Episode 16 Gardeners' World


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Episode 16

Monty Don gives advice on pruning summer flowering shrubs and plans for autumn flowers. He also visits Dublin to find out how Helen Dillon is progressing in her new garden.


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The vegetable garden is going through

:00:10.:00:14.

when the early crops like peas and broad beans and the first lettuces

:00:15.:00:20.

are going over, but later crops, like pumpkins and sweetcorn,

:00:21.:00:25.

So you get these odd bits of ground that are left open.

:00:26.:00:30.

I haven't got plants ready to put in for next winter,

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and this is where green manure can be really useful.

:00:36.:00:40.

Green manure is simply a crop of some kind

:00:41.:00:44.

that you grow solely to enrich the ground.

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At this time of year there are some very quick ones

:00:48.:00:50.

that you can turn round in a couple of months,

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like red clover that I'm going to put in here.

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And very easy to sow, you just rake the ground over

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And that piece of ground is looked after and will be enriched

:00:59.:01:21.

until I want to use it for a crop of my choice.

:01:22.:01:30.

Rachel discovers the secret life of plants and how they use scent

:01:31.:01:36.

We visit a national collection of wisteria in Cumbria.

:01:37.:01:45.

on transforming a neglected front garden.

:01:46.:01:53.

And we'll also be visiting the man who saved the dahlia.

:01:54.:01:57.

to revisit one of my gardening heroes.

:01:58.:02:17.

It's that time of year when you need to think about summer pruning.

:02:18.:02:21.

and we'll come to that in a few weeks' time.

:02:22.:02:26.

But certain spring-flowering shrubs need pruning about now, too.

:02:27.:02:31.

There are two types of spring-flowering shrubs -

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those that produce their flowers on new wood

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and those that produce their flowers on old wood.

:02:38.:02:41.

So buddleias produce their flowers on new wood,

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which means you can cut them back as hard as you like in early spring.

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like philadelphus or lilac, that produce their flowers

:02:48.:02:52.

on growth that was made the previous summer.

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I've got a couple of philadelphus here in the orchard beds.

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has got all its flowers at a lower level,

:02:59.:03:02.

And this year's growth, the new growth,

:03:03.:03:10.

But, hopefully, this will carry with the spurs that come off it

:03:11.:03:15.

And so I'll have them up here and they'll be glorious.

:03:16.:03:19.

So I don't need to prune that at all.

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However, the matching philadelphus on this side

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and I don't want it to hide the amelanchier.

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What I'm looking for is a lower shrub,

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In fact, there's an awful lot of growth down at the base,

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which is spreading across, covering that geranium,

:03:44.:03:46.

I want a bit of free air round the bottom.

:03:47.:03:52.

you can cut back to the base of a shoot.

:03:53.:03:58.

That will stimulate regrowth that will not bear any flowers next year.

:03:59.:04:03.

when the last few flowers are fading,

:04:04.:04:08.

Now I'm just going to tip it back a little bit...

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So, if I remove some of this new growth,

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that should create side shoots to give me flowering.

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And you can see I'm never pruning in the middle between two leaves.

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Because otherwise, this would just die back.

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And any tissue that dies back is much more prone to infection.

:04:34.:04:40.

I think that's going to create a shape that will suit this particular

:04:41.:04:44.

position really well and give me some flowers next year.

:04:45.:04:48.

and they're really good as part of a border.

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But also, lots of them have fabulous scent.

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can fill the evening air with a musky, rich fragrance.

:05:01.:05:08.

But that fragrance is not designed for our delectation.

:05:09.:05:13.

Rachel has been to discover how plants communicate

:05:14.:05:17.

and how understanding this process can help us do our bit

:05:18.:05:22.

Healthy populations of native plants and wildlife are key to the success

:05:23.:05:36.

Well, the answer can be found right here in a back garden in Kent.

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This meadow of 100 species of native plants,

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and 1,000 trees, was planted by Dr Mike Copland,

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who studies insects and their relationship with the environment.

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It's extraordinary and very beautiful.

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rather than a more conventional garden?

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I felt that Kent didn't have enough wildlife areas

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and I'd like to try to achieve something of my own

:06:12.:06:14.

which would have lots of insects in it.

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One of the things we wanted to do was to look at

:06:19.:06:21.

what was already growing in this little area of Kent,

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That would be the starting point for the sort of species we could have.

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The more I look around me, the more I can see,

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and the fact that it's teeming with life.

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What exactly have you got growing here?

:06:38.:06:41.

Well, things like the meadowsweet here,

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And then we're going to go into yellows and the purples,

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from the knapweeds and thistles and so on.

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So...there's a change every couple of weeks.

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It's like being in a different meadow.

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An ever-changing scene. Yes. And different insects to go with it.

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The meadow is doing so well because of the way native insects are

:07:06.:07:09.

that's vital for the health of the ecosystem here.

:07:10.:07:18.

Every plant in the world is giving off some kind of scents

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A complex scent is made up of lots of volatile molecules,

:07:23.:07:27.

and are picked up by insects which are passing by,

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They've certainly been heading towards this nettle.

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Well, if we look on the underneath of these leaves here,

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And on some of the leaves, we'll see some little predators, as well.

:07:48.:07:54.

Plants use volatiles to attract predators,

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rallying the troops to bring aphids under control.

:07:58.:08:00.

But although unwanted by many gardeners,

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In the case of aphids, they're sucking the plant's sap

:08:03.:08:08.

and they're dribbling out some of that sticky honeydew

:08:09.:08:12.

Now, these almost can be viewed as sort of the garages

:08:13.:08:18.

which fuel the flight of all the other insects in this habitat.

