Episode 20 Gardeners' World


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Episode 20

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.


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I've just planted a Virginia creeper.

:00:09.:00:14.

It's called quinquefolia because it's got five leaves.

:00:15.:00:20.

and it will grow up 40, 50 foot or more if you let it.

:00:21.:00:28.

Of course you can prune it, but you will need to do that every year.

:00:29.:00:32.

other than its ability to cover a large area,

:00:33.:00:36.

so when the autumn light filters through the apple trees,

:00:37.:00:45.

it'll pick up that deep, intense burgundy red,

:00:46.:00:51.

we meet a man who is fanatical about foliage

:00:52.:00:59.

and has a particular passion for heucheras.

:01:00.:01:03.

Nick Bailey discovers an attractive alien invader

:01:04.:01:06.

and is now threatening our natural coastal habitats.

:01:07.:01:13.

Hottentot fig are a huge problem to us.

:01:14.:01:15.

Sort of wiping everything else out?

:01:16.:01:17.

Yeah, that's all you have, is metre after metre of fig.

:01:18.:01:21.

And Adam Frost pays a visit to Pettifers,

:01:22.:01:24.

that is filled with masses of plant inspiration.

:01:25.:01:32.

And I'll be planting some blueberries.

:01:33.:01:51.

I've decided on quite a dramatic change.

:01:52.:01:54.

I planted this yew hedge at the edge of the Jewel Garden

:01:55.:01:59.

and it was to replace a box hedge that had been here

:02:00.:02:04.

and worked very well until it got box blight,

:02:05.:02:06.

The box hedge was low and gave a structure,

:02:07.:02:11.

The yew was intended to replace that,

:02:12.:02:15.

but it's grown so well and so strongly that after a bit I thought,

:02:16.:02:20.

"Oh, what would be really nice would be to have a big,

:02:21.:02:23.

"solid yew hedge, as high as the hornbeam around it,

:02:24.:02:27.

"that would be a backdrop to the rest of the Jewel Garden."

:02:28.:02:30.

Cos that's south, and that's north, so it wouldn't block any light,

:02:31.:02:33.

and we'd have this tall, thick, yew hedge,

:02:34.:02:36.

a dark green, and the other jewel colours,

:02:37.:02:40.

the amethysts and the sapphires and the rubies and the golds

:02:41.:02:43.

The trouble is it closed it off from here

:02:44.:02:50.

and I keep wanting to peer over the hedge.

:02:51.:02:53.

So what I've decided to do is go back down to the original idea

:02:54.:02:56.

and if this looks good then I'll extend it

:02:57.:03:01.

around the rest of the garden. So what it means is cutting this back.

:03:02.:03:04.

And by the way, if you think that yew is too slow a hedge for you

:03:05.:03:08.

This is a good 12 inches of growth just in the last few months.

:03:09.:03:20.

This hedge here, which is beginning to get substantial,

:03:21.:03:23.

and then a line of string at the correct height.

:03:24.:03:37.

And if you're cutting a hedge for the first time

:03:38.:03:39.

it's a good idea to use string and canes to give you a guideline.

:03:40.:03:50.

That needs to come down a little bit.

:03:51.:03:57.

and it applies to box and holly as well,

:03:58.:04:01.

So this is a haircut, albeit a drastic one,

:04:02.:04:07.

It will grow back up if I want it to.

:04:08.:04:11.

And it's also worth pointing out that big hedge cutting,

:04:12.:04:15.

it should always be left to August or September

:04:16.:04:19.

because then the birds will have finished nesting,

:04:20.:04:21.

OK, let's go. Let's make the first cut.

:04:22.:04:28.

I'm using a combination of loppers,

:04:29.:04:43.

One, the absolute golden rule when you're cutting anything

:04:44.:04:50.

You should always be within the capacity of whatever instrument

:04:51.:04:57.

and you're not going to risk breaking the tool

:04:58.:05:02.

The second thing is that it's obviously quicker to use shears

:05:03.:05:09.

So wherever possible, much easier to snip away.

:05:10.:05:19.

..does this look better or is it a catastrophic mistake?

:05:20.:05:26.

And I've just undone years of vigorous, healthy growth?

:05:27.:05:33.

If you have any garden that you love and spend a lot of time in,

:05:34.:05:41.

it is easy to get slightly introverted.

:05:42.:05:43.

The whole horticultural world revolves round your back garden.

:05:44.:05:48.

But it's always important to get out and look at other gardens,

:05:49.:05:52.

because you invariably learn something,

:05:53.:05:56.

and if you can be taught by an master

:05:57.:05:59.

and visit a really good garden, well, then it's doubly good.

:06:00.:06:04.

and the really good garden is Pettifers in Oxfordshire.

:06:05.:06:22.

this country's got more than its fair share of iconic gardens,

:06:23.:06:25.

and this one's been 30 years in the making.

:06:26.:06:28.

And it's gained itself a reputation for not only something

:06:29.:06:31.

but somewhere that carries interest right throughout the year.

:06:32.:06:36.

But it is a big garden, and I think when people are chatting to me,

:06:37.:06:39.

they say, "It's all right us visiting these big spaces,

:06:40.:06:41.

"but how do we take ideas home that we can repeat?"

:06:42.:06:45.

And my answer to that is, do you know what?

:06:46.:06:47.

there's stuff there that we can repeat in any garden.

:06:48.:06:59.

Pettifers is a one-and-a-half-acre garden on a sloping site

:07:00.:07:03.

with majestic views of the Oxfordshire countryside.

:07:04.:07:06.

It's been lovingly created by Gina Price.

:07:07.:07:13.

We bought the house and one of the main reasons we bought it

:07:14.:07:17.

was for the view. I remember looking at it and thinking,

:07:18.:07:21.

