Episode 9 RHS Chelsea Flower Show


Episode 9

Alan Titchmarsh looks back at the day's events at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The emphasis is on the exhibits promoting Britain's wild flowers and wildlife.


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gardeners permission to relax. After years of tailing and

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cultivating it's time to give our garden as bit of slack and welcome

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back a touch of the world. Many exhibitors are showing a natural

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decide of garden, we are showing off Britain's bountiful wildlife.

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Coming up, Adam Frost follows in the footsteps of poet John Clare,

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the inspiration behindlies 2012 show garden. When you get away from

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the roads and people and the peace and just that connection with

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nature, how do you encans late that in a garden? Wild about Mary -

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cookery writer and judge Mary Berry introduces us to her passion,

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gardening. These have culture a wonderful scent. Stunning self-

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seeders, Carol Klein seeks out the Great Pavilion flowers that need no

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help in spreading. Hello and welcome to the RHS

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Chelsea Flower Show. Tonight the plants of Chelsea take centre stage,

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particularly those that provide a vital wildlife Lorder. The plight

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of our poinating insects has become a cause of constant concern in

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recent years, so tonight we provide a guide to the flowers they favour

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which we can all grow in our gardens. Understand this regal year

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I'm not sure that crown will fit the bill. But it is fun. Old Bexley

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Floral Arrangement Society, a family effort apparently. It is

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lined with roses. And the leaves on the cushion are skeletonised.

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didn't notice the leaves on the cushion. That's beautiful. It's a

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lovely piece of work. It wouldn't attract much wildlife, which is

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what we are concentrating on today. Plants with nectar is the thing.

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is. It is staggering just how much of our native wild flower meadow

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has been lost. Since 1930, 97% of our wild flower meadows in England

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and Wales have gone. And that, it is just extraordinary. And the

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great thing act insect and wildlife in general is they are opportunists

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and if we put them there, they come. They are still there. All you have

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to do is create a bit of your own and off you go. It is not just

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about native flower species. The exotics can supplement them in some

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circumstances. Any flowers with nectar and pollen are good. One

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designer celebrating the beauty of the unspoilt countryside is Adam

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Frost. His garden is in Northampton share. He walks the peasant walks

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of John Clare. Adam's been soaking up the atmosphere of Clare's home

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in the village of Helston as part of his research.

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I was inspired not only by John Clare's poetry but more by we've

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got these five or six well known local walks. It is this diverse

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countryside. That's I think what inspired me.

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Sweet tiny flower of darkly hue, lone dweller in the pathless shade.

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How much I love thy pensive blue of so beautiful, it lifts the spirits

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doesn't it? Even today, absolutely pouring down but there is something

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so calm and peaceful about this place. It's the colours. It's the

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uprights. It's the, it's the leaving the field and going into

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the and wood. A change of atmosphere. Your head spins and

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there's all sorts of ideas that come out of something so simple as

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a wood with bluebells. John Clare lived just down the road from here,

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so as a kid I think he would have come up into these woods and played.

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I've brought my children up here. We walked in the bottom end of this

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wood. You more or less come to the beech trees and it is a sea of

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bluebells with little white amen mis.

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-- athen mis. I love the way these canopys of

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beech trees are stunning. They create the dappled shade which is

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lovely. They lead down to these strong stems of the beech. At

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Chelsea I think I will replace the beech with the hornbeam. The stems

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are slightly greyer but you are going to get that lovely feathery

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feel and soft texture. At Chelsea what I want to do along the back of

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the garden is create an Avenue along the back. But as you leave

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the Avenue and drift back into the garden you will get that change of

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light as if you were coming to the edge of a wood. And then you escape

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into the field and hopefully that's what I'm trying to achieve it it is

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all about atmosphere. There are so many plants which grow

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natively in our country that we can use in our gardens. At Chelsea like

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the bluebells, though I can't use these because they'll be long gone,

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there is things like campanulas, digitalis, ferns. All the things

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that grow wildly but we can use them to capture a bit of this

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atmosphere in my Chelsea garden. What I want people to do the, when

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they come to Chelsea and they see this planting that's native driven,

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I want people to realise that that is what they've got outside their

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back door. I want people to open their gate, go out in the

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countryside and explore. And maybe explain to their kids how important

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of your hornbeam alley. It has really worked. This is woodland

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fraying out. This was the feel I was trying to achieve. When your

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eyes adapt to the wood and you come into the open space down to the

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brook. Down to the dyke. But you've adapted it into a garden. You've

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given the gardener some pleasure, a champagne cooler in the stone wall!

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There's condensation on bottle the cool wall. We'll open one.

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like this, underneath this robust oak shelter a roof of clover.

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Inspired by one of his poems, but in reality you could do that.

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Compost it once a year. Even your accoutrements like your barbecue

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have become a fire pit. It is about a space that people can use. Though

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it is inspired by those walks it is bringing it home. Nature is outside

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your back door. The countryside come stpwoos the garden. That is

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our connection with nature isn't it, outside our back door for most of

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us, or it should be. You've formalised the brook with this

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wonderful stone edging and dirty great boulders. You know when you

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are walking out and suddenly you come into a stream and you find

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something to get that step over. Gardens like this are important

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wildlife corridors, like country hedgerows, leading wildlife on.

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Exactly. And we should have more all the time. Again, you think

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about the whole thing is inspired by John Clare. He was questioning

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at the time that we were taking away those habitats. Yes. And we

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are still doing it today. So some things true then are still true

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nowadays. Congratulations on the gold medal. Well deserved. The

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inspiration Adam's taken from our native countryside is echoed on the

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opposite of Main Avenue in a garden designed by Professor Nigel Dunnett.

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Nigel taken time out to design a garden that showcases different

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styles of meadow planting, as Chris has been discovering.