:08:19.:08:23.

So, if you're looking at the most important plants,

:08:24.:08:26.

they're the ones that support a good population of aphids.

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So, at this moment, all these plants in this meadow

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are giving off their own specific... Yes, yes. ..volatile.

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So, each of the 100 species have all got their own conversation going on

:08:38.:08:40.

and pulling them in in one way or another.

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I'll certainly never look at a nettle in the same way again.

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Mike has a device that will show insects being drawn

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Pollen beetles are placed in a Perspex arena

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into which clean air is sucked via four tubes at each corner.

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But the air flowing into the top right corner

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takes a detour via a jar of meadowsweet.

:09:11.:09:13.

So, will the pollen beetle sense the volatiles

:09:14.:09:16.

Now, it must be said that we are outside

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and normally this will be done in a lab. Right.

:09:22.:09:24.

Give a little bit of time for the air to come in from that bottle.

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And then we should start to see the beetles appear

:09:34.:09:36.

to be making a choice which accumulates them

:09:37.:09:38.

So, how are they sensing the volatiles?

:09:39.:09:43.

They have a little sensilla on their antenna

:09:44.:09:49.

which are responding to these volatiles

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which make up the scent given off by the flower.

:09:53.:09:55.

Instead of walking in straight lines and walking quite quickly,

:09:56.:10:03.

they'll begin to turn and spend more time in that area.

:10:04.:10:07.

And they're sort of intensively looking for that plant.

:10:08.:10:10.

They know that it's there and they're looking for it.

:10:11.:10:13.

So how important is it really for all of us

:10:14.:10:26.

we're at risk of losing some of them.

:10:27.:10:34.

Gardens like this have a valuable role to play,

:10:35.:10:38.

although you might see a butterfly, or something like that,

:10:39.:10:41.

heading towards some non-native sort of yellow flower, or something,

:10:42.:10:45.

but it won't be the right kind of chemicals in that nectar

:10:46.:10:48.

They really need to be provided with the native flowers.

:10:49.:10:56.

What should people be growing if they want something

:10:57.:10:58.

that's attractive, ornamental, as well as being obviously a native?

:10:59.:11:02.

We've got Bird's foot trefoil there,

:11:03.:11:04.

which is a food plant of some of the blue butterflies.

:11:05.:11:07.

I would definitely plant some of the inula over there.

:11:08.:11:09.

try to scrape off the topsoil to a depth of two to three inches

:11:10.:11:19.

You end up with that soil being able to support

:11:20.:11:26.

a great many species of our wild flowers.

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And mowing it for the first year or so, just like a lawn,

:11:30.:11:33.

but it won't kill the plants - they'll all be there,

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but they'll have a chance of getting their roots in and well established.

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Within five years, you should have something quite interesting.

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You are really tuned in to the detail.

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You spot the insects straight away. And you're sort of...

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You're focusing on that and I wonder if that's something perhaps

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Yeah, I think so. I would like to see kids

:11:51.:11:54.

encouraged to do things with insects.

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And there's a trend, I think, in the last 20 years for,

:11:57.:12:00.

"No, don't pick flowers and don't collect insects."

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Well, no, you gain people who are going to protect them in the future.

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So I think we want to have more people being interested in insects

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and understanding the huge diversity we have here.

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I do think that whole area is so fascinating,

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because of course, it's not just about pollination.

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and, it seems, over really mind-bogglingly distances, too.

:12:36.:12:43.

Well, certainly, I don't know a lot about how scent is produced,

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but I do know that I absolutely love the fragrance of sweet peas.

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And I can't really have too many of them under normal circumstances,

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and of course, this year, my son is getting married at the end of July

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and we're growing sweet peas for the wedding.

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You can see they're all-white. This is White Supreme.

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So I'm trying to manage the picking of them

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so that we have peak sweet pea at the end of July.

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And there are two ways you can manage them.

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and that will give you a regular but limited supply.

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preferably all of them, about every ten days.

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And that stimulates them to a massive re-flowering.

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So for the wedding, what I want to do now is clear all our sweet peas.

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And then I can do one more pick and hopefully we'll fill the place with

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Finally, what I do when I pick sweet peas

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is carry a bucket of water with you, stick the sweet peas in as you go

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and then when the bucket is full, you put it somewhere cool

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and that means you don't have to deal with them,

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ie cut them to size and put them in vases, until it suits you.

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I always try and have a succession of climbers in the garden,

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so now sweet peas are doing really well

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and the rambling roses are just finishing

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and then the late-flowering clematis will follow on later.

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And preceding all of these were the wisteria.

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Now, I've got two very young plants that I planted on the mound.

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But back in May, we went up to Cumbria to visit Fiona Butcher,

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who has a national collection of wonderful wisteria.

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They have scent, big, long droopy flowers, romance...

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there was a derelict cottage and it was entirely purple.

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The whole thing. The wisteria grew up the side,

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up the front of the house, over the roof

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and down the other side and it was just purple.

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And that was it. I was just in love.

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I thought, "I'm going to have to have one of these in the garden."

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of around 40 different varieties and species of wisteria.

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My favourites are the double-flowered

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And also Wisteria floribunda 'Kuchi-beni'.

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Any new green tendrils, cut them off.

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Because otherwise, you end up with a straggly plant.

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If you cut them, they produce lots of flowers on short bracks,

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Wisteria will take over the world unless you prune them.

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The garden is... It's not tiny, but it's not massive,

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So my aim has always been to have smaller plants.

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I first saw a photograph of a bonsai wisteria in a bonsai book.

