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Blog 22 - putting the plants to bed


We had covered several plants with fleece when the forecast predicted -4C. We hadn’t expected snow, too, and on the morning of the filming we grabbed to fleece quickly and piled it up in a corner of the garden. Two day later, there was still ice in the fleece. We draped it on the washing line and over all the conifers. In the evening we brought it in to finish the drying by placing it over the banisters, every doorway and every bookcase. I resisted doing the dance of the 7 (or 77) veils!

If we’d had time we might have been more orderly – but the filming dictated a hasty clearance!

And the rain came down!

We had to pack the geraniums into the greenhouse to protect them from even more frost

We know why we had to build three compost areas – we’ve only just started stripping out the foliage

The greenhouses are multiplying!

I am keeping this hexagonal greenhouse as my work area. My busiest time is in spring and autumn – and it usually rains. This will give me some protection.

I have taken the bogonias out of their pots and put them into these troughs. I have used the compost for potting up bulbs in plant pots.

I raised these polyanthus from plugs. The pansies were from cuttings.

I trim the geranium roots and tops and put the smaller ones in these troughs. The larger ones I put into individual pots. With the stems that I have pruned off I trim them down to one leaf and cut them just below a node. I push a few of them around the rim of pot filled with compost. I get quite a few new plants that way. I keep the geraniums fairly dry in the winter – and try to avoid wetting the leaves if I have to water them.

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Glad to see the tiger was given some breathing space :o)

2 Nov, 2008


Crumbs - greenhouse heaven! Have your protected your begonia corms from vineweavils - I used to grow loads until one year the weavils attacked and destroyed the whole lot in one winter :-(

2 Nov, 2008


How do you protect the corms from weevils etc.please ?

2 Nov, 2008


I'm not sure..........I think there is a powder to sprinkle on them? I don't grow begonias any more :-(

2 Nov, 2008


So how did the filming go? Or didn't it? We were all thinking about you...

2 Nov, 2008


The filming went really well - they want to come back again, and again.....!

I used Provado Vine Weevil killer in the pots in the summer. We put nematodes on them in September. I lift the corms and check them over when first putting them away. Any suspect ones I turf out. During the winter I check them again a couple of times. When planting them up in the spring I give them a final check.

Our garden is a Vine Weevil paradise - their menu of favourite foods matches our garden inventory plant for plant!

2 Nov, 2008


Oh I know - they are SUCH a nuisance - sounds like you're 'Vine-Weevil Enemy Number 1' tho! Go Fourseasons! Really looking forward to Xmas GW :-)

2 Nov, 2008


Just admit defeat and make space next to your compost bins for a trailer. Then the TV people can move in permanently and help you shift all that bark.

Thanks for the weevil advice.
Sounds like it's come from the most wonderful weevil restaurant in the land :o)

2 Nov, 2008


BBC have decided to carry on filming into the spring - completing a whole year (they started in May).

The camera man found our garden website originally ( and now he's been promoted to Producer/Director (Richard Holmes - you see his name on the GW credits). He regards our garden as his "baby" and will continue doing the filming himself. For every whole day of filming he has to spend a whole day editing!

They say that every whole day of filming makes 4 minutes of televised programme! Originally, they said it would be 10 minutes. Now it's 16......and still more filming days to go. Not sure we would have a whole half hour but they seem to think there's plenty more to see!

2 Nov, 2008


The Fourseasons Year ~
I reckon this will be a Gardeners' World hour-long special show. :o)

2 Nov, 2008


Editing all the sessions will be a challenge. I'm sure we've repeated ourselves and some things we've said haven't been consistent. We sometimes change our minds and don't do what we said we would when we recorded a month before!

2 Nov, 2008


We are looking forward to seeing your feature on the programme. You are correct in saying that a whole days filming makes 4 minutes of televised time. Also the cost of making the feature is colossal.

The Gardeners World team were with us from the morning until nearly 11pm at night. You will also probably receive a D.V.D of the programme after it is screened.We still look at ours from time to time and remember all the fun!

Don't worry about any possible inconsistencies. We felt the same, but they do a wonderful job of the editing. We thought that some of the aspects in our garden were filmed out of sequence but once the editing team cast their magic we were amazed at the final feature.
All best wishes,
Grenville and Alan.

2 Nov, 2008


I take my hat off to you all! Everyone, who, through opening their gardens to the world, helps promote gardening in any way! I just received an invite to stage a show garden next June at Scotland's equivalent of Chelsea Flower Show. They couldn't guarantee the presence of a defibrillator at all times in case of stress, so, have gracefully declined! Marvellous blog, btw!

3 Nov, 2008


It's great for us both to have such an absorbing, shared, interest.

Since fracturing his skull after an attack of vertigo a few weeks ago my husband isn't able to drive and would find it difficult to get holiday insurance for overseas. He is having medical tests, but it is likely that it is nothing sinister - just Meniere's Disease, which affects the balance mechanism in the ear.

The garden has become even more important and, with retirement looming, is likely to take even more of our time. What better way to spend a day - even in the rain. If we were farmers we would have to go out in inclement weather - you just have to have sensible clothing! It's our green gym, our creative canvas, our photographic subject.

It also gives so much pleasure to so may people - 3000 visitors since October 06. We now have visitors coming from the USA and Canada! It is humbling to think our garden has created so much interest. It has also benefited local charities - over £9000 in the last 2 years!

3 Nov, 2008


Wow ~
that's a huge amount for the charities. Well done.

You mentioned vertigo recently. I'd no idea your husband fractured his skull. I hope the medical tests have reassuring results, and there is treatment to help.

Yes, gardens are great for keep-fit. Much more fresh air than in a gym, and your wonderful garden is the amazing end result of your "work - outs" :o)

Great that you're attracting so much overseas interest.
I guess you keep a list of the far-flung places from where visitors arrive. Anywhere especially remarkable ?

What comes across to me, as your special "secret ingredient" is the team-work between the two of you, and the way you support each other. You both have a great sense of humour, and any set-back is regarded as a new challenge.

My good wishes for many more successful seasons to come. :o)

3 Nov, 2008


Thanks TT.

There's nothing like gardening to bring people together with a shared interest. We are keeping a note of where our visitors come from - a return visit may be in order!

One couple from LA came in the spring. The wife looked quite unassuming and wasn't interested in gardening and, after visiting 17 gardens in stately homes, was about to crawl up the wall.

She mentioned that she was an artist and I questioned her further. It led to her showing me her website ( she was an artist of international renown and had had exhibitions all over the world. She converted photographs of people into woven pictures, some 14 foot high, and she had commissions from State institutions and other public buildings. They lived in a warehouse - it was the only place big enough to hang her displays!!!

3 Nov, 2008

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