Episode 5 RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Episode 5

Nicki Chapman and James Wong present coverage as the medals are handed out. Carol Klein continues looking at plants of the world, focusing on Asia.

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observing a minute's silence in memory of the 22 people who lost


their lives here in Manchester and the 59 who were injured. You are


watching BBC News. Welcome back to the Chelsea Flower


Show. There are so many wonderful plants


from all over the world which we in the UK have embraced


into our hearts and gardens. And James and Arit are taking a


closer look at them in the Chengdu Garden.


It's only when you really start looking at our gardens that


you realise just how many of the plants we grow in the UK


And they aren't just in the Great Pavilion, there are some


spectacular examples of them out here on Main Avenue.


I'm joined by Arit Anderson on the Chengdu Garden which solely


What has caught your either most? I am always looking around at the


beautiful rhododendrons, and I see them in Hyde Park, there I am in the


most beautiful British place, forgetting that they come from


China. Yes, in Cornwall I was asked, have I seen that incredible China


Garden, 20% of the world's plants from China. I know this in the UK as


an ornamental plant, but my grandmother would consider it an


edible, you buy them in supermarkets, stir-fry ingredients.


But on the other side of this garden, it is a whole different


world showing the massive diversity that China offers.


From a design perspective we are spoiled with all the flowers, but


look how much interest is here. The grasses, the shrubs that we know,


and that is what is important. These are the backbone plants within a


garden design and planting scheme, so it is interesting to see. A


fascinating use of texture, you don't just rely on colour.


Absolutely, and I love the contrast, this real sense of exuberance and


foliage, and we can also focus on that. I am fascinated by this. I


can't see a single cultivated variety, these are all straight


species. Yes, and there are so many hybrids and cultivars Alpe d'Huez.


Man's Hand has created some truly amazing Asian cultivars, and one


king of those is Jonathan Hogarth. He looks after the UK's national


collection of small hostas. Frances Tophill will be meeting him


in just a moment, but first let's find out about his


path to cultivar glory. Hostas come in all different sizes,


but the particular type that take my fancy are the Small and miniature


ones. They are just sweet, and when they start to flower, they look like


jewels, little wonderful sweet but you want to take home. There is


always that one plant you can't resist when you are out shopping,


and you buy it. When I got the collection, it was


something that was suggested to me that we should split the plants up


so that should anything happen in one area where the plants were


displayed that the other area would still save that particular plant. By


splitting them, that is when the problems started. I took a


good-sized plant that was six years old and I split it, and both plants


died. They had lost that sparked a live once you got to a point where


you were splitting them, they were just too small. I needed to find an


answer, and quick. Really quick. This is not that expensive, it takes


a penny a day to run it, but the results are wonderful. The plastic


cover reveals a trade, and underneath is the water pump. It has


six little sprayers, and this creates a moist atmosphere


underneath and dry at the top. This promotes the roots to start growing.


And that is how the whole system works. There is no secret, it is


just tap water. The first step is to cut the flowers off. You are sending


the information to the plant that it's time to make roots rather than


the flowers. Hold the plant with your fingers and


tip it out this way. And I will just gently tease out the root system.


Each one of these can become a separate plant. The genetic


information that you need for this plant to be this colour and this


particular type is in fact stored in here, so it's important to grab


quite a bit of it. Over the next two weeks, buds will start to burst out,


rude buds, and from there, that will then start to produce the plant.


Here is your cutting. I am now going to put that into the air, and I am


going to put it up to its little collar of the top, so the top will


sit into the water and the damp atmosphere there, the top will stay


dry, and you leave it for two to three weeks. So this one is now two


weeks old. The roots are starting to grow again. There were three


existing routes, they were half that size when it went in before. The


fact is, that is now ready to pot on. I am going to take the pot and


put a little soil into it, and then the magic ingredient, the micro


riser. It is a fungus that grows in the wild and it will extend the


plant's capability of absorbing nutrients. I will add some grit on


the top and make it more difficult for vine weevil to lay its eggs into


my nice new plant, and that is it, there is nothing else to it.


