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Hello and welcome to Beechgrove.
In my usual way, I was rehearsing my words this morning
when I left home,
and was about to say, "And welcome to Beechgrove in flaming June".
Because this morning, it was chucking it down with rain,
and the temperature was Baltic.
But, here we are. And that's the kind of spring and summer we've had.
Despite that, out tomato crop in here is looking very nice indeed.
we have eight rows of tomatoes - all the one variety, Shirley.
The difference is each row
has a different compost, from a grow bag.
In order to even it all out,
we tipped the compost out the grow bag,
and into pots. They're all in the same-sized pots.
The only thing different is the actual compost itself.
Very little to choose between them,
except the one behind me here.
It's beginning to fall behind - there's no question about it.
The foliage is not so lush.
It's a little bit yellow.
And they're shorter in size.
Here, not a lot of difference.
A wee bit difference in height, but the plants are looking good,
because the team have been working hard at it.
I've not been threatening them, or anything.
But they have been working hard.
Good ventilation in the day,
to mitigate these very high temperatures.
A decent temperature at night.
As a result, there's no leaf rolling,
which we get questions about.
It's just the big swing in temperature between day and night.
We managed to avoid that.
The plants are growing nicely.
The trusses are about to set.
Here's the truss on this one, here.
The team have kept it damped-down,
because - although these are self-pollinating -
you have to get the pollen itself to ripen and burst,
to do the business of getting the fertilisation of the flower.
And to do that by keeping humidity going.
In with the hose pipe, and watering in-between the rows,
so there's a nice bit of humidity in the atmosphere.
Of course, as you're going around, you're shaking the plants, as well.
And the strings. And that helps to budge the pollen,
under the right conditions.
I'm looking for a really good crop.
We start to feed them soon.
Of course, just doing a little flick round, like that,
to keep them going up the way, and removing all the side shoots.
Let's go up to one of the tunnels,
where we're looking at some bush tomatoes.
We change the subject to bush tomatoes,
in a poly tunnel.
This pair, Jane and Ben, have made such a fantastic job
of these tomatoes down the road,
I've employed them to do this lot, as well.
I always regarded bush tomatoes as an outdoor crop.
Therefore, in Scotland, they're a bit dodgy.
You do get fruit,
but the skin's very leathery.
All right for chutney and sauces, and so on.
The chance was to fit into this tunnel in a rotation.
You'll remember this is where we had the over-wintered veg -
the brassicas and all the rest - cleared.
Cultivated the ground, treating the tomatoes just like an ordinary
outdoor vegetable crop.
The ground's been cultivated.
A little bit of Growmore fertiliser on,
and ready to plant.
We have eight varieties of bush tomatoes - four either side.
There's not much to see at the moment.
We'll talk about the individual varieties
when they start to produce their fruits.
They're a funny sort of bunch,
because they don't train up strings up to a great height.
They tend to finish up like an upside-down triangle.
So they get bushier and bushier and bushier.
I want to see how well they perform under these conditions.
We're going to support them using a net.
Let them work their way through the net, and hold them up.
That saves an awful lot of work.
Jane, I notice you're taking
the card off these plants.
Have you always done that?
Yeah, I just feel it helps to get the roots away.
And you've been able to get it off
without actually damaging...
I quite agree with you.
I have used these in the past,
but I think that's by far, in a way,
the best way to do it.
Time alone will tell, Jane.
Meanwhile - in the rest of the programme...
I'm in the lovely coastal village of Johnshaven.
I'm here to revisit the community garden,
to see how it's progressed - and also help them
with a few wee problems.
And I'm in the Borders.
In a riot of colour and scent.
Lesley, this is all about vertical gardening.
I know you know about it already.
-You've done some of this before.
It's such good use of space.
For a small footprint,
you can get high rise growing - lots more plants.
20 centimetres, we're speaking about.
Then, I've got 16 plants.
