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Kathy Clugston and the team of gardening experts are in East Dorset.

Kathy Clugston and the team of gardening experts are in East Dorset. Pippa Greenwood, Bob Flowerdew and Anne Swithenbank answer the audience's questions.

This week the panellists advise on vertical gardening, bringing an Apple Tree back to life, and what to do with a tree stump. They also discuss what may be wrong with a plum tree and whether or not there is a disease on a hydrangea.

Matt Biggs visits Peter and Cecilia Boycott at their home in Norfolk to see their alpine plant collection and talk about the returning trend for rockeries.

Producer: Darby Dorras
Assistant Producer: Jemima Rathbone

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 – 2 and a half years ago I severely pruned my neighbours 100-year-old, very productive Bramley apple tree. Last year produced a much-reduced crop and this year nothing, not even a leaf. Can you recommend me ways of restoring the tree to life? (1 minute 40)


Q – I have got an allotment. I like to grow lots of different vegetables, and I am trying to do something alternative next year. I was hoping to grow my squash and pumpkins vertically and wondered what you thought? (5 minutes 30)


Q – I have a Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) which I re-potted recently. It’s thriving and doing really well but all the new spathes are green rather than white and I wondered if you can advise on what I might do? (8 minutes 10)


Q – Which perennials can be cut back to provide a second flush of flowers, and which flowers are only once. Is there a general rule? (11 minutes 15)


Anne – Catmint (Nepeta)

Oriental Poppy (Papaver Orientale)


Feature (13 minutes 20)


Alpine Campanula (Campanula portenschlagiana)


Phlox adsurgens ‘Wagon Wheels’

Alpine Alyssum Wulfenianum ‘Golden Spring’

Alpine Aubrieta


Armeria maritima ‘Thrift’



Q – We have a very large circular patch of ground in our lawn where we had a huge Conifer felled. The remaining stump which about 4-foot-high (1.2m) and wide is in the middle of it. Apart from having the stump ground out and reinstating the lawn – what can I do with the area? (23 minutes 15)


Q – I am a big lover of hydrangeas and unfortunately one hydrangea has now got a disease on it. Do you know what it is? (26 minutes 55)


Q – Can you tell me what is wrong with my plum tree? It’s called Coe’s Golden Drop and it’s a beautiful plum, but as soon as it ripens it always gets purple patch which then produces a brown lesion and the whole plum is destroyed. (34 minutes 20)


Q – I have recently retired and will join my wife down at the allotment. What piece of wisdom can you give me that will make me look like a seasoned plantsman? (38 minutes)




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