When I started, gardening was rooms, you know.

:07:22.:07:38.

because the whole point was to bring the landscape into the garden.

:07:39.:07:46.

Gina fell in love with the planting style of the new perennial movement,

:07:47.:07:51.

an approach that uses a range of herbaceous perennials and grasses

:07:52.:07:55.

planted in drifts to evoke a naturalistic look.

:07:56.:07:59.

Every single bed is meant to be different.

:08:00.:08:03.

So it's interesting to look at them all.

:08:04.:08:06.

They've got a different slant to them, if you actually look at them.

:08:07.:08:10.

But there still seems to be a nice connection between them.

:08:11.:08:13.

Have you got a favourite place that you just like to go

:08:14.:08:25.

and spend ten minutes? Mine is probably the Klimt,

:08:26.:08:29.

They provide vibrant colour and texture,

:08:30.:08:45.

but the plants have been carefully chosen for their structure,

:08:46.:08:48.

So what's been thought about is after that flower's over,

:08:49.:08:54.

This rodgersia sits beautifully against this euphorbias

:08:55.:09:01.

that would have flowered earlier on in the year,

:09:02.:09:03.

and at the back here we've got this vertical of this miscanthus,

:09:04.:09:07.

there's interest right through the back end of the season.

:09:08.:09:17.

Do you know, well-designed gardens have little elements of surprise

:09:18.:09:20.

all the way through, and this is fantastic.

:09:21.:09:23.

All of a sudden, I'm walking down the border

:09:24.:09:25.

and there's a bench stuck back in there, so I'm drawn to the bench.

:09:26.:09:30.

But actually it's really when I start to arrive and sit myself down,

:09:31.:09:34.

I'm engaging in the plants in a completely different way.

:09:35.:09:37.

All of a sudden, my eye line is the same height as the flowers.

:09:38.:09:40.

If you can find yourself a hidden little place in the garden

:09:41.:09:51.

as you move down, maybe put a bench in or even a single seat,

:09:52.:09:55.

all of a sudden you've created a place in your garden

:09:56.:09:57.

that you can experience it in a completely different way.

:09:58.:10:06.

But it's the view looking away from the house

:10:07.:10:08.

Do you know, that's absolutely beautiful.

:10:09.:10:15.

the way that the tree planting at the bottom there

:10:16.:10:18.

and ultimately this garden works on the borrowed landscape.

:10:19.:10:23.

Here, it's all the trees that are planted in the foreground

:10:24.:10:28.

what they do is they have a relationship with the trees

:10:29.:10:32.

And they start to bring that landscape all the way towards you

:10:33.:10:36.

and you lose the boundary line, you know,

:10:37.:10:38.

so you really don't know where that garden finishes.

:10:39.:10:42.

or one or two trees in a neighbour's garden,

:10:43.:10:49.

and the moment you plant one your side of the fence,

:10:50.:10:51.

you really start to actually steal their trees, you know,

:10:52.:10:54.

in between the beautiful views of the landscape

:10:55.:11:05.

sits a more formal area of real structure and interest.

:11:06.:11:11.

Do you know, it was four or five years ago that I saw a picture

:11:12.:11:14.

of this parterre that drew me to this garden, and it's stunning.

:11:15.:11:21.

But that word, structure, is important in our gardens.

:11:22.:11:24.

Maybe it's just a couple of clipped shapes

:11:25.:11:27.

or something either side of an entrance,

:11:28.:11:31.

that structure becomes so much more important.

:11:32.:11:43.

When you really look at this garden, actually, in its simplest form,

:11:44.:11:46.

it is a series of rectangles that work down a hillside.

:11:47.:11:49.

But what brings it alive is the planting,

:11:50.:11:52.

It gives you structure, it gives you form, it gives you colour.

:11:53.:11:59.

Not only now, but it carries you right throughout the year.

:12:00.:12:04.

I do think that every time you visit a garden,

:12:05.:12:23.

doesn't matter whether you fall in love with it, whether you admire it,

:12:24.:12:26.

or if it's to your taste or not.

:12:27.:12:28.

Every time, you come away with something

:12:29.:12:31.

that's going to make your own garden better.

:12:32.:12:34.

You simply can't learn too much,

:12:35.:12:36.

However, some of the practicalities of gardening

:12:37.:12:40.

do come round every year, and once learned, you can always apply them.

:12:41.:12:45.

And rotation of vegetables is one of them.

:12:46.:12:48.

You start with legumes, such as peas,

:12:49.:12:50.

and you follow brassicas with root crops.

:12:51.:12:57.

And the general rule is you manure for the first year...

:12:58.:13:01.

..the legumes take nitrogen from the air and add it to the soil,

:13:02.:13:04.

you put the brassicas in which are leafy,

:13:05.:13:07.

and therefore benefit from that nitrogen,

:13:08.:13:09.

and the root crops don't need any extra manure,

:13:10.:13:11.

so you leave that untouched, and so the cycle goes.

:13:12.:13:14.

Now, in practice we all chop and change and modify it,

:13:15.:13:19.

but as a basic rule, it's a good idea.

:13:20.:13:22.

Very good for you, and looks lovely.

:13:23.:13:28.

Now, these are plants that I've grown from seed...

:13:29.:13:32.

..and they're grown in plugs, and then potted on.

:13:33.:13:37.

And so we've got quite a decent sized plant there.

:13:38.:13:41.

You can see the roots, but it's not root-bound,

:13:42.:13:47.

and ready to go. That's ready to grow out.

:13:48.:13:51.

When you're planting cabbages, broccoli, Brussels sprouts,

:13:52.:13:55.

plant them deep and firm them in well,

:13:56.:13:57.

..and that will anchor it in the ground.

:13:58.:14:03.

