Gardeners World episode 24 2020: This week Monty celebrates the plant passions of some of the extraordinary people that we have met over the last few years.From giant gooseberries and growing the perfect sweet pea to flamboyant dahlias and plants pollinated by a single human hair, Monty meets some extraordinary people.
And he has plenty of hints and tips of his own to keep gardeners busy over the bank holiday weekend.
Gardeners World episode 24 2020
How to get the best from your dahlias
Although the Dahlia originated in Mexico, it flourishes in all sorts of climate, but it is doubtful whether it flowers better anywhere than in our country. In all kinds of weather, it can be relied upon to produce an eye-catching feature in any garden. The dahlia is not fastidious as to the soil in which it grows, and blooms of high quality can be grown by any novice, it thrives better under some conditions than others, and it repays extra effort and attention.
Dahlias can be grown in an herbaceous border, in mixed beds, or as a dedicated dahlia display, but however they are grown they repay some thought as to planning and preparation. When grown in a permanent herbaceous border, it is important to bear in mind that some cultivars can develop into bushes three or more feet across and four to five feet high. Such cultivars must be given adequate space for proper development, and should be securely staked. Other cultivars produce more modest plants and look well as massed groups in dedicated beds.
Plants for wet soils in Gardeners World episode 24 2020
There are many plants which will grow successfully in soils which are permanently moist, but few will survive long spells of flooding or waterlogged conditions, especially in summer. The ones listed here are more tolerant than most.
Air and water are needed for plant roots to support healthy growth. Saturated soils will have insufficient oxygen for healthy root function and may lead to root decay. Fortunately, there are some shrubs and herbaceous perennials which don’t seem to mind having wet feet.
Improve drainage at the base of the planting hole by forking through any compacted soil. Fork through the sides of the planting hole or break down the sides into the planting hole when backfilling. This avoids creating a planting ‘bucket’ or sump which fills with water: a problem that can lead to poor establishment or the death of the tree. On heavy soils prone to winter wet, protect the finer surface feeding roots by planting trees on a slightly raised mound to improve drainage around the root system and carry out the planting in early spring.
Lithops is just one genus in a largely southern African family called the Mesembryanthemaceae, often just abbreviated to mesemb. There has been debate as to whether this should be recognised as a family and it is often incorporated into the larger plant family Aizoaceae. There is great diversity of form among the mesembs, ranging from highly evolved miniatures such as lithops through to relatively normal looking plants such as the annual Livingstone daisy Dorotheanthus bellidiformis.
However, if one compares the flowers of lithops and Livingstone daisies, the relationship becomes apparent. Moreover, they share the characteristic of their flowers only opening during the day time when the sun is shining, a feature that has given rise to the common name “mid-day flowers” for the family.
In between the two extremes, many mesembs have adopted the growth form of low shrubs with thickened leaves and in some parts of South Africa these form the dominant part of a vegetation type known as vygieveld; vygie or little fig being the Afrikaans name for members of the family. Some of these shrubby mesembs, for example lampranthus and carpobrotus, have become naturalised in milder parts of the British Isles such as coastal south Devon and Cornwall.
Conophytums grow in the western part of South Africa and also in south-west Namibia. This area has a Mediterranean climate with rain falling in the winter and with dry summers. Therefore plants in the wild are winter-growing and conos persist in this behaviour in cultivation. Their treatment is fundamentally different to that of cacti and it is worth separating them in the greenhouse and keeping them alongside other obligate winter-growers such as Cheiridopsis, Tylecodon, Bulbine, etc. Please note that these cultivation notes are based on my experience in northern Europe and that your methods might need to be somehat different in other climates.
How to grow sweet peas
Discover how easy Lathyrus are to grow. Whether raising sweetly-scented annual sweet peas or cultivating perennial peas, this page will help you get started. When choosing between sweet peas and perennial Lathyrus, the main decision is whether or not scent is important to you. Then work out whether you’d prefer an annual or perennial. There are plenty of colour options too, as well as both climbing and more bushy types.
Tie new shoots of climbing plants to canes, pea sticks, netting, trellis or shoots of shrubs they will be growing up, using garden twine or sweet pea support rings. Tendrils in contact with supports will naturally begin to grip on but keep tying in new shoots if they are wayward or in danger of breaking.
Plants won’t flower so well if they dry out, so check those in the ground every 3-4 days in dry weather, and those in pots daily. Pour on enough water to wet the full depth of roots each time you water.
On light or infertile soils, apply a high potassium liquid fertiliser, such as tomato feed, once or twice a week. This helps maintain flowering, especially with annual sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus).
Streptocarpus are popular, relatively inexpensive, moderately easy-to-grow houseplants in a wide range of attractive colours which will produce flowers over several months. They are also easy-to-propagate. Streptocarpus (Cape primrose) are easy to cultivate in a well-lit spot in the house. African violets, formerly in their own botanical genus Saintpaulia are now included within Streptocarpus. However, their care is a little different from Cape primroses so see our page on African violets if you are growing these.
Which rose should I grow?
Roses are one of the largest groups of plants available to gardeners, so choosing specific varieties can seem like a daunting prospect. Whether you are looking for a rose to climb a shady wall, roses for a hedge, or a rose to train up a pillar, our short guide will set you on the right path. In terms of choosing for flower form, colour and scent, selection is very much a matter of personal taste. Whenever possible try to see roses in bloom before purchasing by visiting rose nurseries or rose gardens during the flowering season.
Most plants are sold under only one name or trade designation but some, especially roses, may be sold under a number of names particularly when cultivars are introduced from other countries. A trade designation is used to market a plant when a cultivar name is considered unsuitable for selling purposes so both cultivar name and trade designation are quoted. For example Rosa Gertrude Jekyll = ‘Ausbord’ (S) AGM. Gertrude Jekyll is the trade designation and ‘Ausbord’ is the cultivar name.