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Hello. Welcome to Gardeners' World.
I'm attempting to remove some Iris sibirica from the Jewel Garden
which has become too dominant.
Not that I dislike it - the flowers are beautiful in June -
but only for about two to three weeks at the most.
Then, for the rest of the summer, you just have this foliage.
So the plan is to remove most of it, put it into the grass borders.
And now is a really good time to be moving herbaceous perennials.
There are a number of reasons for this, but two stand out.
The first is that the soil is warm
and that means that the roots will go on growing
for a little while longer and get established,
but there is no top growth to make demands on those new roots.
That is a sizeable chunk.
And the second reason is for you,
because it means you can see what they look like.
If you wait till next March or April,
there'll be hardy anything to see, the garden will be bare,
and you're trying to remember how much space they took.
You never do. You never get it right.
Whereas, if you do it now, you're working with actuality.
You can see how big the buddleia grows around it,
or how much space there is,
or just how substantial the top growth is going to be.
Now, coming up on tonight's programme...
Arit Anderson explores alternative ways to grow food.
Nick Bailey celebrates the glorious colours of the season
at the Bluebell Arboretum in Leicestershire.
And we catch up with Adam Frost as he plants a round tree
in a square hole.
And I shall be planting some cordon gooseberries
as well as bulbs for the cutting garden next spring and summer.
In this part of the grass borders,
I've got a plant called Knautia macedonica.
This is a kind of scabious.
It's actually got a lovely burgundy touched with pink flower.
The only problem I have with it is that, on our rich soil,
it gets very tall and floppy.
And I have given some a hard Chelsea chop, and that helps.
So, I'm now going to reintroduce it into the Jewel Garden.
As long as it behaves,
I think it will do a job where the iris was growing.
Before I move it, though, I want to cut it back hard.
And, if I just...
dig up a clump or two.
And if you've got very thin soil, chalky soil, perhaps, or sandy,
this won't grow nearly so tall, and it will stay upright.
It's a good plant for poor soil.
But on clay or in really rich soil,
it just romps.
You can see the sort of growth you get.
That is a good indication...
..of what you get from a lanky Knautia plant.
So, if I cut that off...
And the idea is I'm going to create space
which I can then fill with the iris.
Because, although it's shady now,
when the iris flowers at the end of May,
practically none of this has grown up.
The grasses are very late to start growing,
they don't really kick in till the middle of May.
And they don't achieve anything like the height of the irises
until the irises have finished flowering.
Let's take these over to their new home.
Right, I've got some space now.
And if I'm I add the Knautia in a clump...
Like that, I think will do.
But I'm not going to plant it directly into the soil
because I want to do everything possible to limit its growth,
to make its growth more compact and sturdier.
So, I'm going to add grit.
That might look a bit extreme, but it will make all the difference.
Because, if I can keep the Knautia growing just a couple of feet tall,
rather than coming here and then just flopping all over the place,
the colour will be focused.
Because the great danger when it flops too much is they're lost,
So, let's put that in there.
Now, what I've got already,
because I've got a whole series of things I want to add in here,
are some hemerocallis, day lilies.
These three are all the same.
They are a variety called American Revolution,
which has got lovely, rich, plum, almost black-coloured flowers.
And, of course, day lily flowers only last a day.
They bloom, fall, all in 24 hours, but they keep on coming.
Now, these will not need any grit.
In fact, hemerocallis do better with slightly damp soil which,
although it's quite dry now, is no problem here.
And these will follow on from the Knautia.
So, if we have the Knautia flowering end of May
into the middle of June, then I will cut them back.
The hemerocallis will flower from the middle of June well into summer.
I will then have day lilies that I'll bring in and add around that.
And, at the very beginning of the season,
I'm going to underplant it all with tulips.
So, instead of having one hit of the iris colour in late spring,
early summer, I will have a succession.
And that's the effect I want to achieve.
Now, all these plants are growing out of our rich Herefordshire loam.
In the case of the Knautia, too rich.
But Arit has been to Yorkshire,
to see an experiment in producing food in a soil-free environment.
With our world population ever-increasing,
the weather becoming more extreme, more erratic,
securing food production with foolproof methods is going to be
essential for the future.
In Todmorden, West Yorkshire,
local people have created various schemes to address these issues
and encourage people to grow food on home turf.
One of these projects is run by social enterprise company
They educate people in schools and hospitals
about how to grow and cook your own.
And here at their headquarters,
they demonstrate sustainable ways of growing edibles
with the future in mind, using the most unconventional methods.
Head gardener Martina Kroll is showing me her chillies.
It's pretty sci-fi-looking.
What is going on in this set-up?
So, this growing method, it's called hydroponics,
and it's designed to grow indoors.
And, basically, we're trying to replicate everything
that the plant needs, what it has outside, to grow indoors.