This is going to get quite a large plant.

:14:04.:14:05.

And if you just gently put it in the ground,

:14:06.:14:08.

the roots don't grow quickly enough to keep it balanced.

:14:09.:14:11.

And the spacing needs to be quite generous.

:14:12.:14:16.

And the advantage of a raised bed is that it drains better

:14:17.:14:24.

The disadvantage is that it drains better.

:14:25.:14:29.

that's a problem that I'm happy to have.

:14:30.:14:45.

Because the alternative is wet, heavy soil that is cold in spring.

:14:46.:15:02.

These plants will stay here until next May.

:15:03.:15:07.

And they certainly wouldn't want to be any closer together than this,

:15:08.:15:10.

because they'll be quite substantial plants

:15:11.:15:12.

and you just pick the leaves off as you need them when they grow up,

:15:13.:15:16.

and they will grow three, four, even five foot tall,

:15:17.:15:19.

But at the moment, there is a lot of space between each plant.

:15:20.:15:25.

And either you're going to have to keep that weeded, or you can use it.

:15:26.:15:29.

Namely, something that you can plant, grow on, harvest,

:15:30.:15:36.

before the space that they're occupying is needed by another crop.

:15:37.:15:41.

which will match in colour with the purple red of the kale.

:15:42.:15:51.

I put them in good and deep and I really firm them in hard,

:15:52.:16:04.

lettuce, you just need to make a small hole, and pop them in.

:16:05.:16:10.

very quickly get their roots down into the soil.

:16:11.:16:21.

What I want to do now before I do anything more

:16:22.:16:27.

but I make sure everything is watered in really well.

:16:28.:16:43.

it can dig down for water...

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Another plant which always does well with plenty of moisture

:16:50.:16:55.

And at this time of year, my favourite clematis

:16:56.:16:58.

It doesn't surprise me at all that Carol has chosen these

:16:59.:17:06.

Our gardens are full of colour and bloom,

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there's one plant that's sprawling all over the place.

:17:20.:17:27.

Clematis is from the Greek clema, for branchlet,

:17:28.:17:36.

It's difficult to believe at first sight,

:17:37.:17:44.

but clematis actually belong to ranunculaceae,

:17:45.:17:47.

This is a typical example of what most of us understand by clematis.

:17:48.:17:54.

It's Perle d'Azur, utterly beautiful.

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Here it's scrambling through itself and through roses,

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In our gardens, we often grow them up trellis or structures.

:18:03.:18:10.

They twine their leaf stems around the host

:18:11.:18:13.

and that's the way they pull themselves up,

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so their glorious flowers can be in the sunshine.

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These exquisite flowers look as though they're composed of

:18:20.:18:23.

but in actual fact, they're not petals at all.

:18:24.:18:27.

And if you turn the flower over,

:18:28.:18:30.

you can see there's no calyx at all.

:18:31.:18:34.

What actually happens is that these buds,

:18:35.:18:36.

get longer and longer, and as they do, they colour up.

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Generally, clematis like their feet in the shade

:18:43.:18:54.

It's not just the cool shade the roots like,

:18:55.:18:59.

it's the moisture that they find there.

:19:00.:19:02.

incorporate plenty of organic matter.

:19:03.:19:07.

Mulch them thoroughly, and keep them well watered.

:19:08.:19:11.

If you do all that, you can even grow them in full sun.

:19:12.:19:16.

As well as being really straightforward to grow,

:19:17.:19:18.

It's ideal to get a piece that's not in flower,

:19:19.:19:28.

but at this time of year it's really hard.

:19:29.:19:30.

So just snip off any old, dead flowers

:19:31.:19:33.

Now, they're unlike most of the cuttings you take, which are nodal,

:19:34.:19:39.

about an inch and a half to two inches below the leaf node.

:19:40.:19:53.

And then you want to trim it, to just above the next leaf node up.

:19:54.:20:01.

So you end up with a cutting that's just got a piece of stem

:20:02.:20:05.

Now fill a pot with lovely, gritty compost.

:20:06.:20:12.

This is loam-based compost with masses of grit added.

:20:13.:20:17.

all I'm going to do is plunge this cutting.

:20:18.:20:22.

The stem is stiff, so it can be its own dibber.

:20:23.:20:25.

And I'm going to push it down until the top of the cutting

:20:26.:20:29.

You can make two cuttings from each of those pieces,

:20:30.:20:39.

you take a really sharp knife, take your cutting,

:20:40.:20:43.

and just cut from between those two leaves

:20:44.:20:47.

And you'll get two similar halves, twins.

:20:48.:20:56.

Finish the whole thing off with some grit.

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stand it in a nice warm, bright place,

:21:01.:21:06.

and you should see roots appearing from the bottom of the pot

:21:07.:21:12.

You can also try growing clematis from seed.

:21:13.:21:20.

At the stage when those fluffy seed heads are about to take off,

:21:21.:21:24.

snip off a whole head with a bit of its stem.

:21:25.:21:28.

Push the whole thing down into the top of a pot of gritty compost,

:21:29.:21:32.

and in a few weeks' time, you should see germination.

:21:33.:21:45.

One of the most vexed questions about growing clematis

:21:46.:21:48.

and it's all to do with the time of year when they flower.

:21:49.:21:56.

you really hardly need to prune them at all.

:21:57.:22:01.

especially the large-flowered hybrids,

:22:02.:22:10.

you can take the stem down to the next flower,

:22:11.:22:16.

so that the plant concentrates all its energy on

:22:17.:22:20.

But as far as the third group, like this one...

:22:21.:22:26.

and what you've got to do is, early in the year, February time,

:22:27.:22:36.

some people have even called it the Valentine's Day massacre,

:22:37.:22:39.

take your shears, go outside and chop it at about 18 inches,

:22:40.:22:45.

and produce lots and lots of new flowering wood.

