Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 16: Monty plants out sweetcorn, checks in on his container veg and creates a display with fuchsias. Nick Bailey visits a nurserywomen and gardener in Cheshire who uses perennials as the stars of the garden to provide interest throughout the year. With only a few weeks to go, Sue Kent shares an update on the progress of her first ever show garden, destined for the Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival.
Also tonight, more Gardeners’ World viewers share what they’ve been getting up to in their gardens. And there’s a gardener in Somerset who couldn’t live without roses in her garden.
Across the country `Gardeners’ World’ presenters, from their own gardens and homes, give advice and share their knowledge to enable people to get the most out of their gardens. For further inspiration, professionals, horticulturists and hobby gardeners provide fellow green-fingered enthusiasts with useful tips and suggestions, no matter the size of garden or level of expertise. Whether it is creating depth in a small, backyard garden or how to make the most of the latest spinach crop with homemade pesto, presenters prove that the possibilities are endless for any gardener and garden.
Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 16
Sweetcorn is delicious steamed then eaten simply with a knob of butter, fresh from the garden. These tall plants also make a useful windbreak and an ornamental feature.
Sweetcorn is most successful in long hot summers, although many modern cultivars are better suited to our cooler climate. You can buy early, mid-season and late cultivars – in colder regions, early cultivars will do best. ‘Supersweet’ cultivars are much sweeter than the older varieties and retain their sweetness for longer, but are less vigorous. Take care not to grow Supersweet plants next to other cultivars, as cross-pollination can result in poor flavour. Another option is ‘Extra Tendersweet’ sweetcorn, which is almost as sweet and less chewy.
Sweetcorn cobs starts to ripen from mid-summer onwards. Once the tassels at the end of a cob have turned chocolate brown, test for ripeness – peel back a little of the husk and pierce a kernel with your fingernail. If a watery liquid squirts out, it’s not yet ripe, if the liquid is creamy, the cob is ready, but if it’s paste-like then the cob is over-mature. Twist ripe cobs and pull sharply from the stem. Once picked, sweetcorn rapidly loses its flavour, so only harvest when required and eat as soon as possible.
Unlike their tender cousins, hardy fuchsia can survive outside in most UK gardens without the need for cossetting over winter indoors. These fuchsias tend to have an upright habit with the stems arching towards the tips, under the weight of the flowers. Compact forms can be used in containers and at the front of borders. Taller varieties make attractive flowering hedges.
The flowers dangle in pairs, like mini ballerinas with tutus, along the stems towards the tips. Colours include pale pinkish-white, and all shades of pink, red and violet-purple. Some have golden, variegated or slightly darker green leaves, adding to the contrast with the flowers. Fuchsias grow happily in any garden with moist-but-well-drained soil, sun or light shade, and shelter from cold winds.
They will not do well in excessively dry or wet soils, resent exposed sites with drying cold wind and will not flower in deep shade. During a hard winter the growth will often die back, but new growth will appear from below the ground in spring. Prune back the dead to allow the new shoots through in mid to late April.