Monty starts a new project – a cutting garden – and gives advice on what to grow to provide plenty of cut flowers for gorgeous summer bouquets.
We visit Cumbria to meet Jack Gott, who has been passionate about that most flamboyant of flowers, the dahlia, for more than 40 years and has over a thousand plants in his garden. James Alexander-Sinclair celebrates a harbinger of spring, the ephemeral cherry blossom, at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
In Gardeners World episode 6 2016:
1. The Alnwick Garden
The garden’s Cherry Orchard is the largest of its kind in the world. Planted with 350 graceful ‘Tai-haku’ cherry trees, it becomes a beautiful cloud of white during blossom time.
2. Growing cut flowers
Many garden plants can be enjoyed as cut flowers and foliage in the home, offering cheaper and diverse alternatives to florist flowers. Borders can be adapted to provide cutting material throughout the year. Alternatively, dedicate a part of the garden to growing cut flowers.
3. Hardy annuals: sowing in spring
Easily grown from seed, a vast choice of hardy annuals is available to offer long-lasting flowers during the warmer months. These fast-growing plants provide an easy and cost-effective way to give naturalistic planting, plug gaps and fill the border with a summer full of colour.
4. Grow your own : Peas
There’s nothing like the flavour of freshly picked peas. Use them as quickly as possible once picked as they lose their sweetness. Dwarf varieties of peas don’t need much in the way of support. The easiest types to grow are mangetout and sugar snap varieties.
Topiary has been used historically in many different European gardening styles, from early Roman gardens through to modern day. From box balls to yew ‘peacocks’, it is so versatile and striking that many are inspired to create their own piece of living architecture.
6. Hydrangea pruning
Shrubs like hydrangeas flower from mid to late summer on the previous year’s growth. Mophead and lacecap hydrangeas will bloom satisfactorily with little attention, but regular pruning encourages new, vigorous growth that can produce a better display. Likewise, other species, including the climbing hydrangea, will benefit from a trim.