Spring into Summer

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Duration: 30 minutes

Plantswoman Carol Klein shares with us a year in her garden at Glebe Cottage in North Devon.

In May and June everything in the garden is surging forwards, full of exuberance. Rather than sitting back to enjoy it all, Carol is planting out sweet peas, picking the first salad leaves and staking perennials.

Blossom drips from the trees, the woodland garden is carpeted with bluebells, and primal ferns begin to unfold. Carol's opulent oriental poppies pop their hats in the early summer heat and as the welcome hum of insects returns to the garden, Carol and husband Neil take delivery of their first hive of honey bees.

  • May In Bloom - Foxgloves

    May In Bloom - Foxgloves

    Foxgloves are probably the most ‘exotic’ looking of all our native flora and a cottage garden without them would not be complete. Whether you prefer the native purple or the selected whites remember, they are usually biennial. Collecting and sowing seed each year will provide flowers annually.

    BBC Gardening - Foxglove
  • June In Bloom – Crambe cordifolia

    June In Bloom – Crambe cordifolia

    Crambe cordifolia is a true giant of the herbaceous border reaching up to 2 metres high. When in full flower in early summer, it’s hard to imagine that it is a member of the cabbage family but bruise its fleshy leaves and it emits a distinct cabbagy smell. Its long tap roots make it ideal for taking root cuttings.

    BBC Plantfinder - Crambe
  • Hot Borders – Oriental poppy

    Hot Borders – Oriental poppy

    The flamboyant scarlets and oranges of oriental poppies flag the transition of the seasons from late spring into early summer. Like Crambe, they too, have long tap roots and can be propagated by root cuttings.

    RHS – Root cuttings
  • Hot Borders – Carol’s dead banana

    Carol’s much loved banana didn’t survive the winter (even though she had protected it in the greenhouse). During the summer its exotic foliage made a dramatic statement in the Hot Borders. Hardier species, such as Musa basjoo, can be left in the ground over winter though it is best to wrap plants to protect from cold weather.

    RHS Banana info
  • Alice’s Garden – Rosa mundi

    Alice’s Garden – Rosa mundi

    Carol’s daughter Alice’s middle name is Rosamund so in Alice’s garden, Carol grows an exquisite rose of the same name. Rosa gallica 'Versicolor' to give it it’s full name is a very old rose and is said to be named after Fair Rosamund, mistress of Henry II. It’s a shrub rose producing large semi-double blooms with splashes of pink and white on a crimson background.

    BBC Gardening - Rosa mundi
  • Bluebell Walk.

    May is bluebell time and a walk through a woodland glade amassed with bluebells fills the soul. Many gardens and farms around the country hold bluebell walks at this time of the year, Carol takes her dog Fleur for a walk through Chenson Farm woods, its well worth finding out when and where your local walks take place. Take some time-out and enjoy the spring.

    Chenson Farm - Bluebell walk
  • Compost heap - Nettles.

    Nettles are a great addition to the compost heap. They bring up trace elements from deep down in the soil and this is then released into the compost. They are also a good source of nitrogen for making a rich organic nettle feed.

    Garden Organic – Nettle feed


Carol Klein
David Henderson
Mark Scott
Series Producer
Tricia Lawton
Executive Producer
Sarah Moors


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