As the plants in the jewel garden reach the peak of their late summer glory, Monty starts planning for the spring, planting ferns and advising on the care and maintenance of wildlife ponds.
Carol Klein pays a second visit to Dove Cottage in Halifax to see the garden at its summer peak and to find out the secrets of its successful borders.
Frances Tophill travels to Portsmouth to find a man whose passion for ferns has extended from his garden and onto his allotment, while Arit Anderson finds out that rubbish skips can be used to grow all manner of plants in an inner-city space.
A Sheffield paramedic reveals how his passion for wildflowers has transformed an area around a busy ambulance station, and there is a look at the blooming of one of the world’s largest water lilies.
In Gardeners World episode 23 2017:
1. Growing Tithonia rotundifolia (Mexican sunflower)
Tithonia can be annuals, perennials or shrubs, with simple or lobed leaves and long-stemmed, solitary, daisy-like flower-heads in late summer and autumn.
2. Growing hardy ferns
Low-maintenance and tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, ferns complement any shade plant combination. From tiny specimens grown in walls to the royal fern at six feet tall, there’s room for ferns in every sized garden.
3. Hardy Cyclamen
A delightful tuberous perennial providing colour often when little else is flowering, particularly in late winter or early spring. Hardy cyclamen species and cultivars are ideal for naturalising under trees, on banks or in a shady border and planted in association with other early-flowering woodland plants such as snowdrops, winter aconites and primroses.
4. Container gardening
Containers filled with seasonal or permanent plants are extremely versatile. They can brighten up a corner of the garden, provide handy herbs by the kitchen or make the entrance look welcoming. Yet, life in containers can be tough for plants, so choose the right compost and carry out regular maintenance to ensure they put on a good show.
5. How to grow turnips
Turnips grow best in cool, moisture-retentive soils and should be kept well watered before the onset of dry weather to stop them running to seed. Sow early varieties little and often for a constant harvest from spring until autumn. They mature in 6-10 weeks so may also be used as a catch crop or intercropped.
6. How to grow rocket
Rocket is an easy-to-grow crop which adds a lovely peppery flavour to salads. The younger leaves are milder, more tender and palatable. Older leaves can also be lightly cooked as a delicious spinach substitute, added to sauces, stir fried or sautéed in olive oil. It’s rich in potassium and vitamin C and flourishes in a warm, sunny, position. Even the flowers are edible.