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Hello and welcome to Gardeners' World.
Now, in a season of intense oranges,
the orange plant that is most orange of all is tithonia.
Tithonia rotundifolia, the Mexican sunflower.
And you can see that when it first opens, it is an intense vermillion.
And then it fades with its orange boss,
and dies back to produce yet more flowers.
This is Tithonia Torch - it will grow to about five foot tall,
sometimes six foot on our rich soil.
And will go on producing flowers all late summer and all autumn until the
first frost. The key thing, though, is to keep deadheading.
Here is a flower that's lost its petals, it wants to set seed,
that needs to be cut back.
And just cut that back, cut right back to a leaf.
And that one there.
And that will promote more flowers.
And as I say, this will go on
flowering with these intense orange daisies
right up to the first frost.
Now, coming up on tonight's programme.
Frances Tophill goes to Hampshire to meet a man fanatical about ferns.
We visit a paramedic who planted an oasis of calm for wildlife and staff
at an ambulance station in Sheffield.
And Carol Klein pays her second visit to Dove Cottage in Yorkshire.
This time the garden is in full summer bloom.
And I shall be adding some late season plants
for my wildlife garden.
Come on, out of the way. Good boy.
Out of the way. Good boy.
If the Jewel Garden is an intense furnace of colour,
the Spring Garden at this time of year is a cool oasis of green.
And I want to add more green,
I want to make it green as green can possibly be,
because that coolness is a wonderful relief
and can be rich and rewarding.
And also the conditions in here do not lend themselves to bright
floral plants at this time of year.
But they do lend themselves absolutely to this group of plants,
which increasingly I adore.
And these are ferns.
Ferns are something that you grow to love.
I used to think they were very gloomy and somehow depressing.
I now think they are completely fascinating and beautiful,
and I'm planting more and more.
And they are perfect for situations like this.
This looks as though it is well watered, because we had a torrential
downpour a day ago.
But believe you me, this is one of the driest parts of Longmeadow,
we've got this big old hazel with a canopy stopping light and water,
in summer at least, coming through.
And the roots are sucking up every little bit of moisture around.
And then you've got the lime trees on top of that.
And you do need to choose your ferns carefully, because not all ferns are
adapted to dry shade.
I've got polystichum.
Now, polystichum comes from Japan.
It's a sort of conventional fern.
If you got a child to draw a fern, it would look something like this.
And will cope very happily with limey soil.
Some ferns need acidic soil.
And really does need good drainage.
This is a polypody.
Now, polypodies are the archetypal fern
for dry, dark corners, dry shade.
The one thing about them is that they really do like limey
soil, and you typically see them growing out of crevices in rocks.
The other great thing about polypodies
is that their growth pattern is almost the
opposite of most plants, because they die back in summer.
So they come into foliage round about late July, August.
Look at their best throughout winter,
when you need evergreen plants.
So if you want really good winter green in the corners where not much
else will grow, polypodies are an ideal plant.
If you want to propagate your own,
it's rather a specialist subject,
because ferns don't produce baby ferns as such.
The spores are always the same sex.
So they will produce a plant called prothallus,
that will have a male and female sex,
and it is from this tiny, tiny plant they will produce very small ferns,
and these will slowly grow.
And the whole process can take years.
So if underneath your fern, you see a sort of greeny, algae-ish scum,
those could be baby plants waiting to become ferns.
I'll find places for the rest of that batch.
I like the way you can hunt out nooks and crannies where ferns look
really good and almost nothing else will thrive.
And by doing this, over the last handful of years,
we've accumulated lots and lots of ferns here at Longmeadow.
Whereas ten years ago, we had hardly any.
They grow upon you and I really like them.
However, my affection for ferns
pales into insignificance compared
to the man that Frances went to visit down in Hampshire.
It's fair to say most of us love our gardens.
They can be a place to relax or a place to create.
But for some of us,
a garden is a space to indulge a passion for plants
that could be said to border on obsession.
Andrew Leonard is a gardener, but there's only one plant for him.
It's one of the oldest plants on the planet, that thrived millions
of years before even dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
Andrew is a fern fanatic.
That really is crammed full of ferns, isn't it?
They are everywhere.
When did you get into fern collecting?
The first house I bought was in Portsmouth
and it had a very small garden,
nothing growing in the garden at all apart from the bracken.
And I didn't realise at that time
that ferns were actually hardy in the British Isles.
And it was about the same time
I found the British Pteridological Society, which I joined.
And after a couple of years, I went out...
They organised meetings, and I went out on one of these meetings.
And we went to Oxford.
And I remember thinking, "These people are rather eccentric,"
but I thought I might fit in with them.
I think the best gardeners are always strange and eccentric.
SHE LAUGHS Yeah.