:22:46.:22:54.

This particular one is clematis viticella Etoile Violette.

:22:55.:23:01.

Although you can have clematis in flower at almost any time of year,

:23:02.:23:06.

there's no doubt that August is their prime time.

:23:07.:23:12.

Clematis Blue Boy is a magnificent clematis,

:23:13.:23:16.

producing thousands of its deep blue bells over the summer.

:23:17.:23:21.

It's semi-herbaceous, so cut it down to six inches,

:23:22.:23:25.

15 centimetres above the ground in late winter.

:23:26.:23:31.

One of the oldest and most reliable of the large flowered hybrids,

:23:32.:23:35.

grows strongly and flowers reliably over a long period,

:23:36.:23:42.

Clematis truly are the most versatile of plants.

:23:43.:23:54.

And what's more, we can all grow them,

:23:55.:23:57.

that clematis are the glory of the August garden.

:23:58.:24:25.

This perpetual sweet pea has gone bonkers,

:24:26.:24:29.

and it's transformed from being charmingly casual and loose,

:24:30.:24:37.

I want to make the most of the clematis,

:24:38.:24:48.

but they've been really good this year.

:24:49.:24:50.

It's always tricky at this point of the year

:24:51.:24:53.

to know just quite how much you can cut back

:24:54.:24:56.

because you don't want to lose flowers.

:24:57.:24:59.

You want to maximise the colour and potential

:25:00.:25:02.

but on the other hand, if you let things swamp,

:25:03.:25:08.

that will also reduce all the opportunities.

:25:09.:25:13.

But you can make life simpler for yourself

:25:14.:25:14.

if you take flowers out of the equation.

:25:15.:25:17.

and this time to visit a garden whose focus

:25:18.:25:23.

If you come round my garden to have a look,

:25:24.:25:35.

you're seeing things that you're not seeing somewhere else.

:25:36.:25:39.

I like something that is very different to anybody else's.

:25:40.:25:47.

If you're going to design a garden based on foliage,

:25:48.:25:52.

you've got to look at the plot and say,

:25:53.:25:54.

"OK, I need to put in the larger specimens first."

:25:55.:25:59.

make sure you've got plenty of evergreens.

:26:00.:26:05.

Because in the winter if you don't have evergreens,

:26:06.:26:07.

I don't think there's any hard and fast rules.

:26:08.:26:17.

Everything in my garden is good to look at.

:26:18.:26:21.

And round each corner you see something that's very different

:26:22.:26:31.

to what you've just seen round the other corner.

:26:32.:26:33.

It's having that surprise, that impact, as you go round the bend,

:26:34.:26:37.

round the bend... HE CHUCKLES

:26:38.:26:42.

I suppose it stems from wanting to be as low-maintenance as possible.

:26:43.:26:47.

You have a good range of trees and shrubs and ground covers,

:26:48.:26:52.

I love them because they offer so much.

:26:53.:27:06.

They start off with their beautiful, multicoloured foliage,

:27:07.:27:10.

from yellows and lime greens through to the purples.

:27:11.:27:15.

and if you add to that tiarellas and heucherellas,

:27:16.:27:21.

you've got the full spectrum of the whole gambit of colours,

:27:22.:27:24.

almost throughout the year, because a lot of them are evergreen.

:27:25.:27:31.

This is one of my favourite heucheras,

:27:32.:27:34.

which is heuchera French Quarter, and it's an absolute dream.

:27:35.:27:39.

These beautifully shaped pink and green leaves

:27:40.:27:43.

and they reach about 10-15 inches in height,

:27:44.:27:48.

but they have these beautiful pink, flowery spikes

:27:49.:27:55.

that will last from May right through 'til the end of July,

:27:56.:27:58.

and if you're going to have a heuchera in your garden,

:27:59.:28:03.

Tiarellas are the poorer partner of the heuchera.

:28:04.:28:14.

but they're not grown for their leaves.

:28:15.:28:20.

They're grown for their spring flowers.

:28:21.:28:22.

They have these masses of white or cream spikes in the spring.

:28:23.:28:25.

If you take them off when they're finished flowering,

:28:26.:28:28.

as soon as they've finished flowering,

:28:29.:28:30.

you might get another showing around about the end of July, early August.

:28:31.:28:34.

So they can flower twice in a season.

:28:35.:28:38.

Heucherella is a cross between heuchera and tiarella,

:28:39.:28:43.

so you're getting the best of both worlds.

:28:44.:28:45.

So you're getting the flowers of the tiarella

:28:46.:28:47.

and the fancy colours and shapes of the leaves of the heuchera.

:28:48.:28:51.

You look after them in exactly the same way.

:28:52.:29:02.

They're all shade-tolerant, all grow in the same sort of soil.

:29:03.:29:07.

As you come around the corner, there they are.

:29:08.:29:12.

I think the biggest problem that most people would find

:29:13.:29:18.

with any of the group would be vine weevil.

:29:19.:29:21.

and it chews its way through where the crown meets the root.

:29:22.:29:31.

So effectively your plant will look perfectly healthy,

:29:32.:29:34.

and all of a sudden, it'll just fall to one side,

:29:35.:29:38.

and the actual weevil has just chewed through the whole thing.

:29:39.:29:45.

you can probably get three or four or five plants

:29:46.:29:49.

from taking the cuttings. This is how we do it.

:29:50.:29:53.

and take off most of the larger leaves,

:29:54.:29:58.

so you're left with something like that,

:29:59.:30:01.

and then take it into a four-inch pot.

:30:02.:30:04.

..I put a label, so I know what it is!

:30:05.:30:15.

And then that goes in the polytunnel.

:30:16.:30:19.

