Monty Don visits a floral paradise near Dublin to learn how Jimi Blake fills his garden with flora for free. Adam Frost hunts for clever design ideas in a garden in Littlehampton.
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Hello and welcome to Gardeners' World.
I'm trying to just tighten up the borders.
There's a tendency for the early flowering plants
to lean and sprawl and push others,
which are struggling to come through, out of the way.
So, for example, this Iris sibirica, which has finished flowering,
but the foliage still looks good,
is spreading out and crushing a kniphofia here,
and the Ann Folkard geranium, which is twining its way through
this William Shakespeare rose, and of course the sunflowers,
which in time will stand proud and tall but for the moment
are struggling a bit for competition,
so they need staking now.
But the key thing and what all the staking is part of
is keeping the display going without break.
There is a definite shift at this time of year.
You have the freshness and exuberance of early summer
which has now reached a slight plateau and then will build
and swell towards late summer and early autumn
with all the velvety, rich, voluptuous colours
that we reach here at Longmeadow,
as a crescendo in the Jewel Garden.
On today's programme...
Adam Frost discovers a garden in Littlehampton
full of design ideas and inspiration.
We witness a very rare moment in horticulture -
the flowering of the Titan Arum.
And Mark Lane is in Oldham visiting a garden designed
to offer respite to those dealing with cancer.
Whilst it's obviously lovely to have a big vegetable plot
or an allotment, a lot of people don't have access to those things
and if you're a beginner it can be a bit daunting anyway,
but you can grow good vegetables on a small scale in a container,
and the container doesn't have to be fancy.
Absolutely anything that will hold soil and not disintegrate
when it's watered will do the job.
I've got an old wine box here.
Any kind of wooden box will do as long as it has
plenty of drainage in the bottom.
Wood absorbs water
so if you don't have drainage it can get really soggy.
Probably better, if you can get hold of them,
are some galvanised old washbasins.
Now this has rotted through, perfect for drainage,
and - even better - it's got a rim,
and that raises it up off the ground so the water can genuinely run away.
Absolutely ideal for a whole range of vegetables.
If you're going to grow roots,
and by roots I mean carrots, turnips, swede,
I'd say that is the minimum depth.
Whatever container you use,
you do want the best compost you possibly can.
Vegetables are hungry plants, they grow fast, they need nurturing.
You can use a normal peat-free potting compost
and that will do OK but if you can beef it up a bit with
a bit of garden compost or soil improver, so much the better.
Just fill them up...
At this time of year, you want to sow things that will either
grow very fast or be quite happy to be harvested as we go into autumn.
So I'm going to go for baby carrots that will be ideal,
beginning of October, end of September.
This is a variety called Paris Market 5.
I've got a lettuce mix of Red And Green Salad Bowl
and these are "cut and come again" so you can cut them
and they will regrow and, as long as it doesn't get too cold,
those can be harvested into November.
And the other one is mesclun.
Now, you buy this as a mix.
It's got some chicory, a bit of rocket, a bit of lettuce.
It's a little bit spicy, it's delicious to eat.
And, again, with a pair of scissors or a knife,
you just cut through it and it will regrow.
Ideal for containers.
Let's start with the carrot. I'm not going to try and sow in rows.
I'm just going to broadcast the seed over the area.
So sprinkle it not too thickly
and as evenly as you can, which is actually quite tricky.
And I'm not going to try and cover them over, I'm just going to
put my hands over it very lightly like this, half cover the seed.
And that's the job done.
I'm going to grow the mesclun in the box
and I probably won't need all the seed for this
because if these are too close together
I'll end up with lots of very small leaves and no really healthy plants.
I don't need to cover those over. They're tiny seeds.
Just give it a label.
And the last one will be the lettuce.
I'm going to put a couple of bricks underneath the box
just to ensure that it drains well.
There we go.
At this stage, you just need to damp the seeds
but as the plants start to grow
and you see the new growth coming up, do keep them well watered.
But what I would say is, if you want to do this, get on with it.
It's getting late in the season.
This is something to do this weekend
if you're going to do it at all.
Now there's a real pleasure in seeing these grow.
There's even bigger pleasure in eating them
and sharing them with your family and friends.
And you can do it just with one little container.
But if you start to build up the containers
and you have three, four or many more then that becomes
a garden design, but it takes an expert eye to analyse that.
And Adam Frost has been looking at private gardens
and then taking them to pieces and explaining how
they're put together so that we can gain and learn from it.
This week he's visiting a garden in Littlehampton in Sussex.
One of the things that I love about my job is I get to see
so many different gardens.
