Gardeners World episode 11 2012: With warm weather and little risk of frost, Monty Don is planting out his tender annual plants into a container for colour and interest all summer long. He is also busy in the vegetable garden with tips and advice on how best to grow cauliflowers and protect them so that you get to eat them before the birds and caterpillars do.
Carol Klein answers an unusual dilemma from a gardener that lives in a lighthouse and has particularly harsh, exposed growing conditions to deal with.
Garden visiting is more popular than ever in Britain, particularly over the summer months. To kick the season off we go to the tranquil Worcestershire village of Feckenham, where over 30 private gardens are getting ready to open their doors to the public.
Gardeners World episode 11 2012
Planting a peony
There are two types of peony – tree peonies and herbaceous peonies. Both are easy to grow and very long lived. But there’s a fundamental difference in the way they are planted. Tree peonies need to be planted deep to encourage the graft to form its own roots, whereas herbaceous peonies like to be planted close to the surface. Follow Monty Don’s advice and you can’t go wrong.
Slow-growing but rewarding, peonies are aristocratic plants with a brief but keenly anticipated flowering in late spring to early summer. Bowl-shaped, white, cream, pink, yellow or red flowers, often spicily scented, are either loosely crammed with petals or more open.
Success with cauliflowers
Cauliflowers have a reputation for being difficult to grow. They need loads of water, plenty of food and if they suffer the slightest check in growth, may not produce any heads at all. So what’s the secret of success? Good soil preparation according to Monty Don.
In the shops, cauliflowers are almost always creamy white, but grow your own and you can enjoy attractive and tasty yellow, green or purple ones. They take up quite a bit of space, need rich, deep soil and need plenty of watering, especially in summer, but they can be grown all year round.