As spring approaches, it is time to get going with sowing seeds and Monty Don recommends varieties to sow now for months of summer colour. With conifers enjoying a revival, he also plants up a pot to give interest all year round. 

Adam Frost is inspired by a visit to York Gate in Leeds. Famed for the use and manipulation of plants to give structure to the garden, Adam shows us how we can replicate parts of its design for our own gardens. Annual climbing plants are an easy and inexpensive way to fill our gardens with colour and the head gardener at Parham House in Sussex shows us what varieties have proved to be a success in his trial at the gardens there.

Early Potatoes

The programme starts with Monty planting a new variety called Winston which he says are quite flowery so good for mash, baking and boiling.

Tip: If you are starting a new allotment or garden potatoes are a good first crop because they crowd out other weeds and get you off to a good start next year.

Early potatoes should be ready 90 to 100 days from planting this weekend so early to mid June.

Adam Frost is inspired by a visit to York Gate in Leeds.

Adam’s tip: Start planning a new garden with winter in mind.

York Gate is a one-acre garden created in the 1950s and 60’s as a family space by the Spencer family. These days the head gardener Ben Preston looks after the garden and winter is a special time for him. The garden looks just as good in February as it does in the height of summer.

It’s important in the winter months for the garden to have a good evergreen structure. Adam highlighted some great plans for winter and early spring colour:

Corkscrew Hazel

Click here for more details of Corkscrew Hazel

Oregon Grape

This evergreen Mahonia brings winter colour and scent to the garden. Click here for more details on the Oregon Grape.

The Viburnum Dawn brings lovely pink flowers.

Chaenomies Flower quince

See the Flower Quince which is available from Thompson & Morgan and Amazon.

Back at Long meadow

Click here for more details of the Irish Yew

Monty has planted this Irish Yew tree’s to give evergreen structure to the herb garden throughout the year.

Next Monty plants Juniper evergreen trees in pots. They are one of our few native evergreens. Monty paid about £20 for his which is considered good value for a plant which will live for years… and probably out live us.

Click here for a selection of Junipers

These are the first two dwarf conifers Monty has ever grown in a garden of his own! Having been inspired by the visit to Bressingham in last weeks programme.

Parham House in Sussex feature on Annual Climbers

There’s an annual climber out there for every gardener and every garden situation.

Tom Brown is the Head Gardner at Parham House.

These were all started from seed in modules and planted out in June, because they won’t survive a cold snap.

Golden Clematis – grown from seed in one season.

Click here for a selection of Golden Clematis and more details.

This Patunia has a good climbing and rambling nature.

Back at Long Meadow Monty is planning climbing annuals for the Jewel Garden.

He seeks shelter from the rain in the potting shed to sow Chilean glory. flower. He bought a packet of seed for £2.50 and it contains over 100 seeds. Sow by the beginning of April, they won’t be plannted out until frosts have finished.

Spanish Flag – will grow to over 10ft tall so use strong beanstalks or other support. Also note that the seeds are poisonous so wash your hands after planting them.

Monty puts the seed trays on a heated mat in the greenhouse, which is itself wrapped in bubble wrap.

Jobs for the weekend (Middle of March)

  1. Cut back autumn fruiting raspberries. (One that fruit after July) as they fruit on new growth.
  2. Lift and divide snowdrops
  3. Prune buddleia – they flower on fresh shoots. Even old plants can be cut back to the very lowest buds.
  4. Cut back grasses – but not evergreen grasses.