Sometimes you're sort of instantly drawn to them,
whereas others can be a little bit more challenging to understand.
But, you know, as a designer, I think there's
something to be had out of every single one of them.
I've come to a coastal garden in Sussex
that has been carefully crafted
and designed to transform a typical rectangular plot,
154 feet long and 49 feet wide,
and there's a lot of things to discover.
The planting in this garden is actually only two years old
so it's going to take a bit more time to really romp away.
But what you can see straight away is actually
the importance of repeated pattern,
not only in the layout of the garden but in the planting,
and that's a trick you can use in any size garden.
Former architect Derek Harnden and his wife Helen
worked with a garden designer to create this garden.
You know what really fascinates me when someone takes on a new garden
is actually where they get that inspiration from,
where the design sort of comes from and how it's driven.
Helen likes circles,
I like textures,
and I like links between one aspect and another.
So we've got intrigue where one is not quite sure what's happening
around the corner and the wall was something I felt was quite
a necessary aspect to break the long garden
into at least two spaces.
The wall incorporates a moon gate, a traditional architectural element
found in Chinese gardens that acts as a passageway.
So we've got the circle as an element of the design
that is picked up in a number of other elements within the garden.
I think as a designer as well, what fascinates me
is your choice of materials.
I come from Lancashire and I quite like dry-stone walls
so that was one of the elements I felt was an important aspect
of the hard landscaping.
So that's lovely, isn't it?
Cos not only does it start to give a sense of rhythm
but that choice of materials has been partly driven by memory.
-Yes, there's a part of me, really, yes.
-Time gone by, yeah.
In a way, the garden reflects us.
Derek and Helen's vision has led to a garden
that is full of great design.
You know, when you're designing your garden,
this view from the kitchen window can be so important
and they've done that really well here.
You look down the end and they've got the wall but they've left
a tiny little gap which sort of
pulls your attention all the way down.
They've even got stepping stones across the pond.
But you don't have to use a big wall.
It could just be a hedge with a gap,
even maybe a strong focal point,
but something that makes the most of that view and pulls your attention.
Great little design tip.
Plants are also key to bringing harmony to a garden.
You know, so many of us
when we're choosing our herbaceous plants are pulled by the beauty
of that flower, but I always sort of want to question the plants
and say, what else are you going to bring to the party?
You look at these alliums, they've gone over
but they're still adding fantastic structure to this border
and the brown sits beautifully against that wall.
You know, when it comes to choosing trees for your garden,
it's incredibly important.
I don't know over the years how many gardens I've been in
and the tree's been too big for that space,
but here, these amelanchiers, which are a lovely little garden tree,
beautiful flower, berry, and then autumn colour,
they're really going to change the atmosphere of this space,
and I suppose what I mean by that, at the moment I've got a huge sky
above me but as they get up and their canopies join
they will make this sort of cool space with dappled shade and just
change the mood a little bit before you then move into the next space.
You know, sometimes design is ultimately just solving
a problem, and here the side of the building needed covering,
and these are just gutters that run all the way along,
which you could do at home.
You might have a small vertical space that looks unsightly
and wants covering.
Gutters go all the way up. Plant it with alpines, with herbs,
and as these grow down in time it'll just blanket the wall.
This garden works well for Derek and his wife.
Socially, they've got great spaces to use.
On top of that, they bring water into the garden
which helps bring wildlife in. It plays with rhythm.
In the planting, there's repeated colour and texture and structure.
But then also shape,
and that's used quite effectively.
You've got the moon gate that's repeated in the lawn
and then it works again in this hobbit house.
And that helps bring the whole thing together.
You know, it'll be really interesting
as the planting gets away and really pushes on
to see how this garden comes together
in the next couple of years.
The garden is open under the National Garden Scheme
in September so if you go to our website you'll get all the details
of opening and how to get there.
I do know how powerful an opening in a garden or at the edge of a garden
can be, whether it be circular or a slit,
because here in the Long Walk the hedge at the end was closed
for years and then I cut a narrow slit into it
and suddenly it was transformed.
Immediately you felt that it went somewhere further
even though you couldn't get there.
What I've learned with this long, narrow strip of garden
is that it's a perfect sort of decompression chamber
between the busyness of the Cottage Garden on one side
and the intensity of the Jewel Garden on the other.
And the planting is rhythmic and repetitive and very simple,
so you have the Alchemilla mollis at ground level,
spilling over onto the path,
you have the structure of the box cones
which are a variety called Handsworthensis,
and then the acanthus,
the Acanthus spinosus,
with these tall, really dramatic flowers,
and the rhythm of that and the repetition of it
leads you down to this little sliver of light
and the world beyond.
