Monty Don and the team celebrate the start of summer as they indulge in the stunning array of colour and scent beginning to take over our gardens.
Carol Klein continues her celebration of great plants and the people who champion them. In this episode she's at Glendoick near Perth enjoying their wonderful collection of flamboyant rhododendrons.
Joe Swift visits world-renowned opera venue Glyndebourne in Sussex. He meets the head gardener, and is given an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of their gardens only days before the opera season begins and the gates open to the public.
Monty’s cottage garden
Planting vegetables, herbs and flowers together in a garden can make the most of a small space, meaning you can have a beautiful garden AND eat it! This is a tradition in cottage gardening but can also be called polyculture (the mixing of all sorts of plant types together) - for more information see the link below.
Monty plants chard, kale, borage and cosmos amongst the roses in his cottage garden. Chard will produce leafy greens over the summer until the first frost and kale will continue to produce tasty leaves right through winter. Monty also plants borage; its blue flowers will attract wildlife and can be added to salads and drinks to make them look pretty and add a taste of cucumber. Cosmos is purely grown for its lovely flowers which are enjoyed by a variety of pollinators.
Tel: 01273 812321
The beautiful gardens at Glyndebourne enhance the experience of visits to the opera, both for paying guests and those working on performances. With an area designed for quiet contemplation contrasting another designed with tropical and dramatic plants, there’s a place for everyone to reflect on the music or unwind after work.
The gardens are open to ticket holders on performance days or for groups on specially organised visits. Follow the link below for more information.
Rhododendron garden featured
Tel: 01738 860205
The historical and stunning Glendoick gardens have the perfect soil and climate for growing rhododendrons. They will be open until Saturday the 7th June 2014 for visitors wishing to take a look at their extraordinary collection. Group visits at other times of year can be arranged by appointment, follow the link below for more information on the gardens:
Jobs for the weekend: Prepare nettle and comfrey feeds
Making your own plant feed can be rewarding albeit a little smelly. Nettles make a feed which is high in nitrogen and great for leafy green growth. Comfrey is high in potassium but also contains nitrogen and phosphate, making it useful for leafy growth but also for flower and fruit production.
To make the feeds, fill a bucket with nettle or comfrey leaves. Use gloves when harvesting - we know nettles sting but comfrey also has irritant hairs on it!
Roughly chop up the contents and add more leaves if there is space. Fill to the brim with water and set aside somewhere for about four weeks. Cover the brew as this will help reduce the smell and prevent heavy rain from watering down the liquid. When the brew is ready, dilute 1:10 or 1:20 (aiming for a tea-coloured liquid) and water on to plants.
Nettle plant food (www.nettles.org.uk)
Jobs for the weekend: Plant out pumpkins and squashes
Make sure shop-brought or seed-raised squashes and pumpkins are hardened off before planting out. Create a depression in soil that has been enriched with organic matter and plant at the base. The depression in the soil helps water accumulate around the plant itself rather than run off and the organic matter will feed the plants as they grow. Bush and trailing squashes will need different amounts of space; check the seed packet for exact planting distances.
How to grow squash (www.rhs.org.uk/advice)
Jobs for the weekend: Tie-in climbing plants
Climbing plants are growing rapidly at this time of year and if not tied in to supports will end up scrambling along the ground or, worse still, being pulled off fences and walls by their own increasing weight. Tie in new growth now to prevent damage and also to make the most of flowers which may be drooping down. Keeping your climbers well supported also simplifies autumn and winter pruning as you’ll be able to see the plant’s structure more easily.
Climbers and wall shrubs (www.rhs.org.uk)
|Series Producer||Christina Nutter|
|Series Editor||Liz Rumbold|