And in three, four weeks' time, hopefully that will have rooted.

:30:20.:30:24.

You've got your money back, you've saved your plants,

:30:25.:30:26.

I ask people when they come in what they expected to see,

:30:27.:30:36.

and in general they said, a nice little cottage garden.

:30:37.:30:39.

I also asked them when they went out, were you surprised?

:30:40.:30:43.

And they said yes, but it was a nice surprise.

:30:44.:30:58.

the more pleasure I get just from simple, green foliage.

:30:59.:31:05.

There is something about green that the eye and the brain

:31:06.:31:09.

That is calming and yet invigorating,

:31:10.:31:15.

It holds you exactly where you're meant to be.

:31:16.:31:21.

There's always layer upon layer and shade upon shade

:31:22.:31:27.

That is one of the reasons why I bought myself another tree fern.

:31:28.:31:34.

The other reason is I just like ferns,

:31:35.:31:36.

and it seems to be very happy here, in quite deep shade.

:31:37.:31:43.

It's a mistake to plant them, as specimen plants, out in the open.

:31:44.:31:46.

Give them the shade that they crave, and plenty of moisture.

:31:47.:31:50.

round about the beginning or middle of October,

:31:51.:31:58.

I'll show you how to prepare them to get through winter

:31:59.:32:01.

but also to add a real decorative feature

:32:02.:32:16.

And Mark Lane visits a garden in Warwick

:32:17.:32:22.

that has been restored to its former glory

:32:23.:32:25.

thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers.

:32:26.:32:43.

Clearing gunk and growth out of the pond

:32:44.:32:49.

is something that I try and do periodically...

:32:50.:32:52.

..but I don't try and keep it clean as such.

:32:53.:33:00.

And the way the pond has grown and developed,

:33:01.:33:03.

and I quite like that, the way it looks anyway,

:33:04.:33:10.

but it's certainly good for wildlife.

:33:11.:33:12.

We want as much and as varied of creatures,

:33:13.:33:17.

both in the water and around the edge and in the air,

:33:18.:33:20.

but what we don't want is too much dead material like that.

:33:21.:33:31.

I don't take it straightaway to the compost heap

:33:32.:33:38.

because there will be little creatures in it.

:33:39.:33:41.

And I want to give them a chance to go back into the water.

:33:42.:33:44.

But you have to make a decision, really...

:33:45.:33:48.

..with a pond or with any type of natural gardening,

:33:49.:33:52.

at what point the plants can dictate the way it looks,

:33:53.:33:57.

and at what point you the gardener must win.

:33:58.:34:00.

And if you're the kind of gardener that wants control all the time...

:34:01.:34:06.

..then obviously you have to be very hands-on

:34:07.:34:08.

But if you want to maximise wildlife,

:34:09.:34:13.

there are certain plants that are thugs.

:34:14.:34:25.

Here in the pond at this time of year,

:34:26.:34:27.

to see the effect of one of these alien invaders.

:34:28.:34:55.

The Lizard in Cornwall is Britain's most southerly point.

:34:56.:34:59.

It is heralded as one of Britain's top five places for wild plants,

:35:00.:35:03.

but there's one non-native invasive species

:35:04.:35:06.

that's threatening to destroy that accolade.

:35:07.:35:11.

It's called Carpobrotus edulis, or Hottentot fig,

:35:12.:35:16.

and it's made up of these thick mats of succulent, water-laden leaves,

:35:17.:35:21.

and covered in pink or yellow daisy-looking flowers.

:35:22.:35:27.

Originally from South Africa in the 1800s,

:35:28.:35:30.

they became popular as an ornamental plant,

:35:31.:35:33.

that can still be bought in some nurseries across the country.

:35:34.:35:36.

But it's escaped over the garden fence.

:35:37.:35:40.

It produces a dense, impenetrable mat of up to 50 square metres,

:35:41.:35:50.

and it can extend by up to a metre a year,

:35:51.:35:53.

it can pose a real threat to our native flora.

:35:54.:36:00.

It's a big concern for The National Trust,

:36:01.:36:02.

who own and manage this stretch of coastline.

:36:03.:36:06.

Rachel Holder is the ranger tasked with bringing it under control.

:36:07.:36:11.

So, Rachel, how big a problem is this carpobrotus?

:36:12.:36:15.

Invasives like Hottentot fig are a huge problem to us.

:36:16.:36:18.

These cliffs here are national nature reserve,

:36:19.:36:21.

a Site of Special Scientific Interest,

:36:22.:36:23.

We've got a mild climate and unusual geology,

:36:24.:36:27.

which means we have a huge number of rare plants,

:36:28.:36:30.

so we have things like prostrate asparagus, prostrate broom,

:36:31.:36:35.

and long-headed clover, and those species are affected.

:36:36.:36:39.

Nothing can compete with this once you've got dense mats of it,

:36:40.:36:41.

So it's effectively a monoculture, isn't it?

:36:42.:36:47.

Yeah, that's all you have is metre after metre of fig.

:36:48.:36:52.

And so why is it so successful in this particular area?

:36:53.:36:55.

I think it's found the conditions that we have here

:36:56.:36:58.

So it's really thriving in dry habitats in rocky places.

:36:59.:37:04.

It can store water, it's particularly succulent

:37:05.:37:07.

And we don't really have anything here that keeps it in check.

:37:08.:37:14.

Is the problem just isolated to the peninsular here?

:37:15.:37:17.

Anywhere that's got a relatively mild climate and rocky habitats

:37:18.:37:20.

is at risk, so all the way along the south coast through Wales, Anglesey,

:37:21.:37:25.

and perhaps with climate change it may become a wider issue.

:37:26.:37:37.

Today, there is a huge area of yellow-flowered Hottentot fig

:37:38.:37:41.

