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Episode 16

Episode 16 of 31

Plants that have a head for heights come under the spotlight this week. At Craigieburn Garden in the Scottish Borders, Gardeners' World discovers a unique collection of Himalayan plants and visits a nurseryman in Hebden Bridge who has been growing alpines since he was a teenager.

30 minutes

Last on

Sun 4 Feb 2018 07:05

Food for bees

Food for bees

Bees obtain their food from nectar and pollen produced by flowers. Some plants produce a lot of this, whilst others produce nothing at all. The greater the number of suitable flowering plants in your garden the better. If space allows, try to grow several of the same type of plant, as planting in drifts helps the bees find their food. A range of flower shapes is important too. Shallow, open flowers enable short-tongued bees to access their food, while tubular flowers are better for those with longer tongues.

Here are our top 10 nectar-rich plants that flower at this time of year:

  • Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)
  • Annual lavatera (Lavatera trimestris)
  • Borage (Borago officinalis)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)
  • Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii)
  • Large blue alkanet (Anchusa azurea)
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
  • Thyme (Thymus species)
  • Viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare)

More bee-friendly plants (

Alpine nursery featured

Slack Top Nursery
Alpine House
22A Slack Top
Hebden Bridge
West Yorkshire
Tel. 01422 845348

Slack Top Nursery (

Himalayan garden featured

Craigieburn Garden 
Dumfries & Galloway
DG10 9LF

Craigieburn Garden (

Jobs for the weekend: Thin developing apples

In early summer, many trees will naturally shed their fruit, a phenomenon known as the ‘June drop’. Despite this, in a good growing year, a fruit tree may still carry too many fruitlets which, if left, will develop into small fruit. With apples, thinning these fruitlets to two per spur will help to improve their final size.

More on growing apples (

Jobs for the weekend: Harvest garlic

Garlic is ready to lift as soon as the foliage starts to turn yellow. Using a fork, gently lever the plants out of the ground and allow them to dry thoroughly until the leaves start to rustle. Thereafter, store somewhere cool and dry.

How to grow garlic (

Jobs for the weekend: Prune fan-trained plums & cherries

Stone fruits like cherries and plums should only be pruned in June, July or August. Pruning at any other time of the year increases the risk of infection from bacterial canker and silver leaf. Fan-training is a good way of growing vigorous fruit trees in a small space. For more details on how to prune them, click on the link below. 

How to prune fan-trained trees (


Role Contributor
Presenter Monty Don
Presenter Matthew Wilson
Series Producer Chloe Rawlings
Series Editor Liz Rumbold