Monty Don advises on how to cut and maintain hedges and gives ideas on growing fruit in pots. Carol Klein chooses varieties of late-flowering clematis as her plant of the month.
Browse content similar to Episode 20. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello. Welcome to Gardeners' World.
I've just planted a Virginia creeper.
This is Parthenocissus quinquefolia.
It's called quinquefolia because it's got five leaves.
It's a fairly small plant now,
but the idea is to smother this shed
and it will grow up 40, 50 foot or more if you let it.
Of course you can prune it, but you will need to do that every year.
But its main virtue,
other than its ability to cover a large area,
is the best autumn colour going.
So I'm planting it here,
so when the autumn light filters through the apple trees,
it'll pick up that deep, intense burgundy red,
On tonight's programme,
we meet a man who is fanatical about foliage
and has a particular passion for heucheras.
Nick Bailey discovers an attractive alien invader
that has escaped our gardens,
and is now threatening our natural coastal habitats.
Hottentot fig are a huge problem to us.
Sort of wiping everything else out?
Yeah, that's all you have, is metre after metre of fig.
And Adam Frost pays a visit to Pettifers,
a large garden in Oxfordshire
that is filled with masses of plant inspiration.
And I'll be planting some blueberries.
I've decided on quite a dramatic change.
I planted this yew hedge at the edge of the Jewel Garden
about four years ago,
and it was to replace a box hedge that had been here
and worked very well until it got box blight,
and then took it out.
The box hedge was low and gave a structure,
but didn't obscure the view.
The yew was intended to replace that,
but it's grown so well and so strongly that after a bit I thought,
"Oh, what would be really nice would be to have a big,
"solid yew hedge, as high as the hornbeam around it,
"that would be a backdrop to the rest of the Jewel Garden."
Cos that's south, and that's north, so it wouldn't block any light,
and we'd have this tall, thick, yew hedge,
a dark green, and the other jewel colours,
the amethysts and the sapphires and the rubies and the golds
would shine out against the green.
It's a nice idea.
The trouble is it closed it off from here
and I keep wanting to peer over the hedge.
So what I've decided to do is go back down to the original idea
and have a low yew hedge,
and if this looks good then I'll extend it
around the rest of the garden. So what it means is cutting this back.
And by the way, if you think that yew is too slow a hedge for you
and not suitable, think again.
You've got it wrong, cos look!
Look at the growth on this.
This is a good 12 inches of growth just in the last few months.
This hedge here, which is beginning to get substantial,
is only three or four years old.
I'm going to put some posts in
and then a line of string at the correct height.
And if you're cutting a hedge for the first time
or you want to change its height,
it's a good idea to use string and canes to give you a guideline.
Put it between the two ends.
That needs to come down a little bit.
One of the great things about yew,
and it applies to box and holly as well,
is it regrows from old wood.
So this is a haircut, albeit a drastic one,
not a decapitation.
It will grow back up if I want it to.
And it's also worth pointing out that big hedge cutting,
full-blown hedge cutting,
it should always be left to August or September
cos then the birds will have finished nesting,
the young will have flown away,
and you won't do any damage.
OK, let's go. Let's make the first cut.
I'll do it here.
I'm using a combination of loppers,
and shears for two reasons.
One, the absolute golden rule when you're cutting anything
is that you should never strain it.
You should always be within the capacity of whatever instrument
you're using to cut.
That way you can be accurate,
and you're not going to risk breaking the tool
or slipping and cutting yourself.
The second thing is that it's obviously quicker to use shears
than it is loppers.
So wherever possible, much easier to snip away.
All I have to ask myself...
..is, does this look better or is it a catastrophic mistake?
And I've just undone years of vigorous, healthy growth?
I think it looks better.
If you have any garden that you love and spend a lot of time in,
it is easy to get slightly introverted.
The whole horticultural world revolves round your back garden.
But it's always important to get out and look at other gardens,
because you invariably learn something,
and if you can be taught by a master
and visit a really good garden, well, then it's doubly good.
And our master is Adam Frost,
and the really good garden is Pettifers in Oxfordshire.
Do you know,
this country's got more than its fair share of iconic gardens,
and this one's been 30 years in the making.
And it's gained itself a reputation for not only something
that's beautifully planted,
but somewhere that carries interest right throughout the year.
But it is a big garden, and I think when people are chatting to me,
they say, "It's all right us visiting these big spaces,
"but how do we take ideas home that we can repeat?"
And my answer to that is, do you know what?
If it's well designed,
there's stuff there that we can repeat in any garden.
Pettifers is a 1½-acre garden
on a sloping site
with majestic views of the Oxfordshire countryside.