Four different varieties of basil, we're growing in this.
These are the tiers,
and these three, you have to fill the compost
right up to the neck, there.
Plant the plant on its edge,
and this is the fiddly bit - I might need help with this.
This sort of stacks up.
You have to get the rings, without damaging the stems.
You have to get them through.
You have to push that out.
See how fiddly it is, but once it's put together,
it is going to be quite stable.
We're doing this outside,
but basil needs to be in a greenhouse, doesn't it?
These plants have suffered quite a bit with the weather conditions.
That's the one that will go on the top.
Then you water from the top.
A little tip.
I would always water basil in the morning.
-It doesn't like to go to bed wet.
When that water comes through,
if there's any nutrients in there,
you can use this pipette.
Otherwise, a watering can, at the top.
Lots of different sorts, as well.
Here, we're using four different varieties,
but we've actually got nine that we're trying out.
And successional sowing - I think that's so important.
Hopefully, the weather conditions now
should mean they will germinate and grow quite well.
This is a lime basil,
so you imagine it has that gorgeous Mediterranean flavour.
This one, I've got lemon.
There's also cinnamon,
there's Siam Queen.
Hopefully, we will try these later.
With Jim's tomatoes?
Yeah. You're good with recipes.
Then, what we'd have to do is lightly cover that
with a little bit of compost.
Do you think they would go with aubergines, as well?
That could be an interesting, "creative" recipe.
These need potting on. This is a variety called Amethyst.
-Hopefully, we can just get that in there.
These are aubergines with very small fruits.
Quite different and ornamental, aren't they?
We have Ivory, which tells you it is white.
Some are stripy, some are the typical black aubergines,
or dark maroon.
They like fairly warm temperatures, as well.
Steady temperatures, around 15 to 18 degrees centigrade.
So, some recipes of aubergine and basil.
OK. That will be a challenge!
We always like to keep in touch with our community garden project.
So it's great to hear from Vera Fillingham, from Johnshaven -
a project were involved with in 2002.
'Johnshaven is 25 miles south of Aberdeen,
'and we helped them transform a disused railway line
'into a well-used communal space.'
I can't believe it is ten years since I've been here.
It is such a transformation.
Vera, you wrote to us. You must be pleased with the results?
Absolutely thrilled, really.
But one of two things have got a bit out of hand!
The plants were specifically chosen for seaside location,
and they're thriving.
Two banks - so, in other words, they've smothered the ground.
Which is exactly what we want them to do.
But, Joyce, there were one or two problems after we left?
There was, actually.
It was due to the topsoil.
There was quite a lot of weeds in it.
We tried to overcome it
by putting membrane down.
And cut around the plants that we had put in.
Did you have to do a bit of weeding first,
-then put down the landscape fabric?
That must have been fiddly, as the plants were there already?
It was hard work.
Well worth it.
You put the bark down, as well.
-And that's rather attractive.
-It is, yes.
You were saying, though, some of the plants
in particular are rather invasive.
As you can see,
the cotoneaster has just gone berserk!
It's a real bully!
It's doing its stuff,
but I think it's something you have to keep at.
-so we have to do quite a bit of pruning.
Rachel - you're fairly new to the gardening group?
Yes, that's right.
So you're looking for a bit of advice here?
The cotoneaster - this is a bit of a thug.
You can grab quite a clump of this.
-Normally when you're pruning, you might take one branch.
-Yes, I would.
But just cut through it, like this.
And it doesn't matter where you cut - you can just chop away?
This will respond.
What we have to try and do
is just get it back a bit.
Then next year,
you have to try and stay on top of that.
Maisie, we've found the right spot here, haven't we?
Oh yes, it's lovely.
Do you come down here quite often?
Not so much now,
but I did come every fortnight when we had our garden day.
So the group comes every fortnight to maintain it?
They do as much as they can.
I think it's absolutely brilliant.
Sadly, the lady that instigated this, Berit...