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How has your experience at the Olympic Park influenced what you've

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achieved here? It is almost the other way round, because this

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garden is full of my typical style of planting, which we've applied in

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the London Olympic Park Particular over the 2012 gardens, half a mile

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of these mixed naturalistic perennial plantings. What's

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different about these is we worked with the habitat types, from

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woodland and shade through to bright sun and meadows and woodland

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edge. So we are looking at woodland here. It is beautiful with

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aquilegias. Native grasses. We pint up with adding a other things in --

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pe pep it up with adding other things. I've used the lily

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throughout. The pale pink wild form coming up through grass. When you

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have those ephemeral plants it really excites. To have these

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emerging through the lower layer really gives you drama. And the

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canallals are bounded by narrow -- canals are bounded with narrow

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strips We have what we call our bio-Swale mix. This is a zero run-

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off garden. It is capturing all the rainwater through the Swale which

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is fill up with water. The water can go down slowly into the ground.

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It cleans the water like a reed bed and we get lovely clear water in

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the central pools. I love the way you take a principle which is

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evident out in nature, in the wild, and cleanse it and refine it and

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make it garden worthy. I call them evokations of nature. I look to

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dramatic and beautiful vegetation in different parts of the world and

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adapt it. For example this more dry meadow with the white form of the

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Lily coming through is a really nice example. We have native wild

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flowers, lots of grass, but the white lilies are special. I've seen

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the martagon lilies staining whole hillsides pink and white in

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southern Europe through the sheer numbers. Most people see lilies in

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pots but in the wild they can be so dramatic. There is so much

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potential to be artistic with plants and to produce visual

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spectacles. For me, I like to think that some of the things we are

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working with, particularly in the Olympic Park, people's jaws are

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going to drop at the spectacle of it. They are certainly dropping

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here at Chelsea Flower Show. It's a stunning garden. Congratulations.

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If you do have a ticket to the Games this summer do make time to

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view Nigel's work first hand. Mary Berry is one of our most

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respected cookery writers, with over 70 best-selling books to her

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name. Many of you will know her as a judge on the BBC's Great British

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Bake Off but what you may not know is Mary is also a passionate

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gardener. She's tend her garden in Buckinghamshire for 22 years. She

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invited us to brave the weather for our own private tour.

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I wasn't interested in gardening until the children had grown up a

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bit. As they grew up and spent more time at school, I had a bit of time

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on my hands. I enjoyed it. I like to have in the garden all different

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areas. Some formal, some informal. I love the pond. In the evening the

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idea is to come with a glass in hand and have the sun setting, but

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nearly always I'm just pulling out the odd weed around or deadheading

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or something. Spring is a yellow time. There is

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the marigold. The primulas, I picked up these seedlings and dug

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them out and nurtured them and brought them back. They are doing

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quite well. The pink is coming through. One ar rum lily, I have

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not had success with them. We tried to build them in the water and had

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half logs and earth but the ducks sit on the top of them. I've moved

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them up the bank a bit and I'm hoping they will get going. As the

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year goes on, we have in the borders lovely soft colours. I like

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soft colours. The one thing I cannot stand is orange.

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You are not going to change me. I wouldn't wear an orange jumper

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either. Here's the meadow. This is a real

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cast to the formal part of the garden -- contrast to the formal

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part of the garden. It's a very pleasant place to be. Lots of

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wildlife here. And we have the path going across and the path coming up.

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A few wild roses. In summer it's almost up to my waist. It looks

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very beautiful as the winds blue and the sun is on it. Very paefplt

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is to have something to pick. These make a lovely mixture, these tulips.

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This egrow when you put them in water, they seem to get taller.

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These have such a wonderful scent. I think this is lovely, the proper

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name I can't say, I call it Japonica. I usually snip it off

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there and have five or six in a tall vase, it looks wonderful.

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I feel totally at home here in the herb garden. I have lovely bay and

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then I use all sorts of sages. I suppose I use chives more than

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anything else. Then we've got the marjoram here, golden and plain.

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And many thymes. I never use a dried herb noi, just fresh herbs

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from the garden. I really like a garden which is

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full of colour and tidy. And it's just the same in the kitchen. I

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like a tidy kitchen. I like things to look good. I think you could say

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Mary, it was a rotten day, rotten weather, but a wonderful garden.

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is. It's a great joy to us. Favourite spot? I like by the pond.

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On that day it was raining so hard. I've enjoyed renewing the marginal

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plants. We've got lovely primula at the moment and arum lilies not too

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successful. Now you've moved it up the bank a bit, I reckon it might

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be more successful. You need to keept ducks off it. Ducks and

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gardens don't go together.. They were sitting right on the top.

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There are you! I think you'll be OK with that. I shall tend it well.

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The wildlife is ofg -- obviously important, we're featuring wildlife

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guard nds, it means something to you. We have a meadow. Sadly, there

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are not very glamorous plnts in it, because it is all going back to

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grasses. We're not replanting it. After many years of that it goes

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back to grasses, doesn't it? I have exactly the same on talk down and

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Cricklade mixture. I also put in yellow rattle, which weakens grass.

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Generally you don't scatter seed on grass to make a meadow because it's

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just beaten by the grass, but you can scatter yellow rattle seed

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among it to weaken the grass. This wasn't intended to be a dlinic, but

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I'm happy to turn it into one! try that. It's a semi-parasite. It

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weakens the grass and you get the yellow flowers as well. When it's

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clear I can plant more interesting things. Can you put in some plugs

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in. Especially near the edge so everybody can admire it. Yes. You

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must have a good kitchen garden. We saw the herb there's. On that day,

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very, very wot, very little growing. But now every row is ready to come

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up. I always plant in the vegetable garden things that we enjoy eating.

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The herb garden is a huge joy. I hate dried herbs. Now you have them

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all the year round in the garden. It's been a delight to talk to you.

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What are you doing back there? Lavender biscuits. Oh, I say!

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Especially made for you. Bless your heart, this will be eaten within

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about 15 seconds now. Nts and the lavender I put in was just the leaf.

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I chop today exceedingly finely and into a shortbread biscuit. That's a

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fair reck pence for gardening advice, baking advice. We look

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forward to see you on our screens soon. We're sending Mary out to

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find the answers to her questions. We'll catch up with you later.