It's been lovingly created by Gina Price.
We bought the house and one of the main reasons we bought it
was for the view. I remember looking at it and thinking,
"I can make something of this."
And I wasn't even keen on gardening,
and I knew nothing, but nothing.
So I taught myself as I went along,
making a lot of mistakes.
When I started, gardening was rooms, you know.
And I knew that I didn't want rooms,
because the whole point was to bring the landscape into the garden.
Around 12 years ago,
Gina fell in love with the planting style of the new perennial movement,
an approach that uses a range of herbaceous perennials and grasses
planted in drifts to evoke a naturalistic look.
Every single bed is meant to be different.
So it's interesting to look at them all.
They've got a different slant to them, if you actually look at them.
But there still seems to be a nice connection between them.
Yes, there is.
I mean, I have favourite plants.
Like veronicastrums and grasses.
Have you got a favourite place that you just like to go
-and spend ten minutes?
-Mine is probably the Klimt,
which we call the Klimt,
which is the one on the left.
I love that border.
The borders are really stunning.
They provide vibrant colour and texture,
but the plants have been carefully chosen for their structure,
even after flowering.
So what's been thought about is after that flower's over,
what's going to be left?
And this is a prime example.
This rodgersia sits beautifully against these euphorbias
that would have flowered earlier on in the year,
and at the back here we've got this vertical of this miscanthus,
so even when the flowers are gone,
there's interest right through the back end of the season.
Do you know, well-designed gardens have little elements of surprise
all the way through, and this is fantastic.
All of a sudden, I'm walking down the border
and there's a bench stuck back in there, so I'm drawn to the bench.
But actually it's really when I start to arrive and sit myself down,
I'm engaging in the plants in a completely different way.
All of a sudden, my eye line is the same height as the flowers.
I've got digitalis,
I've got sanguisorba,
and they're all covered in wildlife.
But you don't need this much space.
If you can find yourself a hidden little place in the garden
as you move down, maybe put a bench in or even a single seat,
all of a sudden you've created a place in your garden
that you can experience it in a completely different way.
But it's the view looking away from the house
that is the most breathtaking.
Do you know, that's absolutely beautiful.
It's really clever as well,
the way that the tree planting at the bottom there
really draws that landscape in,
and ultimately this garden works on the borrowed landscape.
And what is that in reality?
Here, it's all the trees that are planted in the foreground
so inside the garden,
what they do is they have a relationship with the trees
outside the garden.
And they start to bring that landscape all the way towards you
and you lose the boundary line, you know,
so you really don't know where that garden finishes.
But we can apply that at home.
You don't need this big space.
It might be that there's a tree,
or one or two trees in a neighbour's garden,
and the moment you plant one your side of the fence,
you really start to actually steal their trees, you know,
and that canopy comes towards you.
Towards the end of the garden,
in between the beautiful views of the landscape
and the soft perennial planting,
sits a more formal area of real structure and interest.
Do you know, it was four or five years ago that I saw a picture
of this parterre that drew me to this garden, and it's stunning.
But that word, structure, is important in our gardens.
Maybe it's just a couple of clipped shapes
that work their way down the garden
or something either side of an entrance,
so as you go into the winter,
that structure becomes so much more important.
When you really look at this garden, actually, in its simplest form,
it is a series of rectangles that work down a hillside.
But what brings it alive is the planting,
because it is magnificent.
It does absolutely everything.
It gives you structure, it gives you form, it gives you colour.
Not only now, but it carries you right throughout the year.
It's a beautiful garden to be in.
I do think that every time you visit a garden,
doesn't matter whether you fall in love with it, whether you admire it,
or if it's to your taste or not.
Every time, you come away with something
that's going to make your own garden better.
You simply can't learn too much,
and it's a great way to find out.
However, some of the practicalities of gardening
do come round every year, and once learned, you can always apply them.
And rotation of vegetables is one of them.
You start with legumes, such as peas,
and these are ready to be taken out.
You follow them with brassicas,
and you follow brassicas with root crops.
And the general rule is you manure for the first year...
..the legumes take nitrogen from the air and add it to the soil,
you put the brassicas in which are leafy,
and therefore benefit from that nitrogen,
and the root crops don't need any extra manure,
so you leave that untouched, and so the cycle goes.
Now, in practice we all chop and change and modify it,
but as a basic rule, it's a good idea.
And I've got some good kale.
It's very tasty.
Very good for you, and looks lovely.
Now, these are plants that I've grown from seed...
..and they're grown in plugs, and then potted on.
And so we've got quite a decent-sized plant there.
Decent root system.
That's absolutely perfect.
