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Eric Robson chairs GQT Derbyshire. Bob Flowerdew, Bunny Guinness and Anne Swithinbank answer a range of horticultural questions from an audience of local gardeners.

Also, Eric visits the village of Tissington to explore one of the longest running horticultural traditions in Britain.

Produced by Howard Shannon.
Assistant Producer: Darby Dorras.
A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4

This week's questions:

Q. What new varieties of seeds are the panel planting in 2014 and why?

A. Bob has been trying out new varieties of carrots, including red, purple, yellow and white carrots. Anne is going to experiment with different varieties of pumpkin and squash. Bunny is going to plant Rainbow Beetroot.

Q. I can grow Embothrium coccineum (Chilean Firebush) in South West Scotland & South West England. Why is it so difficult in North West England?

A. Embothrium coccineum depends on an acidic soil and warmer temperatures. Scotland and the south of England benefit from the impact of the Gulf Stream.

Q. Could the panel suggest some shrubs that will survive altitude, poor weather and possible neglect?

A. A rose would be recommended such as the Bengal Beauty Rose. It is a bright purple rose which can flower throughout winter. This would go well with an evergreen such as Holly, for example Hedgehog Holly or Castanifolia. It is worth noting that Holly can take up to two years until it begins to flourish. Another suggestion would be the Philadelphus Manteau d'Hermine, which is a type of mock orange and is extremely scented when in flower. Dwarf Lilacs, such as the Palibin Lilac, would be nice and fragrant. Finally, for something slightly more challenging, try Daphne Odora Aureomarginata.

Q. Our garden is long, flat and boggy for most of the year. What would the panel recommend to plant in a border shaded by a Beech hedge?

A. A small herbaceous plant Geums (Water Avens) would be recommended, as they do not mind boggy soils. Troilus Buttercup tolerates moisture and shady environments. Try Rheum palmatum or the Purpureum variety for large purple leaves. Hydrangea Argentina would compliment the Rheum palmatum nicely. Finally, Canna iridiflora would love these conditions and would flower from July to November.

Q. We have planted a small vineyard on our allotment site; we have had success with 150 bottles of wine made with our latest harvest. However five vines have withered and died. Could the panel suggest what might have caused this and is the plan to replace like for like ideal?

A. The most likely cause is vine weevil. Dig around and see if you can find a sign of them. They can be sorted by using a vine weevil cure when the soil is warm and wet.

Q. I have a rockery covered with unwanted plants, grass and bindweed. Do the panel have a suggestion for a solution to get rid of them?

A. Bunny would recommend glyphosate weed killer but advises not to use it when it is going to rain within six hours. It is meant to be used in the spring but can be used in cold temperatures if applied more often. Bob would suggest pouring boiling water on the rocks regularly and/or hand weeding. Anne also suggests planting Gazania within the next two years to regulate weeding while allowing the rockery to rest.

Release date:

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43 minutes

Last on

Sun 9 Mar 2014 14:00

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