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Thank you very much, Mary Berry. Mary was talking about it as well,

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we prop gait plants madly, we take cuttings of this and shoots of that

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and root them. Some plants don't need us involved at all. They're

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very good at self-seeding. They spread themselves everywhere,

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sometimes where you don't want them. Carol's been finding out the most

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successful self-seeders. There are myriad different ways

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that plants have evolved to distribute their seeds, depending

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on the prevailing conditions and their situation. As kids we're all

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used to doing that familiar thing where you blow away the dandelion

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clock. First of all the flower is polinated and it closes in and

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inside here lots is going on. That seed is set. Finally, when it's

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ripe and on a dry, sunny day, the clock emerges and at the perfect

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further. In the case of lupins, when the flowers have fallen the

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seed pod swells, gets really dry and crisp. On a hot, sunny day, the

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whole thing twists and explodes. Other legumes, plants in the pea

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family, use the same method. A lot of them are very familiar to us.

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Sweetpeas, peas themselves and is the euphorbia. If you happen to

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be nearby, you can sometimes hear their seeds as they are catapoulted

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into the air. In some cases, third parties are employed. Strawberries,

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for instance use birds, animals to distribute their seed. Strawberries

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belong to the rose family. There are so many members of the family

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that we're familiar with including giums. In their case, the seed has

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no capsule at all. It's completely open. But what it does have is a

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velcro mechanism, so an animal or huemon or bird walks by, the seeds

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attach themselves and are carried off. Any plant that lives in or

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beside water is liable to have evolved with that water and use it

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to spread its seed. The coconut is a perfect example. These huge seeds

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will tumble into the sea and be swept away to land up on a distant

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shore and make yet another coconut palm.

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Of course, not many of us have coconuts in our garden, but we do

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have water and in it we grow plants like water lilies which employ

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exactly the same method to move their seeds around. As gardeners we

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grow lots of plants from seed. But occasionally plants take it upon

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themselves to join in. And it's those self-seeders that can make

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all the difference between a monotonous gathering and a

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deplorious garden party. Tonight we're looking at the

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benefit of wildflowers in the benefit of wildflowers in the

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gardens. It's clear that one huge benefit is because of the

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polinating insects they attract. One insect often seen as a cut

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above the rest is the bumblebee. One man who knows all about them is

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Dr Ben Darvill from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. So bumblebees

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as distinct from honeybees? honeybees maybe people wouldn't

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notice in their gardens. They're small and brown and not distinctive.

:24:09.:24:13.

Bumblebees are the stripey things we love to see on our irises

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amongst other things. These are the ones we're looking for. These are

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the ones we need to take care of. Why? Why are they so important?

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Why? Why are they so important? They polinate a huge variety of

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different things. They help the flowers produce seeds or fruit. In

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the garden that gives us seed. In farmland something like 84% of

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Europe's crops need bees to polinate them. Yeah, they're very

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important. Why are they in danger then? Are they in danger? They are

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I'm afraid. There have been huge declines across the UK, we've lost

:24:45.:24:49.

two species and many species are seriously in decline. How many do

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we have all together? There are 24 species. But most people will

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struggle to see more than six or seven in the garden. The others are

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very rare. There are far fewer flowers in the countryside than

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there used to be. You have watching this programme millions who would

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like to do something about it. What can we do to redress the balance?

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Masses. Gardens cover a vast area Masses. Gardens cover a vast area

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in the UK. Well over a million acres. If everybody in the UK did a

:25:17.:25:21.

bit to help bees it would make a significant difference. It's about

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planting the right flowers. It's very important that people choose

:25:24.:25:29.

appropriately. How can we find out? I can list a few, but the easier

:25:29.:25:35.

thing would be for people to go onto our website. We have a brand

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new app, which allows people to choose the plants in their gardens

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already that are good for bees, find out a score for their garden

:25:43.:25:46.

and get further recommendations to make it even better. These are

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plants rich in nectar and in pollen. That's right and flowering

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throughout the year as well, so that the bees are left without

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anything to feed from. Thank you Ben. We're answering the call of

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the wild tonight. This year's event supported by M&G Investments boast

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a host of exhibits promosting the importance of wildlife friendly

:26:09.:26:12.

gardens. Still to come: A meadow in minutes, the turf that does all

:26:12.:26:20.

your hard work for you. Towering ambition - Diarmuid Gavin

:26:20.:26:25.

tells us how his plant rich pyramid could inspire cities to go green.

:26:25.:26:29.

From here I can see what you had for breakfast. From here a lot of

:26:29.:26:32.

people would see their own breakfast. And Mary's mission,

:26:32.:26:35.

we'll find out if cookery writer Mary Berry has had a great day out

:26:35.:26:39.

at Chelsea. Oh, gosh, it's a myriad of

:26:39.:26:46.

different plants and colours. There's been lots of interest in

:26:46.:26:51.

the painted pots we showed yesterday. The RHS are auctioning

:26:51.:26:55.

these online. Go to their website, in aid of their schools gardening

:26:55.:26:59.

campaign. Here are three of them. The one on the left is the top

:26:59.:27:06.

price at the moment at �285. That's Judi Dench's pot. The middle is �82,

:27:06.:27:10.

that's Mary Berry. One on the right is mine, at the moment at �200.

:27:11.:27:14.

Mary's is nicer than mine. Go online and bid for a pot. It's all

:27:14.:27:18.

in the cause of getting children gardening. What's all this about

:27:18.:27:22.

you and a taxi with a garden in the back? I came out of the hotel the

:27:22.:27:27.

other morning, I was greeted by a floral bounty that was a black cab.

:27:27.:27:31.

I thought it was going to be the outside, but inside was like

:27:31.:27:36.

walking into a glass house, it had tomatoes, strawberries and potted

:27:36.:27:39.

plants and little he isian cushions. It was just extraordinary. Why?