-So, instead of soil, we have coconut husks,
we have nutrients in a liquid form, and instead of sunlight,
we've got our LED lights
which are imitating the sun rays which help the plant to grow.
So, how exactly does the system work?
So, we've got the water reservoir slightly higher.
And then there's a series of pipes that just go straight down,
and a little valve, it keeps a little bit of water at the bottom of the tray.
So, the plant can drink when it needs.
What exactly is in the nutrients?
So, the nutrients that we are using in this system are exactly the same
as you would use in a normal garden.
So, we've got nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus.
And so we're adding the nutrients in a liquid form to the water
that's being mixed in, in there.
And then that distributes through the pipes at the bottom.
Very clever. You mentioned that you're not using soil,
but you've got coconut.
What's the coconut husk doing?
We use it to keep the plant steady, so it imitates the soil
cos it's almost the same in texture as the soil.
And the other thing is it doesn't contain a lot of nutrients.
So, when we feed the plant through the water system,
we know how many nutrients we've added into the water reservoir
and we know that this is what the plant gets.
Why are we using the pink lights?
So, the pink lights are useful for two reasons.
One of them is the economics of it.
They're quite cheap to run.
And the other one is that the plant really needs only blue and red
spectrum of light to grow at its best.
So, understanding now, Martina, all this control, lights, nutrients,
water, it means that we can really get food security.
And I imagine if this is on a bigger scale, in the industrial level,
we can really make sure we've got food for the future.
But they are demonstrating another system I can safely say I've never
set eyes on before.
The shy fish called tilapia, and goldfish,
are helping the food here to grow.
Our fish produce quite an amount of poo,
which then, with water, is being pumped up into this grow bed
where the roots of the plant can absorb all the nutrients.
And that's essentially their manure,
so you can use fish manure to grow your plants.
That is absolutely brilliant.
OK, so how does the tank actually work?
So, we've got a big water pump just below us that pumps the water
through this bed, and then the bed fills up all the way to the top.
And if you see these plants, their roots probably are about there.
So, all that water with nutrients goes straight all the way to the top.
They have the food, they have the drink, and then, after 15 minutes,
the water goes straight back down to the fish tank.
So, in fact,
it's a quite symbiotic relationship because the plants get fed,
but also there's a lot of bacteria and micro-organism in this bed that
filter the water for the fish.
So, the fish feed the plants,
and the plants clean the water for the fish.
-So it's a circular system.
Now, looking at all these wonderful vegetables in front of me...
And I've seen lemon grass up there,
I've seen ginger, you know, turmeric.
We start them off as seeds and when they're in a plug size,
we just transplant them into this bed.
You need to think of this as a normal raised bed.
Normally, you would have soil.
These are just clay pebbles, so it's expanded clay.
They hold enough moisture so when the bed is not flooded to the top,
the plants still have enough moisture to not dry out.
-When we planted this one, it was the same size.
The growing time for fruit and veg in this intense environment
is almost twice as fast as produce grown with traditional methods.
So, with this kind of intervention, I want to know,
does a tomato still taste like a tomato?
I think, when the plant has everything it needs,
all the nutrients, all the sunshine, then they taste the same.
I mean, you can tell me?
I have been tasting them and I have to say, they are very, very good.
This innovative way of growing is so impressive.
And, given the fact that we've got a very changing climate out there,
there's a little bit of control that enables us to ensure
that we can grow our fruit and veg for the future.
However interesting that may be, and clearly it is fascinating,
I have to say, it fills me with horror.
Everything that is vital about the relationship between plants and man
and growing comes from the soil,
as well as the very complex nutritional relationship between
soil and plants and health.
So, I think that it's very complicated.
Emotionally, I feel like resisting that strongly.
It may be the future.
Who knows? Who knows?
Now, I'm going to plant gooseberries into my Herefordshire soil
and hopefully they will taste delicious.
I'm going to plant them as cordons.
I've got apples around the outside here
and now I've removed the sweet peas,
it's free to get the gooseberries in the ground.
And autumn planting of fruit is always better than spring planting.
So, any time from now through till Christmas, at the very latest,
at the end of February, is absolutely ideal.
When you buy cordons,
you're going to buy a plant that looks like that.
And all these side shoots here will produce the fruit.
Now, I've grown them before dead upright, and that works perfectly well.
But, because this is quite low,
I'm going to actually have them at 45 degrees.
They're going to be spaced out about two foot apart.
I've got a number of different varieties -
three red, two green, and two of each.
And planting them is easy.
I have got a little bit of mycorrhizal powder which will just
help them get established.
But gooseberries are tough.
They will produce the sweetest fruit if they get some sun,
but they'll grow in almost any soil and they really like neglect.
The one thing that you need to watch out for are sawfly
and a little bit of ventilation.
Exposure to wind will help.
That will go in.
And the idea with cordons is you put a cane in,
and then you tie that to a support,
and then you tie the plant to the cane.
