Gardening Together with Diarmuid Gavin Episode 6

Gardening Together with Diarmuid Gavin Episode 6

Diarmuid Gavin is inviting us to his home in Bray Co Wicklow to 'Garden Together'.

The LP is playing something Jazzy, the coffee is brewing and we are ready to join Diarmuid in his stunning garden with its double storey verandah around his home.

In episode 6, the final episode of Gardening Together with Diarmuid Gavin Diarmuid starts by saying that most of us this year have needed our garden more than ever.

Lavender is a wonderful plant if it has the right conditions, full sun and well drained soil and then all it needs is a prune.

You should prune after flowering or mid Summer to early Spring.

You should cut off the flower spikes into the new foliage, if you cut it too far into the old bare wood it will not regrow.

Pruning will ensure it keeps a nice compact shape.

Diarmuid Gavin

Question Time
Shane Murray in Bagenalstown in Carlow who is a Gardener has been growing cuttings from his Cat mint.

His question is that they are now flowering so should he take the flower off?

Diarmuid says yes or too much energy will go into the flower and not on rooting and producing side shoots.

Emma Cunningham from Belfast wants to know about the smaller plants she can grow in her garden.

Diarmuid Gavin and Emma Cunningham

She has made a big bed across the side of the garden and already has filled it with some large statement plants.

Emma Cunningham garden

It is the spaces at the front of the bed she does not know what to do with.

Diarmuid thinks it looks 'amazing' he suggests she needs ground cover plants like Herbaceous Geranium.

He has one in his garden a Geranium 'Rozanne' Cranesbill that creeps along the ground and produce flowers from April to September and Herbaceous Geraniums come in a variety of colours and size.

Herbaceous Geraniums

He suggests planting in big clusters of 5-7 plants as this will cut out the need for weeding and cover the ground well.

Garden Makeover
Diarmuid finds himself another stunning spot in the garden and calls Rachel Kelly in Drumbo Co Down.

Diarmuid GavinRachel Kelly

Rachel has been in her new house for 9 months and has been busy tackling the inside but now wants to do a project in the garden that will only take about 4 weeks.

She shows Diarmuid the lovely view out the back and a redundant area of the garden where she has had some trees cut down and it houses the oil tank.

Rachel Kelly garden

This is the area she wants to tackle and she has put a fence around the problem area because of the tree stumps and ugly tank.

She has no idea what to do with the area.

Diarmuid notes it is a different level and has steps leading up and its almost a mini terrace.

This area is to be the first stage of Rachel making over the whole garden and she feels the area has lots of unmet potential.

Rachel Kelly garden

Diarmuid says lots of people are stumped as to where to start when designing a garden.

He is going to come up with a design to get Rachel started.

Diarmuid says 'the best investment with any garden is getting the soil right'.

As it is a new garden Rachel does not know what the soil is like so Diarmuid calls on Colm O'Driscoll.

Colm O'Driscoll

Colm is the Head Gardener at Airfield estate and says soil is at the core of healthy plants, you need healthy soil.

The whole estate is grown organically so there is no chemical input into the soil and they harness the soils biology.

Once you start feeding the plants you need to keep doing this as the plants get dependent on these nutrients but if the plants can get this from the soil you don't need to feed them.

Airfield estate

Low PH soil is fungicidal dominate, High PH soil is bacterial dominate.

Annual plants like Cucumber, Peppers and Courgettes  need higher PH.

green manures

They plant a bed with green manure to improve the soil using 8 different green manures to improve the soil and its structure.

This includes Trifolium Incarnatum Crimson Clover and Phacelia Tanacetifolia Lady Phacelia.

Crimson Clover

Lady Phacelia.

Colm feels using soil biology will be the future for food production as chemicals have run their course.

Diarmuid Garden Project
Diarmuid says 'every garden needs a space to breathe' so he is adding a big terrace in the middle of the garden.

Diarmuid Gavin garden

He wants to use gorgeous Encaustic cement tiles for the flooring to introduce colour to the area and they can be used inside or outside.

Encaustic cement tiles

He is going to surround the terrace with 'the most extraordinary pots' to create a gap in the garden.

Garden Makeover Design
Diarmuid is in a comfy spot under the verandah with his dog next to him sketching the design for Rachel's problem terrace.

