In Gardeners World episode 28 2015, Carol Klein goes underground to unravel the mysteries of roots and why they are so important to the health of our plants. Joe Swift meets fashion icon Dame Zandra Rhodes to explore how the flowers she likes to grow have influenced her designs over the years.
Gardeners World episode 28 2015:
Many gardeners plant up containers in the summer but have you thought about brightening up your patio with a winter display? There are lots of shrubs and perennials that work well in pots and if you put them together with bedding and bulbs, you can create a colourful display to rival any summer container. If you’re in need of some inspiration, take a look at Monty’s suggestions in the clip above. Here’s a list of what he used.
Take cuttings from tender perennials
Salvias and penstemons are a large group of plants that provide stunning colour in the border at this time of year. They vary in their hardiness, however, so to safeguard against winter losses, it is well worth taking some cuttings now.
Select stems from non-flowering shoots and with a knife, trim each one to just below a node and remove the lower leaves. When finished, each cutting should be around 5-8cm (2-3in) long. Insert into a pot of gritty compost and give them a drink, before placing in a propagator or covering with a clear plastic bag. Keep at room temperature until rooted and overwinter in a frost-free place.
Raise pots off the ground
If you have containers that will be staying out all winter, then don’t forget to raise them off the ground with ‘feet’ or blocks. This will prevent the pots from becoming waterlogged and reduce the risk of damage to the pot through freezing.
Clear away spent beans
When your beans have finished, clear away the top growth and supports but leave the roots in the ground. Members of the legume family, which includes peas and beans, have nitrogen-fixing nodules on their roots. As these rot down, this nitrogen is then released into the soil, adding to its fertility.