Gardening and Horticulture 02-2015

Gardening and Horticulture





Hellebores, the jewels of the early spring border, come under the spotlight on this show. Monty Don shares his top tips on how to get the best from them.
Carol Klein visits a couple who have just moved into a bungalow with a once much-loved but now overgrown garden. With her help over the coming year, they're hoping to create the garden of their dreams.
Gardening and Horticulture 02-2015
Gardening and Horticulture 02-2015

1. Sow broad beans

If you’re daunted by the prospect of sowing veg, then start with broad beans. They are easy to grow and taste really delicious when picked small and cooked shortly after.
To start, choose a well-drained site. Then dig the ground over, adding some garden compost or well-rotted manure.  Sow seeds 5-8cms (2-3in) deep and 10-16cms (4-6in) apart.  In open ground, sow in double rows 23cms (9in) apart leaving 60cms (2ft) between each double row. This will give you enough room to walk between the rows when picking your beans.  In raised beds, where you won’t have to worry about picking space, all rows can be spaced 23cms (9in) apart. 

2. Cut back late-flowering clematis

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to prune Group 3 clematis. These flower in late summer and produce blooms on the current season’s growth. Prune hard now before they get going, cutting just above a strong pair of buds about 30cm (1ft) above soil level. Clematis that can be pruned this way include C. viticella.

3. Force rhubarb

If you fancy some sweet-tasting rhubarb, consider bringing on the crowns with a terracotta forcer. The dark, warm conditions inside force the rhubarb into growth a month early, producing soft, pale pink stems which are delicious. If you haven’t got a forcer, an upturned bucket will do the job just as well.