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Thrive Gardening Therapy

Peter Gibbs and the panel are in Birmingham. Bob Flowerdew, Matthew Pottage and Bunny Guinness answer this week's questions from budding gardeners.

Peter Gibbs and the panel are in Birmingham, hosted by Thrive Gardening - a gardening for health charity. Bob Flowerdew, Matthew Pottage and Bunny Guinness answer this week's questions from budding gardeners.

The panellists discuss their favourite shrubs with coloured leaves, recommend flowering herbaceous perennials, and consider how to get a fuchsia bush to flower again.

They also advise on the best time to take a cutting for a honeysuckle, prune an apricot tree, and plant forget-me-not seeds.

And Peter meets archivist Sarah Foden to discuss the local history at the Bournville gardens where the Cadbury brothers set up their Factory in a Garden in 1879, which inspired their Roses chocolates.

Produced by Darby Dorras
Assistant Producer: Rosie Merotra

A Somethin' Else production for BBC Radio 4

Available now

42 minutes

Plant List

Questions and time codes are below.

Where applicable plant names are listed


Q - I saved seeds from runner beans to sow next year and to eat over the winter. Last autumn I found a different coloured bean from the two kinds I had sown. Any comments? (3 minutes 10 seconds)


Q – What are your favourite coloured-leaved shrubs? (5 minutes 15 seconds)


MatthewToona Sinensis ‘Flamingo’ (Chinese cedar ‘Flamingo’)

Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Irene Paterson’

Fatsia japonica ‘Spider’s Web’ (Japanese aralia ‘Spider’s Web’

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ / ‘Golden Spirit’ / ‘Candy floss’ (Smoke tree ‘Royal purple’ / ‘Golden Spirit’ / ‘Candy floss’

Hydrangea anomala petiolaris ‘Summer snow’ (Climbing hydrangea)


BunnyTeucrium fruticans (Tree germander)


Q – I have a beautiful fuchsia bush in my front garden near my front door since I brought the house 8 years go. For the first 5 years it had a wonderful display of dark red flowers. In the last 3 years although growing well it has produced no flowers at all. In a last ditch attempt I cut it back and fed it quite well and so far nothing but it has grown well. Could the panel recommend anything I can do? (8 minutes 25 seconds)


Q- Can you recommend any flowering herbaceous perennials for an acid bed? (10 minutes 45 seconds)


Matthew Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’

Geranium Rozanne ‘Gerwat’


Bunny – Nepeta grandiflora ‘Summer magic’ (Summer magic Catmint)

Peony ‘Julia Rose’



Feature (14 minutes 20 seconds)



Blenheim Orange Apple Trees

Pitmaston Duchess Pear Tree


BobPitmaston Pineapple Apple Tree

Madresfield Court Grape Vines


Bunny – Dwarfing rootstock -M9 and M26


Q - I have a friend with a winter-flowering honeysuckle and I want one. How and when can I take a cutting? (22 minutes 35 seconds)


Bunny – Lonicera fragrantissima (Winter-flowering honeysuckle)


Matthew – Lonicera purpusii ‘Winter Beauty’ (honeysuckle ‘Winter Beauty’)


Q – I have been given an apricot tree in a pot about 10-foot-tall when should I prune it to make the fruit accessible should I get some? (25 minutes 20 seconds)



Correspondence (28 minutes 20 seconds)

Red Kalanchoe


Matthew – Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana (Flaming Katy)


Bunny – Eremurus (Foxtail lily)


Bob – Primulas – Cowslips and Primroses


Q – A friend left some forget-me-not seeds. Where and when is best to plant these? (33 minutes 15 seconds)


MatthewVerbena bonariensis (Purpletop vervain)


Q – Do members of the panel have a particular edible plant that they struggle to use up? (36 minutes 05 seconds)















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