:27:40.:27:45.

you know, I think it's all part of the black cab in bloom. It's urban

:27:45.:27:51.

greening. I have to say the cushions were a bit itchy. I don't

:27:51.:27:59.

recommend he isian. One man who was advocating the benefits of wildlife

:27:59.:28:04.

gardening in the 1980s was the late Geoff Hamilton. He encouraged

:28:04.:28:10.

viewers to create outdoor spaces to attract polinating insects. After

:28:10.:28:17.

his death in 1996 his son Nick took over his gardens at Barnsdale. We

:28:17.:28:24.

caught up with him a few weeks ago. He spoke about the ethos that's

:28:24.:28:34.
:28:34.:28:39.

When my father was setting up the gardens here his ethos was very

:28:39.:28:49.
:28:49.:28:50.

much to be organic and therefore to be wildlife friendly. It had had a

:28:50.:28:53.

hippie image before then. That's something that he definitely wasn't.

:28:53.:28:56.

He was somebody, I know for a fact from talking to lots of people, he

:28:56.:29:00.

was somebody that if he told people that this was the thing to do on

:29:00.:29:02.

the television, that they'd all rush out first thing Saturday

:29:02.:29:08.

morning and doing it. The 39 individual gardens and features

:29:08.:29:12.

that are created here were created very much with wildlife in mind.

:29:12.:29:15.

Obviously we've gardened over the years on organic principles. This

:29:15.:29:20.

is one of the last ones that my father created. This is the

:29:20.:29:24.

wildlife pond and stream, created to encourage people how to attract

:29:24.:29:31.

to encourage people how to attract wildlife into a garden. It evokes

:29:31.:29:34.

great memories of my father. This was something he really enjoyed

:29:35.:29:39.

doing. He didn't enjoy digging the pond very much I have to say. But

:29:39.:29:42.

it was something that summed him up and has done everything that he

:29:42.:29:49.

ever want today to do. It's nice when a plan comes together. Now the

:29:49.:29:52.

great stream project continues. You'll remember last week I

:29:52.:29:56.

finished off the stream and the pond and I got the water moving too.

:29:56.:29:59.

The sound of running water in the garden really does make a

:29:59.:30:05.

difference. I love it. Water is essential in any sort of garden and

:30:05.:30:09.

particularly a wildlife garden, because obviously, everything that

:30:09.:30:15.

lives needs water. It creates part of the whole ecosystem of a

:30:15.:30:25.
:30:25.:30:27.

wildlife environment. It's created in 1996, one of the first

:30:28.:30:35.

things my father planted in here was the classic bog garden plant,

:30:35.:30:40.

the marsh marigold. It is fantastically inspirational with

:30:41.:30:47.

the bright yellow cups, which is suitable for insects. It has

:30:47.:30:56.

gradually started to work its way into the pond.

:30:56.:31:00.

This is our wildlife garden, which is situated right at the very top

:31:00.:31:05.

of the gardens here at Barnsdale and has been designed not only to

:31:05.:31:09.

be of interest 12 months of the year but more importantly to be

:31:09.:31:13.

sustainable for wildlife through the 12 months. Things like this

:31:13.:31:20.

winter box have finished flowering now. The usage now has been tone

:31:20.:31:27.

over by the pulmonaria and the euphorbia, so the wildlife have

:31:27.:31:33.

something else to move to. There is no doubt that if you conserve and

:31:33.:31:37.

maintain that delicate balance of wildlife in the garden you will

:31:37.:31:41.

solve your pest problems without having to lift a finger. At Chelsea

:31:41.:31:46.

this year we are looking to bring a little piece of Barnsdale to

:31:46.:31:51.

Chelsea and also to try and focus on that wildlife aspect. We'll be

:31:51.:31:56.

using a lot of plants that attract wildlife. Certainly the more nectar

:31:56.:32:03.

plants. We are looking at hissup, geraniums, the campanulas and the

:32:03.:32:08.

bell flower. Chelsea being the most prestigious show in the world, it

:32:08.:32:14.

is a fantastic window to take Barnsdale to. Barnsdale is the most

:32:14.:32:17.

fantastic place to be in the world, so what better combination can I

:32:17.:32:26.

have? Good to hear Geoff's voice again.

:32:26.:32:31.

Your dad's work still goes on. Absolutely. He will never die will

:32:31.:32:36.

he? That wildlife and organic element at Barnsdale it is shot

:32:36.:32:41.

through the place. Very much so Alan. We've been organic for 25

:32:41.:32:46.

years and we need the wildlife to do a lot of the work for us. It

:32:46.:32:51.

doesn't enable us to sit back and take it easily. We have it very

:32:51.:32:55.

much as a running through throughout the garden. What are the

:32:55.:32:59.

difficulties of running a garden and a nursery. You are selling the

:32:59.:33:01.

plants and keeping the garden looking good. It's a double

:33:01.:33:07.

pressure in a way. It is. I love it. I can Potter about in the nursery

:33:07.:33:11.

and then I'm in the garden. The biggest problem I find is that

:33:11.:33:14.

we'll never ever grow everything we have in the garden. People see

:33:14.:33:19.

something in the garden and then want it. We spend a lot of time

:33:19.:33:23.

directing them to other nurseries, like here at Chelsea. You must be

:33:23.:33:28.

heartened by this whole urban greening thing. There is always an

:33:28.:33:30.

opportunity isn't there? I think there is. People don't quite

:33:31.:33:34.

realise what benefit they have themselves. They bring the fields

:33:34.:33:38.

and the surrounding area into their own garden and it does enlighten

:33:38.:33:43.

your life. It's fantastic to see the insects buzzing about and the

:33:43.:33:47.

other wildlife that it brings. about the plants you would

:33:47.:33:55.

recommend. You have a lovely little stand, a jewel stand. Picks out a

:33:55.:34:01.

couple you think ech wildlife garden should have. The valerian,

:34:01.:34:07.

that's a fantastic pollinator for insects, as is the white robin. It

:34:07.:34:12.

is the white form of the ragged robin and very good pollinating

:34:12.:34:18.

plants for the insects. But it is not just about that but the other

:34:18.:34:25.

wildlife. The firns and the heuch actions give cover. And you can't

:34:25.:34:30.

choose the wildlife, it chooses you. Exactly. Without the pest you don't

:34:30.:34:33.

get the predator, which are the ones we want It's a balance between

:34:34.:34:38.

the two. Lovely to see you and to remember Geoff.