..she passed away a few years ago.
Yes, five years ago.
And we have a tree planted in her memory.
That's a lovely amelanchier.
It's looking beautiful just now.
Yes, that's lovely. It's really come on.
This is our New Zealand flax,
which you can see has taken over a bit
in the last ten years. What's the proper name for it?
but the common name is quite easy to remember.
-It is a little bit invasive, isn't it?
It's coming over the bench, where people like to sit.
Although I think it's a lovely architectural plant, don't you?
Beautiful against the blue sky up there.
Already I've taken some of the older foliage,
but you can see some of that - for example, this.
Although I'm cutting it there,
I'll do another one.
You can trace it right back
into the centre.
You might have to do that in two stages.
It's the same principle for the cordyline.
You can cut the older foliage at the base.
-Then you get this lovely, clear stem.
It ends up like a tree, or a palm.
Is it from the same family?
That's a good question!
-I don't know!
I've found compost corner, here in Johnshaven.
Rebecca, you're in charge of this project.
Tell us how the scheme works.
We started two years ago on our own,
as a community compost project, here in Johnshaven.
If people in the village want to become part of the scheme,
they pay £12 for a membership a year.
We collect their garden waste 18 times,
every two weeks on a Saturday.
Bring it along here,
and it goes through the compost site.
What you see in the back is the end product, being sieved.
We have a trailer full every two weeks,
from the community garden, and the whole village.
It's a superb way of recycling.
Here's that lovely compost being used in the planter.
And this isn't just about the community garden.
This is about the greater community.
Because Vera and Joyce are busy planting up these.
A beautiful range of plants - where do they come from?
They come from the council.
How many are you ordering?
We think about 1,500.
Gosh, that's a lot! They actually give you the plants?
Yes, they do.
-But you have the work to do?
Where else are you planting up, Joyce?
Altogether, we have six of these planters,
along the harbour area.
The small boat there, as well,
that we put plants in.
Anywhere, really, where the public can see and appreciate them.
There must be a really colourful display, which is great,
but obviously, you still have to maintain a lot of this.
What about the watering?
Down here, it's not too bad. We do have a tap,
and we can fill up with water and do this.
But it is difficult at the top of the road. We have a boat there,
which is filled with flowers.
Joyce goes out there
with a water carrier.
Absolutely brilliant. I think it is a wonderful job you do here.
-What will we do next - petunias?
-I think so.
While we were planting at the harbour,
you've been working really hard -
clearing some of that cotoneaster.
I think the phormiums look great, don't they?
But I have found one other little job for you.
Jim planted that eucalyptus,
which in ten years has got to some size.
But I see right next to it,
you have a sycamore seedling.
That could get absolutely huge, and I'm sorry,
I think you should take that out.
That's another job.
Also, we have a seat donated.
And I hope you like it.
It reminded me of railway sleepers. It's Douglas fir.
You don't need to treat it at all.
And it's comfortable.
You deserve that rest!
I think you've done a tremendous job.
Not only now, but over the ten years.
It really is an inspiration.
It's great to see a community garden succeed like this.
We've had a very full postbag.
I will try and answer some of the questions,
here in the Garden for Life.
First of all, a lady in Stonehaven
has got an invasive weed in her pond.
What you can do with weeds
is just skim them off the surface, or spin them,
and leave the debris there at the side
for the wildlife to escape.
If it's on a very large scale,
you need to use a chemical treatment that's OK for wildlife and fish.
I had another question about creating privacy.
I'm not sure if this is physically
to stop people coming into the garden.
In that case, you can use something evergreen like holly,
which is spikey as a deterrent, as well.
Or privet, here - which is a good evergreen.
In the Garden for Life, we did a massive, radical prune
in the spring,
to get it back into shape.
Things have responded so well.
It was just the right time - they were wanting to grow.
This Salix is bursting away.
