Gardening magazine. The Beechgrove team are at Gardening Scotland, Scotland's biggest gardening show. The show features the cream of British growers.
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Hello, and welcome to Beechgrove at Gardening Scotland,
the best dressed garden show north of the border.
And what about this, Jim?
-The conceptual office garden - absolutely brilliant.
And what we have here is a brand-new feature for Gardening Scotland,
it's the floral walkway.
And I suppose we could call it the catwalk or the runway
for what's stylish and fresh in gardening for Scotland.
Look at this wonderful little space.
And we go from tiny two by two gardens through to
dressed to the nines glasshouses.
And this show is full of fashionable inspiration,
material which is brilliant for gardening in Scotland.
And how about this slice of Kibble Palace from Glasgow Botanics?
Gardening Scotland gives us all a chance to meet
the showers and growers
and glean information from the gardening Gurus.
But the stars of the show, of course, are the plants,
whether they're standing still or strutting their stuff.
Time to go and have a look at them. Let's go.
Fashion victims aside, it's the day before Gardening Scotland opens,
and the exhibitors only have a few hours to finish before judging.
While they do that, we're going to bring you
an exclusive preview of Gardening Scotland,
and, then, later, we'll be around to see some of the results
and sample a little of the show opening.
But, first, I'm heading outside in search of blue skies.
# There's a world where
# I can go and
# Tell my secrets to... #
I'm on the lovely show garden which is the BALI show garden,
and that stands for the British Association Of Landscape Industries.
The designer is Lynn Hill, and it's called Tangible Garden,
so I think you need to explain that concept to me.
I'm finding more and more people are wanting to use their garden for
living in rather than gardening, as an extension of their home,
so here we have a dining area, and then we come down to
a nice little cosy area for in the evenings,
where you can sit round the firepit.
I think it's absolutely superb.
Basically, you want low-maintenance plants?
Yes, like the Salvia Caradonna, which has got such a zing of purple,
-and it's a really well-behaved plant.
-If I were to pick one,
I think I would probably go for the plume thistle or the cirsium.
I think it's like little fireworks.
-Great for insects as well.
The only thing I think that's missing is
-we should have some marshmallows.
-Oh, that sounds good.
# In my room... #
# Little boxes on the hillside
# Little boxes made of ticky-tacky... #
It's all about Alpines in containers here,
and this is the kind of thing that I was doing in Beechgrove Garden
a few weeks ago. Such a colourful display.
We've got some of the usual favourites -
the lewisia, penstemons. And these gorgeous rhodohypoxis
from South Africa.
But they're not grown in the conventional way.
They're in old tin baths, bowls, and these stylish looking boxes,
but now I'm away to look for the traditional stone troughs and some
# ..little boxes
# Little boxes all the same
# There's a green one... #
Now, this may look more like it,
but all's not what it seems from the Scottish Rock Garden Club as these
are actually fish boxes made to look like Alpine troughs,
and the good thing about these things is they're half the weight
and they're easier to move around your garden.
But what I like about these is the planting combinations.
We've got one Solea sempervivums,
another which is just purely focusing on white flowers,
and I do like the white foliage of that celmisia.
And with these miniature gardens, you can actually control
what's growing in them, so we've actually got
a woodland-themed one here, which will just have a bit more leaf mould
mixed into the compost as well. And, undoubtedly,
this one's my favourite, and it's all about the foliage,
especially the heart-shaped foliage of this viola,
and it's called Heartthrob.
Now I'm off to look for some more unusual plants
for their unusual containers.
What a spectacular display of plants we've got here from Kevock Garden!
And the good thing about all these is that they can all be taken away
and put in our gardens and containers back home.
How about the colour of this marsh orchid?
And, down here, we've got an arisaema.
It doesn't smell too good,
but the insect will scramble up this drip tip,
get inside the flower and pollinate it.
How about this for a flower?
A lady slipper orchid - absolutely beautiful.
Back on top, we've got a familiar campanula,
but I'm off to see a more unusual relative.
# I will build my love a bower
# Near yon clear, crystal fountain... #
We've been talking about unusual flowers, and how about this one?
This is a phyteuma, and it's a member of the campanula family.
Spiky flowers, blue fading to lilac.
Why would you not want one of these unusual plants
in your new, unusual container?
This is your garden heath, and it's called, what, Hortus Homicide?
-What's that all about?
-It's to commemorate
the 450th anniversary of the murder of Lord Darnley.
So he was murdered?
He was murdered indeed.
-Where was he found?
-He was found in the Kirk o' Field orchard
under the present-day university quad buildings.
