Gardeners World episode 11 2015

With the hanging basket season well under way, Joe Swift meets a florist in Surrey who has perfected the art of kokedama…

With the hanging basket season well under way, Joe Swift meets a florist in Surrey who has perfected the art of kokedama – a modern take on the hanging basket. House plants come under the spotlight too, as the programme pays a visit to South Africa to learn more about the cape primrose.

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In Gardeners World episode 11 2015:

 1. Biennials

Biennials are versatile plants and are a great way of adding colour to the garden from early summer. Some of them make excellent cut flowers too. They need to be sown in late May or June to give them time to grow before they flower the following year.

 2. Plant out French & runner beans

Now that the threat of a frost has gone, it’s time to get your beans planted out. But if you haven’t got round to sowing any yet, put up your support and sow a couple of seeds at the bottom of each cane.

 3. Tie in clematis

Late-flowering clematis are shooting up now. Tie in stems to ensure the flowers do not get lost in a tangle of growth and are displayed later in the season.

 4. Take softwood cuttings

Early summer is a good time to take softwood cuttings when the new growth is young and supple. A wide range of deciduous shrubs can be propagated using this technique as well as many tender perennials. Good examples include Japanese maple, hydrangeas, rosemary, penstemon, marguerite and osteospermum.

Choose young, soft shoot tips and cut just below a node. The cuttings need to be about 5-10cm long and, if necessary, placed inside a sealed plastic bag to prevent them from drying out. Strip off a third of the lower leaves and insert into a pot of damp compost. To help save space, you can place several of them around the perimeter. Keep somewhere warm and light, either in a propagator or with a clear plastic bag placed over the top and within 6-10 weeks, roots will hopefully appear!

 5. Japanese snowball bush

‘Mariesii’ is a large deciduous shrub with wide-spreading, tiered branches and prominently veined, dark green, ovate leaves, purple in autumn. Large lacecap heads of white flowers in late spring are occasionally followed by red, later black fruit.

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