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Herefordshire

Peter Gibbs chairs the horticultural panel programme from Herefordshire. Pippa Greenwood, Chris Beardshaw and Anne Swithinbank take questions from amateur gardeners.

Peter Gibbs chairs the horticultural panel programme from Herefordshire. Pippa Greenwood, Chris Beardshaw and Anne Swithinbank take questions from amateur gardeners.

The panellists discuss avocados and plants due a comeback in popularity. They have good news for an old Wisteria and offer advice on getting apricots to fruit. They also give a masterclass in starting a prairie garden and they suggest colourful, drought-resistant plants for pots and hangers.

James Wong dives into the expanding world of Aquascaping with one of the UK's leading curators, George Farmer.

Produced by Dan Cocker
Assistant Producer: Hester Cant

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Sun 19 Aug 2018 14:00

Fact Sheet


Q – Are any vegetables susceptible to being eaten by toads?

 

Pippa – The toad won’t be eating the vegetables but he will be waiting to eat the slugs.

 

Q – I have been growing an avocado plant for two years; when will I get fruit?

 

Pippa – It’s unlikely to fruit I’m afraid

 

Anne – It might be possible in London (as it is warmer) but not in the countryside

 

Q – Plants like bergenia and epimedium are becoming popular again.  What other unloved plants deserve another chance?

 

Pippa – It is often quite cyclical like most fashions

 

Anne – Heathers. 

 

Chris – Labernum. Sorbus aria.  Be cautious reviving Pampas as it has certain connotations…

 

Anne – Mahonia.  Flowering currants. 

 

Q – My Wisteria was already old when I moved in 58 years ago.  Will it survive much longer?  It provides a home to bugs and other animals. 

 

Anne – I think these old plants take a while to die down

 

Chris – This looks like the Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) and they can grow to 150ft (45m) and are very resilient.  If you do want to prune it then do it in the summer. 

 

Q – Can I grow apricots on my allotment in Herefordshire?

 

Chris – Perfectly feasible.  Put it in a sheltered spot if possible.  You might need to aid the pollination.  Make sure you prune it back too to encourage growth.

 

Q – I am planning to plant my front garden as a prairie garden in the style of Piet Oudolf.  Do you have any advice please?

 

Chris – These are gardens based on the American prairies and are made up of graminoids (grasses), herbaceous perennials and bulbs.  It is less maintenance than a regular herbaceous border.  Start by turning the ground over, then plant a dense mix of perennials and grasses (7-10 plants per square metre).  Typical plants would be Salvias, Rudbeckias, Gaura, Echinacea, Eupatorium, Asters.  Then scythe down and mulch once a year.

 

Q – Can you suggest drought-tolerant but colourful bedding plants for my pots and hangers? 

 

Pippa – Pelargoniums. ‘Balcon’ Geraniums.

 

Anne – Mesembryanthemum or ‘Livingstone Daisies’.  Lampranthus

 

Pippa – Gazanias

 

Chris – OsteospermumSempervibum. SedumsProstantheraRosmarinus prostrataBacopa

 

 

 

 

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