Real Gardens Episode 3

In this weeks episode of Real Gardens episode 3, Ann-Marie Powell is in Stockport, to visit Mike & Alison.

Returning to Mike & Alison's back garden from Episode 1 where the couple are not only doing a garden makeover but the house as well as they are due to move in after their Spring Wedding.

In Episode 1 Ann-Marie Powell played lumberjack and cleared the trees blocking the lovely views.

The couple have been busy clearing the bottom of the garden, they are now ready to start the vegetable beds

Ann-Marie Powell Mike and Alison

After deciding the site of the beds, they are to build 2 semicircle raised beds, 2 metres by 4 meters along the back edge.

The area now has to be stripped of turf and the tree stumps removed. The soil is clay and boggy so not an easy task for the couple.

Ann-Marie has sourced some chestnut Pales which will be driven into the ground before hazel rods are weaved in between to make the raised beds.

These are trodden down and the ends trimmed. Using the old turf laid soil up, they add grit.

The manure is too fresh but ok to be added as a bottom layer, then the bed is finished off with the top soil.

Ann-Marie Powell Mike and Alison

Mike & Alison are to complete the second raised bed before Ann-Marie, next returns.

raised bed

Monty Don is in Norfolk, to visit Bryony Martin & their 4 children.

Bryony's garden from Episode 1 and Episode 2 is a 3 acres and they moved to the house 4 years ago following Martin being left severely disabled following an attack at their previous home.


Flower beds have been dug and lawn laid to improve the view of the front garden from Martins bedroom. Martin is very pleased with his new vista and can see something new with every day.

Bryony next project is to add some extra wildflowers to her borders flanking the drive.

Bryony takes Monty Don to the coast on a very cold day to look at Monty Don and Bryony a costal plant she wants to use. They can cope with the wind so they will be perfect to use in her drive.

Monty Don and Bryony

As it is illegal to take wild flowers, Bryony gets a lot of her plants from the local vicar John Penny who has them in his garden.

John thought they were just weeds and is more than happy for them to be removed.

The stems are very similar to parsnips and can be eaten and the seeds are a substitute for pepper and used as far back as Roman times.

Monty Don and Bryony

Monty cuts a slit in the lawn and plants the Alexander, he is worried they will invade the lawn but Bryony will mower then out.

Planted amongst the cow parsley, Bryony wants them to add some interest when her spring bulbs have finished. They trim the leaves to give the roots the best chance to take hold.

Over a cup of tea in the warmth of the house, Monty asks Bryony chat about how her garden is a sanctuary for Bryony from her busy home life.

Monty Don and Bryony

The next wild flowers that need relocating are some Dog Violet Viola Canina to the driveway to add little pockets of colour.

Digging up clumps in the turf they add them to the front edge of the border and they will spread, maintenance free.

Dog Violet Viola Canina

With Monty receiving the next project he will return next week to start the Roundel.

Carol Klein is in Felixstowe Suffolk, to visit Diana, who is a 'Plantaholic'.

Returning to see if Diana has acquired anymore plants than in Episode 1 for her Seaside garden.

Diana after sowing cabbages with Carol Klein has now sowed a lot vegetables covering every windowsill of her bungalow.

Carol Klein Diana

Carol returns to inspect the cabbage seedlings that sadly failed after Diana left them for a few days and they have terminally wilted. 

Diana has bought more plants than she has managed to rehome in the garden. So no progress there!

Diana has found a beetle that she would like identified, unfortunately Carol identifies it as a Vine Weevil  and Carol inspects the infected plant that has had its roots eaten. 

Potted plants are susceptible and Carol suggests getting them planted out ASAP.

cabbage seedlings

Diana's Woodland area from Episode 1 needs a path before her grandchildren visits next. 

Diana wants a bark path and they mark it out using a hosepipe. They trim and move plants to make way for the path. 

They dig out a 10 cm deep trench and use a bamboo cane to keep the width consistent. 

They could line the trench with a plastic to keep the weeds out but for a woodland path its not needed. 

They place some wooden log slices to use as stepping stones level with the ground.

Diana's Woodland area

Carol is to return next time to tackle the vegetable garden. 

Monty Don talks cuttings from Delphiniums

Take a cutting about 4 inches tall, cutting off any excess foliage but leaving enough so the stock will root. 

Plant this in a 50/50 mix of compost and grit and then water. Place a plastic bag with some sticks to keep the bag away from cutting and pop it on the windowsill. 


All photographs are copyright of Channel 4

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