Well, that's 251, so 251 reasons to actually prove that you can take


cuttings from small hostas, and here they all are.


And here are even more reasons to prove it. Just look at your stand,


Jonathan Fawzi yellow I am very pleased to be here. The RHS have


been so kind, and we do like to show them off. A lot of hard work has


gone into making these perfect. There was quite a bit of worry, you


have to be careful of the leaves, they have to be perfect and the


best, because this is the best show in the world, so here we are showing


off, and here are my friends. Any new additions this year? Yes,


miniskirt is the new one, and it is in the centre of my stand. This is


the first time it has been available in England. It is a beautiful plant


with a wide. This is my habit and


obsession. It looks lovely, congratulations. Thank you so much.


I do love a hosta, nearly as much as the slugs in my garden do.


Now all week we're looking at the Radio 2 Feel Good Gardens


and today we have a feast for the eyes.


I have just left the listening garden.


I'm heading over to the Colour Cutting Garden dedicated to sight


to meet its Radio 2 champion, and TV golden girl, Anneka Rice.


A keen gardener herself, we caught up with her lending a hand


What a blaze of colour, this is beautiful. Isn't it just? You must


be delighted. I am so in my element, I am almost dribbling. To be told


you were going to have a garden at Chelsea was an amazing shock, and


when they told me who I was doing it with, and I can't tell you how Sarah


Raven and Tricia Guild have both been such a massive part of my life.


The inspiration is the Colour Cutting Garden, the opposite of the


very formal stylised gardens you might get. This is all about


voluptuousness and just an Augean colour. Are you a big Gardner


yourself? I am pining for the garden we used to have which was a


beautiful Cotswolds garden. Now that you have been here for the bills,


what do you make of it? When you see Chelsea and you see it so finished


and manicured, you imagine all of the big trees are always there, but


every single blade of grass, tree, branch, is brought in, so to see it


unfold is gripping. Anneka, will you give me a hand with the delphiniums?


What was your thinking behind this? It is a cutting garden, so


everything is cut and come again to a certain extent, so in a few


mornings, all of the flowers you pick will grow back again. But it


has really come together, I couldn't be happier.


Anneka, look at you, still hard at it. You are a lady who never stops.