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And I just thought, "I'm going to have to have that."

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And then, I read more about air layering

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and it kind of progressed from there.

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Air layering is a method of propagation

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whereby you're basically making a mature flowering plant

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First of all, you cut round the bark with a knife,

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about an inch in length along the branch.

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Cut the outside of the bark off so you've got the inside bark showing.

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Then you coat that in rooting powder,

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Wrap it in moss and tie it up with string,

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so you've got, like, a little moss parcel.

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You need to make sure that the moss is not too wet and not too dry.

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because it encourages the small roots to grow,

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which are the important part of the plant.

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Air layering is better for producing a flowering plant quickly.

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You've got, basically, a mature flowering plant

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Then you tie, very tightly, some clear plastic round it,

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and then you cover it with either silver foil or black plastic to stop

:18:05.:18:11.

light getting in, so that it will grow roots.

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You do it in June or July, just after flowering's finished.

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And that's it. Leave it for ten months and... Ta-da!

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I couldn't believe it when it worked, the first time,

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I could not believe it. I was like, "Yes!"

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And that excitement when you see all the flower buds

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on something that you've created is just amazing.

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Air layering taken in 2000 from the original purple house wisteria,

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It's got nice structure, nice, clean line.

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Trunk quite thick at the bottom after all this time.

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And it's been that shape ever since it was air layered.

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This is a good example of the real variety and difference

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As you can see, they look like small trees already,

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because I've chosen part of the plant to air layer it from,

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it's got treelike structure instead of being, for instance,

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long and straight, like this grafted plant and like this one.

:19:31.:19:37.

You can change the angle of planting to get more of a bonsai effect,

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so I might lean it over to the left, or lean it over to the right to get

:19:42.:19:44.

more of a...a more bonsai feel to it.

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Any wisteria in a pot will not grow as vigorously

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Every two years, you need to repot them.

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And sometimes it's a bit more often than that

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if the plant's particularly vigorous.

:20:04.:20:05.

You need to reduce the roots by half,

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so you haven't got a root ball at the bottom.

:20:08.:20:11.

And then re-pot it back in the same pot.

:20:12.:20:24.

Discovering air layering made me much more confident

:20:25.:20:26.

about growing wisteria in a small space,

:20:27.:20:29.

generally being able to have lots more wisteria

:20:30.:20:31.

and you learn things that you can't do

:20:32.:20:41.

They might not work for everybody, but for me, it's just great.

:20:42.:21:05.

I do think that that is the key to really enjoying gardening

:21:06.:21:10.

as much as possible, which is to try.

:21:11.:21:13.

It may not work, but you'll learn something,

:21:14.:21:17.

which can often be the most useful bit of knowledge you need.

:21:18.:21:22.

And sooner or later, you'll find that things will work.

:21:23.:21:26.

And then, all kinds of possibilities come to the fore,

:21:27.:21:29.

And I do think, certainly for myself,

:21:30.:21:35.

that it's the creative aspect of making a garden,

:21:36.:21:38.

of reordering it, reshaping it, that is the most fulfilling.

:21:39.:21:45.

And last autumn, I went to visit Helen Dillon in Dublin.

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Now, Helen is the doyenne of Irish gardening

:21:51.:21:53.

and her garden at Sandford Road in Ranelagh,

:21:54.:21:55.

in the outskirts of Dublin, is probably the most famous

:21:56.:21:59.

that has been created in Ireland in the last 50 years.

:22:00.:22:02.

But last year, she suddenly decided it was time to move.

:22:03.:22:07.

I went back to Dublin to see Helen and her new garden.

:22:08.:22:19.

I'm in Monkstown, I'm by the sea and her new garden...

:22:20.:22:25.

because if it wasn't for the glimpse

:22:26.:22:30.

of some rather wonderful plants down the end,

:22:31.:22:33.

it would be hard to credit that this is the new home.

:22:34.:22:36.

It's very... It's certainly very, very different.

:22:37.:22:49.

Instead of going on and on and on and maintaining...

:22:50.:22:58.

No. I got rid of a lot of old memories, bad memories,

:22:59.:23:05.

I managed to throw all my problems out of the window...

:23:06.:23:11.

That's fantastic. ..and come here.

:23:12.:23:13.

That's fantastic. Open the window and chuck 'em out.

:23:14.:23:18.

was a rich tapestry made up of unusual and exotic plants,

:23:19.:23:25.

has given her the chance to create a garden from scratch.

:23:26.:23:37.

and yet the garden is clearly coming into being.

:23:38.:23:43.

It's the creation, as opposed to the maintenance.

:23:44.:23:45.

I love the thought that I've got all that space out the front.

:23:46.:23:50.

And the empty palette - wonderful. What am I going to do with it?

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I said it to tease you. It's just, it's just...

:23:55.:24:01.

To me, it's "the giving up on everything" word.

:24:02.:24:04.

When I first gardened in that Sandford Road house,

:24:05.:24:14.

47 years ago or so, I couldn't take anything out,

:24:15.:24:16.

It's terrible to see one's editing and deciding the whole time,

:24:17.:24:27.

But there are some plants I might have got a tiny bit bored with.

:24:28.:24:32.

Has that ever happened to you, Monty? All the time.

:24:33.:24:34.

And I don't feel any guilt about that at all.

:24:35.:24:36.

It just has to go out. Or I say, "I've grown that for 30 years,

:24:37.:24:39.

"do I have to go on growing it?" Answer, no.

:24:40.:24:42.

In the ten months leading up to the move,

:24:43.:24:44.

Helen gradually potted up her chosen few

:24:45.:24:47.

