In Beechgrove Garden episode 20 2015: Jim is on his own in the garden, taking on all his special subjects, including monitoring the progress of the tomatoes and reviewing his hydrangea pruning observation to see which of his three methods of pruning is working best and resulting in most flowers.
Meanwhile, Carole and George are helping out with the last stages of the creation of a new community garden with the good folk of Inverbervie. The new community garden will be the central feature to a garden trail around the village, designed for locals to enjoy as a florific community space and to have tourists stop and take time in the village.
1. Strimming the Wild Area
Jim was in the Wild Area getting very wet as it was still raining. Ford, one of the Beechgrove gardeners, was strimming the wildflower meadow whilst Jim was raking up. Now is the time to cut down the meadow as all the plants here have flowered and are setting seed. Jim explained that the cut grass should be left on the surface overnight so that all the seeds drop into the soil so that they can germinate for next year’s display. It should also be left so that all the wee beasties can escape from it. Then it can be raked up, and stacked ready for putting on the compost heap.
Jim was sheltering in the Greenhouse from the rain with Mairi, our Head Gardener where they were looking at the tomato production for this season. The tomatoes have been very slow to ripen due to the lack of sunshine this summer. But this has happened all over the country.
3. Hydrangea pruning
Jim was assessing the results of the pruning that he did at the end of April (Programme 5 30th April 2015) of three identical specimens of the lovely Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’. He explained that he had pruned each plant in a different way. The first plant was pruned very lightly and now has lots of flowers. The second plant was whacked back hard. It has started to flower a bit later than the first plant, not quite so many flower heads though but it looks quite tidy.