Rachel has moved to a new house, a new area and doesn't know where to start with the garden.

Garden Makeover Design

The location is lovely but Rachel feels the house and garden are not jelling well together.

Diarmuid wants to use the steps that are already in situ and create a seating area under an Arbour surrounded by beautiful romantic planting with all year round interest.

By just concentrating on one area first he is hoping this will give Rachel the confidence to tackle the rest of the garden and 'get gardening'.

Question Time
Moving strawberry plants is now a good time to move them into a glass house and will they still get pollinated if the bees cannot get to them?

Phoebe O'Brien

Diarmuid calls on the help from his Botanist Friend Phoebe O'Brien from Co Clare to answer the question.

Phoebe asks how are the Strawberries doing outside if you bring them into the glasshouse although they will fruit earlier they need the pollinators to be able to produce strawberries.

A Strawberry flower has multiple stamens and multiple carpels in the center which need to be pollinated.


Uneven pollination might mean the strawberries are misshaped or no Strawberries at all without pollinators being allowed in the greenhouse.

The door would have to be left open for air flow and to allow the Bees in.

Common Box
For Rachel's design, Diarmuid is going to be using 4 Box Balls of Buxus Sempervirens Common Box.

Diarmuid Gavin

This will give all year evergreen structure to the garden they are very easy to grow but the last few years they have been prone to suffering from Box Blight and caterpillar infestation.

Keep them well fed with something like a liquid seaweed solution every couple weeks during the growing season to keep them healthy.

Garden Makeover Update
Diarmuid has sent his Project Manager James Kinsella to See how Rachel is getting on and to make sure the project is on course.

Diarmuid GavinJames Kinsella and Rachel Kelly

Rachel has had the fence moved and re positioned nearer to the oil tanks creating a bigger terrace out the front.

A digger then cleared the new terrace of the tree stumps and to level the area.

James Kinsella and Rachel Kelly

Planting is the most important thing and Rachel wanted Perennials rather than Annuals and for structure Diarmuid has the Topiary box.

Rachel has James the Superman on hand for help and queries and Diarmuid is pleased the design is going to work well in the garden and for Rachel.

Diarmuid's visit to Belfast
Diarmuid says the lovely thing about this series has been the fact it has been made as we are watching it.

Diarmuid Gavin

The story thats captured most people interest, even globally, has been the story from Episode 1 of the community garden in a Belfast back alley.

The story has had over 3 million views on Social media and Diarmuid was also moved by it so he has gone to Belfast to see the garden for himself.

He meets with Paddy McAree and he jokes about Diarmuid actually watching his own programme to recognise him.

Diarmuid Gavin and Paddy McAree

Diarmuid confirms he did see it and had to come to see this remarkable garden and the story behind it.

'What I found here was a Botanical Garden in a laneway in Belfast its extraordinary' 

Paddy questions the Botanical Garden title for their back alley and Diarmuid confirms it is a collection of unusual and colourful plants.

Paddy says yes its brought us all together but we are just amateurs.

Belfast alleyway

Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid says 'every gardener is an amateur but you might be a better amateur than most'.

He asks a resident about the Hydrangeas he spotted in first programme and she confirms its down to the liquid Seaweed feeding.

Belfast alleyway

She says its brilliant having the alleyway so green, sitting in her kitchen she has the view of the neighbours opposite alley garden. 

Another residents thats lived there 16 years said she wouldn't know the people the other side of the Alley as you never went out there.

Belfast alleyway

Another residents contribution was a mural 'Under the Shelter of each other people survive' how true of the whole Covid-19 lockdown.

From no garden to one of the longest gardens in Belfast and the back alley gardeners plan to keep this garden going and community spirit thats grown in the garden.

'Simply wonderful' Pete Free 🌻

Diarmuid is digging a large hole by his fence for a climbing plant that are very useful in the garden for cladding walls or hiding things

Diarmuid Gavin

He is planting an evergreen climber Berberidopsis Corallina Coral plant that will do well in a shady place and flowers from late Summer to early Autumn with drooping red flowers.

As the base of the wall or fence is often the driest part its best to dig the hole a bit away from this.

Coral plant

Diarmuid adds some well rotted farmyard manure to the hole and then a layer off compost.

He plants the climber sloping towards the fence and fills it in and once it starts to climb it will need some support.

