Summer Gardening with Carol Klein episode 3: Summer at Glebe Cottage sometimes means changeable weather — sultry, showery and altogether typically British! But this never daunts Carol, who takes the opportunity to investigate one of our richest plant habitats: watery wetlands and bogs. The pond at Glebe Cottage is now lush with rich green foliage. Back in the spring, Carol added plants that would thrive in this shady, boggy area. Now, these are living up to their promise, and none will be more spectacular than the native yellow flag irises she had dug up and moved from elsewhere in the garden. Ubiquitous and easily recognised in the wild, she shows us how it frequents waterways throughout the British Isles.
This moves Carol to celebrate the iris family — a group of plants that brings elegance and drama into the garden, from the uncanny hues of ‘Katharine Hodgson’, which flowered in the garden in January, to Carol’s new planting of bearded iris on her shed roof. Other members of the same family get a look in, including advice on how to plant and cultivate gladioli corms, and digging out an overcrowded row of hesperantha — all of them gorgeous additions to a summer garden. In the vegetable garden, this is a big week for salad, from planting out little gem lettuce to how to sow more summer salad to keep the succession going, including micro mizuna and rocket.
Carol Klein VMH is an English gardening expert, who also works as a television presenter and newspaper columnist. In this new series, we will be taking you right through the spring, showing you all the jobs you need to be doing and how to grow edible crops too.
We’ll be featuring an experiment about how to grow veggies in new ways, such as inside huge cattle troughs. The idea is to compare it to the kind of limited space a lot of viewers have in their own gardens. You might have one raised bed or something like that. And so we are going to see how much we can pack in, and how to do it successfully.
Summer Gardening with Carol Klein episode 3
Klein made her television debut on Gardeners’ World in 1989 and has since presented other gardening programmes such as Real Gardens and Open Gardens. Projects include Life in a Cottage Garden with Carol Klein which followed a year in the life of Klein’s garden at Glebe Cottage in North Devon, and Grow Your Own Veg. Each week the programme looked at a different group of crop plants or techniques suitable for home gardening. Both programmes were made for BBC Two. She has been a permanent presenter of Gardeners’ World since 2005.
Klein has been described as having a “weather-beaten face, forthright manner and fruity accent – mainly West Country but with hints of her native Manchester..”. In 2013 she was a joint presenter for two episodes of BBC’s Great British Garden Revival.
Born in Walkden, Lancashire, in 1945, Klein attended Bolton School but left school when she was 15. Interviewed for Lancashire Life in 2014 she recalled: “I think I was quite close to being chucked out. I loved art and biology but in those days you had to choose between the two subjects. I was fed up about that.” She wanted to go to art school but her father would not allow it and she ended up selling buttons and stockings at the Kendal Milne department store in Manchester. Her love of gardening was inspired partly by her grandfather, whose allotment she enjoyed, and partly by her mother.
Klein trained as an art teacher and taught in schools in Shepherd’s Bush, London before moving to Devon. There she lectured at North Devon College and taught art at South Molton Secondary School and Community College before setting up her own plant nursery, Glebe Cottage Plants. She exhibited at more than 200 Royal Horticultural Society shows and began exhibiting at the annual Chelsea Flower Show in 1990, where her displays won a total of six gold medals.