Monty Don advises on the summer pruning of fruit trees. Carol Klein meets one of her gardening heroes and Nick Bailey is on the trail of some alien invaders to our gardens.
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Hello. Welcome to Gardeners' World.
Well, in amongst the grass borders, I've got some bindweed.
Now, bindweed is bad news because every little scrap of root
will develop a new plant,
and that can choke a border.
And there is a feeling at this time of year
that the borders are running away with it anyway,
and if you've got weeds to boot,
that can be daunting.
The secret is, just take control.
When it comes to the bindweed, pull it up, cos that will weaken it,
but you do need to dig the roots out.
If you can't get at it now, you can do so later in the year,
but mark the spot.
And in terms of the borders themselves, plan.
You can see here a good example. We've got this aster.
This is Aster umbellatus.
I gave it a Chelsea chop about six weeks ago,
and it's a good example of how a Chelsea chop works,
because that has staggered the flowering
and just adds a level of interest
which would otherwise be part of the overwhelming mass of planting.
On tonight's programme,
we make our first visit to a garden in Wiltshire being
created by a whole community,
with a little bit of help from Flo and Joe.
Carol travels to the Isle of Wight
to meet one of her horticultural heroes, Roy Lancaster.
Nick Bailey uncovers some insect invaders that we should all
be on the lookout for in our gardens.
And I visit a large garden in Hampshire
that has been created entirely in the last five years.
The Jewel Garden is really beginning to kick in
with these intense colours,
which, obviously, is something that we have to renew and refresh
and manage year after year.
So I need to replenish my stocks,
and very few of the late-summer flowers are richer
or indeed better than heleniums.
The best-known helenium,
and the one that we've all grown for years,
is Moerheim Beauty, but another really good one is this.
It's Sahin's Early Flowerer.
Now, don't be misled by the name -
"early" simply means it starts to flower early,
but it actually goes on flowering as long as any helenium you can buy,
well into September.
And this one, which I chose because it's got lovely rich colour.
This is rightly called Vivace,
and vivacious it certainly is.
I'm going to plant a group.
I need to make a little bit of room...
..and fill the gap with Vivace.
All heleniums come from North America,
and they tend to grow on the banks of rivers.
They like damp feet and sunny heads.
If I plant a clump like that, I get an instant hit.
Now, obviously, that's three times as expensive as planting just one,
but there is a little bit of method in this extravagance
because it's going to give me real drama for the rest of this summer,
and next spring, I can take half of it out
and divide that up into as many as 20 or even 30 plants.
So, if you like, this is an investment.
Obviously, when you plant anything in midsummer,
in full flower, it needs a really good soak.
And don't let them dry out for the rest of the summer.
Once a week, if it hasn't rained,
then give them a good watering-can full of water,
and that will establish the roots,
and the stronger the roots are when they go into autumn,
the more likely they are to survive for winter.
Now, if you didn't know already, this is our golden jubilee year.
Gardeners' World is 50 years old,
and as part of our celebrations, which are ongoing,
we've teamed up with the local news programme Points West,
they have a 60th anniversary,
and we wanted to do something that involved a local community.
So we asked people to get in touch if they needed help
transforming a community space.
We set up a panel that included Joe Swift and Flo Headlam,
and Potterne, a village in Wiltshire, was chosen.
The local youth worker, Steve Dewar, submitted ideas
on behalf of the community.
-Thank you very much.
-So, you've been chosen, which is wonderful.
What motivated you to put Potterne forward in the first place?
It's a very diverse community.
We've got social housing and private housing, and different age groups
as well, but we have minimal facilities and resources,
and so the opportunity just to see things change,
and look after the space that we have
and make it more beautiful than it is.
So what do you think this garden will actually give to the community?
One, it's the opportunity just to come together and just chat.
We've got people that have never met each other
and yet probably live 100 metres from each other,
and have lived here for years.
It's really exciting. Let's go and see the garden.
-We haven't seen it yet.
-It's over here.
You would never know there was a garden here.
It's a secret spot hidden down a little lane,
with a big surprise.
-Here we are.
-Oh, my gosh!
-It's a brilliant space, isn't it?
-Isn't it great?
This willow tunnel is... It's grown a lot!
So, this went in about four years ago.
We created it with Wiltshire Wildlife,
-they came in and helped us. It needs managing.
It needs cutting and pruning, basically,
but it's a great structure to have. It's really nice.
It's a lovely shape.
It just brings you in and takes you on this journey.
There's also a collection of apple trees,
a rather weather-beaten polytunnel
and a big lack of anywhere to just sit down and have a cup of tea.
A few of us kind of put in some seeds
and just waited,
and we're still waiting to then do something with it.
We've got the potential here to do quite a lot.
There's plenty of opportunity for learning for kids
and for the whole community.
You grow your own stuff. You put it in the ground...
-You take it from the flower bed to the plate.
Flo and I are only here to offer some help.
The whole project is to be guided by Steve and the local community.
Now, they've had lots of ideas and, based on that,
I've come up with a design.