There are some plants that will not be moulded by design,
they dominate under all circumstances.
Perhaps none more so than the Titan Arum.
We went to Cambridge University Botanic Garden
to witness the rare moment as it came into flower.
We've had this Titan Arum
for nearly 30 years
and it last flowered in 2004.
Finally we saw a bud come up in late May and that was really exciting
and so we waited and waited and waited
and come 13 June we finally were able to confirm that
what we were looking at was a flower bud and not a leaf.
From that day onwards, we've been measuring it.
When we were finally able to confirm it was going to flower, we put this
out via social media, local radio, and we got an amazing response.
They were really excited to get in there, smell it,
see the flower for themselves, and by the end of the night we were all
exhausted after talking to everyone from the local area, but equally
we were all so pleased with the reaction that came with the plant.
Thank you very much. Cheers. Hi there. How are we doing?
So the large Titan Arum is in the Arum family.
We might be familiar with that
with Lords And Ladies or Jack In The Pulpit
that you'll find in your local hedgerow,
but this is from the tropics.
It's actually from an island down in Indonesia, Sumatra,
where it's found in lowland rainforest.
So what we're actually looking at is a large leaflike structure
around a column, known as a spathe,
and at the bottom of that column are the male and female flowers.
It can be anywhere from as small as ours at 1.36 metres,
right up to a massive three metres.
So the regular question we get is what is that actual big structure
in the very centre of the flower spike, essentially?
Well, what it is there for, it's there to produce a horrendous scent
and it's also there to produce heat.
You can see that the heat is actually produced
at the very tip of the structure
and then this slowly moves down the structure over the night.
This allows the plant to really pump that noxious scent
throughout the rainforest environment.
This plant acts as a carrion mimic,
so it is essentially pretending to be rotting meat,
and it pumps this smell out
right throughout the rainforest environment,
which attracts in carrion beetles.
They arrive in, hopefully they're carrying pollen,
so pollinate the female flowers,
hang around for the next couple of days with that scent present,
and then once the male flowers have produced their pollen,
the scent will disappear and the beetles will disappear also
and hopefully find another flower.
Once the last visitor had left at around midnight,
it was our job, really, to get in there
and actually pollinate the plant.
Fortunate for us, the Eden Project flowered theirs last week
so we had pollen couriered from Cornwall right up to Cambridge.
We just cut out the final part of the window here,
so you gently work the brush into the pollen
and now what we do is we slowly work over each of those stigmas there,
very much like you'd expect carrion beetles to do in the wild,
getting pollen onto each one, maximising what we've got,
and hopefully we'll get lots and lots of seed.
This is incredible.
Post this event and post getting all the pollen out,
we'll have a really good idea of when it's pollinated
because this structure will continue to grow.
So we'll see this large pedestal structure, here, elongate
and we'll also see the fruits really start to develop
and they'll develop into big, red, fleshy fruits.
The smell is absolutely horrendous.
It really is.
And I can really understand why the carrion beetles actually
come into this inflorescence.
Equally, I wouldn't want to spend
more than a couple of minutes doing this.
It's really, really sickening.
On the second night, the male flowers mature
and then the flower withers and collapses,
so now it's a waiting game.
And over the next two to three weeks we'll stand with bated breath
to see whether the pollination was successful,
and that's it for seven to ten years.
It's too early to say yet whether the pollination has taken,
but if it does there will be a new generation of Titan Arum
which in ten years' time will have their moment of glory
when they stink the place out,
attract crowds of admiration as they do so,
and hopefully another generation will follow on after that.
But plants don't have to be unusual or exceptional to be magical.
Take for example this crocosmia. This is Crocosmia Lucifer,
grown in 100,000 gardens across the land, and yet
is anything more beautiful
and extraordinary in our gardens than this?
Come on, dogs.
The grapes here in the wooden greenhouse are in their fourth year
but this year I'm trying to make
the best of it I possibly can.
The first thing to do is to keep the blackbirds out.
You can see here,
this bunch was attacked by a blackbird just yesterday.
So I've put up a screen.
It's a very fine mesh so it lets light in,
you can see it but it's not too intrusive.
And in fact it serves to keep wasps out as well.
It's pretty much a predator-free zone.
Now, the grapes themselves have been pruned really hard this year.
I took off half the cordons.
We've got the rods going along and the cordons coming up and then
as the bunches of grapes appeared I removed half of those, too.
Now I'm going to remove half of the grapes in each bunch.