These plants which you've brought in are absolutely fantastic.
-Where did you get those?
-Being such characterful and aged apple trees,
they're very hard to source, so we actually had to go
-to Holland to source those.
Now, was he found murdered under the apple trees?
Technically, no. He was found underneath a pear tree,
which is right beside you.
This one here. Anyway, he was murdered, he was dead.
-Right. They're watching you.
From the historical to a modern take on some classics,
and this is Holmes Farms Plants with Brian Young.
Now, I know you've got quite a few here from the modern to the old.
We've got some really nice twists on old classics.
The Gillenia Pink Profusion.
Beautiful, soft, pink flowers
with burgundy new growth as the plant develops.
It will take sun and shade, heavy soils and light soils,
a beautiful twist away from the normal white flowering form.
Very versatile. What about the foxgloves? Loads of those.
Yes, quite a few on display, including the Chinese foxgloves,
Rehmannia elata, a nice twist away from the UK usual forms,
and they set good seeds,
and you get little offshoots bulking up quite easily as well.
So, slightly longer lived. That's good news for that one.
-What about the sea holly?
Yeah, the beautiful Eryngium Neptune's Gold,
the first yellow sea holly, a good twist away from the normal blue.
The foliage is golden, the flowers are golden,
and it takes on a slight blue blush as the flower matures.
These plants are very tempting,
-but you've also got some ideas for containers.
A fantastic plant for a pot is the prostrate rosemary.
It's called Capri, and it drapes beautifully down a pot,
unlike the normal rosemary, which grows up into quite a large bush.
-Which is the classic, isn't it?
-So, this is the modern twist.
And how many plants do you have in that container?
There is just one in that container.
It was one plant this size, planted last spring.
You're kidding. That must be the Ayrshire climate, I think.
I can't see that growing so well in Aberdeen.
-That's the Ayrshire banana belt.
-And what about the Clematis?
It's a non-climbing Clematis called Arabella.
It's a beautiful form, and it's fantastic for growing
through deciduous azaleas. Once the azaleas are finished,
the Clematis takes over and blooms right the way through the season.
As opposed to a classic, like a Montana, which is huge,
-anyone with a small garden could grow this.
From a new take on old classics, to the, erm, ancient or prehistoric.
Is she calling me a dinosaur?
Good job I'm thick-skinned, I'll say.
I'm on the Rococo stand, and this is Steve, the designer.
Steve, can you tell me something about how you arrived
at this design and this idea?
Well, we were struggling for a concept for a show garden.
We were working in a customer's garden and we dug up a toy dinosaur.
And therefore it started.
-How did you select the plants?
We selected plants like Dicksonia antarctica,
Ginkgo biloba, equisetums,
just plants that would have been around at a similar time to the dinosaurs.
Right, and you've got a little smoking or steaming pond here.
That's a hot, volcanic spring to create a bit of atmosphere.
This is pure theatre.
Thank you very much.
You know, Gareth, these shows started here in 2000,
and the stand I come back to every time
-is the streptocarpus from Dibleys.
A fantastic display again.
How many different varieties?
We grow around 100 different ones, about 30 more popular ones.
-Anything new this time?
-There's always something new.
The new one for this show is Gold Dust, which is this one.
The thing that absolutely amazes me with these things -
that one's a smallish plant,
but that one there you don't put them in a big pot.
No, you always keep them at about that size.
Let's have a look. Look.
Gracious! Why such a small pot for such a big plant?
You're less liable to overwater them. They don't like to be too wet,
and you get more flower and not too much leaf by keeping them pot-bound.
And, of course, you've got to feed them, though.
You want to feed regularly,
and you want to feed a high potash feed to encourage the flower.
I'm glad we've been able to drag you away, Gareth.
A couple of tips. First of all, propagation - how do you propagate these?
Streptocarpus are very easy to propagate,
and you propagate by leaf cuttings.
There are a number of ways of doing it.
Nice, clean cut, get a nice leaf - a nice fresh, young leaf.
You can either use a whole leaf, which you can just put into the compost...
you can cut a leaf into sections...
-..and you get three plants, then, from...
..from a leaf. Or the way that, commercially, we would do it is we
cut either side of the mid-rib, and the half leaf
we then put in the compost,
and each of the side veins will then give us a plant.
-So, from one leaf, you can get 50 to 100 plants.
Where do you put them, though? Do you cover them up - plastic or whatever?
You want to either put it in a propagator or a polythene bag just to keep it humid.
The product that you send out to the customer is that there.
I have a question to ask because we get asked it all the time.
You send it out in a little...
-They go out like this.
Now, do you take that off, that little net?
