garden at the moment.
When I made it, about three years ago, it was a big gamble.
This is a great big border
and when it was planted up two and a half years ago,
the shrubs were just sticks and the plants seemed
pathetically small and inadequate.
But now it's acquired the heft that a large border needs.
Of course, this is all woodland planting,
so you're using plants that respond to different levels of shade
from quite bright if it's a glade to deep and dark underneath a tree.
I think it's going to get better and better, but not today,
because we've run out of time.
And not next week, either, because we shall be at Gardeners' World Live
and this is a special show because as well as looking at all the
gardens and displays, we shall be celebrating our 50th anniversary.
Amongst other things, Mary Berry will be announcing the winner of
our Golden Jubilee Plant,
so do join us next Friday for Gardeners' World Live.
Until then, bye-bye.
There is an hour of gardens and gardening tonight, not only from Longmeadow but also the brand new RHS Chatsworth Flower Show. Set against a majestic backdrop, Joe Swift, Carol Klein and Adam Frost bring an exclusive look at the show. We meet leading designer Jo Thompson as she prepares her show garden with a difference.
In the Floral Pavilion, Carol finds pioneering plants that have shaped the gardens of today and garden designer Arit Anderson looks to the future - meeting the team behind a garden built for the changing climate.
Back at Longmeadow, Monty provides the ubiquitous jobs for the weekend.