Celebrating Scottish gardens. Jim works on the main lawn to help it cope with erratic weather conditions, while Carole helps Drumblade Primary clear the weeds from its sandpit.
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Well, hello, there and welcome to Beechgrove.
It's a dry day, there's a lot of work to be done on the lawn
and I've set it out, hopefully, to make it perfectly clear what's happening.
It's scarifying the grass at this time of the year and there's lots of machines available.
You can use the old rake if you really feel the waistline needs it.
But you could use a little power scarifier like that -
that's a cracker for big lawns.
I actually use one the same as the wee electric-powered one.
It really tears the thatch out. Then you've got it to pick up.
If it's a big lawn, this might be a bit tiresome!
So that's what I've been doing with the rotary motor.
It picks it up - makes an absolutely superb job - just look at that!
And all of that can go in the compost heap.
But as I keep telling you, not all at one time.
That will make great compost added in - it's nice and sappy.
It helps other things to break down.
So, that's week one, you'll be scarifying.
You might need to mow in-between times.
The next job is to put on the autumn fertiliser,
which is lower in nitrogen than normal,
because it's not grass growth we're looking for, it's winter hardiness.
It's got a dollop of phosphate and potash.
Measure it out and then make sure that you don't get halfway down and finish the whole lot.
The next process is not one that people get down to very often.
But you hear about it.
It's hollow tine spiking.
You can see these little cores.
This is the machine we use for it at home - see how they bounce out.
What you're doing
is you're digging a hole that depth, right?
You're relieving the compaction.
And every now and again you've got to clean these out,
but they are easy to do if you just happen to have a six inch nail in your pocket, as I always do.
Get that there and just every now and again open it up.
You see how they slide out - like so.
That's relieving your compaction.
If you leave it just like that, not a major problem
because you'll improve the drainage from the surface.
But what I like to do, of course, is to get some compost.
You get some top dressing
and you spread it on the top like so.
Spread it on the top like so.
You're putting on two or three kilos to the square metre.
And when that's done, you then use the back of the rake,
work it back and forward, and it'll disappear.
It's going down these holes that you've created.
Holding them open, but they're not compacted, so the water gets away.
And in the process, you can perhaps leave a little behind in the top.
You're truing up the surface, so that you get a much cleaner cut next time.
So, that's your work cut out for the next month.
Meanwhile, in the rest of the programme...
The summer holidays are over and I am back to school,
and there's some serious work to be done. Whoo-hoo!
And isn't this a fascinating shape or puzzle?
The significance of which will be revealed later.
Oh, there's one!
Well, to create a garden that just involves one colour flower if actually quite a challenge.
It's also very sophisticated.
And the white garden here behind the conservatory has worked extremely well.
This white echinacea is looking gorgeous and we've even got white strawberries
and they taste lovely.
The phlox here in the corner is shouting out.
The white flowers have a very crisp, fresh look.
And, of course, it looks lovely in moonlight.
What I want to do now is add to the flowers that we have by putting in spring flowering bulbs.
And I've chosen all white varieties.
So, first of all, I've got the little Scilla siberica "Alba".
Now this one actually only gets to six inches.
I'm going to pop it here where the seeding is because, in spring, when this is flowering,
the seeding would just be tiny little rosettes in the ground
and the scilla will be tall enough to be shown.
Then we've got the Crocus "Snowbunting" -
pure white with the lemon middle.
And then getting into some tulips.
This is Tres Chic, it's a lily-flowered one
which means the petals point outwards.
And the thing is with bulbs, they are absolutely guaranteeing you success -
certainly for the first year - cos the flower is already in there waiting to come out.
In a bag like this, I'm not just going to plant them in rows,
what I'm going to do to get a nice, natural look
is just toss them in the area where I want them and then I'm going to plant them where they land.
And you get a much more natural flow of the flowers.
Next one is Thalia,
this again is a white narcissus. And the same story -
I'm going to broadcast this around the stachys and the lily here.
Now, although I've said this is a white garden,
not everything's white - this here just adds a little bit of a highlight.
And then, isn't this just gorgeous?
Little Clematis "Alba Luxurians" on the wall there, silvery blue, very, very pretty.
And then this sulphury yellow Achillea as well,
just adds to that nice, soft pastel pallet.
More white going on here - Muscari "White Magic" - which is a very attractive little one.
Only gets to about six inches. This is unusual.
This is an autumn flowering bulb.
This is a colchicum. It's the white one.
Mount Tacoma is a white tulip which I've used in the cutting garden very successfully - beautiful!
