Gardeners World episode 3 2019: as spring begins, it is not just the borders that need a boost – it is the wildlife too. Monty gives tips on what to do now, as well as planting a tree to provide a nectar source for bees and other insects. In Cornwall, Nick Bailey revisits a first love as he celebrates the fleeting beauty of one of the most ancient flowering plants. With champion-sized trees and goblet-shaped flowers, magnolias are one this season’s star performers.
And meet a woman who has maximised the growing space available in her small garden and created her very own piece of prairie-inspired planting.
Gardeners World episode 3 2019
Gooseberries & redcurrants
Gooseberries, red and white currants are easy-to-grow soft fruits that cope with a wide range of soil conditions. They crop best in a sunny position, but will tolerate partial shade. Gooseberries, red and white currants can be grown either as bushes, or as upright cordons, which take up less space and can be planted closer together for a mixture of different varieties in a small garden.
They can also be trained as fans against a wall. Other forms available – especially for gooseberries – include standards or tree-like forms with a bushy head on a short trunk.
Bulbs are useful for adding colour to spring borders. Tulips come in all shades, from dark purple to white, and bloom at a time of year when many plants offer muted colours. Other bulbs, such as snowdrops and scillas, are some of the earliest flowering plants in the garden, brightening up the short days of very early spring.
Snake’s head fritillary
Serpentine and glamorous, this dark purple (and sometimes white) wildflower is also known as the “Snake’s-head”.
Where it grows
Wet meadows, particularly traditional hay meadows that often flooded in winter months.
Best time to see
April and May.
How to grow magnolias
Magnolias are trees or shrubs with astonishing goblet- or star-shaped flowers that are admired icons of spring and summer. Evergreen magnolias are particularly good for wall-training.
Deciduous magnolias usually flower in spring before leaf emergence. Magnolia grandiflora (bull bay), the most commonly grown evergreen, flowers in flushes from summer until early autumn. In warm summers these can be followed by striking knobbly seedpods from which bright red seeds emerge in autumn.