Gardeners’ World 2021 episode 25: As we head into autumn, it’s time for Monty to get some shrubs in the ground and plan ahead for spring with some bulb planting. Meanwhile, Frances Tophill joins Sue Kent on her allotment near Swansea to find out how her growing year has been.
We also meet a man in Bedfordshire to learn about his passion for salvias and pay a visit to a beautiful garden in Gwent, where a sloping garden has been transformed. And, as always, we share some of our favourite films sent in by viewers.
Gardeners’ World 2021 episode 25
Weeds can be controlled without resorting to weedkillers. Cultural or organic control measures rely on killing or restricting the weeds by physical action, from manual removal to smothering, burning and using weed barriers.
All weeds can be controlled without weedkillers, but persistent or deep rooted weeds may be very difficult to eradicate. Ongoing control is likely to be necessary. Annual weeds (which only live for a year) and epehemeral weeds (which live for less than a year) are the easiest to control, as they are usually shallow rooted. However, they can scatter seed prolifically, so usually reappear and require further control.
Deep-rooted perennial weeds (which die down in the winter and re-grow each spring) will re-grow from their roots if the tops are removed or burned off. They can be difficult to dig out and may grow up through weed barriers in time.
Weeds can be controlled whenever they are troublesome, which is usually in the spring and summer months. It is a good idea to put weed barriers in place in late winter or early spring, as they work better as a preventative than when an existing problem requires suppression.
Shrubs – Gardeners’ World 2021 episode 25
Shrubs are deciduous or evergreen woody plants and provide a variety of fragrant flowers, berries, autumn colour, foliage and coloured stems. In addition, they add shape and a basic structural framework to the garden and provide shelter and a food source for wildlife. They can be evergreen (retain leaves in winter) or deciduous (lose leaves in winter), although there are some that lose their leaves only in very cold weather (semi-evergreen).
Shrubs vary substantially in shape, size and habit and come from a wide range of habitats and climatic conditions. With an enormous range of shrubs, both deciduous, evergreen and semi-evergreen, offered by garden centres and nurseries it is possible to find ones to suit a wide range of sites. Selecting the right shrub for the right place and soil conditions and buying a good quality plant is important if the shrub is to thrive.
A shrubs native habitat indicates the growing conditions it requires in the garden. Most shrubs are usually reliable and easy to plant successfully but some from warmer climates suffer in winter and need the shelter of a wall or greenhouse and well-drained conditions. Others such as ericaceous (lime-hating) shrubs including rhododendrons and camellia thrive in a moist acid soil and should not be planted in dry, alkaline or limed soils.
How to grow hyacinths
Hyacinths come in a wide range of vibrant colours with a distinctive scent, making them ideal for a spring displays. There’s not much difference between them other than the colour, so choose those you really like.
If you’re still stumped, then take a look at the hyacinths that were given the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) following our trial. These were chosen for good garden display and are part of our recommended choices.
Plant bulbs outdoors in borders and containers in early autumn for flowering in March and April. Prepared bulbs should be planted in September if you want blooms for Christmas flowering, as they require 10-12 weeks for good root and shoot development.
Hyacinths are ideal for borders and containers, particularly close to paths or doors so you can appreciate their heady perfume. They prefer well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun if they are going to remain in one place for a few years. Hyacinths will also tolerate partial shade for a one-off display, but they will bloom less well in the following years if left there. They are fully hardy in the ground, but can be frost tender in containers in cold gardens and sever winters.