And then they organised meetings abroad.
-We went to the north of France first and then we went to Trinidad.
And then I started organising ones for myself.
So I'd go to Zimbabwe and Thailand, Malaysia, places like that.
And I'd hire a car, drive around
and see how much trouble I could get into, to see ferns.
Are there any particular favourites that you have?
Well, this Lygodium japonicum, it's a climbing fern.
That is amazing. I've never seen a climbing fern before.
I've seen this in Hong Kong, and it can grow right up into the trees,
higher than this, it's really...
Well, it's starting to do its thing, isn't it?
In a few years maybe.
This is another nice one, this is called Dryopteris picoense.
And it's a hybrid,
and it comes from the island of Pico in the Azores.
And I was sent a bit of it, and it has sort of spread,
it did this thing vegetatively, it sort of reproduced.
And I've got lots and lots of plants now.
In fact, there's only a few in the wild,
and I've got more in this garden
-than there is in the rest of the world put together.
This is Dryopteris critica.
This is Polystichum proliferum.
These little ones are Parathelypteris beddomei.
They are lovely, those ones.
And this is Cyrtomium falcatum.
You just have so many ferns.
Well, this is only part of it.
Andrew got so carried away with his ferns that he ran out of space.
So 15 years ago,
he decided to grow them where most people grow their veg.
On an allotment.
-Oh, my goodness!
I have never seen so many ferns on an allotment.
What is it about ferns that you just love so much?
Well, I don't really know the answer to that.
It's like an interest or a hobby that has sort of, in a way,
got out of hand. I find they are quite easy to grow as well.
You just put them in the ground and then they are either, in a sense,
happy and they grow, or they are not and they disappear.
You know where you stand.
I suppose this shade tunnel with the kind of slightly more sheltered
position is good for these ferns.
A lot of these ferns like woodland conditions, which is...
And this is mimicking that,
but there will be less evaporation down here,
so they will probably keep a bit damper.
And I suppose that moisture is good for the spores in order for them to
So, a lot of people like growing ferns from spores, and in fact,
in our fern society,
we have something called the spore exchange and you can write into them
at the beginning of the year, and they will give you spores.
And in that way, you can grow ferns from all over the world.
They really are everywhere, aren't they?
Well, we talked about them needing shade and shelter,
but this is a common English fern.
In fact, it grows quite well outside.
I think it might be getting extra water from the polytunnel.
That would make sense.
This is an interesting fern, it's called Polystichum x dycei.
And it was a hybrid made by Dr Anne Sleep deliberately from a fern
that grows in the Northern Hemisphere
and a fern that grows in the Southern Hemisphere.
OK. And this is something that in the wild would never exist,
because the two plants would never meet.
Isn't that amazing?
Oh, another tunnel full of ferns.
They are really, they're like a living collection, aren't they?
They are not really displayed to be aesthetic, are they?
Yes, you are right, it is.
And this one has particularly sort of gone wild,
I don't do anything at all to it.
This one is called the Kangaroo Fern, Microsorum diversifolium.
And it's quite a pretty looking thing.
-It is beautiful, isn't it?
-And you can see the rhizomes,
they grow near the surface.
So is that how you divide it, by those rhizomes?
Yes, you literally, you can just cut them with a pair of scissors
and then lift the whole thing up and plant it somewhere else.
It's quite interesting, because the young or new fronds, entire,
they look like this.
But the mature fronds are quite pinnate.
That's a lovely fern.
Wow. And the thing about ferns
is they are so magical because you feel the history of them,
they are such an ancient kind of plant,
and such a history of collecting them as well, you know?
This is a plant that most people
probably wouldn't even think is a fern.
-And it's a native of the British Isles.
In fact, throughout Europe, I think.
And it's called Ophioglossum vulgatum.
It thrives in conditions like this, inside this polytunnel.
That is amazing. I mean, ferns obviously come in loads of different
shapes and sizes, and just coming here,
you can see that. But that is an amazingly unusual fern.
-Yes, I agree.
-Do you have a favourite?
Well, not really.
-I like them all.
-So much to choose from.
I love the passion and intensity
of that kind of relationship between man
and a single kind of plant.
But it could not be further removed from this kind of gardening in the
Wildlife Garden that I made here at Longmeadow a few years ago.
Because the whole point of an area like this
is to have as diverse a range
of plants that will attract the widest range of insects and animals
possible in a garden.
There is another element to that, though.
A garden has got to be for you as well as wildlife.
It's no good just observing it, you've got to be part of it,
and it has got to be part of your garden.
So in other words, it's got to please you.
And I feel here,
this garden needs a little bit of reining in, of tightening up.
So that it can feel like part of the garden, rather than the wildlife
corner. For a start, the comfrey we've got growing here.
