The Gardener’s Year
The Gardener’s Year is presented by well known horticulturist Alan Titchmarsh from his home and extensive gardens. The programme was a bit wrongly timed as Alan spoke about work to be done on the garden during July. He said that mid-July was the time of the year for relaxation in the garden and that there was a spectacular display of colour, but apart from wondering around with a glass of Pimms, there was little evidence of a rest for Alan.
During the Spring he had been growing tropical plants, including Dahlias, from seed and this was the time to plant them in the garden. Alan showed us how to take cuttings from geranium or pelargonium plants by stripping off all but the central leaves and trimming the plantling down. He explained that in order for the plant to survive, it had to grow roots, so we were treated to some theory on the growth of plants.
Alan also showed us to trim a Wisteria which was growing up a main wall outside his house and had spectacular blooms in May. We also learned how to water plants properly. In Summer, it is best to water the garden in the evening when it is not too hot, and soak the flowerbeds with water (many people use a sprinkler on the hose pipe and shoot water into the leaves of the plant, making it droop). He also conducted a mini experiment with three hanging baskets as they can suffer quite badly during the summer. One basket was watered regularly and received plant food, another was only watered when the soil dried out and the last one was watered regularly but not fed. Not surprisingly the second hanging basket did not fare too well and leaves turned yellow, died and some parts of the plant dried out. As time went on, the third basket started to look worse as it was not receiving food.
Alan Titchmarsh makes gardening look quite easy, but it was a pity that The Gardener’s Year was not more up to date in focussing on a September garden.