The Beechgrove Garden 2023 episode 23

The Beechgrove Garden 2023 episode 23

The Beechgrove Garden 2023 episode 23 – September has rolled in, marking the beginning of another chapter at the illustrious Beechgrove Garden. As the golden hues of autumn start to cast their spell, whispering through the rustling leaves and knocking gently on the garden’s gate, Kirsty Wilson and Calum Clunie remain busier than ever. Kirsty, with her inherent passion for flowers, is dedicating her time to the vibrant dahlias, ensuring they thrive in the coming season. She’s also sharing her vast knowledge on the art of taking hydrangea cuttings, a technique that will benefit many green thumbs out there.




On the other side of the garden, Calum is knee-deep in his projects. He’s revisiting the clover lawn that he meticulously sowed earlier this year, assessing its growth and vitality. Additionally, he’s keeping a close eye on the sweet corn he had previously planted inside the protective confines of the polytunnel, ensuring they receive all the care they need. Meanwhile, Carole is ready to share another intriguing episode of ‘Back to Basics’. This week, she’s putting the spotlight on plants that are perfectly adapted for seaside locales, offering insights for those who live near the coast and wish to beautify their gardens with resilient flora.




Last but certainly not least, George Anderson returns to his cherished allotment in Joppa, eagerly sharing updates and imparting gardening wisdom with every visit.


The Beechgrove Garden 2023 episode 23 – A Kaleidoscope of Color Bursts Forth This September


As September unfurls her autumnal tapestry at the Beechgrove Garden, a kaleidoscope of color bursts forth. Thesummer flowers bid a bittersweet farewell while chrysanthemums, dahlias, and foliage gleam in the mellow light. Kirsty Wilson tends to the garden with care, deadheading spent blooms and nurturing the dahlias. Her green thumb also produces a bountiful harvest of hydrangea cuttings. Meanwhile, Calum Clunie checks on the clover lawn and sweet corn he planted earlier this year. The two stand amidst the rustling leaves, corn cobs in hand, appreciating nature’s bounty.

Kirsty Wilson: The Dahlia Diva

Kirsty Wilson, resident flower expert, buzzes between the vibrant dahlias like a bee gathering pollen. These cheery flowers bring pops of color to the garden as summer fades. Kirsty assesses the dahlia beds, deadheading spent blooms and checking for plump buds ready to unfurl. She’s also overjoyed to see the dahlia cuttings she took this spring thriving in their pots, well on their way to becoming full plants.

Some of Kirsty’s favorite dahlias this year are the sherbet orange Totally Tangerine, the rich red Summer Flame, and the frilly lemon Bishop’s Children. She chooses varieties that are beautiful yet simple, making it easier for pollinators to access the pollen and nectar. Dahlias are amazing cut flowers too. Kirsty arranges freshly snipped blooms in a vase, using a floral frog instead of florist foam. This sustainable alternative neatly holds the stems in place.

When deadheading dahlias, Kirsty checks the buds – pointy tips signal a spent bloom while round buds hold an unopened flower. Deadheading improves the plant’s appearance and redirects its energy into new buds. With Kirsty’s attentive care, the dahlias continue flowering well into autumn, providing vivid color as the garden transitions into fall.

Propagating Hydrangeas – Kirsty’s Cutting Garden

Kirsty also shares clever tips for propagating hydrangeas using semi-ripe summer cuttings. First, she identifies new, flexible growth on the hydrangea stems and makes her cut just below a leaf node. After removing the lower leaves, she slices each remaining leaf in half to reduce water loss. Then, she dips the cut end in rooting hormone and inserts it into a pot filled with peat-free compost and perlite. The perlite improves drainage while the rooting hormone boosts root development. Kirsty labels each cutting, waters them gently, and places the pots in partial shade. In about four weeks, roots should begin to emerge!

This simple technique lets gardeners grow new hydrangea plants for free. The cuttings Kirsty took this summer will develop into mature, blooming hydrangeas within a couple years. Then she can take even more cuttings from those plants. This cycle provides an endless supply of hydrangeas to brighten up any garden.

Calum’s Cornucopia – Sweet Rewards from the Polytunnel

Calum Clunie inspects the sweet corn growing in the polytunnel, pleased to see full cobs ripe for harvest. The hot, protected environment allowed the corn to thrive. Calum sowed it in an organized grid pattern back in spring. This layout ensures the wind-pollinated plants can share their pollen easily. Now in September, he checks for a few signs of ripeness. If corn silk turns brown, kernels release a milky sap when pierced, and cobs fill out – it’s go time!