:34:38.:34:43.

Alys Fowler has been here too. She's been visiting the show today.

:34:43.:34:46.

Alys's own gardening style is always in tune with her natural

:34:46.:34:49.

surroundings so Chris caught up with her to find out what was

:34:49.:34:53.

inspiring her about this year's cheap.

:34:53.:34:57.

I have completely fall no-one love with the Korean garden. For me that

:34:57.:35:01.

planting plan is exquisite and it had so many things I really wasn't

:35:01.:35:06.

aware of, so it is exciting to see new stuff. There is huge variety in

:35:06.:35:10.

subtle flower there is, which is great for wildlife. It is going to

:35:10.:35:15.

give that diverse delivery of nectar. And it is all native. I

:35:15.:35:22.

guess across the gardens in general there's been so much, a really

:35:22.:35:25.

relaxed planting style. There is so much that's good for wildlife. It

:35:25.:35:29.

is quite a joy to see all the gardens buzzing with insects.

:35:29.:35:33.

difficult for people visiting the show, when they look at a bloom to

:35:33.:35:38.

think, well, is that going to be great for wildlife or not? What

:35:38.:35:43.

broad rules should we be applying? Simple flowers. Stay clear of

:35:43.:35:48.

anything that is double. Anything that repeat flowers or has a strong

:35:48.:35:51.

presence. If the bees are visiting it, it is probably a good indicator

:35:51.:35:57.

that they like it. It is about creating a matrix, not just one

:35:57.:36:02.

level of floral interest. Have trees, climbers and shrubs. That

:36:02.:36:07.

increases the insects activity. insects are essentially the base of

:36:07.:36:11.

the food chain. They perform not only poll ination but they are

:36:11.:36:17.

above that level. Get the insnects and every else comes to behind.

:36:17.:36:22.

When you have all the others, the birds and the bats, they help

:36:22.:36:27.

control your pest problems. It works to your benefit to get this

:36:27.:36:30.

insects The message many exhibitors are

:36:31.:36:33.

keen to get across this year is that a nectar-rich meadow doesn't

:36:34.:36:37.

have to stretch for acres. They can start in your own back garden. It's

:36:37.:36:40.

just a question of deciding what particular flower mixes you want to

:36:40.:36:43.

sow. To help you decide, Alys has been to meet students from Capel

:36:43.:36:52.

Manor College who are staging a beginner's guide to meadows. Hello

:36:52.:36:59.

Tom. I believe you are a student at Capel Manor. That's right: There is

:36:59.:37:06.

something special about this turf? Yes, all of these plants tract bats.

:37:06.:37:13.

How will this bring a bat to your garden? It brings in the moths that

:37:13.:37:17.

the bats like the eat. Fantastic. And this bit here is something

:37:17.:37:23.

that's familiar to me. You've used rubble? All repsycheled from

:37:23.:37:27.

brownfield sites. Will it self colonise with annuals, and we've

:37:27.:37:31.

put some perennials as well. Will it look after itself. Have a patio

:37:31.:37:36.

that I took up and underneath was a huge amount of rubble. I did pretty

:37:36.:37:41.

much the same thing. What flowers have you got in there? Thymes and

:37:41.:37:49.

Nigella and a bit of flax. It is a really simple, elegant solution.

:37:49.:37:55.

love the contrast between the urban gritty waste and these delicate

:37:55.:38:03.

pretty wild flowers. If you want your own slice of urban meadow, all

:38:03.:38:08.

you need to do is pick the right mixes. These mixes here have been

:38:08.:38:13.

chosen for their long-flowering interest. They are a mixture of

:38:13.:38:23.
:38:23.:38:23.

native and non-natives. Native poppies, toad flax and lots of

:38:23.:38:26.

cosmos. You begin to realise how long the flourg period is going to

:38:26.:38:32.

be. There is more and more flowers coming up and each mix is a

:38:32.:38:36.

different colour scheme. This is a riotous pastel. This is going to

:38:36.:38:41.

turn into a lot of hot pinks. There's a really beautiful kind of

:38:41.:38:45.

rich yellow version. The wonderful thing about these is that they've

:38:45.:38:49.

been specifically designed for garden soil, so you don't have to

:38:49.:38:56.

impoverish your soil. All you need is a patch and you too can sow

:38:56.:38:58.

something fantastic for wildlife and to give you a long period of

:38:58.:39:05.

colour. What I love here is a spied hear already decided to move in.

:39:05.:39:08.

Two weeks ago, John Wilson had no idea he was coming to Chelsea.

:39:08.:39:15.

Today he's standing here with a prestigious gold medal. What's

:39:15.:39:21.

story, John? I got a phone call just over two weeks ago saying they

:39:21.:39:26.

had a cancellation at Chelsea and Iowa on the waiting list. Would I

:39:26.:39:32.

be able to fill in? You don't say no, do you? I said yes and

:39:32.:39:36.

immediately got on with preparing for Malvern the following week and

:39:36.:39:41.

where I was all last week. So effectively I had about one week to

:39:41.:39:48.

get ready for this. It is a Jew ill of a stand, this. Thank you. Ferns

:39:48.:39:53.

it seems to me are so useful in the garden, the damp, shady spots.