So my thoughts are probably sort of starting
with a sort of circular theme.
This actually sort of creates a heart to the space,
and I also think it's very important to create
a lot of planting areas,
and a sense of division within the garden,
and that can be done with hedging, tall grasses, perennials.
It can be done with planting, rather than structures,
and it's cheaper, and much more wildlife friendly, anyway.
So, sort of around the perimeter, creating these areas for growing.
So, you know, here we could start thinking about putting, maybe,
-a potting shed.
-This could be either a play area here...
Wildflowers and things as well?
Yeah. I think this is all to be planted up,
like a proper garden.
There's loads of opportunities to create...
you know, pollinators.
This could maybe be a slightly jungly area,
over where the kids are,
bamboos and things like that, just for a bit of drama.
And the central hub becomes this seating area.
-I just feel that the centre of it should be the social space.
Otherwise, you're going to get stuck in a corner.
I like the idea that you've already got here -
you've got some basic zones.
While Joe and Steve start to mark out the new seating area,
I'm meeting with some of the community
that, crucially, include members of the local gardening club,
to create a plan to galvanise their neighbours.
If you want to do gardening, you've got to make it fun.
-You really have got to make it fun.
-And there has to be a reward.
We've got a very active gardening club,
and hopefully they will want to get involved and pass on knowledge.
Sometimes I get a bit stuck, and just knowing,
every Saturday morning,
there's going to be a group of experts up there
that I could take my cucumber and, "Look, it's all yellow..."
Cos that's the problem I've got at the moment! I would love that.
It'll galvanise the whole community to see what they can offer.
From my experience of community gardens,
the way to bring it together, make it cohesive,
is to have particular days when people know things are happening.
It gives people a structure to know that, actually, do you know what,
there's a focus every single week.
But thinking more long-term about the garden,
just think about how you can use that space throughout the year.
Make people want to be there.
Well, the weather's taken a turn for the worse,
but we haven't got time to waste
so I'm going to start work with this rather overgrown willow tunnel.
I'm going to get a bit serious with it.
And if you could just keep pulling them out.
-So be quite ruthless with it?
-Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
You can get very ruthless with this stuff.
And word has got out fast because, despite the weather,
the community is already starting
the big job of weeding the raised beds.
So, this time round, what do you think you need to do differently
in order to keep the momentum and keep the interest?
Awareness, I think, to be fair with you.
To make everyone aware that we're not just here for just 24 hours.
We're here long-term, to try and see if we can get the children involved,
try to make them understand how we can grow vegetables
so they can take it home.
-So that they've got something that belongs to them.
We've taken the roof off this section completely.
But it has to be done. This is quite drastic work
but now we're ready to weave in the side bits.
If you just keep bending it in and out.
Do you remember your basket-weaving evening classes, Steve?
I'm sure you've done a few of those.
-I've got a badge.
-You've got a badge?!
It's just so flexible as well, isn't it?
Yeah. It's nice when it's this bendy.
So that'll continue to thicken up?
That'll thicken up and then it'll start growing out again,
and then you just have to keep clipping it back.
Trust me, Steve, trust me.
-We've done a lot today.
-A cracking day.
How are you feeling about it all?
It's just great seeing things starting to work,
and people getting involved
and, yeah, people who we weren't even expecting to turn up
just came along and mucked in.
So, in the next few weeks, moving it on,
I would look at getting some of the infrastructure in first,
like the covered area,
maybe digging out for the surfacing to go in,
and maybe the archway over the door,
and then it should all start coming together,
-and then you've got bite-sized projects after that.
Having a plan of, like, on the days you want them to come down,
having tasks laid out,
so they know there's something to do on those days.
-It's a family thing, as well.
-Yeah. Yeah. Give them some refreshment,
-a cup of tea and cake.
-We all like that.
If anyone could do it, Steve...
-You're the man!
Flo and Joe will be returning to Potterne a number of times
in the weeks to come,
hopefully with a little bit of better weather,
just to see the project through to the next phase.
Glorious day here today at Longmeadow,
and I'm going to train my pumpkins up tripods.
But you do need really strong supports.
And then I'll tie them at the top
and then train the tendrils up the sticks.
Now, that's good and robust.
I know a lot of us either don't grow pumpkins at all
or don't grow as many as we would like
because we're simply short of space.
Well, if you can't go sideways, go up!
As long as the support is strong enough,
the plant will love it. The fruits will ripen better
and, obviously, it means you can't grow the enormous pumpkins
but any that grow as big as a large melon will be perfectly happy.
Now, talking about going up,
the very top of the gardening tree is occupied by one man.
He's a hero to many of us,
those of us who have had the privilege of working with him,
those who have read his books or been to his lectures.
It is, of course, Roy Lancaster,
who, amongst many other things, was a long-term
and highly respected presenter of Gardeners' World.
And last week, Carol met Roy on the Isle of Wight,
and they went for a very special botanical stroll.
I've met Roy Lancaster on quite a lot of occasions,
and listened to him speak.
