Monty Don continues work in his courtyard, where he gives advice on plants which thrive on shady walls, sows root crops in the vegetable garden and catches up on work in his cottage garden.
Joe Swift pays a visit to a small-town garden to find out how an interior designer has transformed her outdoor space, and gives tips on how to bring elements of design into back gardens. The team meet Charles Dowding who, since the 1980s, has pioneered the practice of ‘no dig’ organic gardening. Plus Flo Headlam showcases her golden jubilee plant.
1. Planting : Roses
Roses can be expensive plants, but they last for many, many years and are easy to establish if you follow a few simple steps on planting and aftercare.
2. Climbers and wall shrubs for shade
North- or east-facing walls and fences often receive very little direct sunlight, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow plants in these places. When choosing a climber or wall shrub for such a spot, choose one that can cope with cold and shady conditions.
They come in shapes and colours other than long and orange – look out for round carrots, as well as unusual colours such as red and yellow, there are even purple carrots.
Carrots can be grown in containers if you are short on space, or if your soil is heavy clay or very stony. Sow regularly for prolonged cropping.They freeze and store well too, but like most vegetables, carrots taste best freshly picked from the garden.
4. No-dig alternatives
Digging has many advantages; but it can take its toll on your back. Luckily there are ‘no-dig’ alternatives. Digging is mainly needed to control weeds and occasionally to incorporate lime, phosphorus and potassium. These often penetrate soil slowly and in cases of deficiency need help. Digging is also beneficial to restore the structure lost when wet soil is trampled. Good soil dries to little crumbs and if damaged when wet these are lost, but they can be restored by digging and manuring.