Comfrey flowers are fabulous for bees,
and I certainly don't want to cut back any that are here.
But the leaves are a little bit suffocating on the plants around,
so I want to cut some of those back.
So, that's where I'm going to begin.
Because I want to make this as good for wildlife as possible,
this pond has got a beach.
And effectively, it means a very gradual slope filled with gravel and
shingle and the odd stone so that any mammal, amphibian, birds
can gradually get into the water,
without slipping and drowning or whatever the problem might be.
Hedgehogs can come down and drink.
The problem is, if things like couch grass have rooted into that beach...
In spring, this was full of frogs, absolutely filled.
There are hundreds of young frogs around the garden.
And it all stems from here.
I'm going to leave this teasel.
The birds love these seed heads.
Now, coming on into the border, you can see that this plant,
which is coltsfoot,
has rather taken over.
It's a nice plant,
it has dandelion-like yellow flowers that arise from the bare soil as
early as February. And that's fine for very early bumblebees.
But I don't want too much of it now,
so I'm going to reduce that and thin it out.
Because things like the geum in there will not be able to compete.
There we go, that's coming out.
And that's creating space where I can add more plants,
because there are so many beautiful flowers that are perfect for
pollinators. And when I talk about pollinators,
I don't just mean honeybees.
There are lots of other pollinators.
There are various flies, there are parasitic wasps.
Some of them looking really insignificant.
And even as though they might bite or harm you. They need plants, too.
Now, sedums are the star performers for bees
and butterflies as we come into autumn.
They just love these open, flat-top groups of flowers.
And in about three weeks' time,
you come in here and they'll be covered in butterflies.
So we must give sedums as much light and space as we can.
All this material is going to go to the compost heap.
And from the compost heap,
it will break down and the bacteria and fungi will come back into the
garden. It's all wildlife.
However, if I was doing this in a month's time,
let alone two months' time,
any woody material or stems,
I'd leave in the borders or stack up to provide cover.
The last thing I'm going to do in here is clear it for winter.
Now, you can do this in your own garden,
you can make the mix of a garden for you and a garden for wildlife that
everybody, every living creature,
can share and enjoy on its own merits.
If you've got a garden. If you've got space.
But if you haven't, then it's much more awkward.
And we went to Sheffield to visit a man who,
in the course of his work,
has made a wildlife garden
that is great for the natural world all around him
and also the people he works with.
It was always going to be a wildlife garden, that was the idea.
We wanted a garden to attract as much wildlife as possible.
A number of habitats for the wildlife,
but we wanted the garden also to be an interactive garden
where staff could come and sit and spend ten minutes or half an hour.
So it was trying to combine the two things.
I've been a paramedic for about 20 years
and a paramedic practitioner for the last five or six years.
I've worked for the Ambulance Service straight from school,
it's all I've ever done. It's all I ever wanted to do.
You never really know what you're going to walk into.
I think that's part of the excitement.
You could be delivering a baby and then you could be going to somebody
as they are taking their last breath.
Some days can be really challenging.
And it can take a toll on you.
Part of my way of dealing with things is doing things with wildlife,
doing things in the garden. It's all part of my, like,
strategy to keep my mind free of any demons
that can sometimes creep in.
The station that we are at,
we are quite lucky in that we have got a fair amount of outdoor space.
The outdoor space was not used,
it was just an expanse of grass that was mown monthly.
We approached Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew,
one of their outreach projects called Grow Wild.
Grow Wild agreed to provide seed packs to workplaces
in exchange for them re-wilding the area.
I approached my managers
to make sure it was something they were happy for us to do.
And it just snowballed from there.
The mix that Grow Wild send are a mixture of perennials and annual wild flowers.
So in the first year we got all the annuals came through,
so all the things like the reds of the poppies,
the blues of the cornflowers, the yellows of the corn chamomiles.
And quite a lot of ox-eye daisies and things like that.
We left those all to go to seed,
we are hopeful they would self seed.
And we are hopeful they will come through in subsequent years.
But this second year has been a lot more subdued colours.
We've got a lot more of the whites of the cow parsley and the wild
carrots, and more of the blues of the knapweed and the things that are
coming through. But it's also been interspersed with plants that we've
perhaps not planted, that have self-seeded.
So there's Bird's foot trefoil
and vetch and things like that, that are starting to come in.
This year, more so than last year,
we've noticed a lot more bees and hoverflies and butterflies that are
coming in and using the garden.
The annuals obviously did attract them,
but I think the perennials seem to be a lot longer-lasting flower,
and we are definitely getting a lot more things coming in because of it.
You get little successes from everything,
so we've put some nest boxes up.
