Episode 9 RHS Chelsea Flower Show


Episode 9

Nicki Chapman and James Wong celebrate the small show gardens, while Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame and Simon Lycett offer practical gardening and floristry advice.


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Transcript


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My legs have gone wobbly. All the gardens are judged on their merit so

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in theory everybody has the chance to leave with gold. This year the

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word two golds, two silvers and one bronze awarded. In the art design

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category there were six golds, one silver gold and two silvers. How do

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you think overall the small gardens that? It has been incredible, the

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sheer amount. The judges have not lowered their standards. The

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standard of the gardens has been really good. The thing about small

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gardens, a lot of people do not realise they can be more difficult

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to design. If you are awarded and awarded is exactly the same

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standards as the big show gardens. I love them. I relate to this space.

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My garden is smaller than this. When the public are walking around they

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love the small gardens. One of the things I find really useful is it is

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about not putting too many things. How do you get a valance of packing

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a lot into a small place but not being messy? It is a corridor for

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wildlife of the same time. There is so much there. Playing with the

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vertical plane. This cannot forget the Artisans. Beautifully done.

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Although the plot is the same size they are being allowed to breathe. I

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just sat after the public had left and waited and admired how

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spectacular it is. They might be smaller but they are perfectly

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formed. One small garden that has been turning heads is the Artisans

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gardens. I caught up with the man behind this historic design. There

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must be certain challenges when it comes to designing a garden with

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such a heartfelt message, such a sensitive subject. Yes. The

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commission of the marvellous commission who'd turned over 1.7

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million graves and memorials of foreign soldiers in the Second World

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War and over 154 countries, each huge honour to visit some of the

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sites I visit the craftsmen and pull something together that embodies the

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character of the commission and hard work they do. You went visiting to

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get your research to create this garden. Yes, I travelled about a lot

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to the battlefields. I have some of the bricks that have been built into

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the garden. I went to a cemetery with over 12,000 graves. It was so

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overwhelming the enormity of everything and so deeply moving. I

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also followed the footsteps of my grandfather who fought in the First

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World War, shot through the soldier, he was the signalman so as soon as

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the arm went up they were easy targets. There is a real personal

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connection as well. Yes, as with many people in Britain. I have taken

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some of the elements into the paving we have. Recycle Portland stone. The

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railings around the outside were created by the blacksmiths. Every

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leaf around here as a little number on the back. This is 22 of 154. 154

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countries. They are so subtle, the planting around them is so beautiful

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they do not dominate but the more you study the more you see. Yes. I

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wanted a significant entrance into the garden to celebrate the

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centenary but I needed the large trees, the giant Japanese maples, to

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give that shape. With foxgloves and a mixture of other wistful plantings

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combined with others it is that soft fluid movement of colours that said

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a tranquil place that is very deserving for this style of garden.

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Unsung heroes. There are a lot of them. This one is one of my

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favourites. We have that lovely otters series of flowers, very

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underestimated plant. Just part of the beauty of the garden. It feels

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incredibly peaceful and it has such a significant message. You were

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awarded a silver medal. But that, as a surprise? Not at all. This is my

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30th sure garden. You either follow the message from the garden or you

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choose the middle and with the Commonwealth war grave I wanted to

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load of much of the commission and as possible. This huge wreath at the

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front is perfect for the commission, perhaps not so much for the judges,

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but so much hard work goes on to the commission taking care of the

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gravestones. We are delighted with the meadowland their message. David

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is one of the many designers this year attempting to pull off an

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incredibly ambitious design. The challenge included bringing a 26

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foot quarry to Chelsea this year. He is clearly not frightened of taking

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on crazy ideas but we wanted to find out what makes him tick.

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My name is James. I would say I was erratic, instinctive and natural. I

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did not choose to work in garden design. Garden design almost chose

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me. Once I got involved in it I took to it like a duck to water. I am not

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a born gardener but I am a born appreciator of gardens and

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landscapes. My top tip for garden designers to look and study nature

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because by studying nature you really understand how plants

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involved and how they work together and how the hard and soft in the

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natural world work. Did you always know you were going to be designer

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from childhood? No. I started by climbing trees, enjoying landscape.

