Gardeners' World 2021 Episode 3 02 April 2021

Gardeners' World 2021 Episode 3 03 April 2021
Monty Don welcomes us to the third episode of Gardeners' World 2021 for an Easter special.

He tells us what an important time it is, as the Spring has begun and with it there is so much to do, as gardeners.

JJ Chalmers

Monty first job in the garden is to cut back the dead growth from his fern Dryopteris Filix-Mas which during the Winter has brought some green to the garden but browns off in the Spring.

The new growth will then un-furl from the knuckle of the plant.

Monty Don

Monty is planting out his Sweet Peas a bit early this year as Easter is earlier and he usually leaves them until after the last frost.

He is taking a gamble as he does not think you now need too as he believes they are hardier than he gives them credit for.

He sowed the seeds last October but its not too late to sow now and they will be ready at the end or middle of May.


He grows many different sorts of Sweet Pea but he is planting out the oldest variety Cupani and they are the most fragrant.

At the inside base of each support he puts in 3 plants and they need a rich soil and lots of feed.

For leggy plants you can pinch out a third of the growth above a side shoot which will make a bushier plant and keep them well watered in a soil that retains moisture.

Invasive Bamboos are the next topic for Monty. Sasas can be invasive and send out runners but there are many varieties like Phyllostachys Bamboos that are clumpers.

Fargesia Murielae Simba

A variety like Fargesia Murielae Simba can be grown in pots but they do need thinning out to keep them looking good.

You can use the bigger canes and this will let in light but you need to cut it an inch or 2 from the ground.

Monty is giving us his number 1 tip of Spring and that is to mulch, which is adding a layer of material to the soil to suppress weeds and keep moisture in and can improve the soil.


The best thing to use is your own garden compost as you know what is in it and it is full of bacteria and Fungi.

There is never enough of this so he just uses it on his edibles.

Leaf Mold is next which is more crumbly and made from last years fallen leaves and good in woodland areas.


Bark is another one you can use and Monty has a Pine Bark that is acidic so will slightly change the soil and breaks down a lot slower than the others.

Other options are grit, or gravel and stones, grit is good for Alpine beds or for drainage but adds nothing to the soil.

You can buy soil improver but the trick to using any mulch is to lay it down thickly!

Shallots and Onion sets time and Monty is outside ready to put these out into trays and some into containers.


He has a variety of Shallot called Red Sun and each set will produce about a dozen shallots.

He pushes them into the soil in the container until they are half covered and when the ground ids not too wet.

These will be ready at the end of July / early August.

The ones that will eventually be grown in the ground are best started off in trays as the birds like to come and pull them up.


He is starting them in plugs which he fills with compost and he is planting shallot Longor and he puts 1 in each plug and puts them in a cold frame or outside.

Once they have green shoots and roots they can be planted outside as the birds will then leave them alone.

If you do plant direct fleece or netting will hopefully keep the birds off them.

Monty has a lot of Pelargoniums especially the scent leaf varieties and they have overwintered indoors and now the time to cut them back hard.

Monty Don

If left to grow there will be a lot of wood and hardly any leaves or flowers.

The variety he has is Lady Plymouth and he cuts it back and gives it a good feed of liquid Seaweed and water.

You can use the cut material for cuttings and he pops them in a jar of water.


His Salvia Curviflora also needs some attention and cutting back to a good shoot.

In May they will be harden off gradually outdoors before putting outside for Summer flowers.

Monty in the Wildlife Garden where the Hellebores are at their best and these are one of the easiest plants to grow.


They just need their leaves cutting back at the end of January and then they are just left to do there thing.

Hyacinths that Monty has been growing in a pot he is now going to plant out into the garden.


He does this every year with all sorts of bulbs, so every year they buy new bulbs for pots and when they finished flowering they go out into the garden.

This means the garden is always getting filled up with new bulbs and he cuts back the flower heads.


Carol Klein

Carol is visiting RHS Rosemoor in Devon to see their Spring flowers.

She loves Spring and the garden bursting into life as she stands surrounded by a sea of Narcissus Pseudonarcissus Daffodils.

Carol is going to show us some Spring plants that we may not know about.


Camellias are a very glamour Spring plant and there are so many varieties from the big red flowers of Mercury to the pink flowers of Camellia Williamsii Saint Ewe.

If you want a hardy Camellia choose one from the Williamsii family.