Because the plant simply won't be strong enough to support itself.
But it's a very good way of growing fruit in a small space.
And also growing lots of different varieties of fruit.
Because each plant or bush is just a single stem, and that means that,
on a length of three or four metres long,
you could have up to half-a-dozen different varieties of gooseberries.
This is a variety called Invicta.
Good taste, good resistance to mildew,
and you notice I'm putting it in at a slight angle.
Rather than bending the plant, I'm actually planting it at an angle.
But it is quite nice and pliable.
You can buy gooseberries potted up like this, or bare root.
In principle, bare root is cheaper and you get more choice.
But they can be harder to get hold of.
Now, in order to make sure that these grow well,
I need to water these in really well.
And then I'm going to mulch them thickly with compost.
Not only will this feed the soil,
but also it will stop the weeds and keep in the moisture.
And nothing is better for it than garden compost.
And, for all their many virtues,
gooseberries are not really an autumnal plant at all.
However, lots of trees and shrubs hit their moment of glory
in October, especially if the sun is shining as it is today.
And last October, Nick Bailey went up to Leicestershire
to visit the Bluebell Arboretum, which is an RHS partner garden,
to celebrate its autumn glory.
NICK: As autumn takes hold, I love the incredible array
of fiery colours we get from trees and shrubs.
Bluebell Arboretum is a fantastic celebration of the riches of autumn.
I'm surrounded by trees and shrubs
absolutely dripping with beautiful colours. But, at this time of year,
it's not just the leaves that provide incredible colour.
It's about the bark and the berries, too.
This is a fantastic example, Acer griseum.
It's a brilliant small garden tree and it has this extraordinary
cinnamon-toned peeling bark.
This specimen has been allowed to grow naturally,
so it's got a very wide, open canopy which is really beautiful.
But, for a different look, it can be hard-pruned when it's young,
and there's a specimen just back here that's had it done to it.
So there's multiple stems coming up from the base and, arguably,
that shows off the bark even more.
Now, this isn't the only bark tone at this time of year.
There are loads and loads of different colours
to be found in the garden.
The evocatively named Polar Bear birch
stands out even on the gloomiest days.
Others have interesting patination, such as this Snakebark maple.
Look at this beautiful birch.
This is Betula China Ruby, and what an extraordinary tree it is.
You can see down here, got this beautiful,
sort of glaucous but pink and purple tones,
and then, further up into the tree,
you see these lovely pieces of peeling bark
giving out a really gorgeous colour.
Now, why do trees peel bark in this way?
There's two different theories that the botanists have come up with.
One is that, as the trees are naturally expanding,
they're simply shedding bark.
The other theory is that they're using it as almost an exfoliation,
and they're getting rid of pests and bugs
and diseases potentially on the bark,
growing on the outside of the tree.
Either way, it leaves us with some beautiful coloured stems that
illuminate the garden when all the flowers are finished.
Bluebell Arboretum is owned by Robert Vernon,
and he believes in a spot of outdoor housekeeping,
even with his trees.
I know you've got a top technique and we're armed to deal with it, so what are we going to be doing?
We are going to be washing the stem with these brushes
to clear the algae and to show its true form.
-It's worth doing, isn't it?
-Oh, absolutely. Makes a huge difference.
It could transform a birch in your garden into something really beautiful.
So all that algae that at the moment is sort of just knocking back those potentially beautiful,
vibrant colours, we can remove very easily with brushes
and it will sparkle all the way through winter?
It will, it will look fantastic.
I can see these colours starting to come out already.
Now, it's not just birch that you can do this to, is it?
Not at all, no. You can also do it
-on things like Prunus serrula, the Tibetan cherry.
-Oh, so that
wonderful kind of mahogany tone kind of really comes out.
-Now, when I do this,
I tend to use a soapy water but you don't think that's necessary?
Well, we just use water here.
Soapy water can do the trick as well.
So, just a couple of minutes' work and we've achieved quite a lot.
I mean, the beauty of the stem is being revealed now.
Just got the rest of the tree to do.
Shouldn't take too long!
In a place like this, you can't ignore the gorgeous foliage.
Leaves change colour when the cold nights arrive
and they shut down their growth.
The green pigment in the leaf breaks down and other pigments,
of purples, reds and yellows, which are always present but hidden,
are revealed in all their brilliance.
Now, Robert, I absolutely love liquidambar.
I mean, they're renowned for their autumn colour, aren't they?
And this one almost looks like a bunch of black grapes
but I don't recognise it. Which cultivar is it?
This is quite a dwarf, compact liquid amber
called Liquidambar Gum Ball.
OK, what a fantastic thing.
What are the key triggers for the best autumn colour leaves?
We see the best autumn colour here after hot sunny days comparatively
and fairly cool nights.
So that cold snap really is the trigger for great colour
but I understand you've got another trick up your sleeve?