Within a month of them being up,
we had got a family of blue tits nesting in them,
and that kind of lifted my spirits a little bit.
Just this year, we've done a bit of a community outreach thing with the
schools and an elderly persons' complex,
where we've just grown a field of sunflowers.
Just to try and get people interested
so that they can see what we are doing,
hopefully get the bug for gardening.
I'd love to drive up and down the estate
and see wild flowers everywhere.
That would be a perfect scenario for me.
I always wanted it to be somewhere that people could come and sit
and have five minutes when they wanted, to sit alone,
or even sit with a colleague they've just worked with
and talk through the job.
Somewhere that they could have a cup of tea, shed a tear if they have to.
Somewhere that can kind of ease your mind,
or just take your mind off things you've been doing.
And the studies have proven that
being around in green spaces and being around wildlife is really good
for mental health as well as physical health.
It's nice to actually come and have somewhere that's not all built up
around you and just have somewhere to have a chill-out if you want to,
or just go and have a bit of you time.
If you are coming back on days, you don't want to be sat inside.
You can go out there. If the weather is fine,
you can disappear out there for half an hour.
You can lose yourself out there.
It is just nice to have that relaxing space.
I've been to a few stations and there's nothing like this
at any other station, really.
You know, it's just your basic mess room and car park and that's it.
It's just something to appreciate, really.
The Ambulance Service is there at people's worst times.
We may seem like hardened professionals,
but we are still human beings and we all still have that
emotion that people have.
We keep a lid on it whilst we are dealing with the patients
most of the time.
But there are things that are always going to touch the nerve.
Hopefully having a bit of wild space, a bit of nature and
some pretty flowers, really,
is enough just to make people realise that there's not all bad
in the world and there is a lot of good in the world
and there are a lot of good things around if you look around.
I think one of the understated claims of wildlife gardens
is that other than being good for your garden,
because they make it more healthy,
and being good for the planet, because they include diversity,
they are great for the gardener.
They are fun, they can look fantastic.
It's a really good way to garden.
Now, I want to make this wildlife garden
as good as possible for insects
and for me for as long as possible,
to stretch that flowering season out.
And to that end, I'm adding some asters.
I've got three different types here.
I've got one which is just coming into flower now called Monch.
They have the great virtue of being very trouble-free.
They don't get mould,
they reliably flower.
And as long as they get a bit of sunshine,
and some fairly good drainage,
that is quite important, they are a really easy, good aster to grow.
And they have this lovely pale sort of mauve,
lavender flower with the yellow centre.
And that will grow up when it's mature
to about three foot to a metre tall.
The second one is one of my absolute favourites.
This is Aster divaricatus.
And it's a woodland aster.
I wouldn't waste this aster on a sunny spot.
Because it's happiest in shade.
In dappled shade or even full shade.
I've got it growing in various parts of the garden.
And it shines out.
That is as tall as it ever grows.
And then it tends to grow laterally, and a really,
really good plant for that shady corner.
And that will attract the insects and the bees.
But you can see there's an elegance about it, and a delicacy,
which is really good. And finally I have an aster called Little Carlow.
This hasn't started to flower yet, but it will very soon.
And that will have a mass of pale blue, lilac-coloured flowers.
If I give this some sunshine and put it in a group next to Monch,
that will give me flowers into autumn.
So hopefully, the border will look the better for it,
it will attract more insects, and these will be very happy.
Of course what I'm trying to do is make
this late flowering look good and be good for wildlife.
But I do know that however hard I try,
it is not going to look nearly as spectacular
as Stephen Rogers's garden at Dove Cottage in Yorkshire.
And Carol went back to pay a second visit to relish the range of colours
that Stephen has incorporated into the garden at this time of the year.
The last time I was here it was
September. And the whole garden was mellowing into an autumnal glow.
But this is a garden that is made for all seasons,
to take you right through the year.
And I know that what awaits us now something quite different.
It's so exciting!
It's all so huge.
These great masses of plants like a theatrical backdrop.
One after another all the way up and down the garden.
It all looks so fresh and new.
When we were here last time, it was all about grasses.
But now the flowers have taken charge.
Right the way through all these beds,
there are big splashes of really vibrant colour.
It's really difficult to combine pinks.
But here, Steve has cleverly interwoven these patches of lilac.
This is veronicastrum, this is roseum.
tiny little pale pink flowers making these punctuation marks all the way
through. And the rest of it is big, soft mounds,
like this pale pink Monarda.
But there's another bit round the corner
with a completely different idea.
Last autumn, grasses like this molinia were golden,
you were so conscious of them.
But right now, it's green,
and it just forms an almost transparent veil
through which you get glimpses of this planting.
And I have to say,
it's this glorious paradox that is created by this great river of blue
that runs right the way through this bed.