He's hugely inspiring.
He's made my knowledge and my love for plants
so much greater than it could otherwise have been.
And today, I've actually got the whole day with him,
walking on the Isle of Wight.
So, why did you choose the Isle of Wight for our meeting?
Well, it's very special to me for all kinds of reasons.
I first heard of it years ago.
When I was a boy growing up in the '40s, growing up in Bolton,
and when we used to go with our parents to Blackpool,
the wakes week,
there was one boy who used to go with his parents
to the Isle of Wight, and we used to be thinking,
"Where's the Isle of Wight?!"
But it wasn't until I came to live in the south in '62
that I started visiting,
and my first visits of course told me about this wonderful flora,
for a start, and all these different habitats,
and you never know what you're going to see here.
The great thing about these shorelines
is that they are full of curious plants.
Have a look at... Three different kinds here.
But are they different? So, this is the obvious one,
-the sea holly.
-Sea holly. The prickliest plant ever.
One of your favourites, I think.
-I love it.
-And this lovely bloomy colour.
That reduces the transpiration -
all the strong winds blowing
and it stops the water from disappearing too quickly.
-And it protects it from the salt too, I suppose, doesn't it?
A very strong root, but it helps keep the shingle and sand together,
-it helps to bind it.
-And this wild carrot.
Oh, look at that. Isn't that smashing?
It's a really exciting place, this.
Isn't it fabulous, just looking?
Roy's been showered with accolades and awards.
He's a vice-president of the RHS,
president of the Hardy Plants Society,
and he's been made both an OBE and a CBE.
It's all a long way from his beginnings.
It all started when, coming back from a bird ramble,
and I found a strange plant in an allotment.
-It turned out to be a Mexican tobacco plant.
And I took it to the museum, and my local curator said,
"I don't know what it is.
"I'm going to send it to the British Museum in London."
-Well, three weeks later,
I had a letter back from a boffin saying,
"Congratulations. It's the first record for Lancashire."
And I thought, "Well, I wasn't even looking for rare plants.
"If it's that easy, I want to find more.
"I must know more about plants."
So that really kick-started the whole thing?
And then, later on,
you actually got a job to do with plants.
I became the nipper on the parks department,
and I had two foremen there who took me in hand and said,
"Right, we're going to teach you about proper names,
"Latin names, OK?
"And we'll not only teach you what the names...how to pronounce them,
"but what they mean and where they come from, the stories."
I realised then that the names were keys to unlock
these histories of plants. The world came alive for me
-through the names of plants.
-Yeah. Where are you going to take me next?
-I've got a special place I want to show you.
-Where is it?
Ah-ha. You wait and see.
In 1957, Roy was sent to Malaya for his National Service.
It was an eye-opener.
I wanted to bring you to this what, to me, is a really special place
on the island. It's the nearest I've found
in the south of England
to a rainforest, as in Malaya.
I mean, the darkness, the tall tree, high canopy,
but most of all the thing I remember were the ferns,
-the giant ferns.
-So, you arrive in Malaya.
What did you think when you saw these totally different plants
that, as you say, you'd only seen growing in parks departments
-in a glasshouse?
-Well, you're suddenly in a situation
where every plant is different, every plant is new,
and, of course, my reaction was to collect a piece -
a bit of a frond, a flower, a leaf -
and because I had a Bren gun,
-I had these large ammunition pouches...
..I used these ammunition pouches to put specimens in.
It might be a fern, a plant, but equally,
it could be a snake or a spider,
a bird-eating spider on one occasion.
I would send all the specimens, plants,
to the Singapore Botanic Gardens,
sometimes to Kew...
Just to identify them?
I wanted to get names for them.
-Still the same curiosity?
Different plants, different creatures,
-but still the same curiosity.
-Yes. It was wonderful.
He went on to do two years at Cambridge Botanic Gardens
and, from there, won a position
at the prestigious Hillier Nurseries and Gardens.
Eventually, he became the first curator of their arboretum.
But, for me, Roy's greatest gift to us gardeners
is his pure love for plants.
-I always believe that plant exploration starts at home.
You look at the plants on your own doorstep that you see every day,
and you find out about them.
Where do they come from? What are they?
Why are they here?
And then, you move outwards, and gradually,
the whole world becomes almost like your backyard.
When I think of Roy Lancaster,
above all else, I think of a communicator.
I've always thought that knowledge of plants or anything,
really, is only of use when you pass it on.
Treat knowledge like a hot potato. Pass it on quick. Don't keep it.
Share it quickly, as fast as you can. With young people especially.
And they get something of the magic of plants, the plant world,
and the world at large, in which plants are a part, of course.
I can personally testify to Roy's generosity
because when I started working with him
for the first time about 20 years ago, I was in awe of him,
and he could not have made me feel more welcome or at ease.
He is a wonderful inspiration to us all.
Now, talking of exotic plants, you can hardly get something that is
performing more spectacularly than agapanthus at the moment.