Double white. And then, the Narcissus "Pheasant's Eye".
Now the advantage of this one is, it's fragrant,
so I'm planting it close to the path in the sitting area
to get that nice fragrance wafting over - if it was warm enough in March and April to be sitting out.
Critical thing with bulbs - how deep do we plant them?
I've dug a hole here to show you. Here's one of the Pheasant's Eye.
I want to make sure I have twice the size of that bulb on top of it.
So, if it's a two inch bulb, I'm planting it at the bottom of a six inch hole. So, it's like that.
The other thing I'm adding is bonemeal to help the bulbs getting away.
It's a good fertiliser to use in the autumn.
And then, finally, another little patch of the Crocus "Snow Bunting" here at the front.
In amongst this dianthus, it'll look so pretty coming through the blue foliage.
When I'm planting smaller bulbs, I'm just going to use a trowel
and make sure I get them nicely liberally sprinkled amongst the dianthus.
Now we've also got a collection of bulb planters.
They're various shapes and sizes.
Some look like instruments of torture. And the gardeners are going to be trying those out
over the next couple of weeks and we'll let you know how we get on
with the bulb planting - not the torturing.
This week, I'm at Drumblade School, just outside Huntly in Aberdeenshire.
The school has a very active eco committee - made up of children from primaries one to seven.
In the six years it's been running, they've earned their green flag.
But, as with all gardens, there's still more to be done.
Fiona Nicolson, as the head teacher, this is a wonderful setting.
It is on a glorious day like this.
-And you're really active with gardening?
-Yes, we are.
They're very keen and they say, "Can we go and do this?" And they do it.
They like being outside...
They love it! It's outdoor learning, active learning, so...
-Very much so.
-And it's fun for them.
-That's brilliant. Now, what about the problem corner itself?
-A few years ago we did clear it out
and put in what we thought was plants, but obviously it's not working.
There's weeds in it. We're not sure.
We'd like it to be bird friendly, bee friendly, but we're not sure what plants to put in.
-Basically we want plants to encourage the wildlife?
-I think we should go and get the children and start.
-A good idea.
Let's see what they're doing, then.
-So, is this the problem corner?
-What did it used to be?
It used to be a sandpit.
And then it got planted. Do you think it's rather overgrown?
-It is a bit, isn't it?
I mean, do you recognise any of these plants?
-There's rosebay willowherb.
-Yeah, rosebay willowherb, which is a real pest, isn't it?
We certainly need to get rid of that.
-Now I understand from Mrs Nicolson, that you do quite a bit of recycling.
-So, do you want to try and recycle some of these plants?
And I can point out one or two.
This one here, I think it's rather pretty. Ajuga here.
We can lift some of that and some of you can maybe
do some potting with that one. I think what we need to do is save one or two - like the conifers.
-Do you know the two ones that are really evergreen?
-Why do you think we want to keep those?
-They're too hard to take out!
Well, they probably are too hard to take out.
-But also you want to encourage the birds, don't you?
There's going to be somewhere for them to hide and somewhere for them to maybe nest.
So, what we're going to do is,
I know you've got lots of forks and trowels and things like that.
Some of us are going to have to start lifting these and then some of you can do some potting.
Right, come on, then!
-Which is a trowel, which is a fork?
-This one's a trowel.
-OK, there you go!
This can be potted and saved.
-What just happened there?
-Oh, wow, look at that!
This is great. We've got a potting bench outside.
-Aren't we lucky with the weather?
-Yeah, it's good.
-Have any of you done any potting before?
-So, Nicola you have.
-Ashleigh you have.
Sort of, Joshua. OK, well, that gives me a reason for doing a little bit of a demonstration.
So, here's the ajuga that you lifted from the bed.
And I've got to find a pot that's roughly about the right size for that.
OK? Then what we've got to do, we've got some nice compost here.
Put a bit of compost in the bottom...
And then we can put the plant in.
And then what you've got to do is put a little bit of compost around the side.
And then it's important with your fingers and thumbs...
All right? With your fingers and thumbs, we just press it down.
Give it a tap...and that's it.
This is one of our beds where we grow vegetables.
We grow peas and carrots in this one.
-They look really healthy, don't they?
They look tasty.
And why do we have the net?
-To keep cats out.
-OK, I think we'd better put it back, hadn't we?
This is the willow tunnel.
We had it put up about eight years ago
-and the pupils designed the shape.
-It's a lovely shape,
-but what happens to the rods when they're trimmed?
-They get made into willow baskets
and are taken to people's homes to make their own willow tunnel.
-And you make money with that?
-That's really great.