Originally, I sort of corralled them up the far end... Yes.

:24:48.:24:55.

But really, I needed something more like, er,

:24:56.:25:00.

Because builders, I mean, I'm not sure they understand plants,

:25:01.:25:06.

But how well do you understand building work?

:25:07.:25:10.

That is beautifully said, dear boy. Beautifully said.

:25:11.:25:13.

Do not put plant in front of builder's foot,

:25:14.:25:17.

Cos builder's foot doesn't see plant.

:25:18.:25:22.

But the plants are soon to be bedded into new borders.

:25:23.:25:28.

What about the things you just had to bring,

:25:29.:25:32.

Well, actually, that's not looking good because it's been moved,

:25:33.:25:36.

That's a particularly nice, particularly nice musifolia. Right.

:25:37.:25:46.

You don't like cannas... I do like cannas. I do, I grow them.

:25:47.:25:53.

Oh, I love that. You've got that in a dustbin, have you?

:25:54.:25:59.

It's in a dustbin so I can move it in and out. But it has to go in.

:26:00.:26:02.

It says it'll only stand two degrees of frost.

:26:03.:26:07.

Max. So I wouldn't risk it, because having waited five years

:26:08.:26:10.

for it to flower, I wouldn't risk it...

:26:11.:26:12.

So you wait five years to put up that flower spike and then it dies?

:26:13.:26:15.

has been looking interesting for three or four months.

:26:16.:26:19.

Lots of these plants here are exotic, special, rare...

:26:20.:26:27.

Gosh, you're very good. ..if not rarefied.

:26:28.:26:30.

And that's fabulous, and that's fantastic,

:26:31.:26:31.

But they don't have to be, they don't have to be like that.

:26:32.:26:36.

Do they have to be? No, they don't...

:26:37.:26:38.

What is it you're looking for? Why do I love that little daisy?

:26:39.:26:42.

That everybody loves? The original? The original one.

:26:43.:26:45.

Why do I love it? It's a lovely plant.

:26:46.:26:47.

You tell me. Why do you love it? It's absolutely sweet,

:26:48.:26:50.

it never stops flowering, it's no trouble, it looks after itself,

:26:51.:26:52.

and you can come along and say, "How sweet", and walk on.

:26:53.:26:56.

it plants itself on the top of the wall and flowers away.

:26:57.:27:00.

Well, I think they're such good plants.

:27:01.:27:07.

And people sneer at them and say they're common and things,

:27:08.:27:09.

If you get really good, really pretty colour,

:27:10.:27:14.

people will buy these small little pea ones.

:27:15.:27:19.

The little pea ones all fall over and never look good,

:27:20.:27:21.

I guess you have to deadhead madly, do you?

:27:22.:27:24.

Well, I do. What I do is I yank it out.

:27:25.:27:26.

You see that's had the top off anyway?

:27:27.:27:28.

Yank from the base... I'm not going to it there.

:27:29.:27:32.

But this is weak, it is never going to flower,

:27:33.:27:34.

It's only cluttering up the place. Look. Cluttering up the place.

:27:35.:27:39.

Want all that out. Cos it's not doing any good,

:27:40.:27:43.

Most people will be terrified of damaging the plant.

:27:44.:27:48.

One has got to be tough and bossy over plants,

:27:49.:27:52.

because otherwise you sit there, looking at a miserable thing,

:27:53.:27:55.

and you think, "Oh, I wish it would look a bit better."

:27:56.:27:57.

You have to make yourself look and say, "Do I like that plant?"

:27:58.:28:05.

And the answer with that pink one is I do like it.

:28:06.:28:07.

I imagine it must be quite difficult for you to be tough and bossy.

:28:08.:28:11.

That, I think, is a slightly edgy, slightly edgy air to that comment.

:28:12.:28:16.

I find this ongoing conversation with Helen

:28:17.:28:22.

both fascinating and a little bit disturbing,

:28:23.:28:27.

because I've often thought about what it would be like

:28:28.:28:31.

Because I'm coming to that time of life where I'm starting to think

:28:32.:28:35.

about the future and how I'm going to manage.

:28:36.:28:40.

Helen has just moved forward and she's left the old behind,

:28:41.:28:44.

And I like the idea of not saying "farewell",

:28:45.:28:50.

Instead of mourning the past, building on it.

:28:51.:28:57.

And at any age, that is exhilarating.

:28:58.:29:13.

I think the best measure of inspiration is how much it makes

:29:14.:29:18.

you want to do something as a result of seeing it.

:29:19.:29:21.

And I came back from my trip to Dublin with loads of new ideas

:29:22.:29:25.

And I shall certainly be going back as soon as Helen will have me,

:29:26.:29:32.

Now, coming up on the programme, we pay a visit to the man

:29:33.:29:44.

who saved a whole raft of old dahlia varieties

:29:45.:29:47.

so that we can now enjoy them in our gardens.

:29:48.:29:50.

to see a garden made in about the most extreme conditions

:29:51.:29:57.

But first, Nick Bailey shows us how to make a neglected front garden

:29:58.:30:04.

Front gardens are the first thing that people see

:30:05.:30:15.

yet so many of us only invest our time and energy in our back gardens,

:30:16.:30:22.

meaning that the front gardens are little more than a transition space,

:30:23.:30:26.

This garden lacks structure and seasonal interest -

:30:27.:30:33.

and the plants are not well maintained.

:30:34.:30:35.

The path isn't wide enough for the wheelie bin,

:30:36.:30:38.

and the pots don't sit well together.

:30:39.:30:44.

But with a bit of DIY know-how, and some clever planting,

:30:45.:30:48.