We do indeed. There are a number of plants like this liquidambar,
such as acers and some of the oaks, that have better autumn colours
in slightly acidic soil,
and so we sprinkle a small amount of sulphur chips around the base
of them each year and that gradually improves the acidity of the soil
and it doesn't affect how they grow,
but it gives much improved autumn colour.
For a sizeable tree like this, we'd probably use four handfuls
around the base and it would go down,
generally speaking, around winter.
We'd normally apply it February, March time each year.
So when do you decide to use sulphur chips?
What's the key factor?
Well, if you have acid ground or you can grow camellias or rhododendrons
perfectly well, there's no point using sulphur chips because
your plants will have naturally the best autumn colour anyway.
If your ground is neutral or slightly limey,
applying a small amount of sulphur chips around the base of things
like acers and liquidambars will improve the autumn colour hugely.
That's normally where you decide what your soil is initially.
But there's another way to give your garden a punch of colour
right through to winter, with berries.
This delicious looking euonymus is one of the spindles.
There are lots of compact forms available
and they often disappear in the middle of summer.
You won't even notice them because of the green leaves,
then autumn comes, they develop the red leaves and then - kapow! -
the berries start and as the leaves fall, they'll come into their own,
so as all the flowers have gone, you've got a last burst of colour
in the name of these beautiful orange berries.
Now, this is a relatively rare form
but there is a type you can get hold of called Euonymus alatus
and it has the same flush red leaves
and it has those gorgeous orange berries.
There are berries in virtually every colour.
There's Sorbus Honan Pink, with beautiful pink berries,
there's Malus Indian Magic with glossy red berries
and there's Sorbus scalaris, with beautiful small orangey red berries.
Out of all the berry shades you could introduce into your garden,
this has to be one of my absolute favourites.
This is Sorbus Pink Pagoda
and you can see the lovely tones in those berries.
It's quite a compact tree, so it's good for small gardens.
Goes up to about six or seven metres
and what better way of extending wonderful colour
into the darkest depths of winter?
Well, I have to say that my favourite berry at this time of year
has to be Callicarpa.
Callicarpa is quite unlike any other berry.
It has these clusters of purple, distinctly metallic berries.
And it does nothing else for the whole year.
In summer and spring, it's utterly insignificant and suddenly,
it produces these berries and this awesome colour
which justifies its existence. Amazing plant.
I got hold of some bracken.
This is simply bracken cut
and slightly rotted down,
and it will rot down a lot more.
Which I'm mulching around my meconopsis,
because bracken is distinctly acidic and meconopsis prefer acidic soil.
They will grow in neutral conditions,
but it's just to give them a little bit of a boost.
And also, bracken is very rich in phosphates,
so it will feed the soil,
it's a good mulch and keep the moisture in over winter.
Now, over the last year or so,
we've been paying fairly frequent visits to Adam
in his new garden that he's making in Lincolnshire watching it develop.
And now, as we make our final visit this year,
he is mulling over his plans for the future.
Look at that. Lovely, isn't it?
Do you know, three weeks ago, knock on the door.
Fella says, "I've got a delivery for you."
Went out, looked in the back of the lorry, and he's got this tree.
Been sent to me as a present.
It's Cercidiphyllum japonicum,
and actually it's a tree that's got memories for me.
It was Geoff Hamilton's favourite tree and it's taken me quite a while
to work out exactly where to put it in the garden,
but I think now I've just found just the right spot for it.
And today, we're going to get it in.
Do you know, when it comes to planting trees,
I think it's something that sometimes
we're a little bit scared of, we get fearful of what we're doing.
And we forget that we could be planting a tree
for another generation, so you should think about where
you're going to put that tree and why you're going to put it there.
Is it to, I don't know,
block a horrible telegraph pole or a neighbour's house?
Is it to frame a beautiful view, or like I am here, in a way,
what I'm doing is borrowing a landscape.
So, what I've got is a robinia which look fantastic behind,
but there's a big sort of flat space.
I want to sort of plant a tree this side of the hedge,
and that's going to pull those trees into that garden.
There's a few things to think about.
First of all, the shape of the hole.
It might sound strange, but I'm on clay soil, so if I dig a round hole,
all I'm really doing is creating a slightly larger pot,
which means the roots are going to keep going round in a circle.
By digging a square hole, like I've done here,
so as the roots reach the corners,
they break out and settle that tree right down and if it's a heavy tree,
you know, slightly bigger stock,
we have a tendency to plant them too deep.
So, I always plant it slightly proud of where it sort of originally sits.
Now, the next thing really is to get it in.
And this is a big old beast, so...
So first of all, actually, if you have got a really big tree,
maybe get a friend or neighbour, you know, round,
just to give you a hand, but I haven't got many friends!
There you go.
Added to that, the other thing you want to think about,
what sort of shape, you know, do you want something sort of vestigially,
do you want something that's got a round head on it?