No, the roots grow through that, so you don't have to remove it.
It's biodegradable, isn't it?
-It is, yes.
-What size of pot would that go into?
You want to start in something like a 3.5 inch pot.
Splendid, thank you.
Here we have Jane, a design student from
the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh.
Jane, I'm guilty of this,
I fill my garden full of plants from all over the world
but you've taken a different take here.
That's right. This is garden's based on Scottish native plants
and the idea is to show people how they can recreate a little bit of
the Scottish natural landscape in their own gardens at home,
and it's to show people how, with the right kind of planting and the right
choice of hard landscaping materials, they can create a garden
that's sustainable and low-maintenance and provides habitats for native wildlife.
And you've not made it easier for yourself either
because you've got a beautiful colour scheme here as well.
That's right. We've deliberately gone for plants that are purple and
pink in colour with a little bit of white just to lift the tone.
That's definitely my favourite. It's like a purple version of the cow parsley.
Yeah, the Anthriscus ravenswing, that's my favourite too,
the way it floats over the rest of the planting is lovely.
I think you've done a nice job. Well done.
Thank you very much.
When I travelled in Japan in the summer,
I was fascinated by the range of bonsai which I saw
and, here at Gardening Scotland,
we have the same wonderful variety of bonsai plants
and this it is the Ayrshire stand, championed by Ian MacDougall.
Ian, you have got some fascinating trees here.
-These are wonderful.
-How old are they?
-Some are very old and some are quite young.
-We can make them look quite old.
This one at the corner, for example, that looks as old as Methuselah.
Yes, that'll be over 50 years old, that one.
Wonderful old oak tree. And then we've got these wonderful cascades.
-Great forms. Now, are some of these natural forms?
Some are natural forms, some we have created by using wire.
-That one over there.
-That's a natural form.
-That's a natural.
You can create that with wire?
Well...if we get them young enough we can, yes.
Can you show me how to do it?
I could indeed, yes, I certainly will.
Well, George, we start off wiring along the length of the branch
at 45 degrees.
-A spiral down the branch?
-A spiral down the shoot.
And then we can create the bends and the twists that we want.
Once we've done that, that allows us to bend the shoot...
It allows us to bend...anywhere we want to put it.
-Here is one we did earlier.
-One we wired up earlier on.
Show me what you do now.
Now, it hasn't been pruned up but I want it to be a cascade
that flows down. So I would put my thumb behind the branch -
or the trunk, if you wish -
and bend it in a downward manner until it's
So you put the kinks and everything else into that, can you?
Then I place the branches in the right place.
One there and one there.
And try and avoid having them opposites.
All you need is a pair of scissors, and prune it up.
You want to make spaces between them?
-Between the branches.
-You're being quite harsh with it.
-was harsh at pruning.
The tree will love me for it.
How long, then, to get from that to this wonderful cascade at the back?
About a couple of years.
Then it will only get better and better after that!
Wow, Ruth, this is wonderful.
-What's going on here?
-Well, this garden was built by the design students from
the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
-Garden Design diploma course.
-What is the concept of it?
The concept is plant hunters in general and George Forrest in particular.
He went to Yunnan province, he led seven expeditions,
and he brought home plants like these ones and ones very like them.
Another of those great plant hunters.
Now, it's like we're in a wee box here.
It's very enclosed, it's creating a nice atmosphere.
That's great. The idea is that it's a plant hunter's sample case.
This is like a tiny slice of Yunnan province, as he explored it,
and we just wanted to represent that.
And are any of these plants your favourite?
I think it's got to be the little Meconopsis down behind you, that's the small yellow one.
People think blue but, no, that one's yellow, and it's very unusual.
I think you've done George Forrest proud, well done.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
# We are family... #
This is a story about families,
families of plants being looked after by a family, McNaughton.
Claire, you are a representative of the family,
how long has it been going,
this nursery producing these plants?
Well, my mum started it about 30 years ago and now it's myself,
my brother and my nephew as well.
You select the plants how?
We grow what does well with us on the east coast of Scotland.
We grow in East Lothian
and we like to have plants that do well in local conditions.
-This Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus.
It's a lovely vibrant colour and it's got a beautiful perfume.
-It's quite early and it's fairly compact.
-It is, yup.
The other thing is we like to bring families together
because it sits very nicely with the plants around it.
When I design the displays,
what I like to do is have plants that you could actually use together in the garden,
so it would go with the Geum and the Astrantia there as well.
Yes, it does. I can tell you I fell in love with that Aquilegia through there.
-The Snow Queen?
-Perfectly virginal, it's stunning.
