Real Gardens: Episode 7

Real Gardens: Episode 7

In this weeks Real Gardens episode 7 Monty Don is in Guernsey, to visit Liz & Rod, in their garden with a lake view.

Liz Collenette lives on the island of Guernsey which is 80 miles south of Dorset and has a wonderful climate.

Liz & Rod

Liz & Rod moved to Vale Pond House, 20 years ago and the garden had been neglected. 20 years on it is looking very different. 

They have restored the greenhouse and fountain and built a gazebo to enjoy the view of the water.

Liz & Rod garden

The couple have 3 sons and the youngest Phillip is a tree surgeon and occasionally helps his mother out as it is mostly Liz who is the gardener. 

Rod helps with any hard landscaping and with the bindweed.

The garden is 2 acres and is divided into areas, surrounded by trees. 

Due to the climate Liz garden is ahead season wise . In full bloom is the self seeded Scilla Peruviana which is a new plant for Monty Don when he arrives at the garden to look round for the first time.

Another new plant for Monty is the Guernsey Star of Bethlehem Allium Neapolitanum, Monty admires the view from the gazebo which has roses and Clematis already growing on it.

Liz wants to also grow sweet peas in containers at the front of the gazebo with lobelia. Liz has grown them from seed and are a mixed pastel shades. They have huge roots so are very healthy. 

sweet peas

Planting them out she adds blue and pink lobelia and gives them a good soak.

Liz has her own compost made from manure, seaweed and homemade compost.

Liz watering

In the back garden they are working on a Mediterranean terrace to enjoy the lake view. 

Using the skeleton of an old building, the brick floored terrace is very much a work in progress. 

The view is obscured by a pine tree and a mound of brambles.

Mediterranean terrace

As her son Phillip is a tree surgeon he sets to work removing the lower branches that block the view. He first removes the dead branches before taking off the branches. 

Phil tree surgeon

Next week they will tackle the mound.

Monty Don and Liz's family



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

Diana Harold a retired school teacher buys too many plants for her Felixstowe seaside garden and they mostly end up still in pots on the patio.

Diana Harold

In Episode 5 the vegetable bed was prepared and planted with the many seedlings Diana had growing on her windowsills.

In todays episode Carol Klein returns to see the transformed vegetable beds and finds its more of a pottage. 

Thyme is growing between new stepping stones and the garden is looking fabulous. 


New trellis has been put up to make a barrier for the new compost heap from the road. 

Diana Harold garden

Diana want the trellis to be covered by climbers, she has several honeysuckles, some roses and 9 clematis in her heap of pots on the patio. 

Diana Harold garden

Diana and Carol chop down an old Passion Flower on the side of the house to make way for one of the rose, Rosa 'Gloire de Dijon'. 

They dig a hole 18 inches from the wall and add some compost and plant it with the growth growing backwards from the graft. 

Carol Klein and Diana

The honeysuckle will climb well on the trellis and the clematis will grown alongside them. 

Diana has a Clematis Montana Var. Rubens which will grow vigorously. As it is an ex compost heap the soil is very fertile and the clematis are planted deep to avoid wilt.

Clematis Montana

Carol leaves Diana to plant a colour clashing red rose with her yellow ivy over the archway and will return again.


Ann-Marie Powell is in Stockport, to visit Mike & Alison.


Returning to engaged couple Mike and Alison garden where in Episode 5 they built a boardwalk over their bog garden at their Stockport house.

bog garden

Since Ann-Marie Powell last visit they have built a sun deck at the end of the garden joining the new boardwalk. Todays job is adding some plants. 

Ann-Marie suggests adding a hammock and beanbags. She also suggests to make a window through to the view of the field. After some pruning the view is revealed.

garden view

They have dug over the boggy ground but it needs further digging and weeding. They are going to add bog plants but worry they are boring.

Ann-Marie takes them to Stapley water gardens (since closed) she shows them their wild garden. Ann-Marie shows them the Marsh Marigold Caltha Palustris and Gunnera Manicata but Alison not sure about the Gunnera.

bog garden

Alison does like the Rodgersia Aesculifolia also Ligularia Dentata 'Desdemona' and  Ligularia 'The Rocket'. For colour other than yellow Alison picks Lobelia 'Queen Victoria'.

Back in the garden after giving the plants a soak they start with the Gunnera which will grow massively. They place them away from the boardwalk so they don't overgrow on it. 

bog garden

They all muck in and get them planted by adding some bone meal to the holes and Ann-Marie suggests mulching with bark and then gravel round the slug loved plants.

bog garden

Ann-Marie leaves them giving them a good hose.


Monty on staking Perennials
Perennials are just shooting up and need staking with canes and twines, use proper garden twine and add corks to the canes for eye protection

Monty Don


All photographs are copyright of Channel 4

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