Because that will affect what goes on underneath,
what sort of shade is it going to create.
So, when you are visualising that tree, you know,
maybe using the house as a reference point,
working out how high it's going to be...
This is going to get to 10-12 metres and sit quite nicely,
just nested in those canopies.
It's really important, just give it a little bit of thought.
So, there we go.
What's fantastic about this tree is the moment the frost comes
and crunches those leaves, you smell a burnt toffee,
it's absolutely incredible.
And Oakley, the youngest boy, is going to come out,
he's going to get to this point...
..and he'll be like this, he'll be going round in circles trying
to work out where this sweet smell is coming from. And you know what?
It's really what it's all about, innit?
I wish this weather would make its mind up!
Coat on, coat off.
I've had lots of ideas floating around my head
about what I was going to do with this sunken space.
And eventually got to the place
that we'd talk about putting a wild-flower meadow in and...
But so you could view it differently,
so you could actually look down on it.
And then, I've struggled at different times
doing wild-flower meadows.
And the reason being, I think, is I've tried to introduce
either the grass and the plants at the same time,
or actually the plants after the grass
and sometimes they just seem to get smothered out.
It's never been that successful.
So, what I decided to do was flip it on its head totally.
And we grew the wild flower on, so first thing I did was pick plants
that I knew would work in this garden.
I've got things like digitalis, things like verbascum, salvias -
good, hard-working plants.
Then I cleared the area,
made sure there was absolutely no weeds in there.
Once these plants were well rooted,
then I've planted them in and I've got a few more to put in here.
The idea is now these have got a few more weeks
to get their roots in the ground. We'll keep this weed free.
And then only slowly as the year goes on,
will I start to introduce the grasses
and some of those grasses will be ornamental.
So, it will be interesting to see over the next 12-18 months,
how this sort of area develops.
In general, the fruit and veg have done well,
but there is one thing that I'm really chuffed with
and that's my quince.
Another sort of week or so, we'll be picking those,
making some nice quince jelly to go with the cheese at Christmas.
Do you know, all the jobs in gardening,
there is one that stands out for me, which is sowing seeds.
I absolutely love it, I love that going out and checking
and seeing if they've come up.
I'm sowing quite a lot of perennial seeds
because this is a big old garden and actually it's a cost-effective way
of doing it and this is a great time of year.
But here I've got Briza media
which is a lovely little grass
with these beautiful tiny little lockets on it.
And I'm going to use it in that sunken meadow.
But what I've got is a peat-free multi-compost.
And what I want to do is sow them indoors,
get them so I can pot them up this year.
And then hopefully by sort of late spring next year,
they will be good, healthy little plants.
They're quite decent sized seeds, so empty them out into my hand
and use my hand like a little drill, really.
And just started to sprinkle them across.
And then I'm just going to finely cover them with compost...
..which, more than anything, is just to stop them moving.
So, just a really fine covering.
All I do now, give those another watering and get them inside.
And once we get a couple of leaves out,
I'll prick them out and then pot them up.
I suppose a lot is going to happen between now and next spring.
I've got so much going round in my head
about what I want to do out of there.
But that first 12-18 months for me
was about getting to know this garden
and now I realise that there's lots of trees and shrubs out there
that need a real sort of, well, TLC, really.
Some of them need canopies lifting and deadwood cutting out.
But I've needed that time to get to know that space, and design-wise,
I want to add water.
I've got another idea about playing with another area
to create an edible meadow,
but tiny little tucked away seating areas.
But most of that will be done sat in front of the fire, you know,
But it's been a great year, all in all.
Well, I have really enjoyed seeing Adam's garden develop and evolve
and hopefully, we'll look forward to seeing more of it next year.
Now, there's still time to put some winter salad crops in,
but they will need a bit of protection.
So, I'm mindful that these will need closhing if they are to grow
big enough to harvest before the weather gets really cold.
Now, still to come on tonight's programme -
Frances goes to Norfolk to visit a couple
who have a very particular way
for caring for their collection of exotic plants.
But first, this time last year,
we made a visit to Hill Close Gardens in Warwick,
to see their collection of hardy chrysanthemums.
Hill Close Gardens is a rare survivor
of detached Victorian gardens
that were once quite common on the outskirts of many towns.
These gardens were used by the townsfolk of Warwick,
solicitors, people with a little bit of money,
and they would come down during the week just for pleasure
and enjoy afternoons with the family.
I'm the head gardener here, but I'm helped by a number
of garden volunteers who come in during the week
doing a couple of hours' work in each of the plots.
We've got a lot of herbaceous beds here at Hill Close.
In particular, we have a lot of late-season colour from the asters,
but mainly this time of the year with chrysanthemums,
particularly hardy chrysanthemums - they really extend the season here.
Hardy chrysanthemums are quite different
from your cut-flower chrysanthemums.