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I was really into painting, loved painting landscape, and I fell on my

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feet later in life by calling somebody and I got on a Greenwich

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garden design course. I figured I better do something with my life. I

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just excelled at it. Did really well. The first time I ever excelled

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in my life. It was meant to be. We know you travel extensively for

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researcher and inspiration. Is there someone you have been to recently or

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you are looking forward to going to thinking that could make a great

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concept? We were in Sicily and at Mount Etna there is an extraordinary

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range of species that only grow there. It is the next kind of

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eggshell going on. Do you know in your heart is there that excitement?

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When you saw it, that idea, did you think, this is it? Or do you have

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four or five different projects on the go? As soon as it gets me it

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fills my head and I have to get out. How many times will you go back to

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that area to focus on the design? We do not know where we will be back

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but it is something I will spend at least two months walking and talking

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and meeting the craftsmen and studying the plants and talking to

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the botanists and you have to grow for at least two years to make a

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good garden. It is long-term in the planning. Yes, to make something

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special. I would love to get inside your head and see what we are going

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to see in four years. It is formulating. You are having a

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fantastic Chelsea this year. All week we have been celebrating the

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international stage that is Chelsea, taking it up close and personal to

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plants we have grown to love and we think of as our own. Today we are

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focusing on European bedding fellows. This takes its name from

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the Greek for God and flour. Divine flour, that is exactly what it is.

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Most of the descendants of the pinks we grow in our gardens today from

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Europe. There is a theory that some of them came to this country with

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the Normans. Who used to bring over their own stone to build their

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castles. They need excellent drainage and love to be baked in

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full sun. That makes them superb subjects for rock gardens, troughs,

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even the age of our release only well-drained border. Many of us have

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fun childhood memories of these. Almost certainly the first thing

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that comes to mind is those delicious fragrance. It is time for

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are viable. Sweet peas are amongst our most popular garden plants.

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Everybody loves them. They have not always been here. It was in about

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1697 when a Sicilian monk sense leads to a friend in England. He

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grew them on. They were very similar in flower to this variety and lots

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grow nowadays. One of the reasons they are so popular is they are so

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easy to grow and give you such good results.

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You can sew your seed in autumn and overwinter them or first thing in

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the screen Lily spring, outside or in pots. It's a rapid climb. Within

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months, they will be climbing up those poles, loaded with bugs, and

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you will have flowers from Midsummer right the way through. -- loaded

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with buds. Herbs are vitally important to lots

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of us but, -- both in our kitchens and our gardens. Most of us grow a

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few herbs somewhere and I suppose we assume they come from this country.

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In fact, the majority of our herbs are brought into Britain thousands

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of years ago. Take parsley, the most commonly grown herb of all. It was

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brought over by the Romans. It is from the south of France and all

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around the Mediterranean sea. And French tarragon. It has a lovely,

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pungent aroma. There has been so much discussion about Europe in

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recent times, but one thing is for certain. The plants that that

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continent has given us are going to be in our gardens and stay in our

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hearts forever. One hugely familiar plant, both here at home and all

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over Europe, is the foxglove. I had the pleasure of meeting up with

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Terry baker at his botanic nursery in Wiltshire to study the genius at

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close hand. I don't think I've ever been to a nursery like this. You

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feel as though you are in the middle of the countryside. We are. This is

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near the Cotswolds and the wildlife has moved in. We have a population

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of hedgehogs, rabbits and all sorts of things. We live and let live. I

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always had you down as a shrub man. That is why the fox clubs came into

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it what grows better with shrubs is foxgloves. All around your nursery,

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this mound here. Which one is it? This is vestigiana with a gorgeous

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honey scent. This is one of how many foxgloves you grow? We have about 35

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different named salts. Is there any call for the straightforward ones?

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It's essential. It has all of the refined elegance of the wild plant.

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What a great idea, putting them all in a line so you can really see. We

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had a thing called foxglove week, and all of the people who study them

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in the country, and compared them. They come to compare one with

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another. They are all different forms, all different subtly from one

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another. That one is quite different. That is called candy

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mountain, and the Florette or point upwards. -- the florets all point

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upwards. Essentially, age of woodland or hedgerow plants, aren't

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they? , Yes, they like that layer of humour is tend to get. We can

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replicate that with getting some moss to create a nice moist level.