You can see the roots, but it's not root-bound,
and ready to go. That's ready to grow out.
When you're planting cabbages, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,
plant them deep and firm them in well,
and then really push down...
..and that will anchor it in the ground.
This is going to get quite a large plant.
And if you just gently put it in the ground,
the roots don't grow quickly enough to keep it balanced.
So we want that good and strong.
And the spacing needs to be quite generous.
So, at least 18 inches.
And the advantage of a raised bed is that it drains better
and it heats up quicker.
The disadvantage is that it drains better!
It can get...
..much drier than normal beds
if it's very hot, dry weather.
So that's something to watch.
But on heavy soil like ours,
that's a problem that I'm happy to have.
Because the alternative is wet, heavy soil that is cold in spring.
These plants will stay here until next May.
And they certainly wouldn't want to be any closer together than this,
because they'll be quite substantial plants
and you just pick the leaves off as you need them when they grow up,
and they will grow three, four, even five foot tall,
and need staking.
But at the moment, there is a lot of space between each plant.
And either you're going to have to keep that weeded, or you can use it.
You can get a cat crop.
Namely, something that you can plant, grow on, harvest,
before the space that they're occupying is needed by another crop.
And I've got some oak leaf lettuce,
red salad bowl,
which will match in colour with the purple red of the kale.
These will go in...
Whereas, with the brassicas,
I put them in good and deep and I really firm them in hard,
lettuce, you just need to make a small hole, and pop them in.
And they will...
very quickly get their roots down into the soil.
So, that's done.
What I want to do now before I do anything more
is to give it a really good soak.
I tend not to water at all
once things are growing,
but I make sure everything is watered in really well.
it's got established,
it can dig down for water...
..and usually it finds it.
Another plant which always does well with plenty of moisture
And at this time of year, my favourite clematis
are at their very best.
That's the late flowering types.
It doesn't surprise me at all that Carol has chosen these
as her plant of the month.
Our gardens are full of colour and bloom,
but amongst all this beauty,
there's one plant that's sprawling all over the place.
Clematis is from the Greek clema, for branchlet,
or clematis, meaning vine.
It's difficult to believe at first sight,
but clematis actually belong to ranunculaceae,
the buttercup family!
This is a typical example of what most of us understand by clematis.
It's Perle d'Azur, utterly beautiful.
Here it's scrambling through itself and through roses,
but all clematis need a host.
In our gardens, we often grow them up trellis or structures.
They twine their leaf stems around their host
and that's the way they pull themselves up,
so their glorious flowers can be in the sunshine.
These exquisite flowers look as though they're composed of
but in actual fact, they're not petals at all.
And if you turn the flower over,
you can see there's no calyx at all.
What actually happens is that these buds,
these lovely, long, elegant buds,
get longer and longer, and as they do, they colour up.
Eventually, they open up,
and form these beautiful flowers.
Generally, clematis like their feet in the shade
and their flowers in the sun.
It's not just the cool shade the roots like,
it's the moisture that they find there.
When you're planting your clematis,
incorporate plenty of organic matter.
Mulch them thoroughly, and keep them well watered.
If you do all that, you can even grow them in full sun.
As well as being really straightforward to grow,
clematis are also easy to propagate.
I've taken a nice big chunk here.
It's ideal to get a piece that's not in flower,
but at this time of year it's really hard.
So just snip off any old, dead flowers
or any buds that are yet to come.
Now, they're unlike most of the cuttings you take, which are nodal,
below a node.
With these, it's all internodal,
so you cut between these nodes.
The base of your cutting should be
about an inch and a half to two inches below the leaf node.
Just cut it across there.
And then you want to trim it, to just above the next leaf node up.
So you end up with a cutting that's just got a piece of stem
and two leaves either side.
Now fill a pot with lovely, gritty compost.
This is loam-based compost with masses of grit added.
all I'm going to do is plunge this cutting...
The stem is stiff, so it can be its own dibber.
And I'm going to push it down until the top of the cutting
is actually flush with the compost.
But there's another way, too.
You can make two cuttings from each of those pieces,
and in that case,
you take a really sharp knife, take your cutting,
and just cut from between those two leaves
right down to the base.
And you'll get two similar halves, twins.
Finish the whole thing off with some grit.
One good watering,
stand it in a nice warm, bright place,
but out of direct sunlight,
and you should see roots appearing from the bottom of the pot
in just a few weeks.
You can also try growing clematis from seed.
At the stage when those fluffy seed heads are about to take off,
snip off a whole head with a bit of its stem.
Push the whole thing down into the top of a pot of gritty compost,
remove any extra fluffy bits,
cover with grit,
and in a few weeks' time, you should see germination.
