Gardeners’ World 2022 episode 32: Monty harvests his loofahs, plants tulip bulbs in pots, gives a masterclass in making leafmould and reflects on the gardening year. Carol Klein joins a special autumn colour tour at the National Arboretum in Gloucestershire, an indoor gardener shares their passion for terrariums, and from north Somerset comes a look at the work involved in creating a spectacular autumnal display from seasonal produce. Also, more viewers share what they’ve been getting up to in their gardens.
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 32
How to grow tulips
Planted as bulbs, tulips provide spring flowers in dazzling colours and flower shapes. Grow them in borders, rock gardens and containers before summer flowers appear. Specialist tulips related to wild species often multiply in gardens.
Flowering in spring, this type are seen growing in gardens and parks as temporary displays of seasonal colour (bedding) in borders and containers. They have large colourful flowers, upright stems and wide strappy leaves. There is a wide range of flower colour to choose from; including white-cream, yellow-orange, blue-purple, red-pink, even greens and dark black-purple. Flower shape adds to this diversity, with single-, double-, lily-flowered, viridiflora, fringed and parrot forms. Different tulip cultivars flower from early to late spring, so careful planning can give a succession of colour before summer flowers begin.
A wide selection of border tulips can be bought as dry bulbs from nurseries and garden centres in autumn. They are sold loose or in labelled packs. Choose firm bulbs, which show no signs of mould. The papery brown skin sometimes falls off, but this won’t affect flowering. Buying around 25 to 50 bulbs for every sq m (yd) of garden you want to plant will ensure a really good flowering display (using 25 or less is possible, it’s just you ideally need to underplant with forget-me-not, pansies, wallflowers or primroses so that it doesn’t look gappy). For containers, around 12 would be enough for a 45cm (18in) wide pot, but you can increase this to 20 bulbs for a fuller display.
If you miss out on buying and planting bulbs in autumn, gardening retail outlets and supermarkets often have bulbs grown in containers available in spring. Ideally buy these before they come into full flower.
Leafmould is formed from decaying leaves and produces an invaluable soil conditioner. The best quality leafmould is produced from the leaves of oak, beech or hornbeam.
All leaves and conifer needles will eventually break down into leafmould. Some leaves, such as oak, beech or hornbeam, break down with little assistance and produce an excellent quality product. Thick leaves like sycamore, walnut, horse chestnut and sweet chestnut need to be shredded before adding to the leafmould pile, as they are much slower to break down. Alternatively, they can be added to the compost heap after shredding.
Evergreens such as holly, Aucuba and cherry laurel, are better shredded and added to the compost heap, where they will break down faster than if added to the leafmould pile. Conifer needles will eventually break down, but may take two to three years to decay. Conifer hedge clippings are better added to the compost heap than used for making leafmould. Pine needles are worth gathering and placing in a separate leafmould pile as they produce acidic leafmould, which is ideal for mulching ericaceous plants, such as rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, Pieris and blueberries.