Monty Don adds a touch of the exotic to the damp garden by planting a tree fern and protects his new soft fruit garden from feathered predators with netting.
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Hello, welcome to Gardeners' World.
Now, it was no great surprise that last week,
people voted for the rose as the Golden Jubilee plant.
The truth is that roses enter our hearts in a way
that no other plant does and there are so many different kinds that
there is bound to be at least one that will not just enhance
your garden, but also enrich your entire life.
They are just beautiful, joyous plants.
One thing, particularly at this time of year, is do deadhead.
Deadhead daily if you can.
Cut back to a leaf and that will stimulate new growth
and more flowers.
Now, yesterday was the summer solstice,
which means if you want to be gloomy,
the nights are going to draw in,
but we do have at least another month or so of lovely,
long evenings, so let's make the most of them.
On tonight's programme, we meet the husband and wife team behind
the spectacular 25-year-long restoration
of West Dean Gardens in Sussex.
Nick Bailey learns about a beneficial predator in our gardens.
And we discover the therapeutic benefits
of a church garden in Lewisham.
And I shall be protecting soft fruit
as well as planting some hardy geraniums.
This is unusual for me, because I don't often plant trophy plants
here at Longmeadow, most of everything you can see has been
grown either from seed or cuttings
or very young plants that we've grown on.
But I think a tree fern deserves being the exception to that,
because they are fabulous plants and worth the extra money,
little bit of time and a little bit of trouble that they take.
I've also always wanted to have a tree fern here at Longmeadow
ever since I visited a tree fern forest ten years ago in New Zealand.
It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my life.
It was a spiritual experience.
Well, I may not be able to recreate that exactly, but here at the back
of the pond, with the shuttlecock ferns and the soft green light
from the shade of the trees and the shrubs, I think it'll be at home.
It is worth stressing that tree fern forests
are highly protected and you should only buy one if it has got
a label like this on it,
which is a guarantee that it is licensed,
because only so many are licensed every year and can be exported.
If it doesn't have the label, don't buy it.
Now, you need to understand that a tree fern is not a tree,
it's a fern that looks like a tree,
so the so-called trunk, which is this, actually is a mat of roots
around bundles of rhizomes which are in columns and which feed the fern.
So that it's important that this is feeding the plant,
it has access to moisture and the so-called roots
at the bottom just anchor it into place.
There are a whole number of tree ferns you can buy,
but Dicksonia antarctica
is by far and away the hardiest and the easiest to grow.
So, this is the one to opt for.
Actually, if you grow Meconopsis,
the lovely blue poppy, and it's happy,
then tree ferns will be happy, too,
because they both share that need to be moist, but not soaking wet.
To be warm, but not hot.
And to be cool, but not cold.
Dig a hole about six inches deep,
because when you plant it, effectively,
you're burying the stem
and you want it to be as tall as possible,
they grow really slowly, about an inch a year.
So when you position it, put it where it looks good
and that is what it's going to look like,
probably for the rest of your life.
You can see once you get down below the initial surface of the soil,
it's pretty dry.
So, I'm going to add a little bit of goodness underneath there,
as much as anything else, to create a root run.
And that will be an ericaceous compost mix.
I've got some wool compost mixed up with leaf mould,
which will give just the right start in life.
Ericaceous compost traditionally has always been
provided by peat. But peat bogs are becoming increasingly rare
and an awful lot of gardeners, like myself, now don't want to use peat,
particularly if we don't have to.
And there are very good alternatives.
You can have wool compost, you can have bracken compost,
you can have pine bark compost,
they all give you an ericaceous environment for plants to grow in.
You can see that that is a very shallow hole,
but when you see the roots, you'll realise why. There we go.
The roots on that are whiskery.
So if I place it like that
and then fill back around it and firm it in,
hopefully that will be strong enough to stop at toppling.
And you may have to stake it if it's a bit windy,
but on the other hand, you shouldn't plant it somewhere
where it's very exposed to wind.
Firm that in.
You do need to make sure that the drainage is good,
it doesn't sit in a puddle. I think that's going to stay put.
Right, before we have the ground revealed and release the fronds
to fall in what I hope will be a graceful and elegant arch,
I'm going to water it.
And I won't water it like I would do most plants.
When you water tree ferns, yes, you need to water them in
to a certain extent, but equally important
is to water the roots on the stem.
This will love being dripping wet.
The water just falls down to the roots, that's plenty.
Whenever it's dry, if it hasn't rained for two or three days,
come out and just give it a dousing like that.
Now, the big reveal.
Now you can see they've used horticultural fleece to tie it,
and this will need fleecing in winter,
but we'll come to that in October.
OK. There we are.