-Can we go down the tunnel?
We're cleared the bed and we've discovered that the soil is very sandy, free draining.
So, what we need to do is add some organic matter.
That's going to help to retain the moisture.
And at the same time, while we're forking that in,
we've added some bonemeal to help with the nutrition of the plants.
So, are you going to help me place these? You want that one?
Let's put it over there.
Could this go in the corner?
Yeah, in the corner, there.
What about the one down at the end and we'll get one at each end?
Hang on a minute!
What do you think these are for?
-For the birds?
-For the birds!
Well, I think this looks really nice.
-Do you think it looks good?
Yeah? We've got such a range of plants.
And some of them, for example, like see the sedums here, you see
that green one? It's quite succulent, they're late flowering.
They're flowering now, they'll flower in the autumn time.
That's good for the bees and the butterflies.
And there's a little arabis.
They're spring flowering and then we're got a potentilla there
that will flower right through the summer.
And then I've also thought about the birds, haven't I?
You know, with the water there and the bird feeder, and we could put a few more things in.
I'll tell you what you could do in a few weeks' time is,
you can go to the garden centres and buy some bulbs.
But what I'd like you to do there is make sure you buy things that don't grow too tall.
-So, have you had a good day?
Wow, that's brilliant!
Well, we're on one of my favourite topics -
propagation of plants - and it's going to cost you nothing
because this is the time of year you can collect seeds around the garden.
And we've got five different types of seeds you can collect,
starting off with the grasses or the grass ears.
Then you move on to this one here, the astrantia - that's the naked seeds.
In other words, they're not protected at all.
This one is the pods or capsules, that's an aquilegia.
And then this last one here is the winged seeds - pulsatilla.
That's four there, but there's another group and that's the fleshy berries.
This is a beautiful plant, isn't it?
A dwarf rowan with pink berries.
And the three of us are going to look at different types of propagation,
and I've chosen the fleshy seeds.
I've done a bit of collection around my own garden
and I've got Viburnum opulus with the yellow-red berries.
And then Rosa moyesii. Look at the hips on those,
And another rowan - this one is cashmiriana - white berries.
The great thing about the white berries is the birds don't seem to hone into these. Quite a fiddly job.
If you've got a lot of fleshy berries,
I suggest you get yourself a garden sieve and you can mash them up in that.
What I prefer to do is, when I'm only collecting just a few,
just squash them between your fingers and thumb
and then we start to expose the seeds themselves.
And once I've done that, what we need to do then,
is wash them - use the sieve again - and it starts to expose them.
I would then leave them in the water for 24 hours
because then they start to soak up the moisture and the ones that sink to the bottom are the viable ones.
And then what you do is, you get some compost in a pot, sow them,
put a little bit of gravel on top, and either into a cold frame
or simply plunge them into beds outside.
That's exactly what I did at home with this rowan here.
That's two years on so you need a little bit of patience.
But there, I've ended up with eight seedlings - that's going to be eight trees for nothing.
All the chat at the moment is about seed saving,
and I'm busy collecting some tomato seeds.
Let's go back to basics a bit.
Most things in the garden producing seeds, if you save the seeds,
it will come true next year when you sow it.
you would expect the seeds of that species to come out the same.
You get a bit of variation now and again.
That's what makes the world go round.
Now, what about these tomatoes I've got?
Well, this is the variety Shirley.
And Shirley is referred to as an F1 hybrid,
which is the first filial generation
from crossing two of these straight-breeding lines.
And that cross has to be made every time to create Shirley,
because if you save the seed from Shirley and sow it again,
you are into the second filial generation.
And you can get all sorts, because the genes start to sort themselves out,
so you finish up and it's got granny's colour of eyes
and father's kind of nose, and so on and so forth.
This is how we do the tomatoes.
We have some water added and we just leave that in a room,
give it a shake every now and again and after two or three days,
it will start to ferment so you can pour off the gunge stuff,
add a little more water and keep on doing that,
and eventually, the good seeds will drop to the bottom
and that dud seats will float to the top
and then you can take the good seeds out, through a strainer,
put them on paper, get them dried, onto a saucer
or something like that to dry out, and give them a stir now and again
so they don't stick together and then you have got something different for next time.
Well, the garden is full of seeds at the moment and capsules,
but what is it worth collecting?
Well, first, something that will come true from seed,
that is a plant which is a species,
so I have picked the Primula florindae.
You could sow that now, but I would prefer to wait
until next spring, so I shall be popping this in marked envelopes and sowing it in the spring.
Other things that come true from seed are some annuals. This is the wild flower cornflower.