One of the most vexed questions about growing clematis
is when do you prune them?
Well, it's pretty straightforward,
and it's all to do with the time of year when they flower.
Those that flower really early on,
you really hardly need to prune them at all.
Just perhaps every couple of years
you can tie in some new shoots.
Those that flower in midsummer,
especially the large-flowered hybrids,
they don't need much pruning either.
But once flowers have finished,
you can take the stem down to the next flower,
so that the plant concentrates all its energy on
continuing to produce flowers.
But as far as the third group, like this one...
..which flower in later summer,
then they all flower on new wood,
and what you've got to do is, early in the year, February time,
some people have even called it the Valentine's Day massacre,
take your shears, go outside and chop it at about 18 inches,
45 centimetres from the ground.
That'll really make it shoot out
and produce lots and lots of new flowering wood.
This particular one is clematis viticella Etoile Violette.
Although you can have clematis in flower at almost any time of year,
there's no doubt that August is their prime time.
Clematis Blue Boy is a magnificent clematis,
producing thousands of its deep blue bells over the summer.
It's semi-herbaceous, so cut it down to six inches,
15 centimetres above the ground in late winter.
One of the oldest and most reliable of the large-flowered hybrids,
grows strongly and flowers reliably over a long period,
from June till September.
Clematis truly are the most versatile of plants.
And what's more, we can all grow them,
however big or small our gardens.
I think it's true to say
that clematis are the glory of the August garden.
This perpetual sweet pea has gone bonkers,
and it's layered itself everywhere,
and it's transformed from being charmingly casual and loose,
to a rampant thug,
threatening to swamp the roses,
and blanket the clematis.
I want to make the most of the clematis,
but they've been really good this year.
It's always tricky at this point of the year
to know just quite how much you can cut back
because you don't want to lose flowers.
You want to maximise the colour and potential
for the rest of the summer,
but on the other hand, if you let things swamp,
that will also reduce all the opportunities.
But you can make life simpler for yourself
if you take flowers out of the equation.
And we went back up to Yorkshire,
and this time to visit a garden whose focus
is almost entirely on foliage.
If you come round my garden to have a look,
you're seeing things that you're not seeing somewhere else.
I like something that is very different to anybody else's.
If you're going to design a garden based on foliage,
you've got to look at the plot and say,
"OK, I need to put in the larger specimens first."
So you start with your trees,
make sure you've got plenty of evergreens.
Because in the winter if you don't have evergreens,
it looks pretty awful.
Then work down to the shrubs.
I don't think there's any hard and fast rules.
Everything in my garden is good to look at.
There are so many colours of greens,
so many different shapes,
so many different sizes.
And round each corner you see something that's very different
to what you've just seen round the other corner.
It's giving that surprise, that impact, as you go round the bend,
round the bend,
-round the bend...
I suppose it stems from wanting to be as low-maintenance as possible.
You have a good range of trees and shrubs and ground covers,
the weeds don't have a chance.
Heucheras are a passion.
I love them because they offer so much.
They start off with their beautiful, multicoloured foliage,
from yellows and lime greens through to the purples.
They also have nice flowers,
and if you add to that tiarellas and heucherellas,
you've got the full spectrum of the whole gambit of colours,
almost throughout the year, because a lot of them are evergreen.
This is one of my favourite heucheras,
which is heuchera French Quarter, and it's an absolute dream.
These beautifully shaped pink-and-green leaves
that come up in the spring,
and they reach about 10-15 inches in height,
probably 10-15 inches in width,
possibly a little bit more,
but they have these beautiful pink, flowery spikes
that will last from May right through to the end of July,
It's an absolute stunner,
and if you're going to have a heuchera in your garden,
this is the baby to have.
Tiarellas are the poorer partner of the heuchera.
They're generally a smaller plant.
They're basically a green leaf,
but they're not grown for their leaves.
They're grown for their spring flowers.
They have these masses of white or cream spikes in the spring.
If you take them off when they're finished flowering,
as soon as they've finished flowering,
you might get another showing around about the end of July, early August.
So they can flower twice in a season.
Heucherella is a cross between heuchera and tiarella,
so you're getting the best of both worlds.
So you're getting the flowers of the tiarella
and the fancy colours and shapes of the leaves of the heuchera.
My favourite is probably Gunsmoke.
You look after them in exactly the same way.
They're all shade-tolerant, all grow in the same sort of soil.
And they're a nice spot of colour.
As you come around the corner, there they are.
It's absolutely lovely.
I think the biggest problem that most people will find
with any of the group would be vine weevil.