The idea being that each grape is really delicious
because these are dessert grapes,
the Black Hamburg,
and, to that end, you need to purchase these, long scissors,
which can be sold either to thin your grapes
or to prune your nasal hairs.
Or so I am told, because I only use them for grapes.
But they do the job pretty well.
The secret is to cut on the inside,
not the outside.
It's those inner ones that you want to remove,
and that lets in light and air
and gives them a chance to swell and reduces competition.
This seems drastic,
but I promise you it will result in a much better harvest.
That is actually shaping up well.
That's how they should all be.
Space around each individual grape.
Mark Lane has been to Oldham
and he went there to visit a Maggie's Centre,
which is created for the relief and solace
of those suffering from cancer,
and he spoke to one of the designers who had himself been through
the experience of having and recovering from cancer
so knows only too well
what is needed to create a garden that will be a real help.
Gardens can be an oasis for many of us
but if you're actually recovering from illness, as I well know,
gardens can offer respite and an immeasurable sense of wellbeing.
I've come to really unusual place
where the restorative power of a garden is at its heart.
Unlike many gardens that are designed after the building goes up,
this 200-square-metre garden has been specially designed
to intertwine with the building.
It's absolutely stunning.
The architects for the whole design
worked with garden designer Rupert Muldoon
to create this indoor/outdoor space.
This is like a secret garden sunken below street level
with this magnificent building floating above us.
What was this space beforehand?
This space used to be the old mortuary
which was taken away,
a great big pile of rubble was left
and when we came to clear the site
we really discovered it really was quite a slope,
so you drop from the building
and then you flow down into the garden
and we wanted to create something very natural
which was a contrast to the building.
It reminds me of a Japanese rock garden.
Was that the intention, or was there a more local inspiration?
It was very much more local.
So when you enter the building, it opens up this huge view
of the landscape beyond and you look down over the roofs of Oldham
to the Pennines beyond, and you watch the weather moving in,
and I think one of the strong feelings
was to capture a bit of that and bring it down here.
We used rocks, birch, pine.
These are things that you do get up in the Pennines.
But the placement of things could be considered Japanese, in a way.
-You have a rock, you've got a tree, you got a pool of water.
-There is a certain sense of balance.
-There's the elements.
And the elements. Exactly.
This building is quite dominant
and it does actually dictate many aspects of the garden.
How on earth did you sort of start to think about this space
in relation to the structure?
Strangely enough, there's no direct sunlight into this part
of the garden, and because of the overhang of the building
we knew that we were going to have to deal with a lot of dry space,
and we've used pheasant tail grass
and it goes a wonderful orange in autumn
and then it's fresh green again in spring
so it has a very seasonal, wild look to it.
And of course it will also self-seed, won't it?
Amongst the gravel.
It can get everywhere, and then behind us,
this bank is planted up with real shade-loving plants,
ferns, Hostas, Pachysandra,
lots of mind-your-own-business, which I'm hoping will percolate
into the rocks, green it up,
form a lawn, and then the whole garden almost pivots around
this one tree, which is a real focal point,
and it's a focal point within the building.
The moment you fling open the doors,
you see this tree waving in front of you.
It really brings the outside in,
and then down here it's the sort of centrepiece for the whole garden.
It's a multi-stem birch.
It will go a gorgeous yellow in autumn
and the sticks will rattle against the glass in winter.
Hopefully it becomes something people will know about,
I think it's already being referred to as the tree of life.
But you've used these different sort of grades of gravel
for all these pathways, which sort of blur and blend.
Obviously being in a wheelchair, it's a little bit difficult,
and I know as a garden designer, it's something we have to tackle
in order to make gardens accessible for all.
Gravel was chosen actually because it was quite cheap.
It's a very natural material. It binds the garden together.
And how we resolve how a wheelchair passes through gravel,
we still need to do that.
Would you ever consider something as hard as concrete?
Yes, it could be concrete with aggregate in it
and then washed over, so you get the aggregate,
so you still get that lovely sense of it being a loose path.
But this will be a totally accessible garden.
We are now just on the edge of this building
and there's a really different feel to this part of the garden.
-Can you explain what's going on in this area?
-Yes, there's more light.
We've been able to plant the trees that soar up high
and it's allowed us to plant an ornamental woodland,
and you'll also see here small birch that's been used to form
a sort of successional planting,
so once these are matured, they can take over
and it forms that natural rhythm that you might have in a woodland.
There's White Swan, iris siberica, which will spread and form clumps,
or the white Digitalis which hopefully will self-seed.
It works so well - different plants,
but still ties the whole garden together.