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In white foxgloves, there is no trace of the purple on the stems

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believes. To create a mini Sissinghurst in your garden... The

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white garden? Yes, the best way is to look through your seedlings and

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see how they are colouring up. I have a couple, you see this one? No

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marking of purple on it. That's going to go in with the white group.

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That is just a purple. It's plain to see, and I'll tell you what, I've

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always felt that white foxgloves have softer leaves, too.

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I could see viz a mile off, this beautiful white foxglove weaving

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across the pavilion. Yes, looking particularly good this year. This is

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this kind of foxglove. The normal sort of foxglove whiskey in the

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countryside. I bet you get asked frequently about biannual foxgloves

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and how you cope with that. A biennial plant, particularly in the

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world of foxgloves, produces all of its energy to create a sort of

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rosette in the first year and in the second year that energy is

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translated into flowering and seeding, so masses of seeds, masses

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of flowers, and all the baby plants will colonise your garden. When the

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seeds sector, your plant dies, so you need to sew them the consecutive

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year. If you're starting a new garden and he would foxgloves in a

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border, the best thing is to have a few small plants, to grow some

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others from seed, and once you have a colony built up, they will start

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to flower every year. You forgotten without foxgloves. -- you can't have

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a garden without foxgloves. Yes, the Chelsea Flower Show revolves around

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them and irises. You have a brand-new foxglove. Come and see.

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There it is. Lemon cello. A roll of drums! It really is yellow, isn't

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it? Yes, and outside in natural light it even more yellow. How many

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are there? Only three flowering plants in the whole country. I think

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it has a great future. You will see a lot of it in the next few years at

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Chelsea. How have you done this year was to mark we got a silver guilt. A

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bit disappointed. Apparently the Pini leaves were a bit dusty. I

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think the standard looks superb, and I'm sure every expert in the country

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would agree. They have been in raptures. I love a foxglove but, for

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me personally, what makes them great is the way they can lift a shady

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area, giving you a dash of colour when you need it the most. And you

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guys apparently do as well, because I have some questions. My favourite

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is from Edward Lloyd Davis, who sent in a spectacular picture of a really

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unusual shaped foxglove. Instead of being shaped like a glove, it is

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upturned like a saucer. He asked me what creates the shape and whether

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the seed can be passed on. It comes from you take themselves caused by

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cold damage, maybe bacterial infection, and they can't be passed

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on foxgloves or there would be a named variety. All week, Rachel de

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Thame is focused on plant recipes that work for particular garden

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conditions. Today, she is focusing on plants like the foxglove which

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work particularly well in the shade. Most of us have areas of trade in

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our gardens, but far from being a problem, I think it's an opportunity

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to grow some of the most beautiful plants. They may not always be the

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chilliest, and foliage plays a large part. In this little corner, we have

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got some beauties. This one at the back, it's a creeping evergreen

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perennial, so you have got these lovely leaves, very niche,

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well-behaved look above ground, and they create little patches that will

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mingle among the other plants. It's quite useful to have plants which

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you might consider rampant in a shady area, because it will subdue

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their growing habit and make them behave a bit more. These are

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well-known plants for shady conditions, but some will actually

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take quite a bit of sun as well. I think this is particularly useful

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because it has a pale colour along the centre of the leaf, and that's

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reflective so it will make the most of low light levels and give a bit

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of shimmer. These give you both foliage interest and very pretty

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flowers. This one is in a lovely rich green, but they come in a

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spectrum of trades, -- of shades, through to dark purple. I love the

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flowers, airy, and they have a bit of sparkle to them. And I also

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particularly love one of our British favourites, lily of the valley, just

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down at the front, you get the fragrance, beautiful nodding flowers

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and strap like leaves, they are even more useful because they will take

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quite a lot of dry shade, so you can put them further under an evergreen

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tree, where not much light and moisture can penetrate.

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If by any chance you don't have any shade in your garden, you might want

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to plant a couple of trees so you can enjoy plants like this, because

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it isn't always the ones which shout the loudest. Sometimes it is the

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ones that whisper that you want to pay attention to.