Diarmuid Garden Project
The new tiled terrace is having the base of concrete added and smoothed out.

With the slab in place Diarmuid can see how the flow of the garden has altered and this has broken up the straight path down the garden.

Diarmuid Gavin

He says he feeling a little bit 'jittery' at the new radical change to the garden and will take a while to get used to it.

No going back confirms Project Manager James!

Garden Makeover Reveal
Diarmuid is on his way to Drumbo Co Down to see Rachel new terrace garden and is taking some presents with him.

This is just one part of her garden and Diarmuid hopes this will set her on her garden makeover journey.

Garden Makeover

Garden Makeover

Rachel says she did not know where to begin even with this small part of the garden.

The planting has taken the most time but its been worth the aches and pains.

'wow' 'look at this' as Diarmuid surprises Rachel!

Rachel KellyDiarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid appears with armfuls of plants whilst Rachel was busy primping cushions.

'This is Brilliant' 'the location is fantastic' I think we can safely say Diarmuid is pleased with the end result.

The planting is cottage garden style and Diarmuid has brought her some Astrantia Major Greater Masterwort.

Greater Masterwort

In the garden Rachel already has some Astilbe x Arendsii 'Fanal' and some Agapanthus Africanus African Lily. 

The Arbour is the situated perfectly for Rachel morning coffee.

Garden Makeover

The bed as you come on to the terrace surrounding the fenced off oil tank has Lonicera Periclymenum Honeysuckle climbing up it, setting off the whole bed.

The box balls look great and he like the way Rachel has used 2 different size ones by the steps.

The area that has the oil tank Rachel has chickens planned to take up residence behind the fence.

Diarmuid Gavin

Diarmuid has a surprise, her very own designer chicken coop!

The gardens finishing touch!

Rachel is very pleased with her posh chicken house!

And thinks Diarmuid has made it!

Garden Makeover

Rachel is so happy with her garden, and Diarmuid happy too as it is beautiful.

Diarmuid's Garden Projects
Diarmuid says although he been developing the garden for years its only been the last 4-5 years that he has started getting the different areas done.

Diarmuid Gavin and Paul Smyth

Paul Smyth Plant Expert has joined Diarmuid n the Sunken Fire Pit area he completed in Episode 1.

Paul says its mad how much they have achieved in a small amount of time in the garden.

Canna LilyWood Fern

For an exotic feel in this area they have planted Dicksonia Antarctica Tasmanian Tree Fern, Canna 'Black Knight' Canna Lily and Dryopteris Wallichiana Alpine Wood Fern.

'Big, Bold and architectural' says Diarmuid.

On to Diarmuid next project the Pond makeover from Episode 4.

Diarmuid Gavin and Paul Smyth

Diarmuid loves the new surround to the pond and the planting but he thinks 'the water jets might be a bit more Blackpool than Vegas'.

'they are interesting' adds Paul!

Next up the Key West Pink cladding under the verandah from Episode 5.

Diarmuid says he knows the colour a bit out there but makes him smile on a grey day in Ireland.

Diarmuid Gavin garden

The huge planters filled with plants like Astilbe 'Arendsii Color Flash', Dicentra Formosa 'Luxuriant' and Fatsia Japonica Castor Oil Plant.

Just outside the verandah is a Geranium Palmatum Canary island Geranium that's alive with its pink colour.

Finally to the new tiled terrace that cuts through the straight path down the garden.

The Encaustic Cement tiles are an amazing floral design with a pink center and they are all handmade.

Diarmuid Gavin garden

Paul says they are so much more brighter and unusual than normal paving.

Diarmuid has wanted to use the tiles for ages rather than the usual paving of sandstone or a deck.

Encaustic Cement tiles

He has created a 'patio room' by surrounding it with a succession of Terracotta patio pots filled with flowering plants.

The pots look good anywhere on a roof terrace or courtyard and you can plant anything in them, trees, shrubs, flowers and Topiary.

Diarmuids garden

Alternatives could be fruit trees, vegetables and fruit bushes.

Any mix would look great and you can have anything you like.

Diarmuid says this is his favourite part of the new garden and toast it with a coffee.

Diarmuid Gavin garden

Diarmuid thanks us, the viewers for 'Gardening Together' with him.

🎵Here comes the Sun and I say it's all right🎵

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