Gardeners World episode 25 2019: Monty Don adds some ornamental grasses to his borders for late summer impact and gives advice on how to look after pumpkins for a bountiful autumn harvest.
Adam Frost discovers a colourful garden in Gloucestershire where hardy, tender and tropical plants jostle for space in both borders and containers and Frances Tophill visits an allotment in north London where the main harvest is flowers for floral displays.
Gardeners World episode 25 2019
Squash come in all kinds of shapes and sizes from massive pumpkins to tiny patty pan squashes. There are winter squashes, such as pumpkins and butternut squash and summer squashes, such as yellow crookneck, yellow straightneck, and scallop, which are harvested when immature. They are all relatively easy to grow from seed.
Squashes are easy to grow from seed and can be sown outdoors in the spot where they are to grow, or you can start them off indoors in pots.
Growing ornamental grasses
Ornamental grasses can be used to great effect in our gardens, from providing a calming presence to more exuberant flowering plants to being the only focus of the design. There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers.
Ornamental grasses tolerate a wide range of conditions, but most like an open sunny position in light, moist but well-drained, moderately fertile soil. They do not need much feeding; this can encourage lush foliage at the expense of flowers. One application of a balanced fertiliser in spring is adequate.
Tender perennials from cuttings
Tender perennials such as verbena, bidens, gazanias and argyranthemums are best propagated each year from cuttings. In this way, you can keep the garden supplied with bushy, vigorous plants full of flowering potential.
Growing cut flowers
Many garden plants can be enjoyed as cut flowers and foliage in the home, offering cheaper and diverse alternatives to florist flowers. Borders can be adapted to provide cutting material throughout the year. Alternatively, dedicate a part of the garden to growing cut flowers.
When adapting existing borders, plant larger groups of annuals, perennials and bulbs suited for cutting to allow for picking without affecting the overall appearance of the border. Do not forget to incorporate a few well-chosen shrubs and grasses with interesting foliage. Use bulbs to extend the picking season.
If space allows, dedicate a part of the garden to growing just cut flowers. The advantage of a cutting garden over picking from borders is that it avoids depleting beds and borders, as well as providing a more productive planned area for the cut flower gardener.
Sowing hardy annuals
It may seem rather a long way off to be sowing summer-flowering plants in autumn, but the forward planning will be rewarded by an impressive early display. Many annuals can be sown in autumn and will overwinter successfully.