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Episode 22

Episode 22 of 31

Carol Klein catches up with Geoff and Sally Davis to see how their garden renovation project is coming along. And Monty Don is at Longmeadow enjoying the fruits of his labour, with plenty of seasonal advice in store.

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 28 Aug 2015 08:15

Garden visited

Parham House & Gardens
West Sussex
RH20 4HS 
Tel. 01903 742021

Tom’s sunflower display at Parham House should continue to flower right through September. If you fancy seeing it in all its glory, check out the link below for more information. 

Parham House (

Tom’s sunflower trial

Tom’s sunflower trial

The sunflower trial at Parham House is still ongoing, with many of the taller varieties still growing skywards without any flowers! But Tom’s been impressed with some of the shorter varieties, many of which look great in a vase. Here are his top five recommendations: 

  • Junior: Early, dwarf variety with a vast amount of flowers. No staking required.
  • Italian White: At around 2m (6ft) high, this multi-stemmed sunflower has small, cream flowers with a dark centre.
  • Munchkin: Classic dwarf yellow variety with long side-shoots. No staking required.
  • Santa Lucia: Flowers have an antique look about them and look great when mixed with dark dahlias. Likely to grow to 1.5m (4.5ft).
  • Sonja: Small golden flowers that associate well with other flowers.

How to grow sunflowers (

Planting in dry shade

Planting in dry shade

Dry shade is one of the most difficult conditions to deal with in the garden and one many gardeners wrestle with. As Monty says, lifting or thinning the tree canopy will help to increase light levels and soils can be improved with the addition of compost or leafmould. Here are some other solutions:

  • Raised beds: Consider creating a low wall around the problem area with boards or a ring of stones and then backfill with improved soil. This will really help to get plants well established.
  • Plant in containers: A collection of pots neatly arranged and planted up can make a success of an otherwise uninspiring corner of the garden. As well as perennial plants, seasonal bedding can be included like begonias and busy lizzies to bring brightness to what can be a dull area.
  • Watering: Keeping plants well watered in their first season is the key to success. A good soaking once a week is far better than giving them a quick drink every day. Consider burying a seep hose watering system through the area and, once planted, mulching with a thick layer of bark chippings.

Dry shade need not spell gardening doom! Rather than a problem, see it as an opportunity for yet more wonderful plants.

Plants for under trees (

Jobs for the weekend: Prune summer-fruiting raspberries

Summer-fruiting raspberries produce fruit on the previous year’s canes. Now that fruiting is over, it’s important to remove the old canes and tie in the new growth ready for next season’s crop.

More on raspberries (

Jobs for the weekend: Cut back campanulas

Many perennials benefit from being cut back at this time of year. As well as helping to promote new growth, with some types you may even get a second flush of flowers.

More on cutting back perennials (

Jobs for the weekend: Harvest chillies & peppers

As chillies and sweet peppers begin to ripen, don’t hesitate to harvest them. Whilst they may look pleasing when left on the plant, in doing so you’ll inhibit further flower formation and thereby reduce yields.

More on growing chillies & peppers (


Role Contributor
Presenter Monty Don
Presenter Carol Klein
Series Producer Chloe Rawlings
Series Editor Liz Rumbold


  • Fri 21 Aug 2015 20:30
  • Sat 22 Aug 2015 16:30
  • Sat 22 Aug 2015 17:30
  • Sun 23 Aug 2015 08:30
  • Fri 28 Aug 2015 08:15