Dicksonia antarctica, hopefully making itself at home.
A touch of the exotic that will transform any garden.
But actually that's not what I want it to do here.
I want it to blend in and perhaps I can get
just a taste of that wonderful forest in New Zealand.
Now, obviously, we all get inspired when we visit places
and see plants and we want a little bit of them at home.
You don't have to go to New Zealand for that, of course,
you can visit gardens here in the UK and there will always be
something that will enrich your own gardening experience.
But sometimes they do more than that.
Sometimes they change your whole world view
and West Dean in Sussex is one of those.
Now, 25 years ago, it looked nothing like it does today.
It has been transformed by Sarah Wain and Jim Buckland.
And last July, we went and paid them a visit.
We returned to this country from Australia.
We were managing a gardening centre in West London
and this job came up and I just thought, well,
that's got it all, really.
And that's what we really want to do.
And that was in 1991.
When I first saw it, it looked sad.
-It looked sad, but with lots...
-Lots of potential, yeah.
You could see underneath that it had lots to offer,
it just needed revitalising and bringing out.
You could see how it would become...
I fixated on broken this, heaps of rubbish everywhere
and he just goes, "No, in five years' time,
"this is going to look terrific".
The major work initially was the walled garden.
While the restoration of the glasshouses was going on,
we were getting on with laying out the walled garden,
preparing the beds, planting the fruit,
a lot of research went on in the very early days
as to what we were going to grow.
-It was very exciting, I have to say.
Everything was changing all the time.
What was fantastic about then was whatever we did
was a big improvement on what was there. And it was all new.
We didn't want it to be a museum,
we wanted it to be a working walled kitchen garden.
We wanted to put the life back into it that had been there
at the turn of the 19th, 20th century and these places
were great powerhouses and incredibly innovative in their day
and we wanted to capture that and we wanted to make our mark.
The Harold Peto pergola was built in the early part
of the 20th century.
It was derelict when we came in as much as the '87 storm
had really fixed it good and proper.
And it was one of the first things that we restored
and then planted it up with roses and Clematis and vines
and used plants like Alchemilla and Hostas and ferns underneath
to just make it very lush in summer months.
After the walled garden,
the pergola is the thing probably that sticks in people's minds,
because it's very immediate.
And it's got that architectural structure.
We started growing chillies at West Dean in the early 1990s.
Jim went on a study tour to America and he went
to the Brooklyn chilli festival
and came back and said, "Why don't we grow some chillies?"
We eventually grew about 75 different varieties
and we thought, "Oh, we must put on a little show."
And it was just going to be a day affair,
a bit like a little fete and Gardeners' World came
and filmed our collection.
So we got this amazing publicity.
We were completely inundated with people and now
it's a three-day show and we're celebrating 21 years this year.
There's a lovely variety called Hungarian hot wax
and you can grill it, stuff it, pickle it, use it as a fresh chilli,
you could make chilli pastes out of it, it's very diverse
in what it offers you.
And it looks fantastic.
And although they're a culinary plant,
they're also highly ornamental and easy to grow,
which is a great thing.
I would always say use fresh compost,
it needs to be very free draining and we feed regularly,
maybe twice weekly and make sure you take all the old leaf litter off
all the time, because it can act as a sponge for fungal spores.
And don't forget to harvest.
If you let all the chillies just stay on the plant,
the plant will think, "I've done my duty,
"I don't need to produce any more."
So by harvesting them,
the plant will continue to flower and produce more fruit.
We came up with this notion of an ornamental fruit garden.
We've got around 100 varieties of apples,
something like 45 varieties of pear, 25 varieties of plum,
all grown in a very great diversity of ways.
And the object is - A - to be productive,
but perhaps for us more importantly to be beautiful.
Particularly the goblets and the four-winged pyramids
really do capture people's imagination.
I think the other great thing about these, as well as being beautiful,
they're very appropriate for contemporary modern small gardens.
You know, trained fruit is a great way of getting fruit into a garden
and by training them on the wall as espaliers or as cordons,
even if it's only a very modest crop,
at least you can go out there and pick one and nosh on it.
And they're beautiful.
I've always felt that one of our objectives is for people
to come here and leave here feeling better.
On the whole, that certainly seems to be the case.
But as we all know, a garden is a process, not an object,
so it goes forward, it moves on, it's dynamic.
So I'm proud to have sort of had the vision and have carried it out.
And been given the opportunity, we've been so well supported.
-We have. But it has been a love affair, hasn't it?
-I would say. I mean...
-And we don't have children.
Exactly. So this has been our baby
and we've poured all the energy into this place.
I do urge you to go to West Dean
at the earliest possible opportunity.
You can get all the details from our website.
And I love the hot borders in late summer.