The seeds are already dropping out like little white shaving brushes,
but I would pop that into a packet and save it until the spring.
Limnanthes, or Poached Egg Plant, very good for hoverflies.
It is already starting to pop the little capsules
and it's very difficult to eradicate once you've got it.
There's also heritage varieties of peas, purple podded peas,
and it will come true from the seed I'm saving.
Then you can have a bit of fun,
there are lots of hybrids that if you sow the seeds
you don't know what you'll get, but it might not matter.
For instance, the sunflower, covered in these beautiful black seeds.
This is Little Dorrit.
If I sow these I'm not going to get a dwarf sunflower.
I don't know what I'm getting next year. I might leave those for the birds. Poppies, I always save.
Already they're starting to drop out the little bits of black seed,
and again, pop these into a seed packet, sow them in the spring.
And finally, lupins.
These are pods, just like the peas, seeds inside, and again,
put those in a packet and I'll see what I get next spring.
I've got a big space to fill in the garden,
it's a really good way of getting a lot of plants.
I'm taking the opportunity to review our two small 8x6 green houses,
and it's a really good success story in both of them.
I'm delighted about that.
Starting off with this one, we have a selection of baby peppers
and the chillies. And here, a chilli we have called Prairie Fire,
a rather unusual colour, and a really superb plant.
Moving on, we have Pyramid and they do look like little pyramids,
and this one Razzamatazz, really unusual because we've got yellows,
reds, purples and greens, so a really colourful plant there.
Over this side, we have a couple of the peppers.
This one's called Mini Mix, and then this one is Orange Baby.
And while they look very similar,
maybe the flavour's slightly different, I don't know. But looking at the Orange Baby
we've got a slight problem with red spider mite.
It does thrive in a dry environment, so we have to keep spraying the plants,
because a high humidity deters the red spider mite.
The last one I want to look at is this one call Super Chilli.
This is maybe what we are more familiar with -
green, then going on to read.
Lots of chillies there, and you maybe can't use them all at once,
so what I recommend is that you pick them, put them into a polythene bag
and stick them in the freezer
and then you can use them when you want to.
The second green house - wow, look at this for colour!
Five packets of seeds, costing under £10,
and it really has created a superb display.
Starting off with schizanthus or Poor Man's Orchid.
This one is a dwarf variety called Star Parade.
We have a taller one at the back, and that one is Angel Wings,
and I think that could do with a little bit of staking.
Celosias, gorgeous leaves,
and the little flowery plumes are just starting.
That variety is called Chinatown.
My favourite has to be the browallia, called Blue Lady,
an electric blue with a little white centre.
And then the last one is cineraria
and this is going to give us colour in the wintertime,
but at the moment it needs potting on.
With all Beechgrove community gardens
I'm always impressed with how much hard work
volunteers put in to creating a garden for all the community.
What's really, really impressive about this Kinross Potager Garden
is it was started 15 years ago and it's going on,
developing and getting better all the time.
Amanda James, you're the convenor of the garden.
Have a lot of people been involved over the last 15 years?
I think I may be the third convenor,
this is my third summer that I've been here.
And who does the work here? Who looks after it?
We're a small group of volunteers, dedicated volunteers.
We're really lucky,
I think the reason the garden has continued for so long
is that we have had volunteers willing to be involved
and committed to carrying on.
It's so lovely to see you back at the garden again. Welcome.
I hope you've had a lovely holiday.
And it will be really good for you to see exactly what's happened
since you were here last time.
Close your eyes for a moment.
And think about how the garden looked
when you came here the first time, back in April.
Open your eyes. We're going to go and see the garden in a moment.
'In 1996, this site was nothing but weeds.
'A local group of gardeners had a vision for it to be a lot more.
'And entered a Beechgrove garden competition which was being run at the time.
'They won not only £1,000 for plants and equipment,
'but also a visit from the Beechgrove hit squad.'
As far as the top bit's concerned, that was a jungle of weeds.
All the dockings, there was brambles.
I never thought for one minute that it would be transformed like that.
It is just wonderful, you've got that geometric pattern
that's so necessary for the potager garden.
-Come round here.
That's what we grew.
And just look at the peas in the middle. Can you remember?
You planted those peas
and they were just tiny little plants with the beans.
It's so beautiful.
You could put them on a salad or something, and it looks very pretty.
Feel that one? That one's not ready.
'You are involved with the teaching of the children here. What are they learning?'