:39:53.:40:00.

gaits no other plant will do. The bits that no other plants will

:40:00.:40:05.

do. All firms love moisture and shade, but there are a lot of

:40:05.:40:11.

varieties that are tolerate drier conditions and some sun. There is

:40:11.:40:15.

hardly anywhere apart from those areas that are in full sun that are

:40:15.:40:20.

not suitable for tern ferns But when you plant them, dig in plenty

:40:20.:40:25.

of organic stuff. Your own garden compost, well-rotted manure or leaf

:40:25.:40:29.

mould. That's the stuff they love. I ger you gave Joe one for his

:40:29.:40:35.

garden? No, I sold him one. Good man. There's a nurseryman!

:40:35.:40:39.

Congratulations. Thank you. Tonight we've been taking a look at

:40:39.:40:44.

the benefits of wild flower meadows. However, if you do want to create

:40:44.:40:47.

one in your garden, remember they do take a bit of time - until now.

:40:47.:40:51.

I say that because some of the meadows you see at Chelsea this

:40:51.:40:54.

week are created from strips of wild flower turf. These roll out

:40:54.:40:56.

meadows have been produced by Yorkshire-based turf grower Stephen

:40:56.:41:06.
:41:06.:41:13.

Fell, who earlier this month agreed 25 years now. What we are trying to

:41:13.:41:17.

do for our customeres is truce a nice attractive roll they can lay

:41:17.:41:21.

out in their gardens. I wanted to be able to do the same thing with

:41:21.:41:27.

wild flowers. We've moved some to which technology to move across to

:41:27.:41:30.

growing wild flowers that can be rolled out in somebody's garden or

:41:30.:41:34.

a roof garden. Well people typically try to establish a wild

:41:34.:41:39.

flower area in their garden, often that soil will be too fertile. Wild

:41:39.:41:43.

flower seed takes a long time to germinate. The danger is there are

:41:43.:41:49.

other seeds and roots or rhizomes for previous vegetation which will

:41:49.:41:54.

overtake that and establish before the flowers get going. We've got

:41:54.:42:01.

nettles taking over, ground sell, which will spread very fast, as it

:42:01.:42:07.

seeds prolificly. Cleavers, docks and vigorous rye grasses. You can

:42:07.:42:10.

imagine a poor wild flower plant here trying to survive. It doesn't

:42:10.:42:17.

have a chance. Growing wild flower turf on a mat

:42:17.:42:22.

gives us huge advantage, that it is going to suppress vegetation from

:42:22.:42:28.

coming you through. This is how we start growing wild flower turf. We

:42:28.:42:32.

lay down a plastic sheet to stop the roots growing into the soil.

:42:32.:42:40.

And then we have a layer of felt from re cycled textiles. We have a

:42:40.:42:44.

substraight of green waste compost and recycled brick. Having got this

:42:44.:42:49.

level, we put the seed on at just the right seed rate.

:42:49.:42:54.

It is important to keep that seed moist so that it can germinate

:42:54.:42:59.

rapidly. We have specialist irrigation to keep it damp, but

:42:59.:43:05.

equally we must be careful not to overdo it. Wild flowers don't like

:43:05.:43:09.

waterlogged conditions. Once the wild flower turf has grown to a

:43:09.:43:14.

stage of maturity that we can sell sit, we cut into it rolls and put

:43:14.:43:19.

it on to a palate. When you look at it you might think it doesn't look

:43:19.:43:23.

exciting, but looking into it there are lots of small plants. That's

:43:23.:43:33.
:43:33.:43:37.

good time to put wild flower-type turf down. Growing wild flowers and

:43:37.:43:41.

having them flowering in time for Chelsea is very challenging, so we

:43:41.:43:45.

need to bring them in where it is warmer. We have various mixtures

:43:45.:43:48.

flowering probably six weeks earlier than they would normally.

:43:48.:43:51.

It is really interesting that once we open the doors we get a whole

:43:52.:43:57.

range of pollinating insects, not only bees and bumblebees but

:43:57.:44:01.

hoverflys, butterflies and a range of other insects.

:44:01.:44:06.

At Chelsea I hope the effect we have is that people can see they

:44:06.:44:10.

can bring wildlife to small areas. That it can be attractive and it

:44:10.:44:15.

doesn't need to be complicated. They don't need to know a lot about

:44:15.:44:19.

plants and flowers. They can lay down this and sit back and enjoy

:44:19.:44:24.

this and let the insects enjoy it as well.

:44:24.:44:28.

One designer making the headlines this week is Diarmuid Gavin. His

:44:28.:44:33.

pyramid garden takes urban Greening to a new level. Quite literally.

:44:33.:44:39.

The garden was created in a you Rica moment. He was walking to the

:44:39.:44:43.

Royal Hospital grounds. We caught up with him a couple of weeks ago

:44:43.:44:53.
:44:53.:44:57.

main is contemporary architecture. I quite like scaffolding. You saw

:44:57.:45:01.

Albert bridge covered in scaffolding and it seemed to be

:45:01.:45:05.

stepping up on different layers. I've always wanted to do a hanging

:45:05.:45:09.

gardens of Babylon to show how people in an urban environment,

:45:09.:45:13.

where space is limited could possibly garden on top of each

:45:13.:45:20.

other that. Seemed to be the answer. I can see the shark from here.

:45:20.:45:27.

Very similar. Wu then you have the more sober architect churl

:45:27.:45:32.

inspiration, this amazing park that is built on an old railway line in

:45:32.:45:35.

an urban environment like this, that snakes through the city and

:45:35.:45:41.

this new building, that's covered in an urban forest in the centre of

:45:41.:45:45.

Milan. All these things go into inform different steps, different

:45:45.:45:48.

decisions that you make when creating this tower that reaches

:45:48.:45:58.
:45:58.:45:59.

upwards. I hope that Chelsea, that people come to Chelsea will enjoy

:45:59.:46:03.

it. It's kind of provocative. When you do something so big, you're

:46:03.:46:08.

making a big statement, for me oddly enough it's not about going

:46:08.:46:12.

big, it's about doing something different, pushing boundaries and

:46:12.:46:15.

exploring possibilities. The message is: Can we in the future,

:46:15.:46:22.

plan in an innovative way to have gardens in an increasingly

:46:22.:46:25.

urbanised society? Can we make every use of our space and resource

:46:25.:46:29.

to create gardens that make the most use of light, to create guard

:46:29.:46:33.

thans are on top of each other, quite as simple as this, when you

:46:33.:46:36.

water one on the top it drips through everything, to allow plants

:46:36.:46:43.

to go up and hang down, to create escapes for people. It only becomes

:46:43.:46:49.

valid and becomes a garden if it drips with plants. If you can be on

:46:49.:46:53.

that structure and it feels like you're floating in a garden in the

:46:53.:47:03.

air, I hope it will look structured but dreamy and very, very green.