This, of course, comes from South Africa,
and we see it when we go on holiday in Spain and Portugal,
anywhere you have a Mediterranean climate.
But I do get quite a few letters of people saying they've either moved
an agapanthus or bought one and potted it up,
and they get lots of foliage but no flowers.
And the reason for that is that agapanthus flower best
when their roots are tightly constrained.
So, when you pot it up,
only give it at most about an inch of space around the roots.
Don't put it into too big a pot.
And let it grow until it is just one solid mass of root.
It will then flower spectacularly.
But, even though it doesn't like too much compost around it,
it does need watering and feeding.
I water these weekly
and once a fortnight give them a feed of liquid seaweed.
And that helps the flowering keep going.
And don't stop the watering and feeding after the flowering is over
because next year's flower buds
are formed in late summer and early autumn.
So, keep on watering,
and then take them in out of the frost
round about the middle of October.
Now, the agapanthus here on the mound
are looking fairly established.
In fact, the whole garden feels mature.
But when I came here, this was a bare, empty field,
and over the last 25 years,
we've slowly created a garden.
But last week, I went down to Hampshire
to visit a large garden
that has been created in its entirety
in just the last five years.
I have to confess that I'd never heard of Malverleys,
but that's not wholly surprising, because this is a brand-new garden.
It's only five years old.
And the interesting thing is that from the outset, it was conceived on
a heroic scale, a new garden that was going to be truly magnificent.
The head gardener Mat Reece and his team
were behind the transformation of ten acres of grounds.
And it began with a whole year of planning.
You are always champing at the bit to make your mark, to get stuck in.
But it's important to get to know what the soil is like,
where the prevailing weather comes from.
And, also, what you want out of the garden takes a while to decide.
For example, those first ideas,
sometimes you need to sit on them, and there can be
moments of inspiration, but often, they are just kind of novelties.
Mat spent six years working for the late Christopher Lloyd at
one of the best known of all English gardens, Great Dixter.
-That must've been a really strong influence.
-A huge influence.
-I mean, pivotal.
-And it influenced this garden directly.
The design itself is relatively simple.
We split the garden up into rooms, similar to Great Dixter.
We've used new hedging to create the walls, if you like.
Ewell is a perfect canvas to paint your flowers against.
Did you have any trepidation?
I think, yeah. I mean, I think I found it, um...
It was a huge space.
It's really important, I think, when you are designing any space,
whether you are a gardener or a landscape designer,
to make sure you know it intimately, and to peg things out.
It sounds archaic and a bit sort of amateurish but it works,
it really does.
As I understand it, there was the intention to make a big,
for want of a better word, grand garden.
In some ways, we've made a rod for our own back.
You know, there is a lot of work to keep this garden looking good.
It is a large garden. But I think it was just born out of enthusiasm.
So, do you think it will get grander?
Well, I hope it will get nicer, uh, as it gets older.
This is the white garden.
On its day, it has such a beautiful atmosphere.
And quite quickly,
I became aware of how difficult it is to garden with white.
You only need something to start going over.
It is like the dark speck on the white shirt.
-And it becomes a stain.
Your eye is drawn to it immediately.
You've got to go in and edit the whole time.
What are your absolute go-to plants for a white garden?
Ammi majus and Eryngium giganteum.
I mean, I could keep going.
The terrace is one of Mat's most recent additions,
and yet it gives the appearance of having been there forever.
Did you have this in mind from day one or has this emerged
out of the ground?
I had this idea of introducing self-sowers
and these willowy, wispy type plants,
and just letting them do their own thing.
It is quite experimental in many ways.
You've allowed all these lovely little things to appear in
the middle of the path and you have to go around them when you walk.
That really goes against the whole idea of
a big terrace in front of a big house, stretching out.
I mean, that inverts the whole order of things.
I feel the house sits comfortably with this garden
because we have climbers on the house and they sort of
drip down into the borders around, and then, you know...
You've got fragments of the border self-sowing into the path,
so everything kind of feels nice and comfortable
and there is a togetherness.
It's a controlled freedom.
The last five years have created this extraordinary garden
with a massive amount achieved.
Are you nearly where you are aiming at?
Or is this part of a much longer-term project?
And what is that? What does the future hold?
Erm, I think, you know...
we're not going to extend the gardens much more,
but we will continue to work on the borders.
I mean, we will see where the plants take us.
Come back and see us in five years.
I will take you up on that.
I do know that when you visit a really big garden, there is
a tendency to feel overwhelmed.
But there is always something that you can find that really relates
to your garden at home. This is the cool garden.
And it circles around this amazing great big bowl,
hiding the fact that it is a very odd shape.
It's not rectangular and it is not coordinated.
So, by creating this circular rhythm to it,
and these big, deep borders, you close in on the shape,
you look inwards.
You could do this in a small garden with a lovely basin of water.
The idea of having water ON water is a really nice idea.
You can use this sort of thing.
These ideas plus plant associations are something that you can
find and use and apply to your garden at home.
I have to say that was a lovely garden but the terrace was
the best thing of its kind that I have ever seen.