I can turn the space into a desirable front garden

:30:49.:30:52.

with year-round interest that will welcome people to the home.

:30:53.:30:55.

There's good reason why we should invest in our front gardens.

:30:56.:30:59.

it'll become more inviting and attract insects and songbirds

:31:00.:31:04.

Second, a well-tended front garden can add value to your property

:31:05.:31:09.

And third, you'll be doing your bit to help with the issue of flooding,

:31:10.:31:14.

something that the RHS, with its Greening Grey Britain campaign,

:31:15.:31:18.

is especially concerned about addressing.

:31:19.:31:22.

With this front garden, I want to start from a blank canvas,

:31:23.:31:25.

which means clearing the existing plants,

:31:26.:31:27.

then I'm going to reduce the size of the bed to make an accessible path

:31:28.:31:31.

To really bring this garden back to life,

:31:32.:31:41.

I'm going to use a whole new palette of plants.

:31:42.:31:44.

And the idea with this particular range

:31:45.:31:46.

is it will give interest to this front garden 365 days of the year.

:31:47.:31:51.

One of the key plants that I'm putting in is this rose.

:31:52.:31:54.

Ground-covering, goes from June to round about November time.

:31:55.:32:00.

Really good value and it just keeps delivering.

:32:01.:32:06.

Some people tend to think that fuchsias

:32:07.:32:08.

I think this one is actually really elegant.

:32:09.:32:13.

It used to be called stipa arundinacea.

:32:14.:32:30.

It's a fantastic grass, and it self-seeds around,

:32:31.:32:32.

which is one of the reasons I've chosen it.

:32:33.:32:34.

What I really like about it is, come autumn time,

:32:35.:32:37.

it takes on brilliant, burnished orange tones,

:32:38.:32:40.

and so it will really stand out and help extend that season of interest.

:32:41.:32:51.

Astrantias are brilliant border doers.

:32:52.:32:54.

and those beautiful lime and white tones

:32:55.:32:58.

will tie in with the rest of the planting.

:32:59.:33:05.

You'll probably recognise this as Alchemilla mollis.

:33:06.:33:07.

Plant it and leave it. It gently seeds around.

:33:08.:33:12.

again, this beautiful citrus lime tone to the flowers,

:33:13.:33:17.

which helps to bring the whole scheme together.

:33:18.:33:21.

It's a little woodland European native,

:33:22.:33:27.

and it likes to grow in half-shade or dappled light.

:33:28.:33:30.

scattered through the plants in the front of this border.

:33:31.:33:37.

I've planted this border more densely than usual for two reasons.

:33:38.:33:41.

One, it means the garden will look great this year, and two,

:33:42.:33:45.

I've chosen so many self-seeding plants

:33:46.:33:47.

that if they get wiped out by some of the larger shrubs,

:33:48.:33:50.

they'll slowly find their own spots and thrive.

:33:51.:33:56.

This planting scheme costs around ?260.

:33:57.:33:59.

But you don't have to buy them all in one go.

:34:00.:34:02.

And since your front garden will look fantastic for years to come,

:34:03.:34:05.

these plants are a worthwhile investment.

:34:06.:34:12.

it's time to turn my attention to the new housing for the wheelie bin,

:34:13.:34:17.

which will also have its own green roof.

:34:18.:34:20.

I bought this off-the-peg wheelie store that the bin can tuck away in.

:34:21.:34:24.

Now, at the moment, its colour's a bit bright,

:34:25.:34:27.

so I'm going to paint it a black so it helps it to disappear.

:34:28.:34:30.

And then I'm going to give it a green roof.

:34:31.:34:33.

I'm just going to use a basic horticultural grit,

:34:34.:34:36.

and make sure the plants establish well.

:34:37.:34:40.

And it's worth firming the compost in well, to all corners.

:34:41.:34:52.

Use your fingertips, that will just work it down nicely

:34:53.:34:56.

I can't resist getting a plant for free,

:34:57.:35:05.

especially things like this ophiopogon.

:35:06.:35:07.

You'll often find that you can split them before you even plant them.

:35:08.:35:10.

You can see that what's growing in here is two

:35:11.:35:13.

and there's one complete with roots, ready to go.

:35:14.:35:18.

there's a bonus on the side here as well.

:35:19.:35:22.

And so that's three plants for the price of one.

:35:23.:35:25.

As alternatives, you can also plant ferns

:35:26.:35:29.

Well, that's the wheelie bin all but camouflaged

:35:30.:35:41.

it has just a bit of eco-credentials because, of course,

:35:42.:35:48.

absorbs pollutants and produces oxygen.

:35:49.:35:52.

And with the range of plants in the front garden here,

:35:53.:35:55.

family and visitors are going to be guaranteed

:35:56.:35:58.

The RHS campaign to improve our front gardens,

:35:59.:36:18.

has been going strong and will continue to the end of this year,

:36:19.:36:22.

so if you want to get involved and take part,

:36:23.:36:24.

you can go to our website and get all the details.

:36:25.:36:27.

Now, this is a really good pot, it's designed for bulbs,

:36:28.:36:30.

But if you've got a big, expensive pot like this,

:36:31.:36:34.

you want to use it as much as possible.

:36:35.:36:37.

So I'm going to plant some more bulbs,

:36:38.:36:39.

but this time, they're autumn-flowering.

:36:40.:36:41.

I've got two sorts, although they're very closely related.

:36:42.:36:45.

a cross between amaryllis and nerine.

:36:46.:36:51.

And the whole point of an amarine is it combines, just like the name,

:36:52.:36:56.