You can grow them outdoors all year round,
they can go down to quite cold temperatures
whereas cut-flower chrysanthemums quite often are grown in glasshouses
for all-year-round production.
Here, we have the national collection of hardy chrysanthemums,
which we manage alongside Judy Barker,
who originally set the collection up.
She brought along a few plants and started the collection going.
And now it's grown to 70 varieties which we have in the garden.
Well, it's certainly looking lovely this year, Gary!
-Yes, the colours...
-..are really jumping out at us, aren't they?
And look at this combination here,
of the Tapestry Rose and the Cottage Bronze.
They're lovely together, aren't they?
About 20 years ago, I bought some chrysanthemums,
planted them all up on the allotments, had some flowers.
But I left them in in the winter.
And next year, they were miserable and eventually died.
What a waste of money.
But I knew, from seeing in my grandmother's garden,
that chrysanthemums could be winter hardy, and survive many years.
I started researching their origins because I wanted to know why
these were hardy and different from the other chrysanthemums.
What I started to do was to draw together winter hardy chrysanthemums
from all over the world.
I began to realise some of the past breeders were using the wild plants
that survived naturally
and they were producing hardy garden chrysanthemums.
Little did I know that it was going to result in three allotments
and 200 on trial!
There's a new one called Fred's Yellow.
That's a cracker! That flowers for three months.
If you want a weaver, go to Tapestry Rose,
which is this pink here.
Now, she will go beautifully round something
like Silver Light, or an artemesia.
What about deep maroon Ruby Mound?
If you see that with the rain on it, it's absolutely gorgeous.
A few years ago, I was invited to do a full winter hardy trial.
So, about 100 from the collection went in.
The second winter went down to minus 17.
Very few of the committee expected them all to survive.
Every one did.
They all came up!
I would like people to know that it's perfectly possible
to have fresh, bright colour in your border,
not only in September but going to October and November
and, in sheltered places, even into December.
Don't plant them in too heavy a soil,
where it gets very wet in the winter.
They will struggle.
I mulch in the winter, to give them some protection.
But I just let them get on with it, actually!
I think all gardeners should have hardy chrysanths,
certainly in a mixed herbaceous border,
they give that little bit of extra colour in the border
late in the season
when things are starting to look a little bit drab.
It's so lovely to come here and to see a whole border
dedicated to these plants, and see them in such glorious colour.
Why not go into winter with a real colour fix?
It's fascinating to see those gardens in Warwick again
because it was about 16 years ago now,
I was involved in the restoration of one of them.
And it was fascinating learning about them as we took it
from a completely abandoned, overgrown site to what I hope
was closer to its Victorian glory,
and it's very nice to see them all looking so good now.
As for chrysanths, I do associate them with my childhood,
where we used to grow them in a greenhouse.
But it was a lot of work.
I've certainly not grown tender chrysanths as an adult,
but I like the idea of hardy ones.
I think that they would add good colour at this time of year.
And if they can withstand the winter in Warwick,
then they should be able to withstand it here at Longmeadow.
Going to put them into this bed. This is a rose called Agnes,
which is yellow flowers and I've chosen a variety
called Nantyderry Sunshine, so it's a yellow on yellow,
even though they won't be flowering at the same time.
I might well lift and divide these next year.
We'll see how it goes.
I quite often buy plants in threes or even fives, plant them together,
get a really good impact for the first year or two,
and then divide them and create the same impact elsewhere.
OK, that's it, couldn't be simpler.
The hardy annuals that I sowed in here just a couple of weeks ago -
already coming up. We've got marigolds, there's cerinthe.
And these wallflowers will be used over the next few weeks.
So, this is very much for cut flowers and this bed,
which had wedding sweet peas in it
has now been cleared and is ready
for bulbs to be grown as cut flowers.
Before I start, I'm going to dig a little trench.
I have a feeling I know what's going to happen, Nigel.
You're going to plant the rabbit?
Take it, there's a good boy.
I'm going to put some grit in,
because although this had asparagus in it a few years ago
and has got lots of drainage, with the most bulbs,
you can never have too much drainage.
They will grow the better for it.
I've got an allium here, it's Allium cristophii.
It's bigger than the purple sensation
that we have in the Jewel Garden,
and it's paler, and that will appear the end of May, beginning of June,
and stay flowering for weeks.
So, a really, really good plant in the garden
and stunning as a cut flower indoors.
Now, I'm going to place these...
..in a staggered row.
Cos what you've got to imagine is
they're going to grow up and then the heads are going to be up here.
So, we don't want them too close together.
At the same time, we want to get as many as possible for cutting.
And although there will be no sign of these until next spring,
like all spring-flowering bulbs, they do start growing in autumn.
So, it is important to get these in the ground as soon as you can.
Right, I've got one more allium, which is truly spectacular.
This is a dried flower head of Allium schubertii,
and if ever a flower was a floral explosion, this is it.
