Monty Don celebrates the arrival of spring at Longmeadow where his tulips are looking fantastic. He also gets on with planting some clematis in his new cottage garden, along with a batch of kale on his veg plot.
Rachel de Thame takes a walk down memory lane when she visits Keukenhof in the Netherlands with her mother and Carol Klein is in Devon on the trail of early plant hunters responsible for the glorious selection of magnolias brought to these shores.
Late spring is the perfect time to direct sow hardy annuals. Because the soil is warm, they’ll germinate in a matter of days. As Monty explained, they can be sprinkled over the soil and given a light rake, or sown in defined lines so that you can tell what’s what when you come to weed. Packets of mixed seed can be bought from garden centres, but if you want to stick to a specific colour theme, it’s probably best to select them individually. Here are some of our favourites.
Agrostemma githago (Corn cockle)
Ammi majus (Bishop’s flower)
Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold)
Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower)
Chrysanthemum segetum (Corn marigold)
Delphinium consolida (Larkspur)
Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy)
Limnanthes douglasii (Poached egg plant)
Linaria maroccana (Fairy toadflax)
Tropaeolum majus (Nasturtium)
Nigella damascena (Love-in-a-mist)
Orlaya grandiflora (White laceflower)
Papaver rhoeas (Shirley poppy)
Papaver somniferum (Opium poppy)
Magnolia garden featured
Marwood Hill Gardens
Tel. 01271 342528
The magnolia garden Carol went to see in Devon is open every day until the end of September. Most of the magnolias are past their best now, but there are plenty of other spectacular plants to see. Check out their website below for more information.
Dutch garden featured
2161 AM Lisse
The amazing garden Rachel and her mother went to see in Holland opens for a couple of months each spring. Unfortunately, it’s about to close for this season, but if you fancy a trip next year, it’ll be open from 20 March until 18 May 2014. More details about the garden can be found below.
It’s too early in the year to be planting spring bulbs, but there’s no harm in planning next year’s display. Rachel and her mother were very taken by some of the combinations on offer at Keukenhof this year, particularly the pink and white tulips growing together in a bed. The pink one was called ‘Flaming Purissima’ and the white double ‘Exotic Emperor’. They also liked the pastel-coloured display in the wood shown here. It was made up of the following bulbs.
Narcissus 'Little Witch'
Narcissus 'Jack Snipe'
Ornithogalum nutans (Star of Bethlehem)
Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica
Tulipa 'Ivory Floradale'
Tulipa turkestanica (Turkestan tulip)
Jobs for the weekend: Plant out sweet peas
It’s time to plant out sweet peas. For best results, dig over the soil beforehand adding plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost as you go. Monty likes to use hazel bean sticks as a support, but a wigwam of bamboo canes will do the job just as well. Plant them deeply and then water them in really well. Don’t worry if you don’t see any signs of growth for the first week or so. They’ll soon get established.
Jobs for the weekend : Hoe veg
Annual weeds can grow at quite a pace in the spring, especially when the weather is warm and wet. Hoeing is often the best way of dealing with them on the veg plot, provided you do this on a dry day with a sharp hoe. Lightly skim the surface of the soil, cutting through the weeds as you go. There’s no need to gather them up – just leave them to shrivel in the sun.
Jobs for the weekend: Sow biennials
Biennials grow one year and flower the next, so you need to sow them now to guarantee a good display next year. Examples include wallflowers, foxgloves, honesty and sweet william. This can be done outside in a spare corner of your garden. Rake the soil to a fine tilth before sowing thinly in rows. Keep well watered until you’re ready to plant them out in the autumn.
|Presenter||Rachel de Thame|
|Series Editor||Liz Rumbold|