If you do want to plant this yourself,

:36:57.:37:16.

you do need to go and buy it this weekend and get on with it,

:37:17.:37:18.

because it's running a little bit tight on time

:37:19.:37:21.

to hit the peak flowering in early autumn.

:37:22.:37:24.

But the method is the same whether you do it in May or July.

:37:25.:37:29.

cos drainage is absolutely essential.

:37:30.:37:36.

I've already mixed up a gritty compost mix.

:37:37.:37:39.

Essentially, what that means is you buy a normal peat-free compost and

:37:40.:37:47.

then buy a bag of grit and mix them in equal volume.

:37:48.:37:51.

And that does well for almost all bulbs.

:37:52.:37:55.

So you end up with a mix that, when you rub it together,

:37:56.:37:58.

And if in doubt, better to make it more gritty than less,

:37:59.:38:04.

cos what you don't want is water retention,

:38:05.:38:06.

you want the water to pass almost straight through it.

:38:07.:38:09.

unlike many, should be planted shallowly.

:38:10.:38:15.

You want the surface of these above soil level.

:38:16.:38:19.

These are bulbs that do best as they bulk out,

:38:20.:38:25.

so you can plant them quite closely together.

:38:26.:38:27.

And if you're planting them in the ground,

:38:28.:38:29.

if you've got very well-drained soil, you don't want to move them.

:38:30.:38:32.

Let them become a tightly bound mass of bulb

:38:33.:38:37.

and they do want as much sun as you can give them.

:38:38.:38:41.

I just put the compost around them rather than over them,

:38:42.:38:46.

so that their snouts are appearing above the soil.

:38:47.:38:50.

I don't want to bury them completely.

:38:51.:38:53.

And I'm going to dress them with a bit of grit.

:38:54.:38:58.

We put grit on the top to stop splashing.

:38:59.:39:01.

you can get the compost splashing up onto the foliage

:39:02.:39:05.

But also, it means you don't get capping,

:39:06.:39:10.

which is when the surface of the compost dries out

:39:11.:39:13.

which I'm going to put into these smaller pots.

:39:14.:39:22.

which is why I'm going to put them into a pot,

:39:23.:39:46.

but if you've got sandy soil or it's chalky, free-draining,

:39:47.:39:49.

south-facing aspect, there's no reason why

:39:50.:39:52.

That is killing a number of birds with one stone.

:39:53.:40:01.

I'm getting maximum benefit from them.

:40:02.:40:06.

that I've struggled to grow successfully in our wet clay.

:40:07.:40:12.

which should give me a really good display come September and October,

:40:13.:40:20.

when things are beginning to thin out a little.

:40:21.:40:24.

Of course something that will still be going strong, I expect,

:40:25.:40:27.

But many of these dahlia varieties that we now take for granted

:40:28.:40:36.

would not be available if it wasn't for the work of one man,

:40:37.:40:42.

David Brown, who, for nearly 70 years,

:40:43.:40:46.

dahlia varieties which would have otherwise disappeared.

:40:47.:40:54.

I love dahlias because they're so versatile.

:40:55.:41:11.

They give you a tremendous range of colour, size of flower,

:41:12.:41:15.

and flowers from July right the way until the first frost.

:41:16.:41:30.

I was born into a dahlia nursery in Maidenhead, Berkshire,

:41:31.:41:40.

And I suppose from about the age of ten, in about 1947,

:41:41.:41:52.

I began to take note of the different dahlias

:41:53.:41:56.

And I used to help my father prepare them for cutting, for shows,

:41:57.:42:03.

and was very proud when stands were awarded gold medals or trophies.

:42:04.:42:12.

but I still maintained my interest in dahlias

:42:13.:42:24.

and was a member of the National Dahlia Society.

:42:25.:42:28.

I suddenly realised a lot of the dahlias

:42:29.:42:31.

that my father had grown had disappeared,

:42:32.:42:34.

and the classified directory issued by the National Dahlia Society

:42:35.:42:39.

to start collecting some of these old dahlias.

:42:40.:42:56.

I had amassed nearly 2,000 different cultivars.

:42:57.:43:06.

It was fun, really, in those days, collecting these old dahlias.

:43:07.:43:11.

I would run up a garden path quite often

:43:12.:43:17.

and ask the garden owner if I could have a tuber of a dahlia

:43:18.:43:23.

And it was quite easy once I started to build up this collection.

:43:24.:43:33.

In 1996, the NCCPG, now Plant Heritage,

:43:34.:43:40.

and it was registered as a national collection in the UK.

:43:41.:43:48.

it's the only national dahlia collection in existence.

:43:49.:43:54.

and Winchester Growers, who were bulb suppliers,

:43:55.:44:03.

came forward and purchased the collection

:44:04.:44:07.

and it is looking very good at this moment.

:44:08.:44:21.

Good clean stock is the first criteria to a good dahlia growing.

:44:22.:44:26.

Most important, I think, is to keep them well watered

:44:27.:44:33.

You need to give them a slow-acting fertiliser,

:44:34.:44:41.

and I also give them a foliar feed throughout the season to keep them

:44:42.:44:47.

you encourage more flowers, more growth.

:44:48.:44:58.

and store them in a frost-free, dry area.

:44:59.:45:11.

they have a special part in my dahlia world

:45:12.:45:16.

because people have grown them for many, many years

:45:17.:45:20.

I mean, I found a dahlia called Union Jack in a garden

:45:21.:45:27.

in the 1980s that had been raised in 1883.

:45:28.:45:33.

You know, it's just part of our dahlia history

:45:34.:45:37.

and it's most important that we don't lose sight of this.

:45:38.:45:44.