Being in this sort of space, it just makes you feel much better,
-and it's restorative. That's so important, isn't it?
It's very important,
and particularly if you're living with cancer.
Having had cancer myself,
I realised gardens and being outside made me feel well again.
Just to be here in this place, not thinking about anything else,
having that moment of calm and peace, I think is very important.
This garden, it invites you to spend some time here,
to sit and reflect, enlivened with a sense of renewal
and a nudge towards new possibilities.
There is no question that gardens do heal,
and a garden eases mind and body.
But you can have plants that are very specific for healing.
This is a new herb garden we've made,
and of course throughout the ages herbs have been used
as much for medicine as they have for cooking,
and the herb garden is taking shape,
and I'm really pleased by the way that it's created something new,
something useful, and there's no question about it,
it feels like a good place.
Now, still to come on tonight's programme.
Nick Bailey shows how to transform a patio into a fragrant twilight zone.
And I went to Ireland, to visit the garden
of the plantsman and plant hunter Jimi Blake.
But first, Carol reveals her plant of the month.
Our plant of the month for July is very special.
The Egyptians used it in their cosmetics,
and in the process of mummification.
The Romans bathed in it and cooked with it,
and thousands of years later, we're still using it.
It's such a special plant, it's even got a colour named after it.
It is lavender.
Lavenders belong to the family Lamiaceae,
after the Latin for lips.
That's because each of their flowers has a lip,
which is a kind of landing stage for insects,
who land, dip in their proboscis to extract that delicious nectar,
and then take off again ready for the next flower.
The leaves too are very distinctive.
They're entire, and almost always extremely narrow,
and even though the flowers are scented,
it's the leaves which are really fragrant.
Now, you can grow lavender from seed, but in that case,
all your plants are going to be different.
But if you want to make sure - for instance, you're growing a hedge
and you want everything to be identical,
then you must grow them vegetatively.
In other words, take cuttings.
So first things first, fill your pot up
with nice, crunchy compost.
So this is a mixture of sterilised loam, multipurpose,
and a big load of grit.
You can hardly have too much grit cos, of course,
lavenders love really excellent drainage.
Get your material, then.
And I'm just taking them away from the plant with a little heel.
Now, with each of your cuttings, first of all I'm going to
nip out the top and just remove these basal leaves
so the stem which is under the compost
won't have any leaves at all.
Now, if you want to, you can actually
take these sort of cuttings straight into the ground,
just as you would preparing box for a box hedge.
But these cuttings will take,
oh, maybe five weeks or so at this time of year.
And the best time to take your cuttings is
when the plants are growing strongly,
so now is ideal.
And then just top the thing off with grit.
So they really feel like they're sitting at home
on some Provencal hillside.
Water them at once really well and within about five weeks
they should've rooted and you can knock them all out of the pot
and gently transplant them into their own pots.
By next spring, they should have made really good,
bushy plants and you can get ahead with planting them out.
Lavender is easy to grow.
You don't need to enrich soil.
If your soil is acid, add some garden lime.
It hates soggy conditions.
Always plant it in full sun.
It'll sulk in the shade.
There are many lavender groups.
The most popular group is Lavandula angustifolia,
or Old English Lavender,
and it'll never be damaged by frost.
This group contains some garden classics, like Hidcote or Folgate.
Lavandula stoechas is the lavender
with little sterile bracts that pop up
like rabbits' ears at the top of the column of flower.
They're not fully hardy but make excellent candidates for pots.
You can then bring them under cover for the winter.
One of the main delights of growing lavender in your garden is
that you can cut it and dry it and enjoy it all year round.
Don't do it on a damp day.
Wait for a hot, sunny day and then follow the rule of thumb.
There's a very simple rule, which says one open, one over
and one yet to come within the same spike of flowers.
Having done that, collect your stems together.
Tie them very loosely and hang them upside down in a dry, cool place.
All lavenders are fragrant, but they affect us in different ways.
The angustifolia group will help us to relax,
whereas the intermedia group are stimulants,
so don't put them under your pillow if you want a good night's sleep.
They really are one of the most wonderful plants you could grow
and it's good all the year round,
but it's at its wondrous best during July.
What have you got? Have you got a ball?
Lavender here at Longmeadow is a real test.
On our Herefordshire clay and, particularly, in our long, wet,
cold winters, lavender barely survives, let alone thrives.
However, I was determined to grow it. I love it.
And so I planted it here on the mound behind the wall.
I put hardcore down and then masses of grit.
All of that was to ensure good drainage.
Now it's really happy.
It's blooming, it's growing strongly, the bees love it.
