In the news...
The Blue Peter Garden
Since 1974 the Blue Peter Garden has been making TV gardening history. Percy Thrower first wielded his trowel there, and two time capsules – that very Blue Peter phenomenon – were buried there and then dug up again (a third is opened in 2029). Also buried there – but hopefully not dug up again – is George the Tortoise, who died in 2004 at the age of 83. Then there was the time vandals made scandalised headlines by smashing up the garden in 1983.
All is not lost: talks are underway to open the original garden as part of a neighbouring park. And a roof garden is being created at Blue Peter's new Manchester headquarters – to be unveiled this autumn.
Other news: pity the poor gardeners at Alnwick, Northumberland, who waited seven years for their giant Himalayan lilies to flower only to have them toppled by torrential rains.
And, in what's becoming my regular slot on large and unlikely animals in gardens: wallabies and raccoons are mere greenfly compared to this week's mega-pest.
Gary Long, head gardener at Trewithen, near Truro in Cornwall, thinks he's spotted the legendary Beast of Bodmin Moor prowling through the shrubberies. A fleeting glimpse of a 'large, black cat-like creature' was followed by the discovery of mysterious claw marks an inch thick on the trunk of a rare Japanese shrub, Clethra barbinervis (it's a well-known fact that pests only trash the things you most want to keep). Now that's a garden pest too far.
Elsewhere on the web...
Just in case you've had your head stuck in the ground lately (wise move – there are panthers out there, you know) – the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show is just days away and activity at the showground is entering the frantic, flurried stage.
We've had the first glimpses of the show's centrepiece, the massive RHS Edible Garden at 1,850 sq m – that's nearly half an acre. Among sneak peeks are the Beekeeper's Garden, plants under wraps in the central display and some seriously huge vegetables.
Meanwhile Antonia Young, designing small garden 'Cinema Paradiso', has been panic-buying cushions (Shepherd's Bush market and a certain cut-price furniture store have stepped into the breach). Melissa Jolly reveals the Rousseau painting behind a scene in her conceptual garden 'Picturesque'; and I can't wait to see what Jekka McVicar's arch of goat's rue (Galega officinalis) looks like.
Catch all the Hampton Court highlights on BBC2 from Monday night; and on this very blog we've got guest posts appearing all week from, among others, Anoushka Feiler, Rachel de Thame, Fiona Stephenson and the irrepressible Tom Hart-Dyke. All the après-show your heart could desire.
Out and about...
Tickets for Hampton Court are available from the RHS website or on the gate, and the show opens to RHS members only from Tuesday and to everyone from Thursday till Sunday. The special preview evening on Monday includes live music and fireworks over the Long Water; tickets are limited and selling out, though, so get your skates on.
After the show, if your feet aren't too sore, head into London for Lots in Pots at the Garden Museum. Over 20 leading gardeners, designers and writers have planted up large pots for auction to raise money for the Museum's horticultural internship programme; among those whose plant combinations you can admire (and nick for your own containers) are this year's Chelsea winner Cleve West, Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd and Tom Stuart-Smith.
Sally Nex is a garden writer and blogger and part of the BBC Gardening team.