And as a direct consequence decided to add much more orange
to the Jewel Garden and there is bound to be something
that you will see there and want to add to your own garden.
Come on, dogs.
This is the new fruit garden
that was dug just this winter and spring.
Now, it's not done too badly, but it has suffered,
as the whole garden has, really,
from terrible weather we've had for the last few weeks.
We've had really high winds,
we've had heavy rain and the whole place is feeling rather bruised.
But, nevertheless, the cordon apples,
which are growing around the edge
not doing too badly, they were hit by the late frost in April,
so if you've got fewer apples than normal this year,
don't worry, you're not alone, but my main concern is the currants.
I've got blackcurrants growing along here and as they're beginning
to ripen and you can see the fruit here is coming,
the birds will have them before we can, so I need to net them.
Now, you need protection, but you don't need a fancy fruit cage,
they're fine and I've had them in the past and they're great,
but they are expensive and quite a fiddle to put up,
you can do something much more temporary.
I'm just simply going to put in some posts,
put a flowerpot on the top and then drape netting over
and for the next month or so, that's all this will need.
But the critical thing is to do it before the fruit ripen,
because what happens, of course, is you say,
"Oh, I'll do that this weekend."
And the weekend comes and you go out there
and the blackbirds have taken the lot.
You do need to get on and do this quickly.
Blackcurrants grow really well on this rich clay loam.
They are the only currant that needs as much food as you can give it.
Whereas gooseberries and redcurrants and white currants
are much tougher and more adaptable than that,
but if you're growing blackcurrants,
give them sun and give them really rich soil.
Blackcurrants, of course, have a very distinctive taste
and make a wonderful sauce,
but, for me, they are indispensable
as the true taste of summer when made into summer pudding.
Nothing could be simpler.
You line a pudding basin with slightly stale white bread,
then you boil up the blackcurrants,
maybe some redcurrants, and a few raspberries.
Pour them into the basin. Seal it over with more bread,
put it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Then you take it out,
tip it onto a plate and the bread will be marbled with the juices,
you slice into it and you get this flow of rich, dark, fruity juice.
And eaten with single cream is just heaven.
The taste of summer.
I want to just cut them to the same size,
so if we go off the smallest one
which is the height of my nose,
So on this one...
I bought these pots so I can put them on top like that...
..to support the nets.
There we go.
That is all the easy bit.
Now you're going to watch one man struggle to put a net up
on his own without becoming a terrible tangle.
Well, it's a bit Heath Robinson, but it'll do the job.
One thing I would say is whatever you're using in the way of netting,
try and keep it as taught as you can and that will stop birds getting
tangled into it and then when we've harvested the currants,
which will be in a few weeks' time,
all this can be taken away.
But by and large, you don't need to construct elaborate defences
to protect your flowers or your crops.
A healthy garden has an ecosystem which has a relationship
between pests and predators that balances itself out.
And Nick Bailey's been to Oxford to look at the intriguing
relationship between one particular pest and its predator.
A sign of pest activity can be this
happening right at the base of the plant.
What appears at first glance to be whitefly are in actual fact
aphid exoskeletons, the discarded bodies or husks of aphids
are happening further up in the plant.
If we look higher up here, you can see the flower buds
are absolutely smothered in active aphids sucking sap out of the plant
and dripping honeydew all the way down these stems.
These tiny savages have evolved to be extraordinarily successful.
They can decimate a plant in no time at all.
In fact, a single female left to her own devices
can produce the equivalent of a metric tonne of aphids
in just one season.
Tempting as it may be to introduce chemicals to deal with garden pests,
those chemicals can actually be really damaging to the ecosystem
and, in fact, your garden is already full of miniature combatants
ready to take on the battle.
Dr Chris Jeffs of Oxford University
has a biological solution to garden pests.
As a horticulturalist, of course, I totally geek out about plants.
But your interest in the outside world is a little bit different.
Well, everybody sees plants first thing,
that's what smacks you in the eye,
but when you look a bit closer, there's all these tiny little things
that are darting around.
And that's what really got me fascinated
by the outdoor world is there is so much more going on
than you think there is.
And your particular interest is in the parasitoid wasp.
Yeah, definitely, they're useful to everybody
and that's the appeal to me.
We're researching and we're studying
something that is useful to everybody.
So what's the most obvious way that they help gardeners?
How they help gardeners? So everybody's probably
had the greenfly and blackfly on their crops.
These parasitoids get rid of those pest problems for you
or reduce them.
And so the key to bringing in these parasitoids
is about getting the right plants, so what would you recommend?
Well, this one, this one is exactly perfect, actually.