It's soft and flowing,
and yet, it's composed of this very solid prickly plant.
The man who created this garden, Stephen Rogers,
started his working life in the family butchers.
After training at the famous Savill Gardens in Windsor,
he returned to Halifax 20 years ago and created this garden,
inspired by wild prairies.
Normally, when people think of prairie planting,
you imagine these great big bold blocks of colour, don't you?
Very strong. But your garden is quite different.
Yes, it's a much more intimate prairie planting.
Lots of very tall plants that you might find in a tall prairie.
Intermingled more, dotted in, a bit of self-seeding.
Sometimes you've to walk past plantings a few times
to pick up on everything we've dotted into the beds.
I love the way in which tall plants
sometimes come right the way from the back, right into the foreground.
Sometimes tall plants are hidden away at the back of borders and you
don't see the whole plant, and they are not as impressive sometimes,
they're just lost at the back of the border.
And you're concerned with time, aren't you,
with the garden working right the way through the seasons?
Yes, that's right.
We are very happy to have this gradual build-up through
the year, where we've got good foliage and touches of colour.
The early part of the year.
And then as we get into late summer, we get onto the full colour.
-I think it's positively painterly.
We've worked very hard on the colours and chosen very carefully.
The last time I came here,
I helped Stephen clear out one of the beds for replanting.
I can't wait to see what he's put in.
-This is lovely.
-We've got a nice mix of colours,
we've got different shaped flowers and we always make sure we've got some
spires in as well. And then we've used, for late colour, monardas.
That monarda is very much on its own.
It is. It is, because it is very difficult colour to place,
it's so vibrant, but having the hedge at the back of it
just sets it off perfectly.
This lovely dark green backdrop.
Well, there's no doubt about what you call this border.
No, this is the sexy pink border.
Right. You're wearing the shirt to match.
I am, matches perfectly.
A Japanese couple who visited the garden
called it the sexy pink border, so that's stuck with us now for ever.
-I should think so.
It's quite unique in your garden, though, just being one colour.
It is. A lot of the other beds have got colours mixed,
this one we've just stuck to pink.
Variations on a theme.
How did you decide what to include in it, though, in the first place?
Well, a starting point is sometimes
we'll pick the flowers from different
parts of the garden, different pinks,
and then we'll match those up.
And then it's just matching...
So you put them all together?
-Put them all together.
-See how they go.
See how they go. Yeah.
And then we'll work out the shapes of the plants that we want to use.
The echinaceas at the moment look as though they're floating
above the planting.
We've kept the repetition going and then it weaves in and out.
It does and it curls round some of your taller plants and goes off.
-So it's very rhythmic.
-Yeah, as well as being sexy.
Yeah. Yeah. But more sexy, I think.
It shows so much about you and your love for plants.
Yeah. Yeah, it's taken a lot of years to get to this stage.
And it's all the advice we've been given along the way and places that
have inspired us that have got us to this and these sorts of plantings.
And lots of love.
-Lots of love.
-Lots of love.
-Yeah, lot of plants love.
That amalgamation has resulted in...
-This most splendid garden, it's wonderful.
There's no question that there is real skill
in getting colours right in the garden.
It's no good just bunging things in and expecting them to look good,
because even a beautiful plant, whose colours you adore,
can look wrong because of the association of the plants around it.
Here at Longmeadow, we have restricted ourselves
in every part of the garden to various palettes.
So with the Jewel Garden, we have the rich jewel colours,
which means having no whites or pinks.
In the Cottage Garden though,
we really give reign to all the pastel shades
and then on the mound, it's
fundamentally white with touches of lemon and blue,
and from that you build up a picture.
And it's a long, ongoing process,
but a really important part of the artistry of gardening.
Now, still to come on tonight's programme.
I'll be planting a window box with cyclamen
to add a splash of autumn colour.
And we visit Kew Gardens to capture the rarely seen flowering
and pollination of the giant waterlily Victoria cruziana.
I'm planting out rocket that was sown on the 18th of July,
so that's about six weeks ago,
and the idea is that this will be ready to pick
in a couple of weeks' time and will last through, if we look after it,
maybe with a few cloches and fleece, to Christmas.
And the seeds, the rocket seeds that I sowed a week ago,
will be ready to plant into the greenhouse
sort of the middle of October
when we take the tomatoes out.
And that will be ready for picking as this dies down from Christmas
through till March and then I'll sow more in January,
which will take us through into spring.
And by overlapping and having the succession of plants,
we'll pretty much have a constant supply.
And the secret of rocket is that it does like rich soil and plenty of
water, give it plenty of compost if you've got some
and certainly don't let it dry out, because otherwise it bolts.
Now, the soil here, in fact,
in these new beds is quite heavy and claggy.