And that can be a horror.
Vine weevil is a grub,
and it chews its way through where the crown meets the root.
So effectively your plant will look perfectly healthy,
and all of a sudden, it'll just fall to one side,
and the actual weevil has just chewed through the whole thing.
Even if your plant is doomed,
you can probably get three or four or five plants
from taking the cuttings. This is how we do it.
Take all the flower shoots off,
and take off most of the larger leaves,
so you're left with something like that.
I then take it into a four-inch pot.
Use a dibber, or in my case, a pen.
Little hole in the soil.
Push it in, firm it up, and then...
..I put a label, so I know what it is!
And then that goes in the polytunnel.
And that's as simple as that.
And in three, four weeks' time, hopefully that will have rooted.
You've got your money back, you've saved your plant,
and you've got extra plants as well.
I ask people when they come in what they expected to see,
and in general they say, "A nice little cottage garden".
I also ask them when they went out, "Were you surprised?"
And they say, "Yes, but it was a nice surprise."
The more I garden,
the more pleasure I get just from simple, green foliage.
There is something about green that the eye and the brain
immediately respond to...
..that is calming and yet invigorating,
and centres you.
It holds you exactly where you're meant to be.
And it's never boring.
There's always layer upon layer and shade upon shade
of different greens.
That is one of the reasons why I bought myself another tree fern.
The other reason is I just like ferns,
and I love these plants,
and it seems to be very happy here, in quite deep shade.
It's a mistake to plant them, as specimen plants, out in the open.
Give them the shade that they crave, and plenty of moisture.
Don't let them dry out, basically.
And they should be really happy.
And, as we come into autumn,
round about the beginning or middle of October,
I'll show you how to prepare them to get through winter
without too much damage.
Now, still to come...
I'll be planting some blueberries.
Not just to give me delicious fruit,
but also to add a real decorative feature
to the garden.
And Mark Lane visits a garden in Warwick
that has been restored to its former glory
thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers.
Clearing gunk and growth out of the pond
is something that I try and do periodically...
..but I don't try and keep it CLEAN, as such.
And the way the pond has grown and developed,
by high summer,
it does sprawl and loll,
and I quite like that, the way it looks anyway,
but it's certainly good for wildlife.
And this is a wildlife pond.
We want as much and as varied of creatures,
both in the water and around the edge and in the air,
as we possibly can.
cover is absolutely essential.
Underwater as well as on top,
but what we don't want is too much dead material like that.
By the way, what I take out here,
I always leave by the pond.
I don't take it straightaway to the compost heap
because there will be little creatures in it.
And I want to give them a chance to go back into the water.
But you have to make a decision, really...
..with a pond or with any type of natural gardening,
at what point the plants can dictate the way it looks,
and at what point you, the gardener, muscle in.
And if you're the kind of gardener that wants control all the time...
..then obviously you have to be very hands-on
and stop plants running amok.
But if you want to maximise wildlife,
then you need to let it go...
..and let it dictate how it looks.
there are certain plants that are thugs.
Here in the pond at this time of year,
it's duck weed that can take over.
But it is easily remedied.
However, some non-native plants,
if left unchecked,
can become a dominant monoculture.
Nick Bailey has been to Cornwall,
to see the effect of one of these alien invaders.
The Lizard in Cornwall is Britain's most southerly point.
It is heralded as one of Britain's top five places for wild plants,
but there's one non-native invasive species
that's threatening to destroy that accolade.
It's called Carpobrotus edulis, or Hottentot fig,
and it's made up of these thick mats of succulent, water-laden leaves,
and covered in pink or yellow daisy-looking flowers.
Originally from South Africa in the 1800s,
they became popular as an ornamental plant,
that can still be bought in some nurseries across the country.
But it's escaped over the garden fence.
It produces a dense, impenetrable mat of up to 50 square metres,
and it can extend by up to a metre a year,
so in a wild habitat like this,
it can pose a real threat to our native flora.
It's a big concern for The National Trust,
who own and manage this stretch of coastline.
Rachel Holder is the ranger tasked with bringing it under control.
So, Rachel, how big a problem is this carpobrotus?
Invasives like Hottentot fig are a huge problem to us.
These cliffs here are national nature reserve,
a Site of Special Scientific Interest,
a special area of conservation.
We've got the mild climate and unusual geology,
which means we have a huge number of rare plants,
so we have things like prostrate asparagus, prostrate broom,
and long-headed clover, and those species are affected.
Nothing can compete with this once you've got dense mats of it,
so our native vegetation disappears.
So it's effectively a monoculture, isn't it?
Just wiping everything else out.
Yeah, that's all you have is metre after metre of fig.