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I'm joined now by singer, songwriter and radio DJ Cerys Matthews. Welcome

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to Chelsea, but you were here earlier in the week. I like to come

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if I can. I think it's so inspiring. It's the place to come if you like

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gardening. Weight you think that burst of inspiration came from? As a

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child my garden was jam-packed full of garden plants and I used to like

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cutting and throwing them at all the rest of it. I've always been

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fascinated by the natural world and how small seeds can produce huge oak

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trees. I am never not amazed by what nature can do and my friends perhaps

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were thinking, because it was the 80s, roller-skates, all of that,

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oops and plastic and all of that, and bands, Duran Duran, ABC and the

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rest of it. I was more like, you can have the labels. I want to go out

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foraging. I had a book called Wild Food by Roger Phillips, an expert,

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and to me we have the value of the natural world around us, and it is

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far more precious than anything you can buy. Has that carried on? Are

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you trying to inspire your family to appreciate what we have around us?

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I'd like to, just roly-poly and down the hill, things which we make

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memories from. My youngest is now seven and we live in London and we

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don't have a garden, so I downsized from a bigger house to a much

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smaller house so we didn't have to move out of the area to get a

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garden, so that I could plant potatoes with them. He loves it. He

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is one of those old school children that comes home with sticks and

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stones in his pocket. It's important to me. -- old school children. There

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is nobody out there advertising saying that the value of nature is

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this. They have got a profit to make from their products. So as parents

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we have to remind children... Especially now. Because we have

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drifted to the suburbs for work. So you have downsized to have a garden

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and that time with your family in it. I also started the Good Life

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experience, to help families reconnect the landscape and use

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their hands, to get dirty, to make a bow and arrows, to light fires, to

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climb trees, all the that I feel are more valuable than we imagine in

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this crazy, chaotic modern world. The life that you had in Wales, you

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want them to have even though they are living in the city. What we

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liked as children, your parents or whoever brings you up once you to

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have an outside experience, the fresh air, the connection with

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nature, and it's harder than ever now to do that with all of our

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gadgets, and we've all moved to the city, so you have to make a point of

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doing it. It's beautiful. Let's talk about Chelsea. You have an

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opportunity to find out anything you are struggling with with your

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garden. What are you looking for today? I am going straight to the

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potato store because I love all of these varieties. I like edible and I

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love Anneka Rice on Radio 2. At home in my tiny cottage garden in London,

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I think I am killing my roses. You are in the right place.

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Professionals will be helping you. I'm going to send you proud to have

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a wander and hopefully get some good answers. Thank you very much. As we

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continue to celebrate the beautifully bijou small gardens at

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Chelsea this year, award-winning designer Toby Buckland is taking a

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look at the much talked about poetry garden.

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Of all the artisan designs, the poetry lovers garden by Fiona

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Cadwallader is the one that caught my eye. It has an ethereal quality

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and it seems to glow from within. That's because she has been very

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clever with the space and broken away from the usual trick of having

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a feature or a shed in one corner, path leading up to it and borders

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either side. She has kept the centre of her garden open, which makes it

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light and airy, and it has the effect of pushing the borders back

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to the edges, which makes the garden seem bigger. Table top lines

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creating dappled shade and the feel of the garden is lovely,

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particularly because of the water feature bouncing back into it. That

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brings me to this chair. It is a thing of beauty, and Fiona decided

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herself. It's the kind of thing you'd love, but you'd end up living

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with it, if you know what I mean. This sort of thing is always in the

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way. I think that's what the judges thought about the garden, maybe a

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bit too full, and that's why it got a silver medal and not gold that

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Fiona coveted. But the planting is joyous. In the cottage style, which

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is something that I love. The borders are chock full of plants,

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and I think the shakers summed it up when they said beauty through

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utility. Everything is gorgeous to look at but it also has a use,

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whether it is the glass which you see when you look out of the window

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is moving around, to the plants which the bees work, or parsley and

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broad beans for the kitchen. The other thing I like that Fiona has

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done is she has elevated the garden so it's like the stage of a theatre.

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It might not be the judges' favourite but, gosh, don't the

:31:28.:31:32.

crowds love it. Do you like it? Yes! Says it all!

:31:33.:31:41.