So this is fennel and it's exactly what we're looking for
for parasitoids. You've got lots of clusters of very small
little flowers and they're like open little plates for parasitoids.
Because unlike bumblebees, they don't have the really long tongue
to go down tubular flowers, these are tiny little things,
so they really do need these open dishes of flowers to go for.
And I guess that would work across all the Apiaceae species,
so things like coriander or cow parsley
-or any of the ornamental garden umbels.
So this one's ideal.
This is an Asteraceae, so these have oodles of nectar
for parasitoids as well.
So, really, it's ideal,
because it's not just a beautiful garden ornamental,
it's also nectar and a food source
-for these super-useful parasitoid wasps.
So it's about being savvy with your garden.
You're planting for us to look nice,
but you're also giving some food to these wasps
-and they can be useful to you as a result.
Hey, James, you all right?
I'm curious to see how parasitoid wasps can help us gardeners
tackle the aphid menace,
so we've set up a macro studio to see them in action.
This is our first close-up of a parasitoid wasp.
I mean, this looks huge on the screen,
what sort of size is this in reality?
It's just a few millimetres.
So you'd probably barely see it in the garden.
It's only when you know about them that you really start to notice them
and that's what I like about them,
it's this little hidden world that you have going on here.
-So can you see its antennae at the front?
So it's trying to sense the chemicals emitted by the aphids,
so it's going through a few dead ones here,
it's coming closer to one of the live...
-Oh, can you see, the aphid just kicked.
-Oh, wow, it knows.
-It knows the wasp is there, that's it defending.
So it's like - "Get away, get away, get away." It's kicking it.
And the wasp is just marauding around,
it's just trying to find its first victim. The aphid...
-Can you see...?
-Its abdomen is right underneath it there.
The ovipositor, the sting that it lays its eggs with
is coming right underneath it, look...
-Got it... Did you see?
-That was it then? Job done.
-Yep, yep, it's so quick,
they are so quick at what they do.
It's going for another one now, another one.
Oh, it's going for the kids...
So once the egg has been deposited, how long is the life cycle?
How long is it before the aphid's killed?
About two to three weeks, just under a month,
that kind of thing, from egg to emerging as a new wasp.
-That is the developing wasp.
-Oh, my God, that is repulsive.
It's repulsive, but useful.
Gruesome, but they're so effective at what they do, yeah?
That's the wasp wriggling around inside...
It's huge. I mean, that's revolting.
It's a living larder,
it's basically eating it from the inside,
whilst it's still alive.
Nothing can survive that, right? Being hollowed out from the inside?
It's amazing that aphid's still moving. Extraordinary.
How many could they attack in a day?
Well, each of them can lay 200 to 300 eggs
over the course of their lifetime,
so, if you're releasing them into your glasshouse
and you've got 100 or 200 of them, that's big, big numbers.
-That's thousands and thousands of aphids being taken out.
-Brilliant, it's such a good solution.
It's such a good solution.
Well, that may look pretty brutal,
but it's one wasp that we can all welcome to our gardens.
Well, umbellifers are great for attracting predatory wasps,
but they're beautiful, too,
and I like to grow as many as possible.
But none are better than this.
This is Ammi majus.
And I sow it in September,
overwinter the plants in the cold frame,
then plant them out in early April.
The only problem with them is that they are irresistible to rabbits.
They are a member of the carrot family after all.
But if they can avoid the rabbits,
they grew up, good and tall, four, five feet tall
and will flower this lovely, lacy inflorescence.
Perfect here in the Writing Garden.
Now, Flo Headlam has been visiting gardens that either used by
or have meaning within a community.
And this week, she returns to Lewisham to a garden
that's not only important to the community that it serves,
but also has real meaning to Flo herself.
I'm in Lewisham.
I know it like the back of my hand, I grew up here.
It's all really familiar, including this place - St Mary's Church.
But it's round the back of the church
where things get really interesting for gardeners like me.
Hello, everyone, thank you for coming again.
-Good morning, are we all well?
Earlier this year, I dug the first turf
to help transform the churchyard into a therapeutic garden
for the wider community.
Today, I'm joining them for their fourth day building the garden.
Flo, it's great to have you back,
-we've got lots of work for you to do.
-It's great to be back.
-I'm keen, I'm ready.
-Good stuff. Right, let's get going.
Gardens like this can be a great place for people to socialise,
but one regular to the church, Marion Watson,
realised that this plot could be more than just a communal garden.
Tell me, where did the vision start?
Ah, well, I've worshipped at St Mary's Church
all my adult life.
And I have walked through this churchyard virtually every day.
And I've looked at this area,
it was just rather forlorn and at the same time,
in the church, we became very aware that people from the Ladywell Unit,
now that's one of five mental health hospitals
-which are part of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.