And I'm adding lots and lots of compost
and slowly it's getting better,
but the main thing is I know it's fertile,
I know that things will and do grow really well here.
But Arit Anderson has been to the new developments that have been going on
over the last decade or so around King's Cross
and found a garden where, initially at least, there was nothing.
No soil at all.
But where there is a will, there's a way, and she's discovered
that a lot of ingenuity has created a rather special garden.
Like many industrial areas, by the 1990s,
King's Cross had declined into wasteland.
Since its redevelopment in the last ten years,
it's slowly being transformed.
Now, the building work continues, but tucked amongst it
is a green oasis called the Skip Garden.
I'm here to meet the gardeners and volunteers of this very enterprising
community garden to see how it could just change how we think about
our urban spaces in the future.
I can see why it's called the Skip Garden.
What makes this garden unique is that it's movable and has been in
four different locations around the development over the last ten years.
There are seven skips on this small site,
all maintained by the charity Global Generation,
who run courses for people of all ages.
And one of their gardeners, Julie Riehl,
can explain how skips have become raised beds.
So the skip came from the local developer,
who gave them to us when they couldn't use them as skips any more,
and we turned them into a movable garden.
And they were amazing for us, because it was the first thing
that we could move around with the garden.
So they keep you really nomadic,
means you can just kind of go anywhere.
Absolutely, that's the whole point of the Skip Garden in a way,
is to be able to follow the development of King's Cross and so we are now
on our fourth site and the skips have followed us
through three of our sites and they are still here today
and they represent the core of our garden.
There's bits of building materials and all sorts of scraps.
Well, the concept of the whole Skip Garden was to create something with
the community and the material that existed around here,
so a lot of the things were donated, were second-hand,
were rubbish for other people and gold for us,
and so we built using what was around.
And the windows you can see behind me on the glasshouse
were collected by a student who designed this for us.
So most of the things around here are material
-that would otherwise have been wasted.
-Which is superb.
What are you trying to achieve with this garden?
Well, we are trying to connect the community with each other,
but also with nature. Via activities,
by being the lung of King's Cross development site, because we're green,
we're open to everyone within a site that is still full of cranes and
bulldozers and building noises, and that's what we're trying to achieve.
What are in all those lovely skips?
So the very first one is our herb skip and it contains all of the
delicious perennial gorgeous herbs, we use a lot of them in the kitchen,
from rosemary to sage to lemon verbena
and all those very scented ones.
And then we have three skips that represent the crop rotation
you would have in a normal garden,
so we never grow the same family of crop again in the same skip.
And this here is my absolute favourite, it's our orchard skip.
And we managed to transform this skip to allow us to grow fruit trees
into a very small space, and it's a really good way
for us to say you don't need a huge garden to grow fruits.
So come with me, because there is something here
-I'd really like to show you.
And they are my favourite pets in the garden.
So here you've got a wormery,
so wormeries are a tower
in which we keep special worms which will digest
the food scraps from the kitchen and create two things that are amazing,
this little black thing here, that's actually gorgeous soil,
and we use that as a fertiliser on the garden.
And worm tea, which is this liquid down there,
that is a bit like worm pee and it's full of beneficial soil bacteria,
-so when you're growing organically, this is like gold dust.
the worm tea can be watered into the plant as a home-made fertiliser.
So what have we got going on in here then?
So the purpose of the polytunnel
is very much to grow greens for the cafe,
which they use in salads and in all their other lovely food.
Lovely, looks great.
And what's that down there?
So we also, as a garden team, like a bit of unusual stuff,
so what you have here is a red orach and it's the same family as fat-hen,
so it is related to the common weed, but it's edible,
it tastes like spinach and it's red.
-So it's amazing.
-Can I have a little bit?
-Yeah, please do.
-It's very nice.
-Mmm, quite delicate.
-And what's that little one down there?
This one here is called oca or New Zealand yam
and it's a very weird root vegetable
and it has the texture of a potato with the taste of a lemon.
-And it's bright pink and bright yellow,
so we were all over that, of course.
Yeah, of course. You've got to love the look of that, looks great.
The lifeblood of this garden is its visitors.
They have twilight gardening for people to visit after work,
a myriad of youth programmes
and they invite families here to have fun together in the garden.
Do you guys recognise anything?
-Is that mint?
-That's the mint.
Absolutely. And what about this?
-Look at that.
We come here all the time.
I love the fact that she can come here and do a little bit of cooking,
bit of gardening, she loves feeding the chickens.
So she gets a bit of contact with nature.
-You'll be gardening soon, won't you?
-I hope so.
Julie, what is it about it for you
that makes this garden really special?