It's fantastic dried, but you can imagine when it's in flower,
each of these stems carries a small flower head
of lavendery mauve colour.
And it really is one of the supreme cut flowers,
cos you can cut it when it's green and fresh,
or you can let them dry and they will last for years.
We've got some of these in a vase
which must be ten years old, at least.
So, although they are extraordinary flowers,
growing them is identical to any other allium.
It's very exciting -
to put these little, seemingly innocuous objects in the ground
and know that spring will light the fuse
that will turn them into floral fireworks.
It's always nice when plants perform heroically for you
without any special effort, but the truth is we do have a fixed idea
of what we can and we can't grow in the garden,
and we feel that those limits can't be broken.
And clearly, that's influenced a lot by where you live
and what the soil is like, but if you give things a go,
it is surprising what will flourish in your garden,
as Frances has been finding out
when she went to visit Melissa and Keith Scott in Norfolk.
When creating a garden, some people like a cottage look,
others a modern minimalist look,
some people like flowers and other people like foliage.
The choice is yours.
But whatever you choose, let's face it, we all like a bit of exotic.
Melissa and Keith Scott are so obsessed by the exotic,
they have turned their entire back garden
into a paradise of glorious plants that wouldn't look out of place
in the Mediterranean or other far-flung continents.
It's hard to believe I'm in Norfolk!
It's just so tropical, isn't it?
Yes, hasn't quite got the Norfolk feel, has it?
How big is this garden?
-It's about an acre.
-It seems so much bigger, doesn't it?
I suppose cos of the layering.
-I think cos of the levels...
-..it's difficult to get...
Cos you can't see the whole garden at one time.
This area is a very arid area,
so we're growing things like the opuntia and the agave,
and succulents and cacti.
They all like this very dry, sunny position.
And the opuntia, we've had that a few years now.
We've had it under six inches of snow, haven't we?
I would never expect a opuntia to grow outside in the UK.
What do you do to protect it?
The opuntia, we actually leave and it does its own thing.
A lot of the other plants do have covers put over the top of them.
-They'll take the cold, but they don't like it when it's wet.
Things like the agaves, this one that's a Agave montana,
it will survive outside as long as you give it the right conditions,
i.e, it needs a very well-drained soil,
south-facing or certainly a lot of sun.
If you get snow in there or wet underneath, they then start to mark.
So, we put a cover on it really just to keep it as pristine as we can.
You cover most of these plants?
-I would say all of them.
Certainly all the agaves.
The cacti as well.
They all get individual covers, unless they are in a tight group,
and then they might get a purpose-built frame and cover.
So, you're not just draping something over?
Keith and Melissa really do go the extra mile to protect their plants.
Incredibly, every year as winter comes,
Keith builds these bespoke shelters.
Then every spring, he takes them down again.
Montana Park, front.
Yeah, so you know which way it goes round, you see?
-It's very organised.
-So that goes that side.
-So it goes this way.
And then the back?
Keith, how long does it take you to do this for all of your delicate...
Some of the other ones are a lot bigger than this,
and it can take probably an hour or so just to put one up.
Really? And you've got 40-50 of those to do.
Take this side.
And it should...
..sit on there.
Your whole garden's sort of divided into lots of rooms, isn't it?
-Is that intentional or has that sort of happened as it evolved?
We didn't intend to set out with rooms but I think cos we did areas
bit by bit, they tended to fall into rooms.
And everywhere I look, there are new plants in every nook and cranny!
They're crammed in a bit, yes.
And loads of them are in pots.
The ones in pots aren't hardy enough to be planted out,
so it's easier to grow them in pots
and then we can put them away in the winter,
into either the arid house or one of the greenhouses.
How long does it take you to move all of these into the greenhouse?
Anything up to a week.
When you're moving these plants,
I've noticed how spiky some of them are.
What do you do to protect yourself?
Well, sometimes you don't and you just take it as it comes.
But we have got strong sort of welders' gloves.
This is one of the five greenhouses.
So, this is the smallest greenhouse,
where a lot of the succulents are kept.
-I know, it's absolutely crammed.
And what are these for? Do they go in the garden?
Some of them I take cuttings from, for the pots.
Others, I just like them so I keep them in here.
Cos actually they're not hardy, so they can't go out.
And into another completely different area, this is amazing.
So, it's sort of secluded and really tropical and, you know,
this tetrapanax is just so jungly, isn't it?
-Yes, great plant.
-I love it. I've never seen them this high in the UK.
-How old would this be?
-Four, five years old.
How do you get them to get so big?
They get some protection because of the, if you like,
barriers that we've built up.
So, it has its own sort of microclimate in this area,
so it doesn't get the sort of frost and cold
as you would out in the open part of the garden.
And with that in mind, you've got shade,
you've got woodland on that side.
You're growing things in here that actually need shade,
and the big leaves would indicate that they do need shade.
