Life in a Cottage Garden with Carol Klein Series 1 Episode 4

Life in a Cottage Garden with Carol Klein Series 1 Episode 4

Carol Klein welcomes us to Life in a Cottage Garden at her home Glebe Cottage, Chittlehamholt near Umberleigh Devon, 15 miles from the coast.

For over 30 years Carol has looked after the garden which is loved not only by herself but her family too and she knows every part of the soil and the plants.

She loves spending time in the garden and enjoying the peace of the surrounding countryside.

Every season brings delight, challenges and problems 'but that's the thing about gardening, it's ever-changing and its's always exhilarating.

Over the 6 episodes Carol is going to show a whole year in the garden 'how it grows, flourishes, dies and is reborn.

It is high Summer and the garden is full of flowers and colour and its during July and August the garden reaches it peak.

Carol Klein

By the end of August the plants have reached their best with Geraniums and Lilies filling the garden with their heavily scented perfume.

You cannot just sit back and enjoy it there are still lots of maintenance in the garden including deadheading, cutting things back and staking plants.

There are also cuttings to take of Herbaceous plants.

Early July

Carol is cutting back and digging up her two Geranium Pratense and are prolific self seeders so this is how they found themselves in the bed and she has let them flower before removing them.

This is not the normal time to be lifting Geraniums but she needs to plant some Ricinus Communis Castor Oil Plants in their place.

She needs to get them planted so they will be at their best in September to give the bed an exotic look.

Ricinus Communis Castor Oil Plants

She sowed them back in January and then kept potting them on as they grew bigger.

They have formed good roots and she lowers it into its new bed and they will grow very large but being Mediterranean they are tender so will not grow to their full size in Carol's garden but will still make a statement in the Hot Border.

Lilies are a stars of July, Hemerocallis Day Lily are the first ones and only live for a day but with deadheading the flowering can be prolonged.

Hemerocallis Day Lily

Later the Trumpet Lilies come out and can be grown in pots or the borders.

When Carol plants her bulbs she detaches some of the scales from the mother bulb before putting them in a plastic bag with Vermiculite, then into a pot topped with grit to exclude the light.

Trumpet Lilies bulb

After a few weeks baby bulbs are formed at the scales base and she puts them in a seed tray of gritty compost.

It will take a couple years to form big bulbs and then to produce their own flowers.

Mid July

July and Carol says it feels like the garden is almost out of control and she shows us a Rose, Rosa 'Sander's White Rambler'  thats looking lovely but already needs some deadheading to prolong the flowering.

Everywhere you look is wonderful but a storm could come along and flatten it due  to July unpredictable weather.

Braunton Burrows

The weather in Carol's garden can change quickly due to her being so close to the Atlantic Ocean.

She loves going to the seaside for the never ending sky and sea and Braunton Burrows is one of her favourite places to go.

Looking out at the beach her garden is only 15 miles away and this is where her weather comes from and why it changes so rapidly coming in off the ocean.

Eryngium Maritimum

The plant she came to see is Eryngium Maritimum, true Sea Holly and here is one of the few places it thrives as the weather conditions are perfect.

It has adapted to survive and it is very prickly to put off grazing animals which protect each flower cone.

Eryngium Maritimum

The leaves are also covered in a wax to protect it from the sea spray.

Although it is a native plant Carol has had no luck in growing it as it needs the sand and beach conditions to grow.

Carol does grow Eryngium Bourgatii and it does well in her raised bed and it likes sharp drainage and fertile soil.

Eryngium Bourgatii

When it needs pollinating like its native cousin the flower goes from grey to bright blue but with her Bourgatii the whole plant turns blue.

Late July

Carol is in her greenhouse harvesting Tomatoes and it has been a couple of weeks since her beach visit.

She is now in her potting shed and although its good to take some time off from the garden she has a few jobs that need doing.

She takes everything she needs outside to her Aster Lateriflorus Horizontalis to take some cuttings from the plant she added to Annie's border.

Aster Lateriflorus Horizontalis

Before it flowers she pulls a side stem off including the heel before removing the basal leaves before putting them round the edge of a pot filled with compost.

Aster Lateriflorus Horizontalis

This will work with any Herbaceous perennial that produces side shoots.

This will then be well watered before putting it somewhere bright and they root really quickly.

Carol Klein Dogs

It is now August and almost half way through Carol's gardening year and the Brick Garden is brimming in colour and the Woodlands tree canopy is covering everything.

Alice's Garden was at its peak in June and still going strong but lots are plants are ready to have their seeds collected.

Annie's Garden was completely cleared out and Carol was a bit nervous of how it would end up but now its beautiful and recovered so well.

Hot Borders

Jake Hobson had previously cloud pruned the Box hedge in the Hot Borders but now its completely hidden by plants.

Carol will always find room or more plants and she has some space in the bottom corner of the Hot Border where she planted the Ricinus Communis.

Rudbeckia Rustic Dwarf and Cosmidium

She is planting Rudbeckia Rustic Dwarf and Cosmidium which she has not grown before but will look good.

Carol takes us to show us the Willow stakes she put in to hold up the fence panel that have taken root and grown enormous.

Carol Klein Willow Stake

She was going to saw them down but they are covered in Hornets that have stripped the bark and they are drinking the sugary sap, Carol says they look drunk on it or maybe its the Aspirin and they have headaches?

The Hot Borders are really looking good but Colinus Grace Smoke Bush is taking over and she had pruned it back hard in March so another brutal pruning is needed as the plants underneath are smothered.

Carol says having Neil to help stage the Hot Borders is really handy as a lot of them are tender that are kept under cover until its ok for them to be put outside.

Neil and Carol Klein

He is helping her carry out a Red Banana to replace the one she lost.

In August she adds the final touches to the Hot Border and like a completed show garden it is ready.

Dahlia Bishop of Llanduff

All the plants are doing well her Heydiciums have only been out a couple of weeks and she is adding a Dahlia Bishop of Llanduff which has brilliant red flowers so is just perfect.

Carol is very excited now its all in place.

Mid August

At this time of year Cosmos Purity is a great plant to have throughout the garden whether in pots or planted out with its big white flowers.

She sowed them back in February or March as it is a annual that is half hardy by just sprinkling them on the surface of a seed tray and they germinated very quickly within just a week!

Cosmos Purity

They were then potted on until they were big enough to plant out but now they are out and flowering they need constant deadheading.

Late August

Late August and Carol is having a pot of tea out in the garden but work does not stop for long.

The garden has grown so lush she has problems getting round it with her wheelbarrow to Annie's Garden.

It has had loads of peaks with Geranium Psilostemon is full or flower as is the pink Phlox and the Veronicastrum but Annie has not been around to see the garden as Carol was hoping today.

Nicotiana Langsdorffii Tobacco Plant

Carol wants to add more plants to keep the interest going in the border so she is adding Nicotiana Langsdorffii Tobacco Plant and has long green trumpet flowers which she sowed in March with their very fine seed.

It took a long while to germinate then it was potted on in the cold frame with some being planted out earlier in the year but she saves a few to put out when fully grown.

The Apple tree escaped the chop and was full of blossom and now fruit so she will see at the end of the year if it is staying.

Apple tree

July and August have been wonderful but now it is just starting to get chilly in the morning and the hint of the Autumn with September coming.

But for now Carol is making the most of the last Summer month.

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