Monty Don advises on plants for a late summer display, tackles his overgrown wildlife pond and shows which roses to prune now for a repeat flowering in late summer. Frances Tophill travels to Birmingham, where she shows that every space counts by transforming three tiny balconies into spaces full of colour and scent.
Nick Bailey continues his journey through the world of roses, and we meet a couple who have filled their Staffordshire garden with a national collection of dierama, otherwise known as angel’s fishing rods.
Gardeners World 2018 episode 17
Balcony gardening tips
If you are new to gardening and want some ideas for setting up a balcony garden here are some tips to help you get started.
1. Keep it simple. If you don’t have time to maintain your balcony garden, grow tough plants that will need less care and attention.
2. Prepare a plan in advance. A small sketch on paper is enough to give you an account of the opportunities you have in your space.
3. Consider watering. It’s a priority! If you own a South or West facing balcony, or if your balcony is windy, you will need to water more often. An automatic watering system for your pots and planters is a great idea, especially if you are going to be away for any lengthy periods.
4. Check out the hours of sunshine your balcony receives. Is it facing the North? South? Your choice of plants in your mini-garden very much depends on their exposure to the sun on your balcony.
5. If you live in a rented apartment, you need to know if there are specific regulations and rules to follow. In some places, the suspension of plants outside the railings is prohibited. There may also be restrictions of load weight of pots and planters, so it is better to find that out before you begin.
6. You can grow climbing plants to make use of the vertical space on balconies. Grow both perennials and annuals and think about the seasons if you want to extend flowering periods and have more colour throughout the year.
Dividing perennials regularly will ensure healthy, vigorous plants that will continue to perform year after year. It also offers the opportunity to multiply your plants. Most perennials benefit from division every two to three years to maintain health and vigour. For the purposes of propagation, the task can be done more regularly.
Planting in containers
Planting in containers is a skill all gardeners should learn. You can create beautiful displays using many kinds of garden plants for seasonal interst. Containers come into their own when space is limited and you can move and arrange plants more easily than those in the ground. There are a few tricks and techniques to master, so you can create containers to impress.