Chelsea Flower Show is also about flourish. And about arranging

:31:42.:31:54.

flowers beautifully. I am delighted to be joined by a florist to the

:31:55.:32:00.

stars. We can bring you the best florist tree highlights from the

:32:01.:32:04.

showground. We are standing by this impressive display, celebrating

:32:05.:32:12.

what? 100 years of the British florist association who give out the

:32:13.:32:15.

kite mark of approval to florists and this has been created by a

:32:16.:32:21.

college in Warwickshire. But Hind is the backdrop of imagery of forestry

:32:22.:32:25.

from the past 100 years and they have used an incredible assortment

:32:26.:32:31.

of fabulous flowers. The idea is that your eyes cast through to hear

:32:32.:32:36.

which is the competition run in association with the RHS of Chelsea

:32:37.:32:40.

florist of the year. This is all about celebration but here we have

:32:41.:32:44.

cutting-edge forestry. This is the future. This is an incredible

:32:45.:32:55.

display. Look at the top of that one, a dragon. It has humour. What

:32:56.:33:01.

was the theme? Summer skies. They had to create a kite out of flowers.

:33:02.:33:09.

At their very strict rules and regulations when you go into a

:33:10.:33:14.

competition? Very many, two thirds of it must be made of living natural

:33:15.:33:18.

plant material. You have to be strict with what you are using. This

:33:19.:33:26.

won RHS Chelsea florist of the year. It is stunning. How much work would

:33:27.:33:43.

go into that? These are like fine Julie, it has taken over 600 hours

:33:44.:33:48.

to create so you're never going to be able to make it commercially. We

:33:49.:33:53.

are in the best flower show in the world. Every florist strives for a

:33:54.:34:02.

seagull medal. Is it opens all a Jesus? -- open to all ages? How

:34:03.:34:04.

important is it to encourage young people to get involved? It is about

:34:05.:34:12.

nurturing new talent. Imagine a 16-year-old with a Chelsea gold

:34:13.:34:16.

medal. Wonderful. Time for something completely different. Taxi for two.

:34:17.:34:30.

This is right up my street. Fun forestry. They are great. I always

:34:31.:34:46.

think of Thailand's. The schedule was to create a vibrant street theme

:34:47.:34:55.

and they have done it. Who designed all of this? These are designed by

:34:56.:35:02.

all of the colleges so it is your one through to the most senior so

:35:03.:35:08.

everybody gets a crack of the whip. How important is it that have humour

:35:09.:35:12.

and fun in your floral design? Essential. Flowers knock the rough

:35:13.:35:22.

edges off of life. Our class of 2016 garden designers are big believers

:35:23.:35:25.

in putting flowers centre stage. Looking at what makes designers

:35:26.:35:38.

take, we can reveal floral passions. This is my garden, 500 years of

:35:39.:35:46.

Covent Garden. The three words I would use to describe myself would

:35:47.:35:49.

be passionate, enthusiastic and creative. I chose to work in garden

:35:50.:35:57.

design because I find it was a great way to express my creativity. I am

:35:58.:36:01.

not very good at drawing ironically but moving plants and furniture

:36:02.:36:04.

around a load me to express something inside. My earliest memory

:36:05.:36:11.

of gardening is when I was about four, planting potatoes and my

:36:12.:36:15.

grandad's garden and he was the person who inspired me. My favourite

:36:16.:36:23.

I always have by my side because you never know when you are to remove

:36:24.:36:29.

dead heads. My top tip is to use a focal point at the end of the stuff.

:36:30.:36:39.

This is perfectly aligned by a window or door. What is it like

:36:40.:36:42.

being at main avenue for the first time? Is there something you have

:36:43.:36:49.

also wanted to do? Yes. It is an ambition of mine to come to Chelsea

:36:50.:36:56.

and three years ago I managed to do that. It feels very grown-up. The

:36:57.:37:00.

pressure is insane. I am here and the public and enjoying what we are

:37:01.:37:04.

doing so I am happy. I remembered your artisan gardens at the back.

:37:05.:37:10.

How nervous are you? You're about to do another flower show in a couple

:37:11.:37:15.

of days. Yes. Sleep deprivation is one of the big things and when you

:37:16.:37:19.

get to finish this sure you are talking to the public and you want

:37:20.:37:22.

to be enjoying this time but also thinking about Chatsworth next week.

:37:23.:37:28.

Also installing this and the Covent Garden so my brain is everywhere.

:37:29.:37:34.

