The Beechgrove Garden episode 23 2020: There is an autumnal feel to Beechgrove this week. George is in his allotment harvesting apples and pears, while Carole creates a bog garden from scratch. Brian puts his ‘no-mow’ garden to bed for the winter and adds some sparkles of spring interest. Meanwhile, Kirsty is in her flat looking at reviving interest in a plant that has gone out of fashion, the african violet.
Beechgrove is a hardy annual TV gardening series which sets out to deal with, glory in and celebrate Scottish horticulture and growing conditions. Beechgrove is and always has been a firmly practical, get-your-hands-dirty gardening programme which delights in success but also learns from failures in the garden and never takes itself too seriously.
The Beechgrove Garden episode 23 2020
Creating a bog garden is the perfect use for a redundant or leaky pond, but it can also be an informal edge to an existing pond or a way of cultivating a naturally waterlogged dip in your garden. Bog gardens provide a range of attractive planting opportunities and are an excellent wildlife habitat.
Small areas are generally easier to create and maintain as a bog garden. Larger areas need to have stepping stones or walkways incorporated into the design to allow access for maintenance.
Creating a bog garden is an ideal method for converting an existing garden pond, or adding a bog area to the edge of a new pond, as the same pond liner can be used underneath the bog garden to create waterlogged conditions. Holes are pierced into the liner and a layer of gravel placed in the bottom to allow for some drainage, so that conditions are waterlogged without pooling.
A bog garden can be constructed any time, but winter is quite a good season for ‘extra’ projects such as this, as there is generally less other work competing for attention in the garden, and you will be ready to plant up your new bog garden in the spring.
Apples are easy to grow, productive and there are varieties and growth forms for every garden. You can even grow them in containers. They should be valued as a long term investment as they take a few years to crop, but once they start, they will do so for many years.
Apples thrive in a well-drained loam, at least 60cm (2ft) deep. Add well rotted organic matter before planting and mulch and water well through the growing season until the tree is growing well. Shallow soils over chalk are unsuitable for growing all but a very few apples. Dessert apples need good drainage, but culinary apples are more tolerant.
Apples prefer a sheltered, frost-free position in full sun. You can still grow apples in frost prone areas, just choose later-flowering varieties or provide temporary protection in spring when apples are in blossom. Provide artificial or living windbreaks on exposed sites. Apples tolerate shade providing they receive half a day’s sunshine in the growing season. Culinary varieties need less sunshine than dessert varieties.
How to grow pears – Beechgrove Garden episode 23 2020
Biting into a succulent, perfectly-ripe pear is one of the joys of autumn. You may be lucky enough to have one in your garden already that someone else has planted, but if not, they are easy to establish – you can even grow them in containers. There are many different types of pears, but they broadly fall into two categories: dessert pears for eating, and cookers, as the name suggests, for cooking!
Once established, pears require very little care throughout the year. Water them during dry spells and from when the fruit starts to swell, particularly if they are newly planted or in containers. In early spring, sprinkle a balanced general fertiliser (such as Growmore) around the base of the plant, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pears should be pruned every year to get the best crop. Timing and method of pruning depends on the type of pear you are growing.
African violets, formerly known by their botanical name Saintpaulia but now included within Streptocarpus, make attractive houseplants originating from tropical East Africa. They are available in a many colours from white, through pink and red to purple and various flower types. With careful cultivation they can flower for many months and the compact plants are ideal for small spaces such as windowsills.
From spring to autumn, position plants in a brightly lit situation out of direct sunlight, such as on an east or west-facing windowsill. In the winter due to low light levels a south-facing windowsill is suitable. The minimum temperature required is 18-24°C (65-75°F) by day and 16°C (60°F) by night. Avoid cold draughts and sudden changes in temperature.
It is essential to provide humidity around the plant by standing the pot on a saucer filled with gravel, expanded clay granules (Hydroleca) or recycled lightweight aggregate (Hortag). Keep the water level just below the surface of the gravel or aggregate.