Episode 1

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Gardeners' World, 2012 Episode 1 of 31

Duration: 30 minutes

Gardeners' World returns for the start of the gardening year with Monty Don in the garden at his Herefordshire home, Longmeadow. As the charge towards spring gathers pace, Monty, along with Carol Klein, Joe Swift and Rachel de Thame, are preparing for the season ahead. They'll have a host of practical tips to help you grow better and will be seeking out the most inspiring gardens in the UK to visit.

This week, as well as revealing the changes to his garden that have taken place over winter, Monty shows us how to plant bare-rooted raspberries in his renovated fruit garden and gets his secateurs out to chop back his buddleja and clematis.

As the soil warms up and activity increases in all our gardens, Monty recommends jobs for the weekend to ensure that all our seeds, seedlings and plants get off to the best possible start.

Carol Klein visits an ancient woodland site in Essex where wild species of hellebores are thriving and meets an enthusiast who is using the native plant's characteristics to help produce the next generation of garden hellebores.

Joe Swift starts his guide to terrific garden design by studying the one thing every garden has in common - boundaries, and Rachel de Thame visits the world-renowned garden of Sir Harold Hillier in Hampshire to luxuriate in the sight and scent of late winter flowering shrubs.

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    A garden in winter needn’t be devoid of scent. There are plenty of shrubs that will add the most delicious fragrance to your outdoor space. Here are some of our favourites:

    Azara microphylla (Box-leaf azara)
    Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet)
    Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca ‘Citrina’
    Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’
    Edgeworthia chrysantha (Paper bush)
    Hamamelis x intermedia (Witch hazel)
    Lonicera fragrantissima (Winter-flowering honeysuckle)
    Osmanthus delavayi
    Sarcococca confusa (Sweet box)
    Sarcococca hookeriana (Sweet box)
    Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’
    Viburnum farreri

    When planting a winter scented shrub, it’s a good idea to site it next to a path or near your house so that whenever you step outside, you can stop and enjoy its beautiful perfume.

    More on winter-flowering shrubs


    Raspberries are best planted between November and March when they’re dormant. And they’re in garden centres now. Sold in bundles of between 4 and 12 canes, they’re usually sold in a pot loosely filled with compost or simply have their roots wrapped in plastic. Canes should be uniformly brown and as thick as a pencil. Reject anything with branched or damaged canes.

    There are two types of raspberry: summer fruiting and autumn fruiting. Summer fruiters crop on canes produced the previous year and carry fruit from the middle of June to early August, depending on the variety. Autumn-fruiters crop on canes produced the same year, from mid-August to the first frosts. By growing a selection of the two you can be self-sufficient in raspberries for six months of the year. Summer-fruiting varieties yield around a kilo of fruit per plant when mature. Expect around half this amount with an autumn-fruiting variety. The four varieties Monty has chosen to grow are:

    Glen Moy – very early, summer-fruiter with tasty, medium-sized fruit.

    Glen Ample – heavy summer cropper with large, fleshy fruit. Excellent flavour and good for freezing.

    Autumn Bliss – great beginner raspberry that fruits from August onwards.

    All Gold – yellow version of Autumn Bliss with a distinctive sweet flavour.

    More on growing raspberries


    As Carol discovered during her trip to Hatfield Forest, our native hellebores thrive in a woodland setting. Many of the hellebores we grow in our gardens prefer a bit of shade too. The key to success is good soil preparation. Hellebores are deep rooted and to help them flower really well, they need plenty of nutrients. When planting, dig the soil as deeply as possible and add a good bucketful of organic matter. This can take the form of leafmould, spent mushroom compost or well-rotted manure. If you get time, it’s well worth applying a mulch in the autumn too.

    More on hellebores

    Sir Harold Hillier Gardens
    Jermyns Lane
    SO51 0QA
    Tel. 01794 368787

    Open every day except Christmas Day & Boxing Day. Please check their website for opening times.

    Sir Harold Hillier Gardens

    Chillies and peppers benefit from an early sowing as they can be slow to germinate. Fill a seed tray or some pots with multi-purpose compost and scatter the seeds thinly over the surface. Cover with a fine layer of compost or vermiculite and water. They’ll need plenty of heat, so place them on a warm windowsill or in a heated propagator if you have one.

    More on growing chillies & peppers

    If you’ve taken the trouble to store some summer bulbs in the dry over the winter, now is the time to give them a drink. A good soaking will soon wake them up, so that when it’s safe to plant them out, they’ll have put on plenty of growth.

    More on summer bulbs


Monty Don
Carol Klein
Joe Swift
Rachel de Thame
Louise Hampden
Series Producer
Liz Rumbold


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