And people would come. And it's just next door, over the wall here.
They would be coming into church and we sort of just knew
there was probably something more, some other way we might be able
to help and they said, "Gardening."
So we designed it to be a therapeutic garden,
where people can get a terrific sense of mental wellbeing
David Lloyd has had the challenge of designing a garden
in an old churchyard.
So what were the key elements in the design for this therapeutic garden?
So we had to make it feel very safe and we had to make people
feel kind of quite sort of enclosed once they'd got in.
Another aspect was we wanted a bit of a flow through the garden
to get the local community in.
So we've made the woodland area very lush and very green
and very inviting.
And then it leads through to the perennial meadow area
where we've done great big swathes of planting.
And they lead naturally down into the wild flower meadow
and that's quite interesting from a mental health recovery view.
It acts as a bit of a metaphor where during winter, it's dry
and it's dead and barren
and then during spring, you get a bit of growth
and by summer, you've got a blaze of colour.
And it shows that even if things seem really bleak, there is hope.
In one corner of the half-acre site,
they are creating three raised vegetable beds
which will be used for regular therapy sessions.
David has introduced a sustainable way of creating compost,
known as hugelkultur.
The wood will rot down over quite a few years,
10 years or so, and it's a little bit like compost.
We're putting green stuff in to activate the wood
and it'll rot down and then the plants will be able to
-access the nutrients that release from it.
So actually all the cuttings and clippings that you've taken off
from the garden, you can just recycle?
Yeah, and these would have been waste otherwise.
We had a big pile in. We were going to have to get a skip
-to get them taken away.
-So it does a really good
dual-purpose where we can just dump it all in here,
forget about it and it will fertilise our veg
-for a couple of years to come.
-Brilliant, so you can actually
-do this at home?
-Yeah, you can do it in any sort of raised bed.
-You can even do it straight into the ground, if you want.
And you can use wood chippings.
So you probably wouldn't do it with an annual border,
but you would do it with veg because you're going to be taking
a lot of the nutrients out.
It's just the high nutrient demand stuff that you need to do.
Ella Perkins has created the planting for the three
perennial meadows with a sense of wellbeing in mind.
Where does the therapy come from in terms of the plants and the users?
So, we've got a limited colour palette just to keep it calm.
We've got different textures as well, different scents.
So we've got the geranium at the moment, which is really nice,
and there's a couple of different geraniums.
And later on when the grass is established,
there'll be that sound element as well.
And quite tactile, you know?
Often you want to touch grasses when you see them.
Absolutely, yeah, run your fingers through it.
So, over the seasons, the bed will change.
Now we've got the salvia flowering,
next maybe the verbena will come and the echinops.
So it evolves and shifts and changes.
-I guess like people's moods as well.
-Very nice, very pleasing and very calming.
Ever since I was in hospital,
it's been something that's really helped with recovery.
It's meant that it really focuses me and makes me be here in the moment.
You don't really understand until you're in it that the
actual touching of the green leaves and the smelling of the flowers...
We've a plant over there, a rose bush,
that smells like old roses and Marilyn Monroe
and it's just amazing!
It gives you that sense...
Some of the earth under your fingers when you go home -
it just gives you that sense of being connected with something
again and also, I suppose as you do it for longer,
you actually make those connections and bonds with your fellow gardeners
and I never thought I'd describe myself as a gardener.
I don't know how that's happened!
-What do you think of the garden?
-It is beautiful.
Now I retire and my age - what I'll do in the future when it's
finished, I'll just bring my packed lunch
-and my drink and my book...
-..and just come and sit and read and eat.
-And enjoy my retirement.
We love it, all of us.
-As I said, we're one big community.
-Yeah. And we look after each other.
-Yeah, we do.
I've had a great day working with this wonderful community.
And what could be more therapeutic than that?
There's no question that gardening is a great healer.
It heals physically, mentally and also socially.
It binds communities.
And long may that last.
Now, Carol is celebrating her plant of the month.
The month of June sees our gardens awash with glorious perennials.
It's really difficult to choose a favourite,
but perhaps the star of the show is the geranium.
The geranium family is large and varied.
Most come from the northern hemisphere,
where they're found in almost every kind of habitat.
The great majority of them are completely hardy.
There are certain characteristics that all geraniums have in common.
The most obvious, perhaps, is their leaves.
They're always palmate, just like your hand, made up of five lobes.
And then there are the flowers -
they all have five petals.
And those petals are not joined at the base,
they're completely separate.
And the colour range within geraniums is right the way
from white, to pinks, magentas, blues,
but it doesn't contain any of those fiery colours.
Geraniums take their name from geranos,
the Greek for a crane, and you can see why.
