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Gardener’s World review – 8th July 2011

This hour long episode was full of useful tips on how to prune shrubs, plant out squashes and pumpkins as well so much more that it had viewers glued to their televisions with notepads at hand.


  • Shows how to choose some fabulous plants to liven up your borders

  • Creates an easy but solid frame for his pumpkins and squashes to grow on


  • Gives great advice on geraniums

  • Takes us around the gardens of Waltham Place


  • Discovers how much work is involved in maintaining 12 acres of gardens


  • Visits RHS Wisley to get advice about pruning


Ornamental grasses and cone daisies a lovely partnership

Deep in the gardens at Longmeadow, Monty organizes and plants out wonderful cone daisies and ornamental grasses. He shows us how this will give us a super display of colourful flowers throughout the summer. His use of tall grasses and short grasses give a veiled effect on the borders, making it visually very soft on the eye. I must say I found the effect stunning.

Summer thinning of spring flowers in borders

He shows us how to cut back the spring flowering plants like geraniums, as well as how to lift them and divide them, so that they are stronger and healthier for the following season. He explains how to pot them up ready for planting out when they are ready. The thing is that he shows us not to scared of being a little bit savage when we do this, in fact the harder you cut back, the stronger the plant’s growth will be the following year.

Feeding your plants healthily

Monty explains how many plants need potassium to aid their growth. It helps them stay strong and healthy especially tomatoes that do very well when fed some of this. He explains how many gardeners today like to be organic, they don’t want to use fertilisers on their gardens any more so he shows us a natural and plentiful source of potassium which is in abundant supply in many English gardens, and this natural source comes in the form the plant Comfrey.

Comfrey in the garden

At this point he really does tell us of how lucky we are not to be able to smell the concoction he has had brewing over the last couple of weeks. He shows us how to make up potassium feed out of Comfrey, and to leave it to ‘make’ for three weeks before using it as a natural feed on plants and tomatoes. He warns viewers just how bad this mixture smells when it is brewing, so advises to have a lid on the bucket that the brew is in.

He also shows us how the fresh leaves of Comfrey can be placed at the base of tomato plants to act as mulch. He also shows us how to trim off the bottom leaves of tomato plants to help them keep their moisture and how it does not hurt the fruit to eventually snip off all the leaves right to the top of the plant.

Vegetable shopping in your own back yard

Monty shows us how to create a strong climbing frame for pumpkins and squashes to grow up. He explains how this can be achieved even in a confined space. The ingenious way he builds his frame and then trains his vegetables to grow upwards instead of along the ground is very clever indeed.

Monty explains that a well-stocked vegetable garden can supply us with fresh produce almost daily in the right season, and he likens it to entering into his own personal vegetable shop every time he takes his basket out to collect the wonderful fresh salads, potatoes or anything else that is in season. If you haven’t already got a vegetable garden this is one great incentive to get one growing as soon as you can.


In her lovely garden at Glebe Cottage, Carol shows us a variety of stunning geraniums for every corner of a garden. She explains how some like it hot and sunny, whereas others like the cooler shadier spots in a garden and how many find their own ideal place to seed and grow. She shows viewers how easy Geraniums are to lift, to divide and then to propagate them, ready to plant out for the following year.

These hardy little plants are a real bonus in any garden and in Carols’ at Glebe Cottage, the effect of so many different varieties is simply stunning.

Waltham Place a natural paradise

Carol then has the fortune of visiting one of the most beautifully natural gardens in England which is Waltham Place. She is thrilled to find that the formal strict lines of the gardens are actually all that is traditional at this stunning property. She is shown how the borders are left to their own devices and how lovely weeds grow happily next to more established and accepted choices of garden plants. The results are a stunning cacophony of nature at its glorious best.

The brain child of a true visionary in landscaping

The head gardener at Waltham Place explains to Carol just how the gardens were first conceived and then how over the years it was left to this type of naturalistic planting. Carol joins the head gardener in pulling out some plants from one of the borders instead of digging them out and Carol is told that the instructions left by the landscape designer who created these wonderful gardens were to ‘graze it like a cow’.

Joe Swift

Cothay Manor – a garden with many rooms

Joe is shown round an extraordinarily beautiful series of gardens, all within on splendid one found at Cothay Manor. The gardens are superb with long alleys, just like the corridors of a grand house. These ‘corridors’ lead you down them and through doorways on each side of them you are taken into a unique garden with a theme all of its own. The lady of the house is a hands-on gardener and uses the natural greens found in plants to achieve a wonderful display of nature without much bright colour at all. The effect is simply glorious.

Climbing roses as unique as each of the gardens

Joe is shown a pink climbing rose at Cothay Manor which is exquisite and he tells us how it reminds him of a tiny paenae. This little rose that never fully opens, remains as if it is just about to burst into a big open flower, but never actually does. He admires the way a sweet pea and the rose grow together so nicely to form a wonderful display of united colour.

Rachael de Thame

RHS Wisley gardens are superb and it is always a delight to be taken into these exquisitely kept areas of beauty. Rachel is shown by one of the expert gardeners at Wisley how to prune wisteria and other established plants, in order to keep them strong, free of diseases and which will encourage them to give an extraordinary display of flowers the following spring.

Hard work but the results are worth it

Rachel is told that come rain or shine the pruning has to be done. It is hard work that takes a lot of thought and careful planning. Rachel is shown just how to prune these plants so that they really do stay healthy. By cutting away twisted or weak growth and also any branches that rub each other, the plant will be stronger the following year and will have an exceptional display of flowers to show for all the hard work which has been done through the summer.

Montys’ finale

We all appreciate tips on gardening so when it comes to good advice, you could not get any better than the words of wisdom that Monty gives us. As he says, when it comes to pruning you can often be ruthless and not to worry about it, because the plants will always take care of themselves, no matter what we do.

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