Episode 4

Image for Episode 4Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Gardeners' World, 2013 Episode 4 of 31

Duration: 30 minutes

We have a long Easter weekend ahead to get to grips with timely gardening tasks and Monty Don has plenty of ideas of what to do now. Amongst other jobs he'll be cutting back his grass borders while Joe Swift reveals his top tips for creating a naturalistic garden.

Carol Klein makes her way down to Cornwall in search of a garden full of beautiful spring colour.

And if you're heading off to the garden centre this weekend, there's all you need to know about bedding plants from the 'living catalogue' of new and existing varieties at Ball Colegrave in Banbury, Oxfordshire.

  • Naturalistic planting


    Ornamental grasses help to add texture and movement to a garden in a way no other plant can. And when combined with herbaceous perennials, they create a lovely relaxed feel. Unlike a traditional mixed border, tall, see-through plants can be planted at the front – this is where grasses like Stipa gigantea really come into their own. For winter interest, it also helps to include specimens with attractive seed heads. With this in mind, Joe used the following plants in his design:

    • Verbascum (Mullein)
    • Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm' (Coneflower)
    • Echinacea purpurea
    • Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ (Feather reed grass)
    • Phlomis russeliana (Jerusalem sage)
    • Sedum
    • Stipa tenuissima (Mexican feather grass)
    • Persicaria (Bistort)
    • Allium
    • Stipa gigantea (Golden oats)
    • Verbena bonariensis
    • Eupatorium (Joe Pye weed)
  • Garden featured

    Bosvigo Lane
    TR1 3NH


    Bosvigo is open every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from the beginning of March through to the end of September. For more information, please see their website.


    Bosvigo (www.bosvigo.com)

  • Gardening under trees


    Gardening in the shade is often seen as a challenge by some, especially under deciduous trees where light and moisture are in short supply over the summer. But Wendy Perry, the plantswoman Carol went to see, regards it as an opportunity to grow some fabulous plants. The trick is to select plants that will thrive in this situation and, over the years, Wendy has learnt what works and what doesn’t. Here are some she just couldn’t live without:

    • Anemone appenina (Appenine anemone)
    • Anemone nemorosa (Wood anemone)
    • Epimedium (Barrenwort)
    • Erythronium (Dog’s tooth violet)
    • Ferns
    • Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten rose)
    • Hepatica
    • Heuchera (Coralbells)
    • Hyacinthoides non-scripta (English bluebell)
    • Lunaria rediviva (Perennial honesty)
    • Muscari armeniacum  (Grape hyacinth)
    • Narcissus (Daffodil)
    • Scilla siberica (Siberian squill)

    To help improve moisture retention and keep weeds at bay, Wendy recommends mulching with well-rotted compost or leafmould. To be effective  this needs to be at least 5cm (2in) thick and is best applied in late autumn or winter, when the plants are dormant.


    More on gardening under trees (rhs.org.uk)

  • Nursery featured

    Ball Colegrave, the nursery we featured, is one the leading suppliers of bedding in the UK. They raise millions of plants for the trade each year who then sell them on to garden centres. Their trial grounds near Banbury in Oxfordshire are not normally open to the public, but on Wednesday 24 July, they plan to hold a special open evening for members of the public. Check out their website below for more details.


    Ball Colegrave Open Evening (www.ballcolegrave.co.uk)

  • Jobs for the weekend: Cut back dogwood

    If you grow dogwood for its wonderful coloured stems, now is the time to give it a good prune. By cutting it back hard, you’ll stimulate lots of new growth which, in turn, will guarantee you a good display next winter. You can either cut the whole lot right back or remove half now and the rest in a year’s time.   And instead of throwing all the prunings away, stick a few in the ground. They take fairly easily from cuttings, so there’s a good chance you’ll to get some new plants for free.


    More on growing dogwood (rhs.org.uk)

  • Jobs for the weekend: Sow tomatoes

    Late March is a good time to sow tomatoes, regardless of whether you plan to grow them indoors or out. Monty likes to sow his in trays using multi-purpose compost. Sprinkle the seed thinly over the surface and then lightly cover them with more compost. Water and allow to drain before placing them somewhere warm and light. With luck, the seed should germinate within a week or so.


    More on growing tomatoes (rhs.org.uk)

  • Jobs for the weekend: Pot up bedding bought as plugs

    Over the next few weeks, garden centres will be selling bedding plants by the million. But many of these are tender and it’s much too early to plant them out. However, plugs are good value for money and if you buy them now and grow them on, you’ll have much bigger plants for your money by the time summer arrives.


    More about bedding plants

  • Gardens to visit at Easter

    Easter is a great time to get out and about, so if you fancy a bit of fresh air, here are a few ideas to get you started. If bad weather is forecast, please do phone the garden in question beforehand just in case it has had to close. 


Monty Don
Carol Klein
Joe Swift
Series Editor
Liz Rumbold
Babs Lewis


This week's expert advice

More expert gardening advice

Find out more about the gardens featured in the show and get some topical tips.

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