You can see just how well rooted it is.

:37:42.:37:55.

And any of these fragments, if they're left behind,

:37:56.:37:57.

So it's really essential that we go back over sites

:37:58.:38:02.

and pick the regrowth, year after year, really.

:38:03.:38:04.

So, like a lot of succulent species, a torn-off leaf,

:38:05.:38:08.

potentially if it was allowed to callus on the cliff side,

:38:09.:38:11.

it could re-root and become another plant.

:38:12.:38:13.

Yeah. And also you get seedlings as well.

:38:14.:38:18.

have been successfully removed from this coastline.

:38:19.:38:26.

There are certainly areas that we're keeping on top of it.

:38:27.:38:29.

If you look along the cliff over there,

:38:30.:38:31.

you can see an area that rock climbers were in

:38:32.:38:33.

The brown swathes down the cliffs there.

:38:34.:38:36.

So, are you finding there is a return in native flora

:38:37.:38:39.

where you cleared it out? Yes, certainly,

:38:40.:38:41.

some of those sites we've been working on for maybe a decade

:38:42.:38:44.

we've managed to get rid of the fig.

:38:45.:38:46.

You can see the native vegetation coming back.

:38:47.:38:49.

We have to keep coming back year after year.

:38:50.:38:53.

Because there's so much around here still producing seed and still

:38:54.:38:56.

producing matter that can root and grow again.

:38:57.:39:00.

So what would your advice to gardeners be

:39:01.:39:02.

if they've got this growing or have considered introducing it?

:39:03.:39:06.

However, it is illegal to cause it to spread in the wild.

:39:07.:39:15.

So, if you were to plant this in the wild or spread seed in the wild,

:39:16.:39:19.

And I think you need to think really carefully about the location of

:39:20.:39:24.

your garden. If you're in a coastal location, close to cliffs,

:39:25.:39:28.

there is a much greater chance of it spreading and getting into the wild.

:39:29.:39:34.

But who knows how far a bird can fly to spread the seed?

:39:35.:39:38.

So I would really urge caution if you're thinking about growing this

:39:39.:39:42.

and any of the other species that are known to be invasive in the UK.

:39:43.:39:45.

Well, I've noticed, looking around the local area, that there's a good

:39:46.:39:49.

potential alternative plant in the name of Erigeron glauca,

:39:50.:39:53.

I mean, only a very small proportion of garden plants are invasive.

:39:54.:40:06.

The RHS and Plantlife have jointly produced a guide

:40:07.:40:09.

to gardening without invasive species,

:40:10.:40:11.

so there's lots of ideas of different plants

:40:12.:40:14.

that you can try that won't cause a problem.

:40:15.:40:26.

Despite the squally weather today, this is a huge tourist spot,

:40:27.:40:29.

and I imagine people enjoy this plant.

:40:30.:40:32.

Yes, you can't deny it's an attractive species,

:40:33.:40:36.

particularly when you've got carpets of flowers in June and July,

:40:37.:40:40.

but I think if we did nothing we'd lose all those native species.

:40:41.:40:44.

Our native vegetation - OK, it might not be quite as spectacular as this,

:40:45.:40:49.

but it really is important in a national and international context.

:40:50.:41:06.

being introduced and then taking over an environment is nothing new.

:41:07.:41:13.

And with a succulent like that, it does need dry, mild conditions,

:41:14.:41:19.

so it's not going to take over your inland wet garden.

:41:20.:41:22.

Having said that, the effect on the coast is pretty dramatic.

:41:23.:41:27.

Right. Talking about drama and drama queens, you want that, don't you?

:41:28.:41:31.

I've got a wheelbarrow full of ericaceous compost.

:41:32.:41:36.

which need a pot because my soil is too alkaline.

:41:37.:41:47.

And I thought, well, I can make them decorative.

:41:48.:41:49.

You don't have to have an orchard or a big fruit garden to grow really

:41:50.:41:54.

And because they're in good pots, I've chosen standard blueberries.

:41:55.:41:59.

So I'm going to plant them both up and then I'll give them a trim

:42:00.:42:02.

And I've added in a bit of leaf mould from the garden

:42:03.:42:15.

and you can see there's some perlite in there,

:42:16.:42:17.

Just mix it up well and put some in the base of a pot.

:42:18.:42:28.

You can see it's got very fibrous roots,

:42:29.:42:33.

That's ready to go. And the height that it needs to be is about that.

:42:34.:42:40.

because otherwise standards get top-heavy

:42:41.:42:46.

Right, let's firm that round really well.

:42:47.:42:57.

I'm leaving quite a gap from the top of the pot.

:42:58.:43:02.

Although that means it's got less room for the roots,

:43:03.:43:04.

it does mean that I can water it well and I can mulch it.

:43:05.:43:08.

This will stay in this pot for three, four, even five years.

:43:09.:43:13.

So any extra compost I need to add has to be on top

:43:14.:43:17.

And I think a pair, when you've got standards,

:43:18.:43:26.

a pair either side of an entrance, of a doorway,

:43:27.:43:30.

a path, immediately creates an impression.

:43:31.:43:34.

and the fact that the fruit are here,

:43:35.:43:39.

almost at mouth height, you could just pick them off as you pass by.

:43:40.:43:43.

When you're watering your blueberries,

:43:44.:44:16.

it is really important that you use rainwater, not tap water,

:44:17.:44:21.

because most tap water has got too much lime in it,

:44:22.:44:24.

and you'll undo all the good work of using an ericaceous compost.

:44:25.:44:32.

I just want to train the plants a little bit,

:44:33.:44:34.

because you can see this is growing very vertically,

:44:35.:44:38.

which means two things. One, the shape is not quite what I want.

:44:39.:44:41.