Well, first of all, I think it's where it is,
it is in the middle of King's Cross,
which is a highly developed site in the middle of a very busy city,
and we have all sorts of people coming here from all backgrounds,
from very tiny to elderly people,
and that's what makes this garden kind of so unique and so special.
I agree, and I hope that more cities and more developers get confident to
make sure every single space counts
and to keep the oasis of green going.
The Skip Garden has found a home here for at least another year and,
true to its nomadic ethos,
will eventually move again to enrich another corner of this development.
There's no doubt that when I lived in London in the 1980s,
King's Cross was an area that needed,
shall we say, a little bit of love.
Well, it's had love and money and has developed
and that's good to see,
and it's also good to see that it's not just steel and glass and money,
there is real attempt at making community projects
that are involving local people. And long may that last.
And if you want to find out more about the Skip Gardens,
then go to our website.
At this time of year,
one of the smaller but brighter stars in the garden are cyclamen.
And the hederifolium refers to the leaves that look a bit ivy-shaped,
but you won't see them at this time of year,
because the flowers arise
naked from the soil.
And then the leaves only start to grow
after the flowers have finished.
Now, these are tiny little flowers, but with real intensity,
and if you have these kind of cyclamen,
which is Cyclamen persicum.
You can always tell persicum,
because the flowers are so much bigger than any hardy type.
These are house plants essentially, they don't tolerate cold.
Don't plant them in the garden, because they won't survive.
However, Cyclamen hederifolium will last for years and years
and spread in the garden.
Now, what I want to do is plant them actually into a window box,
because they make great potted plants as well as garden plants.
I've got a window box here and it's worth pointing out that I've drilled
holes in the bottom. The thing they hate is sitting in wet, moist soil.
I'm using a seed compost. They do not need any extra garden compost,
manure or fertiliser of any sort.
And I'm adding to that some leaf mould.
I'm always going on about making leaf mould,
but it is fantastic stuff, and for plants like cyclamen, it's heaven.
It's a very loose, light, fluffy mix.
Which will be perfect for these plants.
And I'm going to mix them up with some ivy
so it trails over the front edge. You want a big display.
And these will give you flowers from now for another month,
each flower lasts for weeks.
And when these are finished,
if I don't want to leave them in the window box,
I can plant them into the garden. TOY SQUEAKS
Nige, stop it.
He's just showing off.
They'll take some sunshine, but not full sunshine,
so for example, this window box
absolutely should not go on a south-facing aspect.
North-facing or east-facing would be ideal.
When it's finished flowering,
the whole surface will be covered by the foliage and that will give an
evergreen display throughout winter.
Now, I'll put this to one side and find a home for it in a minute.
Because I'm also going to plant up a little terracotta Alpine pan,
because cyclamens are really nice in little terracotta pots,
it doesn't have to be a great big container.
And I'm going to plant this,
this is a new type of Cyclamen hederifolium.
Bred in Holland, it's called Ivy Ice.
And it has flowers and foliage at the same time.
So I'm going to put some compost in the bottom, bit of leaf mould.
And just plant a few in this little pan.
And he's going to sit slightly proud of the pot, but that won't matter
because they're not going to live in here for ever.
That can be put somewhere where it will brighten up a dark corner.
It will be very happy tucked away where other plants would languish.
So I'm going to find a place for it.
There is enough shade there to keep them happy.
And they should go on flowering now for another month.
One of the great pleasures of gardening, I think,
is the way that flowers come round in season. Like old friends,
you can greet them at the right time of year in the right place.
It also means that if things don't go well this year,
there's always another stab at it next year.
But some plants flower so irregularly
and there is such a long gap between
those flowerings, that they become newsworthy events.
And we went along to Kew Gardens,
where the giant waterlily Victoria cruziana was coming into flower.
The giant waterlily is Victoria cruziana.
The leaves get usually up to two metres diameter.
I have to say that ours
was 2.05 metres two weeks ago.
So it's really good.
In the wild, it's sort of a short-lived perennial,
but because of the light levels that we've got here in the UK,
we grow it as an annual.
And it grows from a centre point and it produces huge stems with
gigantic leaves at the end.
And all of it is full of spines.
Supposedly, to avoid to be eaten by fish.
So Victoria cruziana was discovered in the 19th century in Bolivia.
This is something so amazing, so original and,
compared to a normal waterlily, is absolutely astonishing.
So there was a sort of a craze over them.
Victoria cruziana comes from an area where there is quite shallow
water, quite still water and, you know,
with climate change and the related flooding,
that is quite a threat for them,
because obviously their habitat is getting destroyed.
Also, deforestation is not helping, because that can pollute the water.
So, you know, trying and preserve
this amazing plant is very important, is paramount, really.
Once the plant is mature, which in here is about July,
August, the flowering starts, the flowering season starts.