That loose abandon so carefully orchestrated is a masterpiece.
Now, I can't pretend that this part of the damp garden
is as carefully orchestrated as Malverleys,
but I do let plants seed and spread and then just try
and control them a little bit.
These ostrich ferns, the Matteuccia,
have got a bit burnt in the hot dry weather, but all you have to do
is cut off the frazzled ferns, and they will regrow.
But that has spread all over this area, and in amongst it,
that Lysimachia ciliata Firecracker,
that puts runners out
and actually can become very invasive, if you let it.
But all these plants can be weeded,
they can be transplanted,
but they form a matrix, and you can plant into that, and that idea is
something I try and spread right across the whole of this garden.
Coming up on the programme,
we meet a chef who is growing all his own veg for his restaurant.
And Rachel goes to RHS Wisley to see how gardening has changed
and evolved over the past 50 years.
But first, Nick Bailey goes to Oxfordshire,
to visit the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology,
to find out more about the alien insect invaders
that are becoming increasingly common in our gardens.
Our gardens and allotments are complex ecological worlds.
Finely balanced ecosystems
where native insects mix with new arrivals.
For the last 50 years,
the number of non-native species has been increasing dramatically.
Several of them are unwelcome insects,
and left to their own devices, they can cause havoc in the garden.
Professor Helen Roy is from the Centre of Ecology
and Hydrology and it is down to her and her team
that gardeners know what to look out for.
She is going to guide me through some of their current concerns -
those that are established across the country,
and those that we need to be on our guard for.
This problem with non-native invasive species coming in
to the UK, why does it present such a problem to gardeners and growers?
Well, a number of them will be pest insects, for instance,
that might reduce yields of the crops people are trying to
grow in their allotment or garden, but in other cases,
they might be predators that will disrupt some of what is happening
in terms of the way other predators are feeding on those pest insects.
There's about 2,000 non-native species in Britain.
Only 15 percent of those cause any problem at all,
but that small number can be economically quite costly,
but also can be costly in terms of the threat to biodiversity.
In fact, they are the major cause of biodiversity loss on islands.
OK. So, let's go bug hunting.
So, this is one of the invasive non-native species
that we have been talking about.
This is the immature stage of the harlequin ladybird,
so it is called a larva.
You can see it's a little grub-like creature,
it has got these orange bands down either side.
If we get a closer look,
you will see that it is really very, very spiky.
It doesn't just feed on aphids, it will feed on other insects
as well, so it will feed on the other ladybirds,
it will feed on lacewings, and also hoverflies as well.
So it is both taking away our native ladybirds' food,
-and also eating our native ladybirds.
-Oh, yeah, absolutely.
And we've really seen dramatic declines in the two-spot ladybird.
So, this is the adult form,
and this is the most common colour form of the harlequin ladybird.
This bright orange with lots and lots of black spots,
and those two white markings on either side of the head.
The other colour form is black with either two or four red spots.
We have a combinations of features -
the pale legs, very round, quite a large ladybird.
They are native to Asia, they were introduced to mainland Europe
as a biological control agent,
but they have arrived here both by flying across the Channel,
and also with humans and produce, for instance.
And what's quite spectacular is that the first record
was in 2004 in Essex, they spread at 100 kilometres per year,
and now they are all the way across England and into Wales,
and even into southern Scotland.
There is nothing we can do about the harlequin ladybird now -
it is here and it is here to stay.
So, please don't kill them anyway, because you could affect
the other ladybirds as well.
-So, you could misidentify them very easily.
But what we can do is learn some valuable lessons
from the harlequin ladybird, and we have done that.
So, improving biosecurity, better surveillance, preventing the arrival
of the species in the first place, that is what we need to be doing.
Some non-native invasive insects may be past control,
but there is one species
that Helen and her team are determined to stop spreading here.
This is a Queen Asian hornet,
so this is pretty much as big as the Asian hornet gets.
It has got quite an orange face,
and you can see a distinctive orange band.
Our main concerns about the Asian hornet are that it feeds
on pollinating insects,
and it really has a like for honeybees, for instance.
So, it will hang around beehives,
it will pick off the honeybees in the air,
so there is hawking behaviour, and then it will mash them up
into a little pellet that it takes back to its larvae to feed
back in its own colony.
And its own colony might be about 6,000 individuals,
so huge potential for population growth.
So, how did the hornet get to be in Europe and the UK?
So, it arrived in France in 2004 in a pottery consignment.
And there was just one queen, but she had been mated,
and she was able to establish a colony after she arrived.
Are we aware of how many are in the UK?
So, last September,
we had the first sightings of the Asian hornet in Gloucestershire.
It was only a couple of records, and they were eradicated.
If there were any queens that overwintered,
and we very much hope there weren't, then they would be waking up
-and they would be setting up their colonies.
Why is it coming potentially over here at this time,
rather than 500 years ago?
