The Beechgrove Garden 2021 episode 3: Mairi and Carole give Beechgrove a spring clean, George is down at his allotment, and Kirsty takes a day out at the beach to go searching for seaweed.
The Beechgrove Garden 2021 episode 3
Perennial plants provide flowers in our gardens year after year. They are planted together to create herbaceous and mixed borders, which peak in interest in summer and early autumn. However, they can provide colour through much of the year (except the depths of winter) with careful planning and planting.
The term ‘perennials’ is used loosely by gardeners to indicate those plants which grow in beds and borders, which are not trees, shrubs or bulbs. They are the ‘summer colour’, the ‘border flowers’ and make up a ‘flower garden’.
Whether planted for summer or winter interest, hanging baskets provide valuable colour at eye level. Choose vibrant bedding plants for a short-term show or herbs, shrubs and evergreens for a long-lasting display.
Tulips are amongst the most popular of bulbs, valued for their brilliant flower colours and shapes. Plant in autumn for a show of spring flowers. Choose from a large range to suit the situation.
Whether used in formal or informal beds and borders, tulips make ideal bedding plants combined with annual or biennial planting. Tulips can also be useful for containers, and some varieties can be naturalised in grass. Tulips grow best in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun, sheltered from strong winds. All dislike excessively wet conditions; this is particularly true with alpine species which require excellent drainage. Exceptions include Tulipa sprengeri, T. sylvestris and T. tarda which prefer a more moisture-retentive soil with partial shade.
Incorporate organic matter into the soil before planting to improve both clay and sandy soils, making them much more suitable for tulips. Coarse gravel can also help improve growing in clay soils. Apply Growmore or chicken manure pellets (70g per sq m or 2oz per sq yd) before planting to help nutrient-poor soils. A neutral to alkaline soil is preferred. Soils with a pH lower than 6.5 may need applications of lime.