After picking all ready cobs, Calum prepares them for a barbecue feast. He advises grilling the corn soon after harvest for peak sweetness. Simply coat the cobs in butter and roast them on the grill, turning frequently until lightly charred on all sides. The tender kernels become irresistibly sweet and juicy. What better way to celebrate the harvest!

Clover Lawn – Calum’s Sustainable Greenspace

In addition to the sweet corn, Calum also assesses the clover lawn he planted earlier this spring. Clover lawns offer an eco-friendly alternative to resource-intensive grass lawns. The clover fixes nitrogen in the soil, provides flowers for pollinators, and stays resiliently green without constant watering or mowing. It only needs cutting a few times per season.

Calum chose Dutch white clover, which grows low and blends nicely with grass. He simply overseeded the existing lawn. Now, months later, he’s thrilled to see the clover established well. Its lush foliage adds texture and visual interest to the lawn. The lawn also supports wildlife, attracting bees with its small white flowers. Calum’s pleased his sustainable solution succeeded in creating an easy-care, eco-friendly lawn.

Back to Basics – Carole’s Guide to Seaside Gardens

Carole Baxter helps coastal gardeners cultivate resilience with her Back to Basics segment on seaside plants. Gardens by the ocean face challenging conditions like salt spray and wind, but certain plants thrive. Carole suggests three types – plants with needle-like or reduced foliage to minimize moisture loss, those with glossy or succulent leaves, and silvery or hairy plants. Examples include sea hollies, catmint, sedums, grasses, and lavender.

When choosing trees and shrubs, Carole recommends Rosa Rugosa, escallonias, holly, and Siberian pea. Amending the often sandy soil with compost improves moisture retention. Temporary windbreaks also protect new plants. By selecting tough, adaptable plants and providing some extra care, coastal gardeners can create beautiful, rugged gardens that withstand the seaside conditions.

George Anderson – Sage Advice from the Allotment

George Anderson, always eager to impart wisdom from his allotment garden, shares tips for success with fig and geranium propagation. He checks fig cuttings he rooted earlier this summer using the air layering technique. To his delight, plump roots have formed, allowing him to pot up the cuttings into new plants. Air layering propagates plants by inducing root formation along an intact stem while it’s still attached to the parent plant. George simply wrapped moist soil around the fig stem, encouraging it to form its own roots before detachment. This reliable method yields vigorous young fig trees.

George also pruned back tired geraniums, spurring lush new growth. He advises cutting geraniums to the ground after flowering concludes. This rejuvenates the plant so it reflowers even better next season. Simple, timely practices like propagation and strategic pruning sustain a healthy, productive garden.


The Beechgrove Garden hosts usher autumn in with graciousness and care. Kirsty Wilson tends the dahlias and hydrangeas, propagating gorgeous new plants. Calum Clunie enjoys the rewards of his polytunnel sweet corn and clover lawn experiments. Carole Baxter helps coastal gardeners cultivate hardy seaside plants. George Anderson propagates figs and prunes geraniums, multiplying his garden’s bounty. Though summer lies behind them, ample garden beauty and joy shine on the horizon. The gardeners continue nurturing nature’s glory as the seasons slowly turn.


Frequently Asked Questions – The Beechgrove Garden 2023 episode 23


What are Kirsty Wilson’s favorite flowers?

Kirsty loves growing vibrant dahlias like Totally Tangerine, Summer Flame, and Bishop’s Children. She chooses varieties with simple, open blooms that allow pollinators to easily access pollen and nectar.

How do you take hydrangea cuttings?

Take semi-ripe summer cuttings from new growth, cutting just below a leaf node. Remove lower leaves, slice remaining leaves in half, and dip the stem in rooting hormone. Insert into pots filled with peat-free compost and perlite. Water gently and place in partial shade until roots develop in about 4 weeks.

What are Calum Clunie’s favorite gardening projects?

Calum planted a clover lawn this spring, appreciating its sustainable, low-maintenance nature. He also grew sweet corn in the polytunnel, harvesting ripe cobs in September to grill up a tasty feast.

What are Carole Baxter’s favorite seaside plants?

Carole recommends Rosa Rugosa, escallonias, holly, Siberian pea tree, sedums, grasses, sea hollies, catmint, and lavender for seaside gardens. She advises amending soil and using temporary windbreaks when first planting.

What are George Anderson’s favorite gardening tips?

George loves propagating plants by air layering, as he did with fig cuttings this summer. He also advises cutting back spent geraniums after flowering to stimulate lush new growth and blooms next season.

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