Gardening magazine. Hellebores, the jewels of the early spring border, come under the spotlight on this show. Monty Don shares his top tips on how to get the best from them.
Hellebores, the jewels of the early spring border, come under the spotlight on this show. Monty Don shares his top tips on how to get the best from them.
Carol Klein visits a couple who have just moved into a bungalow with a once much-loved but now overgrown garden. With her help over the coming year, they're hoping to create the garden of their dreams.
Juliet Davis’ garden will be open to the public in aid of charity on Sunday 22 March from 2.00-4.00pm. For further information on how to get there, visit her website.
Kapunda Plants (www.kapundaplants.co.uk)
Choosing a tree surgeon
If you’re thinking about moving or cutting down trees, do it now before the birds start nesting. If you’re unsure about what to do, get expert help.
Tree surgeons in your area can be found in the telephone directory and online. A good place to start is the Arboricultural Association Directory of Tree Surgeons.
When contacting tree surgeons, ask for a free consultation and written quote. When they come to visit, ask lots of questions such as the optimum time for pruning your particular species of tree, the most suitable type of pruning and the likely effect of pruning in the long term. The best tree surgeons should be able to give careful, considered advice. Remember, simply cutting trees across the top is not always the best option. Thinning or crown-raising (removing the lower branches) is often preferable.
Before undertaking any work to a tree, check whether you need consent from your local authority. If you’re in a conservation area, all trees are protected and you’ll need written permission from your council several weeks in advance. In other places, large trees may be covered by a Tree Preservation Order.
Once you receive your quote and decide to go ahead, make sure you know exactly what is included. You may need stump grinding and removal of debris. If you want to keep chippings for mulching you will need space to stack them for several weeks prior to use.
Whoever you choose, you must ensure that they have both third-party liability insurance cover and professional indemnity insurance. The insurance details should be stated within the agreed written quotation.
One way of guaranteeing expertise is to choose a tree surgeon approved by the Arboricultural Association. Members of this professional organisation must go through a thorough assessment every five years.
Arboricultural Association (www.trees.org.uk)
Big Dreams, Small Spaces
Jobs for the weekend: Sow broad beans
If you’re daunted by the prospect of sowing veg, then start with broad beans. They are easy to grow and taste really delicious when picked small and cooked shortly after.
To start, choose a well-drained site. Then dig the ground over, adding some garden compost or well-rotted manure. Sow seeds 5-8cms (2-3in) deep and 10-16cms (4-6in) apart. In open ground, sow in double rows 23cms (9in) apart leaving 60cms (2ft) between each double row. This will give you enough room to walk between the rows when picking your beans. In raised beds, where you won’t have to worry about picking space, all rows can be spaced 23cms (9in) apart.
Grow your own broad beans (www.rhs.org.uk)
Jobs for the weekend: Cut back late-flowering clematis
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to prune Group 3 clematis. These flower in late summer and produce blooms on the current season’s growth. Prune hard now before they get going, cutting just above a strong pair of buds about 30cm (1ft) above soil level. Clematis that can be pruned this way include C. viticella.
More on clematis pruning (www.rhs.org.uk)
Jobs for the weekend: Force rhubarb
If you fancy some sweet-tasting rhubarb, consider bringing on the crowns with a terracotta forcer. The dark, warm conditions inside force the rhubarb into growth a month early, producing soft, pale pink stems which are delicious. If you haven’t got a forcer, an upturned bucket will do the job just as well.
Grow your own rhubarb (www.rhs.org.uk)
|Series Producer||Chloe Rawlings|
|Series Editor||Liz Rumbold|