:47:03.:47:09.

Alliums and hostas, Silver Birchs and rhododendrons, a swing and

:47:09.:47:17.

saflding, it's gardening Scotty, but not as we know it. Ladies have

:47:17.:47:22.

been shrieking as they come down the steel shoot to escape, it is of

:47:22.:47:30.

course, Diarmuid Gavin's magic peer mud. But what is it -- pyramid. But

:47:30.:47:34.

what's it all about? There must be a serious point. There is. It's

:47:34.:47:37.

exploring the notion of a multistory garden in an

:47:37.:47:40.

increasingly urban society. Lots of people live in cities like London.

:47:40.:47:44.

There's not a lot of green space. It's an experiment in garden, lots

:47:44.:47:47.

of different people garden on top of each other. You reckon this

:47:47.:47:53.

could work on say, a tower block? Well, it's a scaffolding pyramid

:47:53.:48:00.

that could be permanent in a plaza. We've created by a 60 by 60 metre

:48:00.:48:04.

space, 576 square metres of usable garden space. If there's enough

:48:04.:48:08.

light, yeah, I don't see why not. Let's look at some of it. This is a

:48:08.:48:14.

fabulous swing seat. I'm reluctant to leave that. Past the shed.

:48:14.:48:18.

practical garden sheds. We have lots of water butts and sheds. We

:48:18.:48:22.

want to show sustainable gardening. This is a terrace, the meet-and-

:48:22.:48:24.

greet area where everybody who gardens here would come together.

:48:25.:48:34.

How many floors all together? floors. Wow. Residents, members

:48:34.:48:38.

club, I'm in the a member, am I allowed in? You're an honorary

:48:38.:48:47.

member. Oh, look! Oriental style Pavilion. It's rustic in nature and

:48:47.:48:51.

then we have this circular opening leading into a secret garden.

:48:51.:48:55.

walk into a secret garden. It is magical. You said it was and indeed

:48:55.:48:59.

it is. You disappear from one area into another. It's a garden that

:49:00.:49:06.

keeps you moving. It does. I love the tree top bamboo walk. Those

:49:06.:49:12.

ones, I can't believe we've kept on coming up. The black ones start

:49:12.:49:16.

from here. This shady plant and then rhododendrons. Walk up around

:49:16.:49:24.

the pink shed to Another Level. Look at it! There's a pond here.

:49:24.:49:27.

The roof of the shed collects water. It's used in the washing machine.

:49:27.:49:30.

Do you your washing as you're gardening and you hang it out to

:49:30.:49:37.

dry, like most people don't. Good drying day. Very good, isn't it?

:49:37.:49:45.

really is your washing! It is. On the floor floor, Rosemary, thyme,

:49:45.:49:51.

good light levels up here. We have a Victorian style greenhouse and

:49:51.:49:54.

these old industrial containers used to plant the fruit and veg.

:49:55.:50:00.

And still we go. Which level are we on? Four, about to go to five,

:50:00.:50:10.
:50:10.:50:11.

which is men's hosery. Oh, thank you! And vegetables. Going up.

:50:11.:50:15.

You wash your clothes down below and your body and abluegss up here

:50:15.:50:22.

then. -- ablutions up here then. The water is collected fed to a

:50:22.:50:27.

barrel down below and used for the fruit and vegetables. I could have

:50:27.:50:33.

stayed here instead of a hotel. Magical. Are we going up? Yes, up

:50:34.:50:39.

and up. Two more. Great vantage points here. Across the river.

:50:39.:50:43.

Absolutely. From here I can see what you had for breakfast. From

:50:43.:50:46.

here a lot of people would see their own breakfast.

:50:46.:50:51.

You're very high. It's rather fitting that on top of

:50:51.:50:58.

your pyramid is a plant and it's a fabulous birch, wonderful peeling

:50:58.:51:03.

bark. It's heritage. It has fantastic bark and yeah, we wanted

:51:03.:51:07.

to crown it with a plant and it's in a bed of bell lowing

:51:07.:51:11.

Mediterranean style planting, where there's full sun. There could not

:51:11.:51:15.

be a better day to see this. It's wonderful. The London skyline

:51:15.:51:19.

around us, the bridge is there and all into London and Battersea Power

:51:19.:51:23.

Station. Well done mate, it's a lovely job. Congratulations.

:51:23.:51:27.

Everybody enjoys this. We've enjoyed today hugely, the company

:51:27.:51:31.

of Mary Berry, who was right down there looking at it. She's been in

:51:31.:51:34.

the show ground. I hope she's had a good time and discovered some

:51:34.:51:39.

exciting things because as far as I'm concerned, Mary Berry is the

:51:39.:51:49.
:51:49.:51:49.

cherry on top of my cake. I've just come in the gates and I'm

:51:49.:51:53.

so excited. I've been looking forward to this day so much. It

:51:53.:51:57.

really gives me inspiration for my planting. I get lots of new ideas

:51:57.:52:06.

and I have one or two questions to ask some of the growers.

:52:06.:52:13.

Gosh, it's a myriad of different plants and colours.

:52:13.:52:20.

Oh, here's a friend, we've grown these for three years. They are

:52:20.:52:25.

wonderful smell, lovely for picking, healthy foliage. We prune them in

:52:25.:52:29.

March, really hard, took everything out as thin as a pencil. They're

:52:29.:52:31.

looking very good now. But here they are in bloom.