I think more people now are growing dahlias just for the garden

:45:45.:45:48.

and cut flower, rather than exhibiting.

:45:49.:45:53.

I'm hoping that dahlias will maintain their rise in popularity.

:45:54.:46:02.

So I'm just happy to be part of the dahlia scene

:46:03.:46:07.

and have been for the last 70 or so years.

:46:08.:46:20.

Well, if it wasn't for people like David,

:46:21.:46:24.

our gardens would be much, much less interesting places.

:46:25.:46:27.

We certainly need and should celebrate our plant heroes,

:46:28.:46:31.

and he's absolutely right about the need to deadhead dahlias.

:46:32.:46:35.

Dahlias are a plant that respond beautifully to regular deadheading.

:46:36.:46:39.

And if you do that, they will go on flowering until the first frost.

:46:40.:46:43.

And it can be a little confusing if you're not used to growing dahlias.

:46:44.:46:48.

and which is a flower that has just finished?

:46:49.:46:53.

If you look at this, it's a tight, round cushion.

:46:54.:47:00.

Whereas that has finished, because it's long and tubular.

:47:01.:47:10.

That means that it's finished flowering.

:47:11.:47:12.

always go right back down the length of the stem

:47:13.:47:17.

Although sandy soil and light shade may be perfection for dahlias,

:47:18.:47:26.

the truth is they are very adaptable -

:47:27.:47:28.

they certainly thrive on the heavy clay here at Longmeadow.

:47:29.:47:33.

But there are certain gardens that are so extreme

:47:34.:47:36.

that only a very small selection of plants will survive,

:47:37.:47:40.

and Joe has been down to Dungeness in Kent

:47:41.:47:45.

to see a garden that exactly fits that bill.

:47:46.:48:08.

Dungeness has one of the largest natural shingle beaches in Europe,

:48:09.:48:12.

which is extremely free-draining, nutrient-poor

:48:13.:48:16.

and the winds rip right through here.

:48:17.:48:18.

So it's a very inhospitable place to grow plants.

:48:19.:48:21.

So I'm intrigued to see an award-winning garden

:48:22.:48:25.

The garden is in a group of recently converted industrial buildings

:48:26.:48:35.

and it's been designed by Emily Erlam.

:48:36.:48:44.

So, Emily, what did you set out to achieve with this garden?

:48:45.:48:48.

This garden is very much part of a wider landscape,

:48:49.:48:51.

so we needed to create almost an installation,

:48:52.:48:55.

but we wanted to make something really intimate,

:48:56.:48:58.

that felt like a garden for the people who live here.

:48:59.:49:01.

But it is a very weird industrial landscape.

:49:02.:49:06.

you've got all these telegraph poles all over the place.

:49:07.:49:10.

It feels quite random, the whole area.

:49:11.:49:13.

There's a real theme of found objects around here,

:49:14.:49:16.

so people bring things from the beach

:49:17.:49:18.

So, in a way, the garden has created a backdrop

:49:19.:49:22.

for these elements of Dungeness to carry on existing in this space.

:49:23.:49:26.

but you've just gardened this area near the house.

:49:27.:49:31.

And the rest of it, you've left to grow wild.

:49:32.:49:34.

Was that a conscious decision, to have the two areas?

:49:35.:49:37.

Well, actually, it was a requirement.

:49:38.:49:39.

This is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, so this area here,

:49:40.:49:43.

It represents what the area of Dungeness would be like

:49:44.:49:50.

if no-one was walking around on the shingle.

:49:51.:49:52.

Wow. And so the plants that grow there are a community

:49:53.:49:56.

because they should survive in a very arid environment.

:49:57.:50:05.

Things like the achillea, the persicaria,

:50:06.:50:10.

And it grows everywhere, and so we picked up

:50:11.:50:23.

the purple and yellow and we've brought it in the garden.

:50:24.:50:39.

So you've very much gone with the gravel theme with Dungeness.

:50:40.:50:43.

It's got a lot of gravel around here.

:50:44.:50:45.

Well, some gravel was here obviously already.

:50:46.:50:48.

You have to only use the local gravel,

:50:49.:50:51.

so you can't bring gravel from other places.

:50:52.:50:53.

But you can't take it from the beach, you have to buy it in.

:50:54.:50:56.

You have to buy it in, yes, and so we took it from the local quarry.

:50:57.:50:59.

And we made a dry riverbed-type thing.

:51:00.:51:02.

So where the landforms come down, we create natural paths.

:51:03.:51:07.

which you used for decking and the furniture,

:51:08.:51:12.

There's lots of boats around and they are all made

:51:13.:51:17.

and it's a bit like the boardwalk-type deck at the beach.

:51:18.:51:23.

But we wanted to keep it very natural so it felt like it tied in

:51:24.:51:27.

The planting looks lovely from here -

:51:28.:51:40.

I mean, really melds together beautifully

:51:41.:51:42.

and work so well with the building and the environment.

:51:43.:51:46.

The elaeagnus over there is a sort of a bit of a hedge.

:51:47.:51:48.

Were you ever tempted to put more of it in

:51:49.:51:51.

so you can grow a wider variety of plants?

:51:52.:51:55.

The elaeagnus Quicksilver has been really happy here,

:51:56.:51:58.

and it does stop the wind coming through.

:51:59.:52:00.

But the real wind, to be honest, comes from the sea,

:52:01.:52:03.

which comes straight across the garden.

:52:04.:52:05.

So there wasn't an awful lot we could do to cut off the wind.

:52:06.:52:11.

The blue amsonia, I've never grown it,

:52:12.:52:13.