So, we are moving around more,
we are going on holiday to far-flung lands, we're bringing in commodities
from all over the world, and with these commodities,
and in our luggage, come some of these hitchhiking species.
So, is there a potential that climate change
or rising temperatures or changes in precipitation
might be supporting that movement?
Certainly, we know that climate warming is making
some of our habitats more suitable for some of the insects,
for instance, that wouldn't have otherwise settled in the UK.
But it is the species that have been moved by humans specifically
that are the ones we are concerned about
and the ones that we can do something about.
People can make a really big difference to this problem.
If you think you've seen an Asian hornet in your garden,
the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology would like to hear from you.
You can get details on how you do that from our website.
It's time to start summer pruning,
and that particularly applies to trained fruit trees like these.
These are espaliers grown in horizontal rows,
and any trained shape needs pruning in summer
because summer pruning restricts growth,
whereas winter pruning, which you do when all the leaves are down,
and that tends to be just for established fruit trees.
The first thing to do is to take off any unwanted vertical shoots.
You can see, they are very strong, very clear.
Don't take them right down,
but leave two or three leaves or pairs of leaves
because what you want to establish are fruiting spurs -
all the fruit comes off a spur.
So we'll cut that back.
And that back.
The other really important purpose is to let light and air
into the growing fruits, and this means they will ripen much better,
whereas if they are shaded, that can stop them ripening at all.
And remember with all pruning, you can always take off a bit more,
but you can't stick it back on, so go steady.
When you've removed the obvious excess growth,
then you want to start tying in and training.
This one at the end,
although it looks like it is a vertical growth,
is actually the end of the horizontal.
Now, what we do is train that down, but not the whole branch.
Espaliers want to grow upwards,
that is where their greatest vigour is,
and you need that extra vigour to make it go horizontally.
So we'll just tie that in like that there.
And the end will very quickly...
..start to go upwards again.
So, that is now pruned, trained, and ready.
And you can apply this to any kind of trained fruit tree.
And if you've got an overgrown big apple tree,
of course, you can prune that in summer, too,
and that'll create a new shape.
Now, all this may look nice but it's geared towards the pears, the fruit,
and a ripe pear from the garden is so good.
And you really can't buy that
because the timing has to be exact.
In fact, anybody who grows fruit or vegetables in their garden,
or allotment, knows that the pleasure that they give,
not just in the growing but on the table, cannot be matched.
And earlier in spring, we went to West Wales to visit a chef
who has been bitten by the grow-your-own bug.
My name is Sahish. Shaish Alam. I'm 43.
I live in Newcastle Emlyn in West Wales.
I originally came from Bangladesh.
I was born in Bangladesh, but I came here at a very young age.
My dad used to work for the British High Commission.
I have a lot of passions and a lot of things.
My food, it's been a part of me for a long, long time.
Of course, many years ago I opened a restaurant.
Just a normal Indian, your local Indian restaurant.
I decided, you know what, with a bit of space, bit of knowledge,
bit of love, I'm sure I could grow.
Couple of years ago,
got myself a little garden at the back of the restaurant.
I turned it into a beautiful productive garden.
Then I got myself this three and a half acres of garden to do
and here, I could do a vast amount of veg.
I have the two fields.
The one at the back,
this is where I rear the chickens for the restaurant,
and I keep bees right at the far corner.
They help me pollinate the area around here.
They do what they do the best. You know, they are busy bees.
Of course, this was just a field.
Nothing on it but grass that had been growing for 30-40 years.
First thing I had to develop is water source.
Anywhere it rains on this field, it comes straight down to this part.
Helped me irrigate the whole garden.
I started all this when I started thinking about sustainability.
You know, I have all my travels and things like that,
I have tasted beautiful organic food
and it's... The difference is vast.
And, of course, I would love that for my children and my family
and, at the same time, I would love it for my restaurant.
This is where the first vegetable of the seasons will be going in.
A lot of the brassicas. Cauliflower, broccolis, and things like that.
So, all these four beds will be full of them and that's going in today.
Everything is ready. This is the time to plant.
Beautiful day, we'll be planting away now.
There you go. Next to the polytunnel.
Well, put them in the polytunnel for now. Tomatoes.
For the fourth bed. Yeah?
Today, I've got my boys from the restaurant
and they've been helping me.
I've got a few friends come from London.
Put these in that one.
There's a lot of planting to do so they come down
and help me straightaway. In one day, everything done.
It gives me the rest of the summer to relax.
These brassicas need a lot of space, roughly two foot.
Put it here - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven.
On the seventh one.
Before I started my gardening, I actually didn't know much.
I knew, you know, plants. My mom had chilli trees.
I never actually planted anything.
When I came down to it, I thought, you know what, I'm going to do it.
And, as soon as I started, it was actually easy.
It's not bad. It actually looks really straight.
This bed is actually created, it hasn't got the ground cover
because my Bengali red spinach is going to go.
It's completely different
to what most people will have in this country.
I use spinach as decorations, garnish.
The colour on them is so beautiful, and I love things like that.