We did have a bit of negative comment about our timing
might have been wrong for nesting birds.
We were very careful. We kept our eyes open.
Had there been any distress sign from birds,
we'd have left that shrub alone.
Also, here in the Garden for Life,
we cut back the conifer -
to give us more light here.
We had a question about, "Can I put shredded leylandii prunings
"onto a compost heap?"
Yes, you can.
But just a little bit at a time.
You need to keep the layers of different material.
Another question - about a hanging basket,
and, "If I feed it, will I just get lush growth?"
They're using slow-release fertiliser.
The answer is, this is perfect.
Use it once a season.
It has a wonderful balance
of all the things that make leaves and flowers,
so your basket will look beautiful.
We get lots of questions about hydrangeas,
mainly not flowering.
Quite often, it is related to pruning.
Here is one from Jackie and Gordon King, in Falkirk.
Moved into a new house,
a gift of two hydrangeas - a pink one, a blue one.
Flowered well, the first year.
Pruned, and they haven't flowered since.
They've been pruned, produced plenty foliage - they would -
but they've never flowered, because you are cutting off the wood that would flower.
Let me try and explain.
This is a Hydrangea hortensia, or macrophylla -
the mop-headed hydrangea.
Here it is, ready to burst into flower
in the next few weeks.
These stems were made last year.
And the little dormant bud
rested over the winter in the head of the plant.
Now it's coming out to flower.
During the rest of the summer,
another set of new shoots
will come from below.
From the angles of the foliage.
They will be non-flowering,
because they're the ones that will produce a bud in the top
that stays over the winter and flowers next year.
If you give your plants a real pruning,
you are liable to cut off
the new shoots that will flower the following year.
It is almost into the second year
before you see flowers on the shoots.
This is the species Hydrangea paniculata.
Flowers later in the summer.
White, with maybe a tinge of pink in it.
and this shoot that has started to grow this spring,
will flower later in the summer.
So it flowers in its first year.
If you want to prune it at all, you do so in the spring, in April,
cutting the shoots back - because the new growth will flower.
Have you got the difference? I hope so.
At Gardening Scotland, a couple of weeks ago,
I think one of the most popular questions, for me,
was about acers getting damaged.
Here's really good example of an acer in a pot.
It is actually kept by the potting shed,
and just on the edge here,
you can see a bit of damage.
I think that is just cold winds.
We have to remember
that we had that amazing March.
It was really, really warm.
So a lot of plants put on real spurt of growth.
And then, that cold weather.
That's why it got hammered.
Whereas, further back,
it is maybe a bit more sheltered
and it looks fine.
The same goes for the cornus here, behind.
Doesn't this look rather sad now?
It's the same story about putting on a spurt of growth.
But this is frost damage.
Because it is in a sheltered situation.
And it will recover. There is lots of new growth on it.
And the other question is all about a pest, I'm afraid.
I have a couple of examples.
This was a hosta leaf that was given to me at Gardening Scotland.
You see those little notches out of the leaf.
This rhododendron in the garden - look at that one here,
with the notches out of it.
The pest is vine weevil.
A couple of ways you can think about controlling it.
One - using a nematode.
You can just spray that onto the ground.
Or, if you have something in a container,
you could think about a systemic insecticide.
Today, I'm in the Scottish Borders,
down near Newtown St Boswells.
This is the Mertoun estate,
home of the seventh Duke and Duchess of Sutherland.
Quite a modest little house, isn't it(?)
But the garden is an absolute stoater.
Rupert Norris, you're the head gardener here.
-How long have you been here?
I studied at Auchincruive, and I grew up in the Shetlands.
What a difference - the Shetlands down to the Borders!
Absolutely - day and night.
I absolutely love it here.
This wonderful arrangement of plants you have here
must have been so exciting when you arrived.
Oh, it's like a treasure box.
These azaleas - these are imported here, aren't they?
Yes, they are, indeed.