If I was to buy one plant like that, would it seed itself in my garden?
It would. And if you keep it separate from other colours, it will come true,
so you will still have the same white one next year.
That's the information you get from somebody who's grown it already.
-Claire, thank you so much.
# We are family... #
Carrying on with the family theme,
I've come to the holding area to meet Claire's brother, Gavin, to
talk about yet another plant family, the Meconopsis.
What is so special about your Meconopsis you're showing here?
Yes, Jim, well, we grow a lot of different forms of the big blue poppy, or Meconopsis.
These are all clonally propagated, rather than from seed.
OK, how do you do that?
The seed-grown common one tends to be short-lived
-and you have to grow it again from seed.
The clonal forms are vegetatively propagated
and I can maybe show you on this one here.
It has the main flowering stem and it has what we call offsets here.
-Much like many perennials.
These are going to be next year's flowering stems
and those stems will produce new little ones as well,
so you end up with a clump.
-Like so many other herbaceous plants.
When do you do the propagation?
We divide them... So you split off these little bits.
..in either spring or autumn when they're not flowering.
If you want the answers, ask the specialist.
I have pitched up on a beach somewhere near Dundee and Angus College
and, Wendy and Simon, what's this about?
This is about raising awareness for the pollution that goes on in the oceans
that many people do not know about as we're just sitting at home
and just doing out own thing every day.
But I'm hoping here we'll raise some awareness that people won't know
about and just really get it out there.
Wendy, what was your involvement here?
I have created all the fish that are dangling from the netting
out of recycled rubbish that was washed...
I love these fish, what are they made out of? The one's with the scales.
Old CDs that I've cut up to...
attempt to make look like fish.
That is brilliant, and so is this.
Really this will bring people's attention to this whole problem of
pollution, ocean pollution in particular.
That's what I am aiming for...that to happen.
"My friend, you would not tell with such high zest to children ardent
"for some desperate glory the old lie, dulce et decorum est
"pro patria mori."
Do you know? Amidst all of the fun
and hilarity and pleasure of visiting this show,
it's nice to have a little quiet moment
to visit this celebration garden
and Robert Ross, who built it, designed it, is going to tell us what it's all about.
This garden is by Glen Art, which is a veterans' charity,
and it commemorates 100 years of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
but also 100 years since Wilfred Owen came to Edinburgh to Craiglockhart Hospital,
and we're fortunate to have a bust of him here from
-the Wilfred Owen Association.
-Exactly. And who planted it?
It was veterans from Glen Art and
also myself and some of my colleagues from
the War Graves Commission with a few volunteers.
We're talking about millions being killed,
and the War Graves Commission
everywhere practises very fine horticulture, there's no question about it.
Absolutely, that's our reputation,
and what we've hoped to replicate here is a feeling of the planting
that we have in our cemeteries around the world.
Makes sense. Splendid. Thank you.
# We are the Village Green Preservation Society... #
It's great now to be in the plant village
because we can really enjoy this and what an improvement.
And it's so much more spacious.
And also a little display garden for each of the plants.
The very fact that there is more room for people to circulate,
I think they'll sell more plants.
So what we've got here is lots of lovely bedding plants.
We have indeed. I spotted this little dwarf dahlia.
What's it called? Gold dahlia, very original.
Scarlet and yellow. Nice and compact.
Quite nice. And I also got another argy. Argyranthemum. There's a
great range of colours, you know.
I think they're valuable and very reliable.
They are. If you keep deadheading them, they keep coming.
-Begonias as well.
-They will flower and flower. And the Pelargoniums.
Shall we go and see what else we can find?
-Have we got room in the boot?
-Oh, yes, plenty of room!
-Have we got the money?
-I think we should.
# We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular
# Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula... #
This is the stall for me, Elmlea Plants.
It's a nursery that's down in Newton Stewart,
and I've been assured by them that all the plants are grown in the cold,
in other words these plants are as tough as old boots.
I know this one is really tough,
because I grow this in my own garden and sometimes the temperatures can
go down to about -15, even -18.
It's a bluegrass, Elymus magellanicus,
and I would also say you only need to buy one plant,
because it's easily propagated from seed.
Also in my garden, I have lots of areas that are rather moist,
so I'm looking for bog plants as well.
I already have the Ligularia, The Rocket,
but I've found another variety, another Ligularia called Zepter.
This one's slightly more vigorous, has nice black stems,
and later on in the season has lovely daisy-like flowers,
which are a beautiful yellow.
# We are the Village Green Preservation Society... #
I'll tell you what, I was joking with Carole about room in the boot,
I could do with a trailer when I see the stuff I would love to have.