And I got sent this the other day from Pamela Peplo
in Perranporth in Cornwall
and it's a lavender bag
and there's "Gardeners' World at 50," myself, Nigel, Nellie,
the bees, my spade, tennis balls, they're all there on the back.
Thank you very much indeed, Pamela.
Now, a few weeks ago I went over to Ireland.
I went to visit the garden of Jimi Blake at Hunting Brook.
Now, Jimi has a growing reputation as a plantsman,
as plant hunter and also the creator of an extraordinary garden,
and I wanted to see it for myself.
You know, it's really nice to get out from Longmeadow occasionally.
I can come and visit a garden of any kind,
I'm bound to see something that I haven't seen before.
Hunting Brook stands 1,000 feet above sea level
and combines prairie planting, perennials
and woodland in an exotic mix.
It is the unique and eclectic vision of Jimi Blake,
who owns one of Ireland's biggest private collection of plants.
I thought I'd seen just about everything there was to see
in a garden, but I've never seen a gardener bouncing their way
to good planting. What's the rationale behind this?
Well, I move this around the garden and I put it in a certain area
and then when I'm bouncing I can really see what needs to be done.
And it just fires me up.
Well, listen, if you're feeling suitably fired up,
there's 20 acres to go and have a look,
will you show me round?
The first thing anybody sees
when they come here is just this hit of colour.
Is this something you plan and construct?
There's no planning on paper.
It evolves in my head, I suppose.
I just love, love this madness of colour.
I love purples and reds and oranges mixed together.
That red there of that Lychnis is just so iridescent.
It's Lychnis Gardeners' World.
-Well, you'd think I would know that, wouldn't you? But there we go.
THEY CHUCKLE But the energy here is really high.
Yeah, I just need excitement all the time.
I'd get completely bored if I was just maintaining a garden.
The big thing for me is that contrasting foliage together.
Yeah, I mean, you've got bronze fennel with the banana.
-Which one's that?
-That's tiger stripes.
And then sweeping through, drifts of perennials through it.
So what's your latest love?
Well, the salvias, definitely. Thalictrums.
That's Thalictrum delavayi decorum.
-It's just the most incredible Thalictrum.
Thousands of flowers on it. It's nice to have one this year
but how about having 500 through the whole thing?
Get a good blast and bring cerise through it and...
I like your style.
Jimi, in a garden that is so full of intense colour,
you've got an awful lot of texture going on.
A lot of textual differences. I mean, what are you trying to do?
I just love that mix of old-fashioned perennial, like
your geranium, mixed with these kind of wacky-looking leaves
of the Pseudopanax crassifolius.
For me, the kind of crazier-looking, the better.
And that mix of exotic brought into it.
Is it hard to make these exotics work,
let alone looking after them so they're happy?
-Does it always pan out?
-It doesn't always pan out.
You know, I keep them up in the tunnels for the winter
and try and get them through the winter, but I'm always
looking for plants that will give me the exotic look but are hardy.
I don't get too upset. If a plant dies, it dies.
If it doesn't work, it's... You have to come up with a new idea.
We're sitting here surrounded by this beautiful meadow.
It truly is a joy. Tell me about it. Tell me about how you made it.
Well, what I was trying to do was connect the garden to the valley
and it's a complete experiment,
what will grow and what'll just die out.
But the planting is not conventional wildflower meadow planting.
There are a lot of perennials in here, aren't there?
In a way, it's like plants that seeded out of the garden
into this part of the meadow.
I think it looks fantastic.
Aside from creating a beautiful garden,
Jimi has a much deeper connection to his garden.
You can't help but notice in the garden there are prayer flags,
you know, there are places for meditation or one thing and another.
To what extent is the garden a source of spiritual solace?
For me, that's... It's the key.
I certainly felt here that, especially in the valley there,
that things didn't really come together for me
until you're really connected with the land.
So rather than the gardener, however experienced,
-however good at the job, imposing themselves on the landscape...
-..you're listening to it as much as it listens to you.
And it doesn't matter what size piece of land.
You know, if you're gardening on a tiny, tiny piece of land,
you're still gardening on part of the earth.
Even if you just sit quietly on the ground,
-you're connecting with that land.
You don't have to have 20 acres.
When I visit a garden, I try and see some aspect behind the scenes,
compost heap or potting shed.
In this case, this tunnel is fascinating
cos if you come in here and have a look you'll see that
not only is it full of plants, but they're all different.
This is just a mass of little treasures waiting for space
to appear in the garden for them to come through.
And you have a feeling that Jimi can't resist them.
