Summer Gardening with Carol Klein episode 6: As summer reaches its climax at Glebe Cottage garden in Devon, Carol Klein introduces us to a group of plants that really provides the drum roll to peak summer time: the daisy. Whether it be the bold, hot colours of heleniums and dahlias, or others, like early flowering asters that display themselves more quietly, daisies thrive in the most surprising spots and mingle brilliantly alongside other summer treasures.
There’s a daisy to suit all types of conditions. Carol makes a visit to the wild and gorgeous north Devon coast to have a look at one particular wild daisy to find out more about its native roots, and she spots a few other fascinating wild plants that thrive in this dry, exposed and harsh seaside habitat. Among them is the brilliantly named Hottentot fig, with its succulent, flashy leaves and dazzlingly coloured flowers, as well as contrastingly spikey sea hollies. Back in the garden, Carol introduces us to the raised ‘seaside bed’ she’s constructed to allow her to grow a range of similar plants that wouldn’t survive in her heavy clay soil, including the charming Mexican daisy.
But there are a myriad of daisies that will thrive in Glebe’s main beds and borders, and Carol undertakes a round of clearing, cutting back and planting afresh to revive the parts of the garden that are looking particularly tired and dusty. In the veg garden, things are getting wild. Carol catches up on some harvesting, and shows us her statuesque artichokes, now reaching for the sky — amazingly, these monsters are members of the daisy family! To keep the edibles coming, Carol sows some more brassicas and shows us how to protect them from the onslaught of the aptly named cabbage white butterfly.
Summer Gardening with Carol Klein episode 6
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.
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.