And so why is it so successful in this particular area?
I think it's found the conditions that we have here
really to its liking.
So it's really thriving in dry habitats in rocky places.
It can store water, it's particularly succulent
when you touch the leaves.
It's very salt-tolerant.
And we don't really have anything here that keeps it in check.
Is the problem just isolated to the peninsular here?
Anywhere that's got a relatively mild climate and rocky habitats
is at risk, so all the way along the south coast through Wales, Anglesey,
and perhaps with climate change, it may become a wider issue.
Today, there is a huge area of yellow-flowered Hottentot fig
that's due for removal.
So... Wow, that's quite tough.
Yeah, it's really well matted.
You can see just how well rooted it is.
And any of these fragments, if they're left behind,
can root again and regrow.
So it's really essential that we go back over sites
and pick the regrowth, year after year, really.
So, like a lot of succulent species, a torn-off leaf,
potentially if it was allowed to callus on the cliff side,
it could re-root and become another plant.
Yeah. And obviously you get seedlings as well.
It's taken a lot of hard work,
but many tonnes of the Hottentot fig
have been successfully removed from this coastline.
There are certainly areas that we're keeping on top of it.
If you look along the cliff over there,
you can see an area that rock climbers were in
working on last month.
The brown swathes down the cliffs there.
So, are you finding there's a return in native flora
-where you've cleared it out?
some of those sites we've been working on for maybe a decade
we've managed to get rid of the fig.
You can see the native vegetation coming back.
But it's an ongoing battle.
We have to keep coming back year after year,
because there's so much around here still producing seed and still
producing matter that can root and grow again.
So what would your advice to gardeners be
if they've got this growing or have considered introducing it?
I think it depends on the context.
It's not illegal to buy this plant.
However, it is illegal to cause it to spread in the wild.
So, if you were to plant this in the wild or spread seed in the wild,
that would be an offence.
And I think you need to think really carefully about the location of
your garden. If you're in a coastal location, close to cliffs,
close to quarries,
there is a much greater chance of it spreading and getting into the wild.
But who knows how far a bird can fly to spread the seed?
So I would really urge caution if you're thinking about growing this
and any of the other species that are known to be invasive in the UK.
Well, I've noticed, looking around the local area, that there's a good
potential alternative plant in the name of Erigeron glauca,
which is that Californian daisy.
It's got a similar quality or look
to the carpobrotus,
but it's not nearly as invasive.
Yes, there's many things out there.
I mean, only a very small proportion of garden plants are invasive.
The RHS and Plantlife have jointly produced a guide
to gardening without invasive species,
so there's lots of ideas of different plants
that you can try that won't cause a problem.
Despite the squally weather today, this is a huge tourist spot,
and I imagine people enjoy this plant.
It's an attractive thing.
Yes, you can't deny it's an attractive species,
particularly when you've got carpets of flowers in June and July,
but I think if we did nothing, we'd lose all those native species.
Our native vegetation - OK, it might not be quite as spectacular as this,
but it really is important in a national and international context.
Of course, a plant coming in,
being introduced and then taking over an environment is nothing new.
And with a succulent like that, it does need dry, mild conditions,
so it's not going to take over your inland wet garden.
Having said that, the effect on the coast is pretty dramatic.
Right. Talking about drama and drama queens, you want that, don't you?
Go on. There you go.
I've got a wheelbarrow full of ericaceous compost.
Ericaceous simply means it's acidic.
It's got a pH of below six.
So, I wanted to grow blueberries,
which need a pot because my soil is too alkaline.
And I thought, well, I can make them decorative.
You don't have to have an orchard or a big fruit garden to grow really
interesting fruits that look good.
And because they're in good pots, I've chosen standard blueberries.
So I'm going to plant them both up and then I'll give them a trim
and I think they'll look really good
as well as tasting good,
because I love blueberries.
Mix up a bag of ericaceous compost.
This is based on bracken.
And I've added in a bit of leaf mould from the garden
and you can see there's some perlite in there,
which will help the drainage.
Just mix it up well and put some in the base of a pot.
Take that out of its container.
You can see it's got very fibrous roots,
so those don't need teasing out.
That's ready to go. And the height that it needs to be is about that.
I'm leaving the bamboo in.
It will need perpetual staking,
because otherwise standards get top-heavy
and they blow over in the wind.
Right, let's firm that round really well.
I'm leaving quite a gap from the top of the pot.
Although that means it's got less room for the roots,
it does mean that I can water it well and I can mulch it.
And this is a long-term planting.
This will stay in this pot for three, four, even five years.
So any extra compost I need to add has to be on top
rather than at the sides.