It was Alfred Breed, and his father.
Alfred Breed was my predecessor, who was a huge plantsman.
He grew these on, he collected the seed.
Some of these ones we see here
are the oldest on the estate.
As we walk through the estate, we'll see some of the younger varieties.
Look at that!
cos normally we see this as a plant with wonderfully polished bark.
Prunus serrula, isn't it?
Gosh! Normally, it is just little bits of bark,
but look at that!
Jut a mass, a great beard of the bark hanging off it.
and you can see right through it.
That's a cracker!
So, 26 acres of arboretum and garden,
it's an awful lot to look after.
A huge amount to look after.
Naturally, there's areas we don't look at - we let nature take over.
Here, for example.
We have the forget-me-nots, the red campion,
and the cow parsley.
It's just magic, isn't it?
Beautiful - real signs of spring.
We've come from the formal area at the front -
or the informal, wonderful ornamental bit,
down through the woodlands,
but this is where the heart of the garden was, wasn't it?
Away from the main house, the walled garden.
The place where it all happens.
This is the epicentre.
We don't know exactly how old the walled garden is.
But we can guarantee it has been here for at least 200 years.
-So, a fair bit of establishment?
So, these are the seedlings from the plants we saw earlier?
They are indeed.
These are the seedlings, collected from the plants on the lawns.
Alfred Breed, he grew them own, he planted them out.
He would then select the best colours.
He would opt for the darker colours,
they would make their way down to the lawns,
and be planted out in great big beds - big displays.
Here you've got dark colours, we've got light colours,
we've got early-flowering.
We've got yellows, we've got pale forms.
Absolutely what you'd expect from a great batch of seedlings.
How long from when you save the seed
till you get the final plant to plant out?
Some of the young plants towards the front of this border
are four years old.
Some towards the back of the border are ten years old.
You are possibly looking at ten years,
before you have a plant suitable to go out.
-You have to have patience to be a gardener?
Now, I like that.
Poached egg plant, all the way along there.
That is so attractive for bees and hover flies.
They'll go into the glasshouse and pollinate your peaches,
nectarines and things, out to the strawberries,
off to the peas and beans.
A wonderful place
to get the insects into, to do all that work for us.
You can certainly see the insects have done their business here.
They've come in off the poached egg plant, into the peach.
A fantastic fruit set - look at that!
-They will be thinned out to about a hand span apart?
Once it is finished, what will you do then?
We'll cut the old piece of wood out,
that has sat fruit this year.
It will replaced by one of these two pieces down here.
If there is space, they'll both be tied in.
So, again, a strict form of pruning.
And the plant never gets any bigger?
No - we try to keep it within its bunds.
Strict pruning is so essential, isn't it - just for space?
Wonderful pruning systems to be seen in the glasshouse.
Now we're outside - nearly at the end of the tour.
There are wonderful pruning systems out here.
There's the apples and the cherries on the wall behind us.
There's these quince. Espaliered quince.
Where did you learn to do that?
That was an experiment.
I had a go at training them as an espalier,
and it worked!
They are covered in blossom, they fruit well.
It completely goes against what you would traditionally do.
They'd be grown as a bush, as a goblet.
But it's working well.
That means we can grow them as espaliers.
We've confined them in this space.
We have all this other space to grow veg and everything else in.
There's some fantastic crops here.
And nothing goes to waste.
it's all used within the estate.
You have such a wonderful garden here.
It's south-facing, it's gobbling up the sun.
It is absolutely splendid.
And what have I got to do?
Leave you here, and go back to smoky Edinburgh.
-So, you look after the garden.
Last year, I heard tell of an organic solution
to the control of moss on lawns.
It's the bane of everybody's life.
Especially in high rainfall areas.
How can you get rid of it, once and for all?
We tried the stuff last year,
and, about two hours after we applied it, we had torrential rain,
and it washed the stuff through - it didn't work.