But the flower itself, it only lasts for two nights.
So the first night, it opens up and it is white.
And that is the sort of female phase of the flower.
Then it closes during the day
and then the second night, it opens again and it is pink.
And that's the sort of male phase of the flower.
In the wild, it's pollinated by beetles.
Once they open in its female phase,
the beetles are attracted by the scent of the flower,
also they are attracted by the colour white.
And inside the flower, there's some pollen.
Once it's closed during the day, the beetle stays trapped,
so the beetles are completely covered in pollen,
so then when they come out and they go to another flower,
which will be female phase, they will pollinate it.
So in the house, obviously we don't have any beetles,
so we play the beetle card.
Well, I really like coming into the glasshouse
when there is no public, so I can have it all to myself.
Once the sun has gone down,
then we come in and then we pollinate because that's essentially
what would happen in nature, the beetles will come out at night.
The beetles will go inside the flower when it's white,
in the female phase.
At the moment, it's in the male phase, because it's pink.
However, the stigma cap inside is still receptive,
so I'll be able to pollinate it very easily.
So I'm picking up the pollen that I've collected last night.
And then I'll stick it right inside, in the middle of the flower,
and then I'll just move it around because all of it is receptive.
There is a lot of pollen, actually.
So it's really good.
So as the flower is now going to go underwater,
I need to protect the seed that will come up in 8-10 weeks,
so what I've got with me,
I've got a kind of a net that I can put over the flower.
This will protect the seeds.
Once the fruit is ready with all the seeds,
we'll collect them and we'll clean them,
we'll take all the pulp off and they will be underwater all the time.
And we'll take them to the tropical nursery.
And then March or April, depending on the weather,
we'll be able to have our new little Victoria here to be planted
and start a new cycle.
It's really cool to be able to
make a life start, producing seeds.
This is very rewarding, I really enjoy it.
When we were filming Around The World In 80 Gardens,
we were a long way up the Amazon and staying on a boat on the river,
and I remember one day we then got on a smaller boat
and travelled for a few hours and walked for an hour or so
through the forest and came to this lake
with 20, 30, 40 of these giant waterlilies, great leafy plates.
And in that heat and that humidity, it was an unforgettable experience.
Seems a far cry from hoeing my veg patch,
but it's a job that needs doing.
Like these others, that you can do this weekend.
Pinch out the flower heads of basil plants as they appear.
This time of year, they are trying to set seed as quickly as they can
and this takes the energy from the leaves
and makes them coarser and much less tasty.
If, like me, you sowed some turnips a few weeks ago,
they will have germinated and you'll have a rash of young plants.
They need thinning.
Just take up clumps, leaving thin lines of plants.
And then in a few weeks' time, you can return and thin them again.
Rambling roses have put on a great spurt of growth
over the last month or so.
And whether you are growing them up a trellis, a fence, a pergola,
or as I do, up trees,
they should be tied in now to protect them from autumn winds.
Because these shoots are the ones
that are carrying next year's flowers.
A weekly job at this time of year is to keep feeding the pots,
particularly hungry plants like these bananas in the Jewel Garden.
The pots have outgrown most of the fertility and nutrition,
and to keep it looking really good and vibrant for as long as possible,
they do need a regular feed.
This is just liquid seaweed, quite a weak mix,
and that's enough to keep them going.
Anyway, let's see if it's going to be rain,
frost or blazing sunshine in our gardens this weekend.
Now that the flowers of the thyme are over,
it's a good idea to cut them back,
and that lets light and air in,
because the one thing that thyme absolutely hates
is being crowded out and shaded by itself,
let alone any other plant.
They've got good drainage underneath, they're low fertility,
which is fine.
Also we need to make sure that they have air around them if
they are to be happy over winter.
But winter's a long time away.
Let's not get too gloomy about it.
But it is the end of the programme, so that's it for today
and I'll see you back here at Longmeadow
next week at the same time. Till then, goodbye.
Go on, then, you can go now. Are you feeling a bit...?
Do you want to go indoors?
Have you had enough?
Come on. Off we go. Come on.
As the plants in the jewel garden reach the peak of their late summer glory, Monty starts planning for the spring, planting ferns and advising on the care and maintenance of wildlife ponds.
Carol Klein pays a second visit to Dove Cottage in Halifax to see the garden at its summer peak and to find out the secrets of its successful borders.
Frances Tophill travels to Portsmouth to find a man whose passion for ferns has extended from his garden and onto his allotment, while Arit Anderson finds out that rubbish skips can be used to grow all manner of plants in an inner-city space.
A Sheffield paramedic reveals how his passion for wildflowers has transformed an area around a busy ambulance station, and there is a look at the blooming of one of the world's largest water lilies.