Well, that was easy enough.
I'll plant up the other one.
And I think a pair, when you've got standards,
a pair either side of an entrance, of a doorway,
a path, immediately creates an impression.
It gives you harmony and balance,
and the fact that the fruit are here,
almost at mouth height, you could just pick them off as you pass by.
That makes life much easier.
When you're watering your blueberries,
it is really important that you use rainwater, not tap water,
because most tap water has got too much lime in it,
and that's what these plants hate,
and you'll undo all the good work of using an ericaceous compost.
I just want to train the plants a little bit,
because you can see this is growing very vertically,
which means two things. One, the shape is not quite what I want.
I want a rough pom-pom.
And two, it's going to be terribly top-heavy,
so the roots aren't established, the wind will take it,
and the whole thing will go somersaulting over
when we get the first high wind.
But I'm not going to cut indiscriminately
because the fruit is produced on the previous year's growth.
If you look, there is the fruit
on this growth here,
and then this is the new growth this year,
with no fruit on it.
But next year, that will carry fruit.
So if I cut this right back, I'll have no fruit next year at all.
Cut here...and here.
That's probably enough to be going on with and then we can do
another proper prune after the berries have all ripened.
One of the other advantages of blueberries is that as a plant,
it produces fabulous autumn colour.
Turns a lovely, rich burgundy, sometimes almost chocolaty colour.
And all this adds up to a plant that gives you delicious fruit,
has good shape,
is great for a growing in a container
if you don't have much room,
and looks really good.
Now, this garden is at times, I feel, open to the public -
every Friday, and we get millions of visitors,
and that's a privilege and usually a pleasure,
although sometimes it can be
a bit daunting because you want the place to look
as good as possible all the time.
And I have great empathy for those who open their gardens,
especially under the NGS, because it is quite a thing.
Quite a big event.
And Mark Lane went to visit a garden that was about to open its doors for
the very first time.
I opened my own garden for the National Garden Scheme
for the first time this year,
and I have to admit, it was absolutely terrifying.
So I'm really sure I know how the guys here are feeling when the gates
open in just two hours' time.
The volunteers at Guy's Cliffe garden
have had their work cut out for them.
This two-thirds-of-an-acre plot,
part of an old country house estate, dates back to the 18th century.
By the 1980s, the garden was in a terrible state,
until just three years ago,
when they decided to return it to a working kitchen garden.
Tony Brown is one of the trustees managing the project.
The wonderful thing about walled gardens...
I mean, it's that hidden element, isn't it?
You wouldn't know this was here.
No. It's very much a feature of gardens of this era.
They had to be tucked away out of sight from the main house.
But although they were tucked away, they had to be kept immaculately,
and the owner of the house would take great pride in showing
his guests how well his kitchen garden was being kept.
So what are you actually trying to achieve with this garden?
Well, first of all, to save what is an important historic site.
And to demonstrate what is possible in a garden like this.
So we have this year more than 100 different varieties of vegetables
and flowers, not even counting the fruit.
Wow. And, of course, you've got this wonderful avenue of colour,
and it's just brilliant.
What we wanted to do is to give people a first look
when they come through that gate of colour and vibrancy.
Well, it certainly works.
Just time for the final tweaks from the volunteers as the visitors start
to arrive for the garden's first open day.
To open your garden for the National Garden Scheme,
they inspect it for quality and character.
With enough interest for people to look round
for no less than 30 minutes.
They've crammed so much into this garden.
You've got this diversity of colour,
from this beautiful red of
the Bishop of Llandaff.
Dahlias were around in the Victorian times, and so were sweet peas,
and there's the beautiful scent coming from Cupani.
It is just a wonderful garden to be in.
The volunteers are obviously enjoying themselves.
But what do the visitors think?
It's absolutely fantastic.
-What do you like about it?
-Oh, it's my kind of garden.
Fruit and flowers.
I was looking at the cabbages over there and they could just be
-Stunning, though, isn't it?
Everything is so healthy.
I know, and it's not like that in my garden,
so it's lovely to come out and see.
Well, the veg seems to be a big hit,
which is fantastic because I know a huge amount of effort goes into
getting them to look so good.
You've got this wonderful little display here.
Tell me a little bit about it.
So it's trying to make it look effective
and trying to make it look pretty.
And then you're growing radishes, aren't you?
In a slightly different way.
Yes, we grow them in little groups rather than singly because they've
got a better chance of surviving.
You can imagine if you've got one radish or one seed,
and you put them in, then you have all the weeds coming up,
you're likely to dig it up because you won't know the difference.
So these are called little plugs and you've got this special little tool.