And two, it's going to be terribly top-heavy,

:44:42.:44:46.

so the roots aren't established, the wind will take it,

:44:47.:44:49.

and the whole thing will go somersaulting over

:44:50.:44:51.

But I'm not going to cut indiscriminately

:44:52.:44:57.

because the fruit is produced on the previous year's growth.

:44:58.:45:02.

and then this is the new growth this year,

:45:03.:45:09.

But next year, that will carry fruit.

:45:10.:45:13.

So if I cut this right back, I'll have no fruit next year at all.

:45:14.:45:19.

That's probably enough to be going on that and then we can do

:45:20.:45:26.

another proper prune after the berries have all ripened.

:45:27.:45:33.

One of the other advantages of blueberries is that as a plant

:45:34.:45:36.

Turns a lovely, rich burgundy, sometimes almost chocolaty colour.

:45:37.:45:45.

And all this adds up to a plant that gives you delicious fruit,

:45:46.:45:49.

is great for a growing in a container

:45:50.:45:52.

Now, this garden is at times, I feel, open to the public -

:45:53.:46:01.

every Friday, and we get millions of visitors,

:46:02.:46:04.

and that's a privilege and usually a pleasure

:46:05.:46:07.

a bit daunting because you want the place to look

:46:08.:46:12.

And I have great empathy for those who open their gardens,

:46:13.:46:17.

especially under the NGS, because it is quite a thing.

:46:18.:46:22.

And Mark Lane went to visit a garden that was about to open its doors for

:46:23.:46:29.

I opened my own garden for the National Garden Scheme

:46:30.:46:41.

and I have to admit, it was absolutely terrifying.

:46:42.:46:48.

So I'm really sure I know how the guys here are feeling when the gates

:46:49.:46:53.

The volunteers at Guy's Cliffe garden

:46:54.:47:04.

have had their work cut out for them.

:47:05.:47:06.

part of an old country house estate, dates back to the 18th century.

:47:07.:47:14.

By the 1980s, the garden was in a terrible state,

:47:15.:47:17.

when they decided to return it to a working kitchen garden.

:47:18.:47:24.

Tony Brown is one of the trustees managing the project.

:47:25.:47:30.

The wonderful thing about walled gardens...

:47:31.:47:32.

I mean, it's that hidden element, isn't it?

:47:33.:47:34.

No. It's very much a feature of gardens of this era.

:47:35.:47:40.

They had to be tucked away out of sight from the main house.

:47:41.:47:44.

But although they were tucked away, they had to be kept immaculately,

:47:45.:47:48.

and the owner of the house would take great pride in showing

:47:49.:47:51.

his guests how well his kitchen garden was being kept.

:47:52.:47:54.

So what are you actually trying to achieve with this garden?

:47:55.:47:58.

Well, first of all, to save what is an important historic site.

:47:59.:48:03.

And to demonstrate what is possible in a garden like this.

:48:04.:48:08.

So we have this year more than 100 different varieties of vegetables

:48:09.:48:13.

and flowers, not even counting the fruit.

:48:14.:48:16.

Wow. And, of course, you've got this wonderful avenue of colour,

:48:17.:48:20.

What we wanted to do is to give people a first look

:48:21.:48:25.

when they come through that gate of colour and vibrancy.

:48:26.:48:30.

Just time for the final tweaks from volunteers as the visitors start to

:48:31.:48:42.

arrive for the garden's first open day.

:48:43.:48:49.

To open your garden for the National Garden Scheme,

:48:50.:48:52.

they inspect it for quality and character.

:48:53.:48:55.

With enough interest for people to look round

:48:56.:48:58.

They've crammed so much into this garden.

:48:59.:49:04.

from this beautiful red of the Bishop of Llandaff.

:49:05.:49:11.

Dahlias were around in Victorian times, and so were sweet peas,

:49:12.:49:16.

and there is a beautiful scent coming from Cupani.

:49:17.:49:20.

It is just a wonderful garden to be in.

:49:21.:49:32.

The volunteers are obviously enjoying themselves.

:49:33.:49:35.

What do you like about it? Oh, it's my kind of garden.

:49:36.:49:42.

I was looking at the cabbages over there and they could just be

:49:43.:49:49.

an ornament. Stunning, though, isn't it?

:49:50.:49:51.

I know, and it's not like that in my garden,

:49:52.:49:54.

which is fantastic because I know a huge amount of effort goes into

:49:55.:50:03.

You've got this wonderful little display here.

:50:04.:50:09.

So it's trying to make it look effective

:50:10.:50:15.

And then you're growing radishes, aren't you?

:50:16.:50:19.

Yes, we grow them in little groups rather than singly because they've

:50:20.:50:23.

You can imagine if you got one radish or one seed,

:50:24.:50:28.

and you put them in and then you have all the weeds coming up,

:50:29.:50:31.

you're likely to dig it up because you won't know the difference.

:50:32.:50:34.

So these are called little plugs and you've got this special little tool.

:50:35.:50:39.

So you very, very carefully bring it out.

:50:40.:50:45.

So there you are. And then as they go in the soil,

:50:46.:50:48.

These radishes here, they've got holes in and they're little white...

:50:49.:50:53.

I think they're little white flies that jump

:50:54.:50:56.

and what you do, you wrap sellotape round your hand.

:50:57.:50:59.

When you go like that, they all jump up and get stuck to the sellotape.

:51:00.:51:02.

You've got, like, this little community of plants going on.

:51:03.:51:08.

The whole garden is one big community, isn't it?

:51:09.:51:11.

Oh, it is. It's a local thing and I think the idea is we want all local

:51:12.:51:15.

people, community schools, to come in and enjoy it, and it's so...

:51:16.:51:19.