If you look at the seed pod
with this great extended rostrum here,
it looks just like that bird's head.
This is in fact a really clever device for distributing seed.
And at its base, are clustered five seeds right the way round it.
Those seeds are green at the moment but eventually they ripen to brown.
At this stage, this rostrum divides into five separate pieces
and each one curls up with its seed contained within it, and it thrusts
the seeds into the air, catapults them here and there and all around.
So they come up as new plants. It's a really brilliant mechanism.
Flowering from late spring through to autumn, hardy geraniums have got
to be some of the most hard-working plants in our gardens.
They're a doddle to grow,
not usually fussy about where they put down roots,
but it's worth adding organic matter when you're planting,
and perhaps some grit as well if your soil's on the heavy side.
There are several different methods to make more geraniums.
Probably the easiest of them is from seed.
There are a few geraniums that are sterile and just don't produce
any seed, but the great majority do.
And these are some that I collected from
Geranium pratense, the meadow cranesbill.
When you're collecting your seed, take your cue from Mother Nature.
Keep a watchful eye on them and when you see those seed pods
starting to turn brown and the first ones beginning to catapult,
here, there and everywhere, move in with your paper bags.
You can actually put the paper bag over the top and tie it round with
a bit of string and wait for them to explode in the bag.
These have been stored since last year.
But they last for quite a long time. They're quite big seeds.
So if you've got a half seed tray like this,
you can actually station sow them.
You can see where each of those seeds is going and you can
space them out properly.
And I'm not going to push them down, press them in or anything.
All I'm going to do is cover them with grit.
And they should germinate in a matter of weeks.
You don't need any extra heat,
you don't need to put them in a propagator or anything,
just on a greenhouse bench, or even just outside.
There's another way of propagating some geraniums.
This works particularly well for forms of Geranium sanguineum -
the bloody cranesbill.
These geraniums live often in very sandy soils
just below the surface of the soil.
Thick roots run around
and you can exploit that by digging a few of them up,
chopping them up in chunks and turning them into root cuttings.
I've got a couple of nice, hefty pieces here.
Now, you'd normally do this during the dormant season from, sort of,
November right the way through to March,
but it will work at any time of year.
The thing is, you don't really want to disturb your plants but if
I just take a couple of these pieces off like this, and if you
look at this, it's got nodules all the way along the surface.
And each one of those is capable of making
a new shoot and producing new roots to keep it going.
So you just chop it up in chunks, probably a couple of inches,
five centimetres or so along and then you lay those chunks
on top of a seed tray or a pot full of gritty compost,
a bit of grit on the top of them to weight them down.
Although it looks like three little bits of root now,
that's potentially three new geraniums.
There's no more dependable or useful all rounder in the garden
than a geranium.
One of the most widely used of all cranesbills
are forms of Geranium oxonianum.
Invariably, their flowers are some shade of mouthwatering pink.
This cranesbill, Geranium Anne Thomson,
spreads out to make a healthy mound, about a metre across.
Because it's a sterile hybrid, there's no reason
for it to stop flowering and it produces its gorgeous
magenta flowers, with distinctive black eyes, for months on end.
There was a time when geraniums fell out of fashion,
upstaged by the latest trendy plants.
But you can't keep a good classic down.
Geraniums are back and this is their time - June.
Well, now certainly is the time to see most geraniums at their best,
but there is one here in the Jewel Garden which is past its best.
This is Geranium phaeum.
It's a British native, very good in shade.
It's perfect moment is the end of May, the very beginning of June.
Now, it's rapidly setting to seed and if I cut it back hard,
that will A, allow room to put other planting in -
which I wouldn't be able to fit in amongst all the foliage -
and B, give it a chance to regrow later in summer.
It seems harsh, but you do need to cut right back to the ground.
You can see it has got long stems and these can flock and spread.
As Carol said, June is the month when most geraniums
are at their best, and I've got a new one that I want to plant
not here in the Jewel Garden, but to add to the Cottage Garden.
Coming, Nige? Yeah, good boy.
I've done a bit of clearing in the Cottage Garden already,
so I've got some space to add Geranium 'Rozanne'.
Now, this was an accidental hybrid and its great virtue
is these lovely flowers that go on and on from now
right through to the autumn.
And the colour is perfect for this soft mix that we've got here
in the Cottage Garden.
So, I'm going to put three of them,
one in there and one there and one there, and they will form an
understory which will match against the yellows and
the pinks around them.
One of the joys of hardy geraniums is that they are unbelievably
easy to grow.
They're just not too demanding, but give back a huge amount.
And this will make a mound about three-foot high and three-foot wide.
When you're buying plants like this from a garden centre,
don't be seduced by the ones that are covered with flower,
because that means they put out a lot of energy.