It's very convenient.
You don't damage the plant at all.
So you very, very carefully bring it out.
So there you are. And then as they go in the soil,
these will start spreading out.
These radishes here, they've got holes in and they're little white...
I think they're little white flies that jump
and what you do, you wrap sellotape round your hand.
When you go like that, they all jump up and get stuck to the sellotape.
That's a brilliant tip.
I love it!
You've got, like, this little community of plants going on,
but the whole garden is one big community, isn't it?
Oh, it is. It's a local thing and I think the idea is we want all local
people, community schools, to come in and enjoy it, and it's so...
What's the word? Therapeutic?
-So, it's so brilliant like that.
What's brilliant is how they've combined newer schemes
with the old in the garden.
The rows of espaliers have been placed according to 19th-century
plans, and they've even managed to find some of the original varieties
that would have been here.
This is a Yellow Ingestrie,
which was first developed by Thomas Knight in the early 19th century.
It's quite a dwarf tree, isn't it?
Is it on a dwarfing rootstock?
That's right, so we're only going to grow four tiers.
So anyone at home with a small space could do this against a wall?
Yes, and you get a lot of fruit,
for the size of the tree.
And have you actually been taught how to prune?
-We've read books!
No, we were told the trees were coming.
-We've looked it up.
-And so far, they're looking all right.
The hardest part is when you get your first whip
-and you have to cut it...
-..right down to a stick.
Yeah, that's quite nerve-racking, isn't it?
-That's why Julie has to do that!
-This is now in its second year,
so we are just beginning the second year of the espalier.
Do you think these are going to taste really nice?
I don't think it's an enormously popular variety now,
but we will enjoy it no matter what.
I'm sure you will.
What a day.
They've pulled it off and transformed
their overgrown garden into one that
can be enjoyed by the wider community for years to come.
I know that you've got over 100 people.
-We've actually got 320 today, which is fantastic.
-That's so good.
So, volunteers, you've done a tremendous job,
so cheers to everybody.
Good girl. Good girl.
Good boy. Come on, there's a good girl.
Whilst there's obviously a perfectly natural pride
in showing off your garden and displaying it,
I think the real satisfaction comes from sharing it,
and a garden shared is a garden enlarged and enhanced.
Obviously, growing veg is enormously satisfying.
But until you've harvested it
and then obviously eaten it...
..the job is not done.
And here are some other jobs for your satisfaction
I know I've said this before, but it is worth repeating,
and that is to deadhead and keep deadheading.
And not just the usual suspects like dahlias,
sunflowers, they will all continue to flower and go on flowering for
as long as possible if you keep deadheading.
Before you give your yew hedge a trim,
consider taking semi-ripe cuttings
to a length of about 6-9 inches,
and put them straight into a polythene bag.
Cut them to size, burying them right up to the foliage in the compost.
Put them somewhere warm and they should form new roots,
ready to plant out by next spring.
Cabbage white butterflies
are irresistibly drawn to brassica leaves.
They lay their eggs in little yellow blocks and these hatch out into
caterpillars which munch their way through the leaves to disastrous
effect. The only way to control this is to put up a netting fine enough
to stop the butterflies reaching the leaves and laying their eggs.
And even if you do this,
still check weekly for any caterpillars that may be there.
This is Leonotis leonurus.
I'd seen it in South Africa growing as a woody shrub,
but I grow them as annuals.
But it is very late flowering and needs some heat in which to develop,
and it's quite late putting it in, but as long as we have a nice late
summer and early autumn
it can produce these marvellous ruffs of orange flowers
that go up in tiers on five,
six, seven-foot-tall stems,
so a really dramatic plant.
And if you go to the garden centre,
you should be able to find some of these tender plants that can fill
the gaps and give you colour until the first frosts.
Well, I hope it's not going to be frosty this weekend,
but let's see what weather is in store for us gardeners.
Well, there's plenty of summer left for us to enjoy,
but not of today's programme, I'm afraid.
We've run out of time.
However, I will be back here at Longmeadow
at the same time next week,
so join me then.
Monty Don gives advice on how to cut and maintain hedges as well as giving ideas on growing fruit in pots. Carol Klein chooses varieties of late-flowering clematis as her plant of the month, Nick Bailey travels to the southern tip of Cornwall to seek out a plant which escaped from our gardens and is now threatening rare and native plants, and Adam Frost uncovers the secrets of successful planting combinations in an Oxfordshire garden. Mark Lane joins the enthusiasts who have lovingly restored a walled garden in Warwick as they open their gates to the public for the first time, and we visit a garden in Yorkshire where foliage and not flowers are of paramount importance.