This has been such a joy. And a little bird has told me you have


been down here practically every hour that there is. The thing is, I


couldn't wear to put my name to be involved with something and then


just turn up at the end, so I kept e-mailing Sarah Raven and saying,


give me a task. I am such a fan of hers, so to be in her wake doing


menial tasks, I am very happy to take anything to the skip, do some


watering, copy runs. And this all starts in childhood. You have loved


gardening since you were little? My family were great gardeners, so my


memory is doing that thing little children do, having a toy lawn mower


and going up and down behind my dad. And at school, we went to an


inspired primary school that had little gardens, so each child had a


tiny area to tend, and that plant a seed, literally. It does. How


important you think that has been from being a little girl to seeing


it through, to having this passion, and what it does for us as well. I


think so, because my happiest memories as a child were in the


garden. I loved it so much, and it is nourishment for the soul. And the


most gratifying thing has been seeing everyone come to this garden,


and people yesterday were calling it the goofy smile garden, because it


reminds people of their life, and it makes your heart sing when there is


something so beautiful. There is nothing fussy or pretentious or


formal, and Sarah Raven who is such a genius, we all decided when we sat


down, her and Tricia Guild and I, we didn't want a polite garden, and I


think we can safely say this is not. It is an explosion of colour, which


we know you love. You have a lot of colour in your London garden. While


you're here, will you have a spare minute to go out and explore the


grounds and get inspiration? The great thing about being here all


this week and seeing everything rising from the ground literally is


getting to talk to a lot of people, so I have got lots of ideas, and


that's been such a privilege, because usually I just come on press


day, but now I have been here is one of the workers. Any one thing you


are looking at for? I am looking out for things that are good for the


climate change we seem to be having. More Mediterranean? Yes, maybe a fig


tree or an olive tree, and I have spotted the most beautiful one. You


are going to be De your homework. Congratulations on this beautiful


garden. And we'll catch up with Anneka


to find out how she's got on later in the show but for now it's


over to Rachel de Thame. This year, she's showing us


how there is something for everyone here at Chelsea


whatever your garden or situation. Every day she's picking out a one


metre square section on a garden border in order to reveal how


and why it works so well. Today, in-keeping with the golden


hue of medal's day she's focusing Lots of plants love a south


facing sunny garden. And I'm not just talking


about drought-tolerant plants. If you pay special attention


to watering there are several truly wonderful plants that will thrive


in a sunny position. I love this corner of the garden,


this square metre. It's a mixed Matrix planting because they're


repeated and dotted through the planting. We've got things at the


lower level, California poppy there, and that lovely bright colour and


this's picked up here as well. Then we come through the planting with


these plants which will take a bit of shade, these are astranias.


They're coming through the softness of this one, which gives you that


lovely flattened top to the flower, a Pimpinelia. We have these tall


vertical accent plants just poking through, things like Beaujolais


which I adore. We have irises coming out into flower and this lovely tall


spikes pale linkth pink of the Lenaria. The whole thing is softened


beautifully by plants that mould and bring everything together. We have


the bronze fennel towards the front and that builds up into this lovely


grass. Of course, this is Chelsea's show garden planting, so there are


lots of plants crammed in very closely together. In your own


garden, you would give everything a bit more space to breathe and


develop and become bigger individual plants. So to create an effect like


this will depend very much on how you put the plants together. Here


they're really very much just dotted through making sure there is a


lovely balance and flow. If you can achieve that, you'll have this


wonderful soft, romantic effect. Plants come with their own likes and


dislikes. If you get that right, you'll enjoy the fruits of their


labours for many years to come. However, some plants aren't as picky


as others and one we Brits all know and love that can grow pretty much


anywhere is the native Primrose. Melvyn Jones reveals they're far


from commonplace. Primrose I found in Asia and Japan,


I love the simplicity of them. These Japanese with their love of plants


are the ones that have made the Siboldians what they are today. It's


identified in the earliest garden books of Japan, so it's an old,


established plant form. There is a Japanese flower translating along


the lines of even grasses have cherry Blossom flowers in Japan, the


land of the cherry Blossom. The Japanese Gods Jewth used to


cultivate the most wonderful gardens with the wonderful cherry trees that


bloomed over the streams and lakes. Unfortunately, the Blossom tended to


fall too quickly and the Gods were so upset after all their efforts


that it was such a short blooming that they Creted in future when it


fell it would come over the grasses and the grasses would flower and


happen there would be a Primula and that formed this. It's a wonderful


plant. The blooms are so nice and there is such a nice variation in


them. It's typical of many of the plants the Japanese like to grow.


They'll look for the variety. Primulas with good for that, they're


promiscuous and variable but the Siboldia, it goes from magenta,


pink, through the blue shades up to the pure whites like this. Because


they feel almost pastelly in colour, you can put any variety together and


they'll look as if they're suited and compliment each other. In the


wild, the closest form we have here is the Sumizomegenji.


We have tried it in edge of woodland conditions which they thrive in


because they love the leaf mould and they do well there. Obviously, you


need a bit of light also for the flowers to come out. Very popular


form is this one, which is called snow glaik. It looks really delicate


but they're reliable, happy in our conditions. They'll normally come


into flower mid to late February. You will have them flowering mid to


end of June. Don't be deceived by the fact they look delicate, they're


quite forgiving and if the right place, they'll reward you for years.