This was part of my culture, my ways,
so I'm bringing it to Wales, really.
Hitting it, so, moving the ground
will just let the seeds behind fall straight in.
Just enough, because I do want them not on the surface, just underneath.
In this polytunnel, first of all, from the beginning
of the summer, in January, February, I put a lot of coriander in.
OK, maybe this year I've put a little bit too much
because I've got so much.
Also, the hot humid temperatures that create
for being in a polytunnel is ideal for my Indian, Bengali veg.
My chillies are the key to everything.
This I have the most love of.
Got these purple chillies. It's very desirable back home.
But these are my babies. These are Bengali Naga.
With plants like these, the more branches, the more fruits.
To get branches, you take out the top.
Every time you take out a top on chilli plants,
or pepper plants, it branches out.
Now, you see, the top part of it is here
and I'll be taking this one out
just like that, straight out.
Then, now, because it hasn't got two side shoots,
it will give out two more branches from each side.
Like all chillies, especially Naga Morich, they like a hard life.
They come from a barren land in Bangladesh,
where it's really really hot.
You got to water them
as least as possible.
You let it, literally, near enough, wilt out and then you give it
a bit of water and then it spruces up and it gets hotter.
My expertise in gardening will show on the heat of my chillies.
Hopefully, with my hard work and the right information
and the right plant, I am going to beat the world record
of having the hottest chilli on this planet grown by me,
I've always been dreaming big, but I like being the best,
I don't go half-hearted.
It makes me happy. So, I carry on doing it.
-That looks delicious!
Coriander, a few ingredients from the garden made a paste,
put it on top, straight on the barbecue then.
I think one of the reasons they come here is for this.
You put a few plants in, they take out the nutrients
from the ground and, in return, you get beautiful healthy food.
And this healthy food is the key for happiness.
And good life, and good skin, and good everything. Yeah?
I couldn't agree more.
Your own food doesn't only taste better,
I'm sure it's better for you, too.
Where I do differ from Shaish is that
I'm not really interested in growing chillies for extreme heat.
Bangladeshi chillies are famous for being really fiery.
But, in principle, I like a fruity chilli with just enough heat
just to add a frisson to the palate.
Now, to get really good chilli fruit,
you need decent-sized plants, and I have to say straight away
that my chillies are much too small for this time of year.
I'd like them to be twice as big.
However, I'm not bothered, because they will go on growing,
flowering, and producing fruit
well into November or Christmas time.
So, there's plenty of time for the plants to bulk up, get nice and big
and, of course, the bigger the plant is, the more fruits it will have.
But the key thing to do is to keep feeding them.
I feed mine weekly with a liquid seaweed mix.
Proprietary tomato feed would be just as good.
What you want is nice steady growth
to support the production of flowers and, therefore, fruit
over the coming three or four months.
One final tip.
Don't water chillies after four or five o'clock.
They shouldn't go to bed damp.
Your biggest problems are going to be fungal,
and if they dry out by the time that it gets cool and dark
you're much less likely to have fungal problems.
And that's one of the reasons why I use a very gritty mix,
so they drain.
So, keep dry at bedtime.
You can be sure that 50 years ago, when Gardeners' World started,
practically no-one was growing chillies.
In fact, practically no-one was eating chillies back then.
And earlier this spring, Rachel visited RHS Wisley in Surrey
to look at the ways that plants were used in our gardens
and our gardening techniques
have changed and evolved over the last 50 years.
It's been 50 years since Percy Thrower launched Gardeners' World.
In fact, it was one of the first BBC programmes
to be shot in glorious colour.
And it's not stretching the point too far to suggest
that it kick-started five decades of change
and incredible innovation in British gardening.
And somebody who knows all about that change
is the head of the Lindley Library, Fiona Davison.
Fiona, the sheer pace of change in the last 50 years,
it's been really quite phenomenal.
Why do you think that is?
Since the war, I think people in general have got a lot more affluent
so they've been able to buy colour tellies
to watch Gardeners' World in colour.
And car ownership
so they've been able to travel around the country.
Garden visiting has really boomed in the last 50 years.
Foreign holidays is another thing that brought
people into contact with a much wider palette of plants.
Until that point, I think,
gardens for most people were a set menu of ingredients.
So, you'd have your lawn and your border and your rockery
and your roses.
But you didn't really deviate that much from that model.
Whereas, now, I think people have got a much broader
palette of plants and styles to choose from.
The last 50 years has also seen
an explosion of new horticultural technologies
which has changed the way we garden.
And Fiona is showing me a few treasures
from the library's collection.
It's often the little things that make the biggest difference
and if I had to plump for one technology
that really transformed gardening in the last 50 years,
I would go with plastic plant pots.
Now, these are little foldy polythene plant pots,
I think, from the late '60s.
But it's the plastic pot that led to a big shift in how we buy plants.
That's had such an effect on our gardening.
If you think back aways to how we used to buy plants,
we had to buy plants while they were dormant
and you would get them by mail order and then you'd plant them.
