Spring is in the air and Gardeners' World is back for a new series.
Through the coming spring, summer and autumn, Monty will be in his garden, Longmeadow, with a host of timely tips, ideas and inspiration that we can apply to our own gardens.
As usual, Monty is joined by Carol Klein, Rachel De Thame and Joe Swift.
In this episode, Carol is looking at one of the gems of early spring - the crocus, and meets world-renowned crocus expert Brian Mathew.
Over the next few weeks, Joe is looking at gardens that thrive despite their extreme locations. He starts in west Wales in a bog garden; looking at plants that love the rainfall and soggy soil.
Rachel visits a fabulous rose garden, home to over 2,500 different varieties and the perfect place to see how our tastes and fashions in roses have changed over the 20th century.
Meanwhile, back at Longmeadow, Monty is showing us what we can do now to guarantee a fantastic display of roses in the summer. He is also adding to his woodland spring planting and chitting his potatoes in anticipation of creamy new potatoes later in the year.
If your garden has been flooded or waterlogged over the winter, here’s a quick guide as to what to do next
With herbaceous plants, watch how they regrow from the soil. If part of the clump looks as though it has died back, lift the plant and remove the dead parts. Replant the healthy portions of the plant, incorporating plenty of compost as you go.
In the case of lawns, rake off any leaves, twigs and other surface debris that may have washed in during the flood. Only do this when you are able to walk on the lawn without causing damage to the grass. Spiking the lawn with a garden fork will also help. Not only will this help to relieve compaction, it’ll improve drainage too.
Trees and shrubs can suffer from prolonged periods of flooding as well. Watch how they regrow. If you notice yellowing foliage on evergreens or poor shoot development, this is a sign that some of the roots have been killed. A feed plus a mulch will encourage the roots to grow back and, during hot, dry spells over the summer, ensure that the plants are adequately watered.
More on garden flooding (www.rhs.co.uk)
Crocus garden featured
Myddelton House was the home of the famous plantsman, E A Bowles, who pioneered the breeding of crocus in the 20th century. His work focused on producing Crocus biflorus and Crocus chrysanthus hybrids, some of which can still be seen today.
The garden is open every day, all year round, and entry is free.
Myddelton House (www.visitleevalley.org.uk)
Christina Shand has been experimenting with bog garden plants for a long time. Some of them thrive in her soggy soil, while others do not. When we asked her for her top ten favourites, she came up with the following list:
- Althaea officinalis (Marsh mallow)
- Canna 'Musifolia'
- Filipendula rubra (Queen of the prairie)
- Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)
- Lychnis flos-cuculi (Ragged robin)
- Lysichiton americanus (Yellow skunk cabbage)
- Onoclea sensibilis (Sensitive fern)
- Osmunda regalis (Royal fern)
- Primula florindae (Himalayan cowslip)
- Zantedeschia aethiopica (Arum lily)
How to make a bog garden (apps.rhs.org.uk)
Bog garden featured
The amazing bog garden Joe went to see in Wales is open from Easter to the end of September. For more details about opening times, please click on the link below.
Dyffryn Fernant (www.dyffrynfernant.co.uk)
Rose garden featured
Gardens of the Rose
Chiswell Green Lane
Tel. 01727 850461
The rose garden Rachel went to see last summer is well worth a visit. It belongs to the Royal National Rose Society and consists of more than 5 acres of beautiful roses. For more details, click on the link below.
Gardens of the Rose (www.rnrs.org.uk)
Jobs for the weekend: Sow chillies & peppers
Early March is a good time to sow chillies and peppers. They can be slow to germinate and to get a good crop of fruit, you need big, bushy plants which take time to grow. Sow them thinly in a seed tray and put somewhere warm and light once they’ve been watered.
More on growing peppers (apps.rhs.org.uk)
Jobs for the weekend: Prune late-flowering clematis
Late-flowering clematis flower on new wood and so are best pruned in February or March. By pruning them now, you won’t end up with all the flowers being produced at the top of the plant and nothing but bare stems lower down. Cut the plant right down to the ground to the lowest pair of buds, even if the stems have already started to shoot.
More on clematis pruning (apps.rhs.org.uk)
Jobs for the weekend: Chit potatoes
If you want a really good harvest of new potatoes, it’s worth setting them to chit now. Simply empty the tubers into a seed tray and place somewhere cool and light. Short, green stubby shoots will start to appear in a matter of weeks, giving you a head start when you come to plant.
Grow your own spuds (www.rhs.org.uk)
|Presenter||Rachel de Thame|
|Series Producer||Christina Nutter|
|Series Editor||Liz Rumbold|