Summer Gardening with Carol Klein episode 5: Carol Klein welcomes us back to Glebe Cottage garden, where the hot summer weather is parching the open, sun-bathed parts of the garden while the shady areas remain enticingly cool. Many gardeners struggle to get to grips with those dusty, exposed, dry areas that never seem to work. But for Carol, these can be rich planting opportunities. She’s even created a special raised bed at Glebe Cottage specifically designed to allow her to grow plants that need very open, sun-baked conditions.
A quick visit to nearby Exmoor National Park makes the point. Here, amid one of Britain’s harshest, most rugged natural environments, grows one of our most familiar and wildlifesustaining plants: gorse. This prickly shrub, festooned in globes of scintillating chrome-yellow, and emitting one of the most delicious plant perfumes ever, is a member of the pea — or legume — family. Back in the garden, Carol plants a less well known, but very beautiful shrub — a lespedeza, which, in spring, will complement her Judas tree handsomely. Both will be smothered in dark pink, pea-like flowers that give away their membership of the same family, along with lupins and sweetpeas. And in the veg beds, there are delicious legumes aplenty! Carol sows peas and demonstrates the best way to train your beans to twist their way up their beanpoles.
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 5
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.