So, this one's from a firm in Kent in the '50s,
but it's just a plant list.
Without pictures, it does make it very difficult.
You have to know your stuff.
I can't imagine, now,
buying something without at least having some visual reference.
The plastic pot meant that you could go to somewhere
and buy a pot in flower.
And the idea that you could watch Gardeners' World on the weekend,
see a plant in full colour, hie over to the garden centre,
put it in the back of your car and have it in your garden that weekend.
It's just a gardening revolution, really,
and all down to plastic pots.
Whilst plastic pots are very much in use, Gardeners' World
has covered the rise and fall of a different technology -
Lindane to control the sucking insects and the caterpillars
and Kaptan to control the pear scab.
There was a long period where not using chemicals
was seen as slightly eccentric.
Because with the Second World War and the Dig For Victory drive,
it was all about productivity in the garden and you would use
the latest technology to kill any pests and grow as much as you could.
Yes, I remember, my father certainly
would have sprayed anything that moved
and probably most things that didn't, just to be sure.
But in the 1980s,
Geoff Hamilton pioneered a move away from chemicals.
We can't use slug pellets because it's an organic plot
so I'm going to try a new method.
This is very coarse bark.
But perhaps Britain's biggest obsession for the last 50 years
has been its lawns.
Barely a series has gone by without us tackling our turf.
Spiking all over...
Push it in for about four inches and wiggle it about.
Press down on it and the soil is pushed down.
Now, isn't this the greenest lawn you've ever seen?
So, I thought I'd show you some slightly larger things
from the collection.
Gosh! It's beautiful.
This is probably late 19th century.
-Little tiny mower for mowing between beds.
-This is kind of 1920s.
-So, rotary mowers that give you a nice stripe.
But then you'd get to the late 1960s, early 1970s.
So, this is the Lawnderette.
-Would that be aimed at women, do you think?
Slightly bad pun.
This is reasonably early electric mower from
kind of the early 1970s.
This is all about saving time.
I mean, it's virtually an outdoor hoover.
And it's one of a whole plethora of electric gizmos
that would have come into our garden.
Strimmers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers and, of course,
lawnmowers in all their various forms.
There's no doubt that there have been enormous changes
in the way we garden over the last five decades.
We've certainly got far more choice than we've ever had,
but I think the fundamentals remain the same.
Whether it's the rhythm of the seasons,
the beauty of a plant, or the joy of getting your hands in the soil,
those things really don't change.
The RHS is celebrating our 50th anniversary
with a special exhibition at the Lindley Library in London.
If you want to go and see it,
check our website for details.
I don't think it matters what you grow.
That essential, very elemental pleasure...
..of nurturing plants in the soil
can't be dictated to by fashion or time.
And that intense physical and spiritual pleasure
of the soil in your hands, of sowing a seed
and raising a plant, of seeing it grow to beauty
and sharing that has never changed and never will change.
That is why we garden.
But it doesn't mean to say that there isn't work to do.
So here are some jobs for the weekend.
Biennials such as foxgloves are setting seed fast.
If you're going away, it's a good idea to collect some now,
in case they ripen in your absence.
Simply cut the flowering stem and put it into an envelope
and then, when you're ready,
they can be sorted out and sown.
As August approaches, more and more tomatoes are appearing.
Remove the lower leaves from your from your cordons.
This will expose green fruit to sun and increase ripening
and also increase airflow,
and this reduces the chances of blight.
It is time to sow salad leaves for autumn harvest.
I like to sow them in small batches over a couple of weeks.
Certainly, a job that is always relevant at this time of year
If you deadhead, you're guaranteeing more and more flowers.
These kangaroo paws plants from Australia,
they can be cut right back down, like that.
And this stem can go down there,
and this one, and if I cut the first spikes off regularly
it'll keep producing new flowers until it gets too cold,
which will be round about the beginning of October.
Talking about too cold, let's see what the weather is going to be like
for us gardeners this weekend.
Well, all I hope is that tomorrow
we have as fine a day as we have done today,
because tomorrow is my son's wedding day.
And all the flowers that we've been growing since last September,
cos that's when the ammi was sown,
will be picked tonight for decorating the church.
And I'll be back here next Friday,
so until then, bye-bye.
At the height of summer, it is time to ensure that fruits and vegetables are given attention to ensure maximum cropping. Monty Don gives advice on the summer pruning of fruit trees, as well as showing how to get the best from tomatoes and chillies. He also recommends plants which will carry on flowering into autumn.
Carol Klein meets one of her gardening heroes, Roy Lancaster, and joins him as he reminisces on his life and explains his passion for plants. Nick Bailey is on the trail of some more alien invaders to our gardens, and we travel to Wales to meet a chef who has taken on a field in which to grow vegetables.
Monty pays a visit to an extraordinary garden in Berkshire and we continue our 50-year celebrations when Rachel de Thame reflects back on how we used to garden 50 years ago. Joe Swift and Flo Headlam begin an exciting new project to celebrate our golden anniversary when they help a community create a garden in Wiltshire.