We've been having a bit of an Asian theme running through today's show


and lo and behold here is another plant with its roots steeped


How's this year been for you? It's been difficult. The season started


early, the flowers were in flower about five weeks earlier than we'd


expect them to be. We have struggled to get here but we have managed to


bring a display here in a traditional Japanese form. We have


done it but it's not as nice as we'd have liked. To me this looks


spectacular, but through March and April I was thinking about the


exhibitors because there's only so much you can do with nature, you are


restricted by certain plants. Yes. What did you do in the medal stakes?


We got to silver. The judges were right. I totally agree with them.


We'd have liked more, but the season prevented it. Next year we'll come


back stronger. It's frustrating. I heard you had the most spectacular


new introduction that you almost got to the show but not quite. Quietly


fell out of flower four days ago... Four days? ! Yes, it's one that we


got from Alan Bloom's garden, one he raised many years ago, it's been


name and is being sold in support of a charity for special Olympics, so


we'd have loved to have brought it here but unfortunately again we were


beaten by the weather. You don't have necessarily all the plants but


you have all the information. I have questions from Facebook. You love


shady plants. Even else Sa asks, moved into a house with a huge


conifer, the soil is full of roots and well-established weeds, no idea


what to plant in the dry shade. What a nightmare. Nightmare having a


conifer next to you, totally agree. We do have a couple of plants in the


back of the display which would cope with that. One is the Victorian


Brooch. That will tolerate dry shade. Another question from Melanie


Louise Watson, she asks, the opposite problem, a garden backs on


to a river, very large trees from another garden shading it, nothing


but nettles grow there. Desperately trawling the Internet for some nice


colour and ground colour? Again, that selection is a bit close to


that. Moist shade and semishade. I would recommend things like


epimediums and nice spider flowers in early to mid spring. If it's


dapple spring, the Siboldeii would be ideal. They'd be happy there as


well. This is a plant of food plains. Even if the garden floods,


they'll survive and produce that colour? In Japan, the rivers flood


and bring up the silt which covers the plants and then it drains away


and that's how they get a lot of the new nutrients and keep going.


Thanks, Melvyn. Earlier on we saw Anneka Rice


who told us about her desire to bring the Mediterranean


into her London garden and salt water problem due


to living by the sea. I've obviously been here a lot


during the week because our Colour Cutting Garden is just up there and


I saw all of this take shape, being planted up. There was one thing I


saw in particular, I think it's over there... When we first met on that


Tuesday you were here and there was just this olive tree at that stage.


I have no idea about this, I had no idea it was all going on. It's so


sculptural. How many hundreds of years old would that tree be? I


think it's probably 100 years. It's very hard to tell. It's such a


beautiful character the tree. I'll be keeping my eye open for the right


tree and each one is like a piece of sculpture I think. It is. It is


architectural, it's beautiful. In our London garden, the garden is set


up as a Mediterranean garden with bright orange walls and pots and


herbs. I think an ancient olive would probably be a good accent. I


love the way you have contrasted with the silver green with the under


planting because you have Marguerite and Salvias. That's right. The


under-planting is important to create a setting for theologiley and


you can do this in your garden as well. The olive will need large


planters. There are plenty of opportunities to under-plant.


Because it's a dry zone plant, we have used Mediterranean plants like


the culinary herbs and there's culinary sage down there and the


ornamental sage we have used. The Marguerite love it dry and it's a


perfect environment for those. This is a very good, dry grass called


Prairie Fire. We are talking about the dry climate the whole time. It


will probably rain for the rest of the year! We have to say


congratulations. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Yes. I


mean, that is your third? Third, yes. I'm very pleased. They're still


hard-won, you work very hard at it.iful to think carefully how you


are going to present your ideas and we are thrilled -- you have to think


carefully. Monty and Joe will be back tonight.


They'll be looking at the Best Show Garden coveted award. That is it


from us, see you tomorrow. Bye.


It is medals day - Nicki Chapman and James Wong join judges at the crack of dawn to discover who has won what. Carol Klein continues looking at plants of the world, focusing on Asia, while Anneka Rice reveals her gardening prowess.

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