In Gardeners World 2018 episode 7, despite the slow awakening of the garden this year, there are still plenty of jobs to be getting on with and Monty begins to divide ornamental grasses and plant up a colourful alpine trough. He also gives advice on what to do with containers which are past their best and what to sow in the vegetable garden at this time of year.
Nick Bailey travels to Shropshire to respond to a cry for help from a viewer whose border has become a tangle of shrubs. The show catches up with Frances Tophill’s progress on her shared allotment in Bristol, as she begins to prepare the beds for sowing her first crops.
Arit Anderson explores the future of gardening in our cities when she visits an extraordinary high-rise building in Milan which has been designed as a living forest. Plus the garden of the second finalist in our Every Space Counts competition is revealed.
Gardeners World 2018 episode 7
In spring, woods are a delight to visit. Some produce spectacular displays of spring flowers, carpets of bluebells, and bursts of wood anemones and celandines. Some wildflowers are ancient woodland indicators because they are slow to spread to new areas. They form an intrinsic part of a woodland ecosystem, but low light levels can be a challenge for many species. Many plants on the woodland floor flower early in the year to capture the sun’s energy, while the leaves are not yet on the trees.
Ornamental grasses can be used to great effect in our gardens, from providing a calming presence to more exuberant flowering plants to being the only focus of the design. There are grasses for damp or dry soil, shady as well as sunny situations. Many are ideal for gravel gardens, prairie planting, wildlife gardens and are great to add to the cutting garden; others perform well in containers.
Allotments can use up a lot of time, so require some planning. Go for a plot size suited to your needs – half a plot is adequate for most people and ideal for beginners. This might need eight hours’ work a week for inexperienced gardeners, but half that for experienced ones.
Once you know the principles of pruning it is easier than you think and, if you prune shrubs at the right time of year, it will really improve their performance. In winter, deciduous plants shed leaves and send food reserves to their roots. If you prune in winter or spring they then have ample resources to regrow and balance their roots with their top growth. If you prune in summer then you are removing food reserves in the green leaves.