How important is it to be able to coordinate this? These shores are

:37:35.:37:39.

built by people, you have the team of logistics. I have had an amazing

:37:40.:37:44.

team behind me including the planting people and specifically the

:37:45.:37:48.

people who built it and they never get recognised, it is all about the

:37:49.:37:55.

designer on this kind of show. The main contractor John is absolutely

:37:56.:37:57.

amazing and he can take that vision from my head and turn it into a

:37:58.:38:03.

reality. It is a 50-50 partnership and without them the public could

:38:04.:38:07.

not sit and enjoy this. Showing them a picture is different from nursing

:38:08.:38:13.

them in this space. The hand of the artist creating it, an abstract idea

:38:14.:38:17.

and without contractors knowing their staff, there is nothing worse

:38:18.:38:22.

than the designer seeing that is not what I designed. The process has

:38:23.:38:27.

been refined and it is amazing. It amazes me how we picture you conjure

:38:28.:38:33.

up can become a real thing. That process you go through of drawings

:38:34.:38:37.

and communication and logistically bringing together never ceases to

:38:38.:38:43.

amaze me. A living breathing landscape. The contractors deserve

:38:44.:38:47.

so much more credit than they necessarily get. They are such

:38:48.:38:54.

superheroes. They are. We met up with careless Matthews who wanted to

:38:55.:39:00.

know how to feed her roses. -- Cerys. Just the smell of roses has

:39:01.:39:09.

this ability to turn the clock back seven or eight and I am in my

:39:10.:39:16.

grandma's garden in Swansea. We used to take off the pedals and put them

:39:17.:39:21.

in the water and try to make, not very good perfume but it was for the

:39:22.:39:26.

family. A lot of us are looking for nostalgia. Roses do it for me every

:39:27.:39:30.

time. Not just a pretty face. Gorgeous.

:39:31.:39:48.

I love this because you get the scent of roses. I live in the middle

:39:49.:40:00.

of London and I have an in formal effect. I have a lot of barbecues

:40:01.:40:07.

and end up with a lot of ash. I have been putting my meat on the roses.

:40:08.:40:15.

Is that a problem? It is not advisable to put a lot. It is high

:40:16.:40:30.

phosphate that is the worst. It locks in the nutrients and the

:40:31.:40:34.

plants cannot get it and the growth stunted and do not look healthy.

:40:35.:40:38.

What should I do? Put on a little bit of start a compost tea. Most of

:40:39.:40:48.

it you probably need to get rid of. You have inspired me. Like you.

:40:49.:40:52.

I love it when a plan comes together. She has gone away happy.

:40:53.:40:58.

Earlier this week the judges announced this year's prestigious

:40:59.:41:02.

Best show garden award. Did you agree with their decision? They may

:41:03.:41:07.

be judge and jury with the medals but you have your voice and we want

:41:08.:41:14.

to hear it as you can cast your vote in the People's choice award. Here

:41:15.:41:19.

is a reminder of the beautiful gardens in contention for the big

:41:20.:41:21.

award. I think it is going to be very

:41:22.:42:31.

interesting this year. When I look at a garden it has to be taken away

:42:32.:42:35.

or take home. Something I can rip the kids or have the old garden. The

:42:36.:42:42.

judge criteria is almost the exact opposite and I think that is why the

:42:43.:42:47.

results are sometimes different. They have to be objective. Does the

:42:48.:42:52.

garden meet the brief? For me it is about emotion, beautiful planting,

:42:53.:42:57.

passion, that is what I want in a garden. We are going to have to wait

:42:58.:43:04.

and see. Absolutely. All of the designers would love to win this

:43:05.:43:09.

award. There's nothing quite like getting the recognition of the great

:43:10.:43:12.

British public. Get online and vote for your favourite show garden.

:43:13.:43:20.

There is more information online about the contenders. Remember the

:43:21.:43:29.

one will be announced by Joel and Sophie on BBC One tomorrow evening.

:43:30.:43:37.

We are back tonight at 8pm on BBC Two with action from a busy day at

:43:38.:43:47.

Chelsea. As the cherry on the cake they will be giving you a delicious

:43:48.:43:51.

tour of me rebury's garden. See you tomorrow. -- Mary Berry's.

:43:52.:44:11.

We've made great strides tackling HIV.

:44:12.:44:13.

Imagine if we could create a movement

:44:14.:44:16.

Nicki Chapman and James Wong celebrate the small show gardens and meet some of the medal-winning designers. Carol Klein, Rachel de Thame and Simon Lycett offer practical gardening and floristry advice from around the showground.


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