It's just as good to have a plant like this, that doesn't have
any flower on it, so when it grows in your garden,
then it will produce the flowers for you.
Just look for a nice, strong plant.
And again, don't be frightened to take it out of its pot and
have a look at the roots.
And this is a really nice plant.
It got a good root system, it's not rootbound,
plenty of top growth -
an excellent plant.
And, as we've seen, if it does get too big or too intrusive,
geraniums will take any amount of cutting back.
They want to be convenient,
they want to do well for you.
Right, there is Rozanne in place.
Give them a water and there's nothing else I'm going to
have to do to these until the end of the season.
Now, Rozanne is sterile, so it won't set seed, but, as Carol showed
I'll be able to take root cuttings later on in the year.
And, I always defer to Carol, because there is nobody that knows
more about herbaceous perennials than she does.
It's fantastic having her knowledge.
And, on the other side of the coin,
we've got the design knowledge of Joe and Adam.
This week, Adam is visiting a private garden in London that's
long and narrow, and deconstructing the secrets of its design
so that we can apply them to our own gardens.
Do you know, as a garden designer I'm always looking for ideas
and inspiration, and I say to people, "Do you know what?
"It's all around you, you just have to look."
It might be a piece of architecture or a piece of art,
but the one thing I really love doing is looking around
gardens that have been created by amateurs, because those are
the ones that I think you see those sort of cracking design ideas in.
The garden of this terrace house is a little bit of paradise in
a really busy South London suburb.
It's well planted,
but also has this wonderful array of pots and architectural elements.
It's the brainchild of antiques dealer Will Fisher.
He moved here ten years ago and knew that designing the garden,
which is just 25 feet wide and 125 feet long,
would be a real challenge.
So, give us an idea, actually, how it started?
So I started off doing the landscaping, really.
The pond was the foundation of it.
This was a sort of lost space, in a way, out here.
And I wanted to just create something that made sense
of this area.
So, we started by digging this pond and the rest
just sort of spread from here.
You need a journey here, so how did you work it back towards the house?
I think it started to make sense when the wall went in.
You sort of got a feeling that it could be breaking it into
distinctly different areas, like room settings.
-Because, before, it was just like a very long landing strip.
-Inspiration for borders...
..because you've actually linked colours together really nicely.
-That was the first trip I ever did to a flower show...
..which was a massive eye-opener and inspiration.
I, literally, didn't know what an allium was before going there.
Didn't know when the bulbs should go in, tried to buy them then,
was told, "No, you can't buy them now, you've got to wait till..."
You know, it was that sort of learning curve.
And others, just going to garden centres and it being as simple as,
"I like that, I like that, I like that," and trying to muddle them
together, but knowing nothing about soil, nothing about how big
they grew - just that I had a sort of vision in mind of colour scheme.
So, where's your favourite place in the garden to be?
-It has to be here.
I absolutely love it.
Which, I know there's less plants, and things like the moss growing
on there, it just...
It's a dream, you know. I mean, it really is.
There are so many design ideas in this garden,
and I really like Will's approach.
The obvious thing would have been to plant buxus all the way down here,
but this is sarcococca, which has got beautiful winter scent.
And I always say to people, if you're going to plant winter scent,
put it near the house, because you're not going to walk
to the end of your garden in the middle of winter just to smell something.
And I actually think the scent would hold in this area
for so much of the winter.
Just a great little idea.
Do you know, when Will actually got here, he just had a long,
thin garden and all he's done actually, in reality,
is break it into a series of rectangles.
So, you come up into the first space, it's nice, it's intimate.
There's a big block of planting,
so that instantly makes us feel comfortable.
But then, there's a seat here.
And what's nice is, actually, the moment I sit on the seat,
I've got a fantastic stone trough, that I don't see coming up,
planted with ferns and it's lovely.
But, as I sit down, it feels secluded,
because what's happened is the planting in this border
has really brought it in and made it feel comfortable.
The clever bit is the depth of the border.
It's got fantastic structure and it's got life with the alliums
and the cirsium.
But it's the structural planting that interests me,
because we start with the prunus. Clipped and tight.
And then the holly sits in the background and it actually
picks up the spire.
Then, as I get up, and I go through,
there's lovely little stepping stones,
they lead me through into another space.
At the moment, it's a nice piece of rectangular lawn, which is great.
The kids play here at the moment, but, actually, with time,
as the family evolves and changes, this area can change,
and I think that's a really important and clever thing to do.
But, all the time I'm in here, I'm getting that little glimpse,
and I'm getting pulled through into the next room.
Wow. This is something special.
To be drawn to the end of your garden and arrive here is fantastic.