I love this plant, I think it's really good.

:52:14.:52:19.

There's different forms, short forms and tall forms,

:52:20.:52:21.

and it does take a while to get going,

:52:22.:52:23.

But once it does, it's a real doer, it will grow in many places,

:52:24.:52:28.

it will grow in shade, and it seems to love it here,

:52:29.:52:31.

And of course there's sea kale all around us,

:52:32.:52:35.

but have you planted it or have you just let it self-seed in a garden?

:52:36.:52:39.

Well, it's protected, and we have introduced a couple more because,

:52:40.:52:42.

And those seed pods are really ornamental.

:52:43.:52:47.

As soon as you put that plant next to an ornamental plant,

:52:48.:52:49.

it does feel like it's very comfortable in a garden setting.

:52:50.:52:53.

I bet very few people grow it in their gardens.

:52:54.:52:55.

it starts off with this deep purpley-red leaf that emerges,

:52:56.:53:03.

and the flowers and then the seed pods,

:53:04.:53:07.

and it has structure all through the winter.

:53:08.:53:09.

OK. I guess that would be one concern about this garden,

:53:10.:53:13.

is what this looks like the rest of the year?

:53:14.:53:15.

Is there enough structure in this garden?

:53:16.:53:17.

Yes, it really does keep its structure,

:53:18.:53:19.

I think because the rainfall here is low, so the plants,

:53:20.:53:23.

the thing that kills the plants is damp roots

:53:24.:53:25.

and so the structure here stays for a long time.

:53:26.:53:27.

It's got another life of its own in the winter.

:53:28.:53:38.

I think a lot of us have preconceptions

:53:39.:53:41.

about what a garden is, what we want from a space

:53:42.:53:44.

and if you turn up somewhere like this, well,

:53:45.:53:47.

because you have to let the conditions dictate the garden.

:53:48.:53:53.

So if you're making a garden yourself,

:53:54.:53:55.

think about how you can relate to the wider landscape

:53:56.:54:00.

And that way, you could create a unique garden,

:54:01.:54:06.

like Emily has, for a very special place like this.

:54:07.:54:21.

I guess the nearest Longmeadow remotely gets to Dungeness

:54:22.:54:25.

is here in the dry garden, but it is pretty remote,

:54:26.:54:28.

I went for the first time last November.

:54:29.:54:35.

That November day was cold, bright and clear.

:54:36.:54:40.

So let's see what this weekend's weather

:54:41.:54:44.

There's not much rain in the forecast. There's going to be a lot

:54:45.:55:12.

of dry weather around so perhaps a perfect opportunity to cut the grass

:55:13.:55:17.

in the garden but we have to wait until it dries out in the south

:55:18.:55:21.

because it has been so wet in the last day or so. Wednesday was dry,

:55:22.:55:25.

Thursday is looking absolutely fine as well, just a couple of showers,

:55:26.:55:31.

maybe in the South West, Wales, perhaps the Midlands to. We can

:55:32.:55:36.

never rely on the showers. Overall, looking mostly dry across the UK.

:55:37.:55:41.

There is a weak weather front approaching. With a rainy afternoon

:55:42.:55:46.

on Thursday. Northern Ireland and the Western Isles, but most of the

:55:47.:55:51.

UK is looking dry with just a bit of fair weather clouds developing on

:55:52.:55:54.

Thursday and quite warm wherever you are, even in the north, temperatures

:55:55.:56:00.

will be in the low 20s. This is Thursday evening into the early

:56:01.:56:04.

hours of Friday, so you can see a couple of showers across the North,

:56:05.:56:09.

dry pretty much in the south, city temperature -- temperatures will be

:56:10.:56:15.

up, brutal temperatures fresher, and Friday another fine day but we will

:56:16.:56:20.

find clouds increasing and the weekend is looking pretty overcast,

:56:21.:56:21.

humid but Well, I'm sure you'll be able

:56:22.:56:27.

to get out there So here are some ideas of things you

:56:28.:56:30.

can be getting on with this weekend. As soon as your delphiniums

:56:31.:56:46.

have finished flowering, And this will encourage fresh growth

:56:47.:56:48.

that should carry new flowers I think no summer fruit is better

:56:49.:56:58.

than a delicious raspberry. But they don't ripen

:56:59.:57:10.

at the same time. So it's important to go through them

:57:11.:57:13.

every few days, rather than waiting for them all

:57:14.:57:16.

to ripen together. If, like me, you started growing

:57:17.:57:29.

some potatoes in a bag last March, Take off the top growth,

:57:30.:57:33.

tip all the compost out into a barrow or a container

:57:34.:57:40.

and rummage through it, I always harvest

:57:41.:57:45.

the first new potatoes, and this is a variety

:57:46.:57:52.

called Orla, However, I will eat these tonight

:57:53.:57:54.

and celebrate, if not my birthday, But we will be back next Wednesday

:57:55.:58:03.

at nine o'clock.

:58:04.:58:14.

As the garden reaches its peak of summer perfection, Monty gives advice on how to prune summer flowering shrubs, maintain the floral display and plans for autumn flowers. He also makes a return visit to Dublin to find out how world-renowned plantswoman Helen Dillon is progressing in her new garden.

Joe Swift shows how good design should not hinder challenging conditions when he visits a garden in Kent, Rachel de Thame explores the vital role of scent in wild flowers and the insects that visit them, and we find out about the work of one extraordinary dahlia enthusiast. Nick Bailey has designs on a weekend project which will transform a front garden into a beautiful and practical space, and we meet a passionate gardener who has filled her small Cumbrian garden with 40 different varieties of wisteria.