:52:31.:52:41.
:52:41.:52:43.

What a joy. I just love this because you can

:52:43.:52:48.

see how big the actual hostas grow. There are little miniature ones,

:52:48.:52:58.
:52:58.:53:04.

big ones. I always go for the big but what I want to know about are

:53:04.:53:07.

hardy freesias. There is a new range of prepared freesias which

:53:07.:53:11.

means they've been given the cold treatment, because freesias are a

:53:11.:53:16.

native of South Africa, from the cape province. So they can be grown.

:53:16.:53:20.

The biggest problem is drainage. They like well drained soil and

:53:20.:53:23.

they need the cold period. Best to plant in the Autumn time. Let them

:53:23.:53:26.

sit in the cold soil over the winter, then they'll germinate in

:53:26.:53:30.

spring and the new growth will start to come through. Oh, I can't

:53:30.:53:40.
:53:40.:53:41.

wait to order some. It will be exciting. Thank you. You're welcome.

:53:41.:53:45.

This is my favourite garden. It's got wonderful structure. I think

:53:45.:53:50.

this would be lovely throughout all seasons. I like the way they've

:53:50.:53:54.

grown their roses. I like the idea that you can weave Hazel into a

:53:54.:53:59.

nice dome. I might have a go at making those.

:53:59.:54:04.

I've had such a wonderful day. This must be the best Chelsea ever! I've

:54:04.:54:08.

got lots of new ideas, all my questions answered and I can't wait

:54:08.:54:18.

to get in the garden this weekend. Last year at Chelsea the RHS in

:54:18.:54:22.

conjunction with the writer and broadcaster Sarah Raven launched

:54:22.:54:26.

their perfect for polinators initiative. There you are. And I am.

:54:26.:54:30.

It's a campaign destined to help gardeners identify plants

:54:30.:54:34.

specifically good for wildlife. 12 months have gone by, so has that

:54:34.:54:41.

initiative been successful? We're joined by Helen Bostock.

:54:41.:54:44.

Successful? Incredibly. We can't believe the response that we've had

:54:44.:54:47.

believe the response that we've had from everybody. The message is

:54:47.:54:51.

definitely getting out there. plants are leaving the garden

:54:51.:54:54.

centres. They are. We know that the plant centre at Wisley, we've

:54:54.:54:58.

doubled the sales in the plants on the list. We've been working with

:54:58.:55:03.

all sorts of members in the trade, public guard nds, gardening

:55:03.:55:06.

societies, really to raise awareness about it. I think you

:55:06.:55:11.

have. The big sign there is put on banks of plants which are good for

:55:11.:55:14.

bees. They get the buzzing sign. The large labels on the pots

:55:14.:55:21.

identify them. As do the smaller dangling labels which have a little

:55:21.:55:25.

logo in the bottom corner, which says it's good for bees and it's a

:55:25.:55:31.

perfect polinator. So, it's working. What's the way forward? Well, the

:55:31.:55:35.

whole idea of the list is that it continues to evolve and grow and so

:55:35.:55:40.

what we've been doing is well, as we speak, ourent moll jists are

:55:40.:55:50.
:55:50.:55:50.

working on a new cat Goring -- our entomologiss are working on a new

:55:50.:55:55.

cat Goring -- gat gory of lists. Rather than by season, we'll do it

:55:55.:55:58.

by garden condition. Whether it's a wet garden, chalky, whatever

:55:58.:56:04.

there'll be a list for you. We'll be announcing that on July 4 at RHS

:56:04.:56:07.

Hampton Court Flower Show. Good for you. We'll do our bit. It's nice to

:56:07.:56:11.

know we can bring them back in. Hopefully tonight we've given you a

:56:11.:56:15.

small insight into the importance of our wildflower heritage and how

:56:15.:56:20.

we can all do something to preserve it like growing a few of these in

:56:20.:56:28.

# I grew up fast and wild # I never felt right in a garden so

:56:28.:56:32.

# I never felt right in a garden so different from me.

:56:32.:56:37.

# I just never belonged # I just longed to be gone

:56:37.:56:47.

# So the garden one day set me free # I hitched ride with the wind

:56:47.:56:56.

# I just let him desire where we go # When a flower grows wild

:56:56.:57:04.

# It can always survive # Wildflowers don't care where they

:57:04.:57:07.

grow # Just a wild rambling rose seeking

:57:07.:57:13.

mysteries untold # No regret for the path that I

:57:13.:57:16.

chose # When a flower grows wild

:57:16.:57:26.
:57:26.:57:28.

# It can always survive # Wildflowers don't care where they

:57:28.:57:34.

grow # Lots and lots of flowers. This

:57:34.:57:36.

Lots and lots of flowers. This weather's been great. When I sat

:57:36.:57:41.

down here on Monday, these were in tight bud. Look at them now. It's

:57:41.:57:44.

not surprising. All of these plants, several weeks of chill at the

:57:44.:57:47.

beginning of the month and they've just become so turgid, so excited

:57:47.:57:53.

now the sun's come out. They've all gone pop. It's a lovely thing this

:57:53.:57:58.

Siberian iris, so beautifully Ben silled, very good for any garden.

:57:58.:58:01.

Beautiful colour. It's the sort of thing you wish you could paint.

:58:01.:58:05.

only one had the talent. There we are. We've come to the end of our

:58:05.:58:09.

coverage from RHS Chelsea Flower Show this evening. Tomorrow we're

:58:09.:58:13.

back looking at the trends coming out of Chelsea this week. Nicki and

:58:13.:58:18.

I will be back tomorrow lunch time on BBC within. Digital viewers can

:58:18.:58:23.

Alan Titchmarsh looks back at the day's events at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The emphasis is on the exhibits promoting Britain's wild flowers and wildlife. There is a master class in creating wild flower meadows in the city and designer Diarmuid Gavin talks to Alan about how he hopes to promote urban greening with his towering 80-foot pyramid garden.

Cookery legend Mary Berry also joins Alan to talk about her life-long passion for gardening.


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