It's a really brave piece of design, because you would not have
thought of putting a water feature this big in this space.
What he's done is used the landscape that sits outside
the garden, we designers call it the borrowed landscape,
and he's got this church, which is that fantastic focal point,
but it's the way that he's connected this with that church.
It's a simple, rendered block wall at the back of the garden,
not that expensive to build, but the way that it's been detailed
and painted, it connects with the church.
And then, you look at the boundaries and he's gone big, he's gone bold.
They're heavily planted, so that you can't see fences,
you can't see walls, and it makes the whole place feel bigger.
You don't quite know where this garden finishes.
What I really like about this garden is, yeah,
it deals well with space and it's a nice piece of design,
but it's the antique detail that works all the way through.
That adds a real charm and it reflects Will's personality.
And, for me, that's what gardens should be about.
They should be about you and your personality.
I certainly believe in the very basic but incredibly
effective trick of dividing long gardens into squares and rectangles.
Barriers across them always make them more interesting -
and they seem bigger, too.
But you need plenty of space if you're going to grow pumpkins
and squashes. So, this year, I'm going to grow them up supports.
I have tried that before and it sort of worked,
but I think I can crack it this time.
But, however grow them, whether you grow them laterally or vertically,
they do need a really good start in life.
These are greedy, hungry plants.
They need warmth, they need water and they need food.
Now, this soil is good, but not good enough.
So, into that...
Now, the compost is providing nourishment, but also,
equally important, it will help the soil hold moisture -
and that is absolutely vital.
The first I'm going to put in is a variety called Musquee de Provence.
Lovely, slightly glaucous-blue pumpkin.
And it's quite small now, but it will get substantially bigger.
Now, the last few years,
pumpkins and squashes have suffered from lack of heat in July.
Whereas courgettes, which are also members of the cucurbit family,
have done really well.
Courgettes are much better if it's colder.
I plant pumpkins and squashes in a saucer,
so that when you water them, all the water focuses in on the roots.
That means that they are going to get the drink
that they absolutely need.
You need to leave at least a yard between plants,
because they need to spread.
And, I'll put in good, strong supports in a week or so,
but they'll be OK until they really start growing.
Now, it's hard to imagine,
but there might be somebody out there who doesn't want to
grow a pumpkin, so here are some other jobs you can do this weekend.
Morello cherries should be pruned now, before the fruit is ripe.
This is because next year's crop will be produced
on this year's shoots.
So, prune away anything that you don't want,
tying in those stems that you want to keep.
What you should have left is a good framework,
ready to carry next year's harvest.
It's time to start planning for next year's display of wallflowers.
Sprinkle the seed thinly on a seed tray of compost,
cover them with some grit and either water them from above,
or soak them for about half an hour,
and then they can be put to one side to germinate.
When you have wet, warm weather,
it's not at all uncommon for roses to become trapped within an
outer shell of dried petals, and this is known as balling.
You can often retrieve the situation by gently prising apart
these outer petals to release the flower within.
And don't worry if occasionally the whole thing falls off -
just deadhead it and a new flower will grow in its place.
This new area is being planted up with officinalis plants,
and it's already acquiring a sort of sense of place
and nice to come and sit and have a cup of tea out here -
although I have to say, the weather has been a bit variable.
Not an awful lot of sitting outside has gone on,
so let's see what is in store for us gardeners this weekend.
I'm removing the thalictrum from the box hedges.
Now, thalictrum is handsome plant, it's good lovely, glaucous leaves.
Sometimes has a chocolaty colour to the stem
and topped with this lemon fluffy flower.
You might think I would be extremely glad to have it.
And in the right place, I am.
I've got it elsewhere in the garden and it's a welcome visitor.
But here, it's the wrong colour and it's too far in the front.
It's forming a screen.
And there is no question that the right plant in the wrong place
can become simply the wrong plant, and has to go.
However, I am cutting them back,
and so they will return next year.
But that's it for today.
Now, next week, we are back on our normal day of Friday,
but there's a new time of nine o'clock.
So I'll see you back here at Longmeadow
next Friday at 9pm.
Until then, bye-bye.
Monty Don adds a touch of the exotic to the damp garden by planting a tree fern and protects his new soft fruit garden from feathered predators with netting.
Carol Klein selects hardy geraniums as her June Plant of the Month, Flo Headlam visits a church garden in Lewisham that feeds both the mind and body, while Nick Bailey gets a fascinating insight into parasitoid wasps and their positive impact on our gardens.
Adam Frost continues to explore the intricacies of innovative garden design by looking at a small town garden in London, and we meet the husband-and-wife team behind the glorious, 25-year-long restoration of West Dean Gardens in Sussex.