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King's Cross Skip Garden

Kathy Clugston and the panel are in London at the King's Cross Skip Garden.

Kathy Clugston and the panel are in London at the King's Cross Skip Garden. James Wong, Bob Flowerdew and Anne Swithinbank answer the audience's questions.

This week, the panellists help a novice gardener with what to plant on her balcony, discuss how to improve clay soil, and consider what you can grow on a yacht.

James Wong visits the Story Garden and discovers "the garden of a thousand hands". Jane Riddiford, the founding director of Global Generation, and Kiloran Benn O'Leary, the Story Garden Manager, show James around.

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 - The so-called garden bridge is apparently a non-starter. What building or structure would you long to see covered in flowers and plants? (2 minutes)



Q - As an enthusiastic yet unskilled gardener with a small balcony which receives blazing sunshine in the summer and no sunshine in the winter. What can I plant in pots which I won’t kill? (4 minutes 10)


Bob – The New Zealand flax




James – The variations of the New Zealand flax – Phormium Tenax and Phormium Cookianum


Cordyline australis ‘Torbay Dazzler’

Cacti – Opuntia



Q – How can I improve the clay soil of a tiny south facing garden which is rock-solid in summer and too cold in winter, and currently only workable for a few weeks each year? (7 minutes)


Anne – Perennials – Achillea filipendulina ‘Gold Plate’, Japanese Anemone


Q – We are a group of 26 women in a co-housing community with ¾ of an acre of garden. It is a mixture of flowers, fruit and vegetables. 6 of us are keen gardeners but not very well organised. What would you suggest to get the other 20 more actively involved? (10 minutes 05)



Q – My 20-year-old pomegranate tree has fruited for the first time. The fruit are tiny – what should I do? (22 minutes 40)


Q – I have a Camellia in pot which has flowered successfully for 30 years. This was the first year it did not flower. How can I get it to flower for next year? (26 minutes 25)


Anne – Rhododendron ‘Fragrantissimum



Q – I have had an elm bonsai for a couple of years, and it has been pretty good but recently it has started dropping its leaves, growing back and dropping them again. Is there a cause for this? (33 minutes 50)


Q – What can the panel recommend to grow on a yacht that can withstand boiling hot summers, cold summers, and rolling around on the high seas.  (37 minutes 40)


Bob – Mushrooms and oyster mushroom


Anne – Pea-shoots


James – Oyster leaves  (Mertensia Maritima)


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