Yes. So, it's so brilliant like that.

:51:20.:51:25.

What's brilliant is how they've combined newer schemes

:51:26.:51:28.

The rows of espaliers have been placed according to the 19th-century

:51:29.:51:34.

plans, and they've even managed to find some of the original varieties

:51:35.:51:39.

which was first developed by Thomas Knight in the early 19th century.

:51:40.:51:46.

That's right, so we're only going to grow four tiers.

:51:47.:51:53.

So anyone at home with a small space could do this against a wall?

:51:54.:51:56.

And have you actually been taught how to prune?

:51:57.:52:03.

No, we were told the trees were coming.

:52:04.:52:07.

We've looked it up. And so far, they're looking all right.

:52:08.:52:10.

The hardest part is when you get your first whip

:52:11.:52:12.

and you have to cut it... Right down. ..right down to a stick.

:52:13.:52:16.

Yeah, that's quite nerve-racking, isn't it?

:52:17.:52:19.

That's why Julie has to do that! This is now in its second year,

:52:20.:52:21.

so we are just beginning the second year of the espalier.

:52:22.:52:25.

Do you think these are going to taste really nice?

:52:26.:52:27.

I don't think it's an enormously popular variety now,

:52:28.:52:30.

They've pulled it off and transformed

:52:31.:52:40.

their overgrown garden into one that

:52:41.:52:43.

can be enjoyed by the wider community for years to come.

:52:44.:52:49.

I know that you've got over 100 people.

:52:50.:52:51.

We've actually got 320 today, which is fantastic. That's so good.

:52:52.:52:56.

So, volunteers, you've done a tremendous job,

:52:57.:52:59.

Good boy. Come on, there's a good girl.

:53:00.:53:19.

Whilst there is obviously a perfectly natural pride

:53:20.:53:22.

in showing off your garden and displaying it,

:53:23.:53:26.

I think the real satisfaction comes from sharing it,

:53:27.:53:30.

and a garden shared is a garden enlarged and enhanced.

:53:31.:53:35.

Obviously, growing veg is enormously satisfying.

:53:36.:53:40.

And here are some other jobs for your satisfaction

:53:41.:53:51.

I know I've said this before, but it is worth repeating,

:53:52.:54:10.

and that is to deadhead and keep deadheading.

:54:11.:54:13.

And not just the usual suspects like dahlias,

:54:14.:54:16.

sunflowers, they will all continue to flower and go on flowering for

:54:17.:54:27.

as long as possible if you keep deadheading.

:54:28.:54:39.

Before you give your yew hedge a trim,

:54:40.:54:42.

and put them straight into a polythene bag.

:54:43.:54:53.

Cut them to size, burying them right up to the foliage in the compost.

:54:54.:54:59.

Put them somewhere warm and they should form new roots,

:55:00.:55:04.

are irresistibly drawn to brassica leaves.

:55:05.:55:20.

They lay their eggs in little yellow blocks and these hatch out into

:55:21.:55:23.

caterpillars which munch their way through the leaves to disastrous

:55:24.:55:27.

effect. The only way to control this is to put up a netting fine enough

:55:28.:55:33.

to stop the butterflies reaching the leaves and laying their eggs.

:55:34.:55:37.

still check weekly for any caterpillars that may be there.

:55:38.:55:55.

I'd seen it in South Africa growing as a woody shrub,

:55:56.:56:01.

But it is very late flowering and needs some heat in which to develop,

:56:02.:56:07.

and it's quite late putting it in, but as long as we have a nice late

:56:08.:56:10.

it can produce these marvellous ruffs of orange flowers

:56:11.:56:17.

that go up in tiers on five, six, seven-foot-tall stems,

:56:18.:56:22.

you should be able to find some of these tender plants that can fill

:56:23.:56:30.

the gaps and give you colour until the first frosts.

:56:31.:56:35.

Well, I hope it's not going to be frosty this weekend,

:56:36.:56:37.

but let's see what weather is in store for us gardeners.

:56:38.:56:55.

Good evening. We've had to pick our days to go in the garden this week

:56:56.:57:02.

with the amount of rainfall we have seen. But it looks as if some fine

:57:03.:57:05.

weather will coincide with this weekend. We had some today before

:57:06.:57:09.

our by the front and behind, the weather front is weakening all the

:57:10.:57:13.

time so it should be largely dry this weekend apart from some showers

:57:14.:57:17.

with sunny spells and cool nights as well. A word of warning. These are

:57:18.:57:23.

the remnants of the weather front clearing until drizzly cloud and

:57:24.:57:27.

showers so not a bad day for going out to do weeding or trimming the

:57:28.:57:32.

hedge. Although it would be altogether dry, the odd shower, not

:57:33.:57:36.

particularly warm, wind is less strong than today, coming down from

:57:37.:57:40.

the north-west they would feel that one so you might need an extra

:57:41.:57:44.

jumper in the garden, we'll have a few showers over the North York

:57:45.:57:48.

Moors into the worlds and the higher grounds of the Midlands and Wales,

:57:49.:57:52.

they will pass through and some Wiratchant. Could be a handbag clad

:57:53.:58:01.

in seven areas although for most places it should feel warmer than

:58:02.:58:03.

today. Overnight Saturday to Sunday it could turn chilly. In the suburb

:58:04.:58:06.

with the light winds we could see within two or three degrees in the

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Glens verging on grass frost and there could be missed early next

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morning otherwise, plain sailing, the odd shower, rain later for

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Northern Ireland and North Wales that is filled with

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masses of plant inspiration. Well, there's plenty of summer left

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for us to enjoy, but not of today's programme,

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I'm afraid. However, I will be back here

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at Longmeadow # Everybody dance... #

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Whoa! # Clap your hands,

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clap your hands... #

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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.