But people who saw it happen tried it around Scotland,
and it did work.
This extraordinary material was put on about three weeks ago here.
These two bits that I am standing in
were left untreated.
This is what the whole lawn was like.
These two bits, however,
were treated with this material.
And I think it is plain to see that the moss is beginning to disappear.
I say "beginning to disappear",
because the way of working is quite extraordinary.
It is organic fertiliser.
It is very high in potassium.
And what happens is,
the moss gorges itself
on the potassium, and it dies out.
The bacteria in the mix
then feeds on the dead tissue.
So it doesn't disappear overnight.
It gradually disappears, over several days.
And I can tell you,
it has made a very significant difference.
That's the moss sorted.
Now we can perhaps begin to work on this area of grass,
and make a real, nice lawn of it.
I would start that using a fertiliser,
on its own.
There are a wide range of these fertilisers for lawns.
You can put liquid ones and granular ones - it is your choice.
Then you would start to work on the weeds.
We have clover here, we have buttercups,
and all the rest of it.
If we want to get rid of that, we use a selective herbicide
that will take out the broad-leaved plants.
Then we will be motoring towards getting a nice bit of grass.
We get lost of questions asking for identification of plants.
This glossy green leaf often foxes people.
It's the leaves from the autumn-flowering crocus.
Either white or purple,
those little flowers that come up from bare ground.
This is what it produces in the spring and summer.
This sends food right back to the bulb.
These will die down before the flowers reappear.
I was just thinking as I was doing that about moss and weeds.
Once you have them all clear,
the next thing that becomes apparent
are the course grasses.
if you have a nice, fine lawn with this stuff coming up through it,
how do you get rid of that?
That is Yorkshire fog.
It is a natural grass that will come up,
but it is a clump-forming grass.
It doesn't spread too far.
The best way to get rid of bits of it
is to take the knife to it.
Be nasty to it.
Really chop it up, cut it, like so.
Because it don't like being shorn.
The other thing you can do is rake before you start to mow.
That lifts the leaves up.
Then you chop them off.
Discourage it, in other words.
It is not welcome.
These layered bulb pots
have given us colour for three-and-half months of the year.
They really are a great success story.
I want to see what happens next year.
What I want to do is now just feed them with a tomato fertiliser
until the foliage dies down.
Then we will wait and see what happens for next year.
It is a good time to look at our pelargoniums -
our regal pelargoniums.
They're looking great, Jim.
A beautiful display here, and we have all picked one.
This one is cherry picotee.
-And I have Turkish coffee.
And this one is Lord Bute. I love the bi-coloured petal.
I just actually bought this.
-How honest of you!
You might have nicked a cutting!
If you would like more information, maybe about the pelargoniums,
or perhaps about the lawn, it is all in the factsheet.
The easiest way to access that is online.
Don't forget you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Next week, Mr Anderson's back.
He and I are getting a bit fruity.
Till then, bye-bye.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Jim is surrounded by the promise of a bumper crop of tomatoes this year as he takes a look at his favourite variety, Shirley, growing in growbags, as well as starting off a range of bush tomatoes to put a big T in his BLT.
Jim also takes a look at the lawn to see if the early hollow tyning and moss treatment has made the lawn, fairway fair, golf green good or still in the rough. Pests, diseases, problems - the team answer an inbox full of viewers' gardening questions.
Beechgrove helped the coastal community of Johnshaven start their community garden along the disused railway line in 2002 and now, ten years on, the volunteers are a bit overwhelmed by the growth of their garden. Carole rolls up her sleeves with a squad of Johnshaven volunteers and gets to work restoring their lovely garden.
George visits Mertoun Garden in St Boswells, Roxburghshire, widely recognised as a fine example of traditional gardening at its best. It is a three-acre walled vegetable garden with 21 acres of landscaped lawns, herbaceous borders and an arboretum packed with rare species, including trees dating from the mid-1800s.