So, you're kind of working with what you've got.
And then what you've got creates even more of that
-to create the planting looks that you want.
-Another one I've seen which I love is this Clerodendrum.
That likes it here as well but that's a fairly...
-They smell incredible, don't they?
-..fairly easy plant.
Yeah, but it has that look, doesn't it?
-It gives you colour now as well
cos it's now coming out this time of year.
Yeah, it's gorgeous, really, really nice.
It's quite incredible what you've achieved in here -
the variety in this garden.
Tender plants like these come with a health warning.
Tragically in 2010, a bout of heavy snowfall killed most of the plants,
destroying Keith and Melissa's masterpiece,
which had taken nearly two decades to create.
We were really devastated by the loss of all the plants.
Yeah, we nearly gave up then.
Completely lost our mojo with it all, but as you say,
now we've got it all back with a vengeance.
Well, it's a kind of passion that's hard to put down, I would imagine!
Yeah, it is, once you get going.
I can see it's an incredibly high maintenance garden.
But it's also a very, very beautiful garden,
so thank you so much for showing it to me.
You're very welcome.
The real difference between Norfolk
and the eastern side of the country and here
is not the temperature, because obviously as we saw,
they get really cold weather, and they can have snow and frost,
just like we can here, but it's the rainfall.
When plants are wet and cold together,
that's when a lot of them give up the ghost.
And if you're growing alpines, for example, which are completely hardy,
top them up with grit and if you're potting them up, add loads of grit,
so you have really good drainage.
And if you've got pelargoniums or agapanthus,
some of the tender lavenders,
your best bet if you can't make shelters for them all
is to take them indoors, and that's what we do,
not so much to keep them warm, because we don't heat them,
we just keep them above freezing, but to keep them dry.
And if they're dry, they remain pretty hardy.
Now, as well as taking in pots to keep them dry,
here are some other jobs for this weekend.
If you've got some garden compost that's ready for use,
it's a good idea to sieve some now.
And then that can be stored in a dry place over winter,
ready for use with potting or seed compost in the spring.
And the lumps and bumps that you take out can be put under a hedge
to slowly break down and act as a mulch.
If you want to store your apples,
it is important that they are not damaged in any way.
Check them often, and you'll know they're ready
when you lift and twist them, they come away in your hand.
Place them gently in a basket,
and then you can store them either in a polythene bag
with a few ventilation holes,
or anywhere that is cool, dark and well ventilated.
If you sow sweet peas now,
you should get larger plants in spring
which will give you more flowers over a longer period.
I put three seeds to a three-inch pot,
and then water them and put them somewhere protected to germinate.
They don't need any extra heat over winter,
but to put them somewhere where they are out of heavy rain
and extreme cold.
The tithonia is going to seed very quickly,
and you do have to keep deadheading it daily.
And if you do that, the new buds will form and it will keep flowering
right up to the first frost.
But it's desperate to form seed.
But like so many of these very bright, late-flowering plants,
it's responding to heat, not light.
So, although the days are getting shorter,
that's not what's making it go into seed.
It's the cooler nights.
So, I am trying to reassure it
by removing all these spent flower heads,
that actually there's warm weather coming
and these buds that are forming can and should go on flowering.
But if we do get a frost,
that will be it for the tithonia and so much else that is looking good
in the Jewel Garden,
so let's find out what the weather is going to be like this weekend.
I'm replanting the Iris sibirica that I dug from the Jewel Garden
here into the grass borders...
..where I think the foliage will merge more successfully
and it won't matter that it spends most of its year without flowers.
And when you move Iris sibirica, as I found over the years,
don't be surprised if it's a little shy in growing
and flowering the following year.
It does seem to need two seasons to really pick up momentum,
but they're tough plants and they certainly won't mind the experience
of being dug up and moved.
And as the rest of the garden is slowly slipping away,
the grass borders are picking up.
This is their season, this is when they really do become the best thing
in the garden and will remain so from now
right through until Christmas.
However, we can't remain any longer I'm afraid,
because that's the end of today's programme.
I'll be back here at the same time next week, so join me then. Bye-bye.
Monty plans for next year's fruit harvest when he adds gooseberries to the fruit garden he planted earlier in the year. He also divides and moves herbaceous perennials and advises on the best bulbs to plant now for cut flowers next year.
Frances Tophill meets a couple who have filled their garden with tender plants and devised a meticulous method of protecting them over the winter, and we catch up with Adam Frost in his own garden when he gives design tips on placing and planting trees. Nick Bailey explores a myriad of colour in leaf, bark and berry when he travels to Bluebell Arboretum in Leicestershire, and Arit Anderson is in Yorkshire, where she finds out about a project using innovative techniques for producing food. We also visit Warwickshire to look at their collection of hardy chrysanthemums and to see how they can bring much-needed late colour into our gardens.