The first big gardening weekend of the year gets underway with Monty dividing perennials and giving plenty of tips for how we can kick-start the garden for the season ahead.As millions of bedding plants are poised for planting in our pots and borders, Joe Swift visits a major grower to find out how they are produced and what drives the demand.Rachel is at a garden centre to find the top plant trends this Easter, and we travel to Devon to get some expert advice on looking after orchids from specialist grower Sara Rittershausen.
The Snake’s head fritillary is such an exotic looking flower, it’s hard to believe that it grows wild in damp grassland and meadows prone to flooding. Its chequered, nodding bells are like no other, and their graceful habit only adds to their appeal. There is some debate, however, as to whether it actually is a British native as it has been grown as a garden plant since Tudor times. It wasn’t until 1736 that it was recorded as growing in the wild, which suggests it is more likely to be a garden escape.If you fancy growing some in your garden, it’s important to provide the right conditions. It’s one of the few bulbs that relish wet conditions over the winter, so if you garden on clay, they should do very well. A sunny or partially shaded position is best. There’s a chance your local garden centre will have some on sale in pots or you could plant them as bulbs in the autumn. The bulbs are poisonous, so make sure you wash your hands afterwards.
The Easter weekend is a great time to stock up on supplies for the year ahead, so if you’re planning on paying your local garden centre a visit, do bear in mind that large stores over 280sq m (3000 sq ft) will be closed on Easter Sunday, except in Scotland.