He's absolutely in love with plants,
and for all the bouncing and the meditation,
this is a plantsman, a plantsman to his very core.
First impressions of this garden may lead you to think that this is
charmingly eccentric, but actually I think that's very superficial.
Because scratch the surface and what you find is a garden
made in a long and distinguished tradition of plantsmen and women.
And that makes a garden that is endlessly beguiling, and however
many times you visited it you would always find something new.
I learned a lot of things in Jimi's garden.
Came back full of enthusiasm.
There are lots of things that I can apply here to Longmeadow.
And one of them was his propagation technique.
Jimi uses plants in the hundreds if he likes them.
And you've either got to have loads of money to go and buy the plants
or you've got to propagate them.
But Jimi said that he divides his plants, by and large -
herbaceous perennials at any rate - in summer, when they're growing.
Now, you will read in the books this is a job to do in spring or
in autumn. He does it in high summer when they're in flower
and that way they have lots of vigour and he grows them on.
So I'm going to try that with an Astrantia here.
I'm not going to dig up the whole plant.
I'm going to leave half of it in the ground
and use the other half as stock material.
So I'm going to slice through it.
Dig that out.
I've got a good wodge of plant,
which I will divide into as many different sections as possible.
Come on. HE WHISTLES
The first thing to do is cut all the top growth off.
So I'll just cut along the bottom like this.
And actually what I'm going to be left with are cut flowers.
And I will keep them for that.
That can go into a bucket of water.
Taken for the house for later.
So what we have here are plants that are growing really strongly.
I need to divide them up.
I'm going to use this weeding knife cos they're quite strong roots.
In theory, each one of these, there, there, there and there,
is a new plant, and that's the sort of division I'm going for.
I want lots and lots of small plants.
It's always better, if you can, to tease roots out.
See, there, that's a good one.
Now, this is a tip that Jimi gave me -
do not use normal potting compost.
Use a seed compost.
This is low in nutrients.
So what I have here is coir, vermiculite and leaf mould -
it's nice and loose and it doesn't have much nutrition.
And the thinking behind that is that this has a lot of vigour.
If we give it a rich compost, there'll be a spurt of growth
but there won't be the root formation to support it.
Now, I have to say this is Jimi's idea, not mine. I'm trying it out.
But if my garden ends up looking like his, then I will be very happy.
I don't need to protect these from anything other than
too much sunshine. A little bit of shade is good
and I certainly need to keep them well-watered.
But if they grow and survive, I would expect them
to be showing signs of new growth within a week or so
and be ready to plant out by early October.
By this time next year, we'll have 18 nice, strong new plants.
And it's cost me practically nothing.
If it works, this is a brilliant way to propagate.
I'll keep those watered,
keep them out of the full glare of midday sun
and I expect to see those growing in a few weeks' time.
Now, an awful lot of plants want as much sun as you can give them,
but there are a whole range of plants
that have evolved to operate at night.
And Nick Bailey creates a garden which is at its very best
as the sun gently slips away.
With our increasingly busy lifestyles we're often away from
our gardens between nine and five, when they're looking at their best.
So how about creating a twilight garden?
A garden that comes alive at night.
By selecting the right plants, it's possible to have
both beautiful colour and incredible scent that comes alive at dusk.
Patios are great places to create a twilight space and I'm going to
show you how to transform a drab seating area like this one.
Now, ideally you would go for a south or west-facing wall.
And the reason for that is that it retains heat,
so plants that flower in the evening will release their scent
even more with the heat coming out of the wall.
To transform this concrete void, I need to fill it with plants
and this includes using the walls, so I'm erecting a trellis
for scented climbers to clamber up.
They've been painted lilac, which glows under the moonlight
and is one of the last colours to disappear at dusk.
I'm also putting up ornamental lanterns to provide a gentle light
in the evening and make this area the perfect spot to sit and unwind.
Most patios tend to be bereft of soil,
so I've brought in these large planters.
Now, when they arrive, you'll often find there's polystyrene packaging.
Don't throw it away - it's really useful.
Instead of using crocks in the bottom of planters,
this stays free-draining
and it makes the planters much lighter as well.
I've chosen two beautiful climbers to flank this back wall.
One of them's evergreen - this is Trachelospermum jasminoides.
Has incredible, long runner flower,
beautiful, sweet scent.
And then to accompany it I've gone for a lonicera, a honeysuckle.
The two of these together are going to be fantastic
and I'm going to repeat them in the other planter.
And the lovely thing about these two plants is their flower tones
are pale as well, so they'll also glow out at night.