From this oakleaved hydrangea to the calla lilies to the foxgloves,
and look at these shrubby hydrangeas.
I feel like a kid in a sweetie shop.
Be sure and visit the plant village.
What a great place to relax in, this beautiful greenhouse, with my
friend Lesley Watson from Newhopetoun Gardens.
Why a glasshouse?
I think actually it's essential
if you want to keep gardening throughout the seasons
in Scotland but we have actually decorated this more lifestyle,
so it could be an outside room.
We've got the furniture, the plants in here would all cope if it gets warm,
the geraniums, the succulents, we're got the miniature gardens.
Outside, this is quite sort of significant
because this is designed to be a removable garden.
So everything in containers.
The idea being that a lot of young people nowadays can't afford to buy their first home straightaway,
so it maybe stops them gardening, because they're renting.
So everything is in pots, all the plants are carefree plants,
they don't require much attention or pruning,
and they will actually move with you.
-Even the grass will come up.
-That's a lovely idea because most people take their
furniture - don't they? - and they leave the garden behind.
-Everything can go with you.
This side is ornamental but the other side we have got lots of
edible things - we've got herbs, some lettuces.
So you could actually grow your own.
When this young couple get their first home or rent somewhere else,
take their garden with them.
I made a beeline for the pallet gardens because, as you know,
this is my favourite part of Gardening Scotland.
Alliums in bottles, fuchsias in pots,
what a wonderful way to display your plants.
The Hanging Gardens of Broxburn.
It won't be the first time I've been accused of losing my marbles
but in this garden I know exactly where they are.
Scotland's Archaeology - I really dig this garden.
Who called me a fossil?
I've been feeding this horse for ages. What thanks do I get?
Absolutely no reaction!
Every day's a school day?
And now we have Whisky Galore.
Has anybody checked to see if our Jim's involved with these entries?
It's early morning of the show opening and the exhibitors arrive to find out
what medal, if any, they have, and see if their hopes were indeed high.
# High hopes
# He's got high hopes... #
# He's got high apple pie in the... #
Oh, my goodness!
Well done, girls!
Premier gold medal, first one of the show, and after such a tricky season,
that is the icing on the cake.
We're Pretty Ugly Plants
and these two boys have been working really hard this week,
Harvey and Toby,
and they've been rewarded with a premier gold.
'A little later, the public arrive and the show is officially open.'
What have you got for us today?
What we've got here is we've got two different types of tart,
we have a lovely fresh spring-herb tart
and the other tart we have is a bacon-and-lovage tart.
OK. And what else? I see another one there.
This is what we've got, it is
beetroot chocolate brownies.
Oh, my goodness. Keep them over here. Beetroot!
How many beetroots do you put in?
About four beetroots in the mixture.
They're boiled and then blitzed down,
and they really give the brownies a very unctuous texture.
They're lovely and moist.
The point is, this is not just about flowers and plants, it's about cooking as well,
and you're busy for the whole show.
We are. We have a cookery theatre in the floral hall and we're also doing
a children's cookery theatre,
where we are teaching young people to cook and get some skills.
Now, then, moving swiftly on, George, now that your mouth is full...
It's a wee bit better than salad, isn't it?!
We're maybe going to break your monopoly on this.
I went round the show and there are so many wonderful plants to see
that I thought I would maybe get this book because this will tell me how to grow Meconopsis.
I thought you knew all about it.
I thought so until I read this book!
Oh, right, right, right.
I have found a beautiful plant,
I think I'm going to fill my 8x6 greenhouse.
-Have you ever seen a Kalanchoe that size?
-That's a stonker!
A beautiful flower. It's called Dorothy.
This is the Snow Queen, this is a little Aquilegia,
I've fallen in love with this and, up close,
you can see that it's got a lovely lavender-y sort of tip to the petals.
Just a wonderful little flush.
Isn't is gorgeous? Well, there you go, that's it,
and we will be back in the garden next week,
auld claes and porridge, as they say,
but in the meantime, get yourself down here to Ingliston to Gardening Scotland.
You'll have a whale of a time. Until we see you next week...
The Beechgrove team take a break from the garden to be at Gardening Scotland, the biggest gardening show north of the border. The cream of British growers will be there, with everything from pansies to pelargoniums, and cacti to clematis in a stunning floral frenzy. We will see those who are growing for gold including those exhibits showing off their medals from last week's Chelsea Flower Show. Beechgrove will be concentrating on the Scottish talent and Scottish plants but we'll join them all for a sneak preview, as well as sampling the unique atmosphere of Gardening Scotland.