They have the unique opportunity here to learn, at first hand,
how to plant and nurture seeds, how to transplant them
and then harvest them and then we support all of that practical learning
with work in the classroom, which will include things like...
germination, pollination, photosynthesis,
how plants have that amazing ability to make food for themselves
and for us.
And it's very, very, um, enriching for the children
and for everyone in the garden.
It's really good, because you take it right through from seed,
right through to the end product,
and then they get the harvest.
-They've been getting potatoes today.
And just that moment when they dig something up
and see those jewels coming out of the ground, it seems so simple,
but they learn that what you grow, you can eat.
-Wait, there's a potato.
There's a new one!
-Oh, look there's a potato!
-I got a big potato.
Look, this one's ready in here.
Down right there at the bottom you get the best ones.
They actually have the opportunity to sell
some of the produce as well, sell some of the plants.
It does, doesn't it?
'The final thing we do, of course, is the tasting.'
So that is something they really look forward to,
and today we have got some soup and things for them to taste,
so they understand plants that they have grown
are made into these different recipes.
Peas, straight from the pods!
It has got a really nice sort of texture to it.
-I can see the peas!
-I think the leaves are a bit of a struggle.
'Amanda, what else goes on here besides the teaching?'
We have three beds around the side which are community beds,
run by local people, like allotment beds, and they contribute
in kind to the work of the garden and generally help us out.
Um, we have run courses in conjunction with Perth College, and a lecturer
from there has done evening classes for adults, and that's often led
-to people wanting to become volunteers in the garden, which is great.
Yes, people who know something about things as well.
And the garden is open every day during the summer to the public,
and people come in with children and have a look.
It's interesting and very powerful
how a garden can really pull a community together.
Yes, and it's very well accepted by the local community.
We don't have any problems with vandalism.
Most of the youngsters have grown up with the garden, so they are used to it.
-It's well overlooked by neighbours anyway.
-Have you had a good time?
-Thank you, Margaret.
-You are welcome, dear. Thank you, David.
You know, I can't believe it was just a year ago
that we were trying this out, layering these bulbs.
Some advice we got from Bob Billson in Fife.
It's a really good way of packing in a load of spring colour.
I've got these photographs from Carole Armstrong in Linlithgow,
and she followed our recipe last year, and it worked so well
with the Angelique tulips, narcissi...
so we're going to repeat it again.
We've got slightly smaller pots this year.
I think maybe they were a bit too big, and we are doing two pots.
So one's going to be exposed
and the other one will have more shelter.
Gravel in the bottom for drainage, always important,
and the first layer is in - Angelique tulips.
Just using ordinary compost, and then we will put in Woodstock hyacinths
which are purple, then another layer of compost, narcissi Tete-a-Tete,
another layer and then crocuses on the top.
-So you get colour for quite a few months.
-Oh, I think months.
-There's a challenge.
I can also hardly believe it's that time of year again where we're asking for community garden
and Problem Corner applications. Like the Kinross potager I was at,
or your Problem Corner in the school.
-We're looking for small problems.
-That is a good point, isn't it?
If you want to apply, what you need to do is go on to our website
and look for the link which says "How to apply".
And again if you go on to the website you can find our fact sheet
-with all the information about this week's programme.
And talking community gardens, we won't be in here next week,
we're at our last community garden of the season.
We will be in Spey Bay on the Moray Firth watching all the wildlife
and putting the finishing touches to a rather unique wildlife garden.
-Until then, goodbye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail: [email protected]
In the Beechgrove Garden, our main lawn is suffering from erratic weather conditions.
Jim is giving the lawn a 'right good doing', as he would say, to improve drainage and to feed the lawn. He'll also take a look at the so called miracle substance for getting rid of moss, MO Bacter that we featured earlier in the series. We have had a huge response to this with viewers sending in emails and pictures of the success or lack of it of this substance.
Carole and Lesley look at plants for free by collecting a range of different seeds from the garden now and showing how to grow them on to fill the borders for next year. Carole is also with Drumblade Primary School this episode. The school's old sandpit is now full of non-native plants and some very invasive weeds. They would like to get rid of all of that and replace with bee and butterfly friendly plants. Carole gets to work and create a wee wildlife haven with the pupils.
In 1996 Beechgrove's Hit Squad helped to create the Kinross Potager Garden. 15 years on, Lesley has been invited back by Irene Thorogood who is the secretary of the Potager garden to have a look at how they have kept this going even in trying economic times. The group have charitable status and their aim is to generate a small income to help to educate the Kinross Primary schoolchildren in the art and science of gardening and to provide a community garden for all including those with disabilities and older people in the area. Lesley is delighted by what she finds.