Now, for the midsection or the mid layer of the planter
I'm going to use a tobacco plant or Nicotiana.
It's a classic night-scented plant.
It has a really long corolla,
so it's the moths that it's trying to draw in at night.
But it's also got that beautifully pale tone,
which will glow out in the moonlight and at dusk.
I want to add some real interest to the front of the planter as well.
These little ivies, Hedera helix,
have just that little sparkle of a white variegation
around the edge, so at night they'll illuminate beautifully.
And to go alongside them I'm going to use this bacopa.
This is a fantastic, pale lilac.
All I need to do now
is repeat exactly the same thing in the other planter.
I don't want to limit the evening scent and colour to the terrace,
I want to extend it out into the rest of the garden
and so I'm going to use a range of plants
through the bed in front of me here.
Now, all-important, of course, for this twilight terrace is ensuring
lots of evening scent, and this is one of the classic ways to do it.
This is Oenothera, or evening primrose.
It's a little bit keen today. It's already come into flower.
But it often opens up just at dusk
and starts emanating that beautiful scent.
Now, if you really want to crank up the scent even more,
there are two plants from South America that are well worth growing.
There's Brugmansia, commonly known as the angel's trumpet,
has huge, huge white flowers,
and marvel of Peru, or Mirabilis jalapa.
I'm just going to add the finishing touches to the terrace.
This is Leucophyta brownii.
It comes from Australia so it's going to love the heat.
I'm also going to use this gardenia.
Now, this is the house plant version. In other words,
it's tender but will grow very happily through the summer.
And the final little addition is this Lobelia erinus.
It's the common bedding lobelia.
But these blue tones will also shine out at dusk.
Creating a twilight garden will enable you to experience one of the
best parts of the day in a haven which comes to life at dusk.
So whether you're entertaining family or friends
or just by yourself, this mix of heady, scented blooms
and flowers that glow at night will turn your evening experiences
into a magical moonlit paradise.
The evening light here in the Jewel Garden
is absolutely the best light of the day.
And there's lots to enjoy.
I don't think I've ever seen this clematis, which is Perle d'Azur,
look so good.
It's just smothered in flower and it's very healthy,
there's not a hint of powdery mildew,
which is what you get when it's very hot and dry.
Don't be tempted to feed them when they're in flower.
They don't need it then. Feed them when they're growing in spring
or even after they've flowered,
but when they're flowering, leave them alone.
And that will encourage the flowering to continue.
Now, it's been a good hot, dry summer, by and large.
So let's see what the weather has in store this weekend.
It is important to keep taking the side shoots out of your tomatoes.
This keeps all the energy into making good fruit.
And where the tomatoes reach the top of the glass,
then just cut it off so it's not pushing against the glass.
It's the fruit down below that you want to ripen and be really good.
Now, you may not grow tomatoes, but don't think you're going to
get away with it, because here are some jobs you can do this weekend.
If you've sown wallflowers for next spring,
it is important to keep them moving on,
so now prick them out into individual plugs.
Keep as much root attached as possible.
Water them and put them
somewhere sheltered that they don't need any protection.
But don't let them get scorched or dry out too much.
If you sow Florence fennel directly into the soil now,
you can be harvesting them in September and October,
but this is a job that you want to do this weekend.
Sow them in rows, spreading the seed as thinly as possible.
Cover them over and water them and then as the seedlings appear
they can be thinned to about nine-inch spacing.
It's easy to overlook blackcurrants and they can become overripe.
So, keep harvesting them now over the next week or two
and make sure that you gather every last berry,
because, as everyone knows,
you can't have summer pudding without blackcurrants.
It's easy to feel as though the garden or your allotment
is getting on top of you. Well, don't let that happen.
Enjoy the luxuriant growth.
Here in the grass borders, the flowers and the grasses entwine
and entangle to form a joyful jungle.
Let summer overwhelm you with delight and make the most of it.
I'm afraid there's no more time today.
Next week we are back on Fridays at nine o'clock.
But if you can't wait till then, you can catch me and the team
tomorrow night at RHS Flower Show Tatton Park on BBC TWO at 7.30.
Till then, bye-bye.
Monty visits a floral paradise just outside Dublin to discover how plantsman Jimi Blake fills his garden with flora for free. Monty also gives advice on what to sow now in the veg garden.
Adam Frost is on the hunt for some clever design ideas in a garden in Littlehampton, while Nick Bailey shows how to transform a bland patio into a space that looks and smells incredible at twilight. Mark Lane travels to Oldham to visit a newly opened Maggie's Centre and Carol Klein reveals her highly fragrant plant of the month.