There are varieties for smaller gardens and they are very straightforward to grow but need acid to neutral soil so can be grown in a large pot with Ericaceous Compost.

Ribes Sanguimeum Elkington's White

There are loads of Shrubs that look fantastic in Spring like Flowering Currants and for a different one choose Ribes Sanguimeum Elkington's White which are long flowering and their are loads of different varieties.

Another shrub but this time an evergreen is Pieris which has delicate pale pink flowers.

In spring Carol looks at what is carpeting the floor like Anemone Nemorosa a native plant which has evolved to survive and has Rhizomes amongst the tree roots.

Anemone Nemorosa

You can buy the Rhizomes in the Autumn but only surface plant them and add leaf mold and neglect and it disappears by the Summer. A 'Cinderella' plant says Carol.

Carol now sitting amongst some Pulmonarias which are full of bees and they carpet the ground and prefer dappled shade and are members of the Borage family.

The variety is Pulmonaria Diana Clare and are easy to grow.

Trillium Kurabayashii

A very special plant is Trillium Kurabayashii which comes from North America and as with their name everything is in 3s! 

They are rarely for sale as they are grown from seed that takes 7 years to mature to a flowering plant which makes them very expensive.

Carol is now in their amazing Alpine House but with the right conditions these can all be grown anywhere, terrace, window box but if they are in pots you can move them.

Carol Klein

A Saxifrage that is made up of a mass of pale lemon flowers they just need full sun but for a dark spot Saxifraga Alpine Rose is perfect.

All these plants do one thing Carol says 'they let us know Spring is well and truely here'.

Last year Gardeners' World went to Worcestershire to meet some fanatical growers.

First Shown Gardeners' World Episode 3 03 April 2020


These are all grown to take to the annual Daffodil Society show.

The daffodils are all precisely arranged for the show.


There are 13 different divisions in the show and are all very different.


There are several tricks to getting them show ready, cotton wall in the trumpet or daffodil bondage!

They are judged out of 10 and no Daffodil ever gets a 10, a 9 would probably win Best in Show.


The winner got 8 out of 10!

JJ Chalmers

JJ Chalmers

JJ is in his home country of Scotland and says his 'love of the natural world and the plants that fill it has always helped me through even the toughest of times'.

He is at Pittencrief Park in Fife and it is the place he goes that has a special place in his heart.

Throughout lockdown it has been his and his family sanctuary and they came very day for their hour long exercise.

JJ Chalmers

Although the exercise initially was for their physically health it soon became apparent it also was for their Mental and Social health and wellbeing.

Getting out in the fresh air in a lovely environment and clearing your mind of everything.

The amazing Lime tree was Base Camp and all adventures started from there. 


The tree is magical and like one you would draw as a child and his daughter learnt to climb on that tree.

This park has been a special place for the last 25 years since they moved to the area and as a child he played football there and flew kites.

There is a mixture of formal and informal gardens to explore as well as a Glen and they are lucky to have this on their doorstep.


He is in the Rose Garden which his Grandad replicated in their front garden by cutting beds in the lawn to grow his roses.

His Grandparents and Parents were all keen gardeners and this has given him his love of plants and nature.

The Formal Garden fascinated him as a child and the way it changed throughout the seasons.

There was a greenhouse at home for Tomatoes but the ones here are filled with exotics, Cacti and plants you don't see because of the climate.


'It was like stepping into another world' and now JJ's Daughter and Son feel the same magic!

At 17 he joined the Royal Marines and got to travel the world, unfortunately in 2011 in Afghanistan he was wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device which tore his body apart when on patrol.

JJ Chalmers

The next thing he knew was he waking up in a Birmingham Hospital where he spent 9 weeks.

Being in this un natural, sterile environment all he could think of was getting home and the park became the first part of his long rehabilitation.

He had the challenge of doing things he was easily able to before like climbing steps and walking any distance but he would go each day to the Glen and try to get further and further up the Burn side.

Once he had conquered this, it gave him hope and the incentive to conquer other things.

JJ Chalmers

Once he had returned to some sort of normality he needed a mission and then the Invictus Games were created by Prince Harry and he discovered Recumbent Cycling.

He took part in the first games that were held in 2014 and the Park was his training ground.

He proudly won a Gold Medal at the games. 


Through all the good times and the bad, the Park has always been there and now it is passed on to the next generation with his Daughter learning to ride her bike there.

'It provides for you, at whatever stage of your life you're at'.

Nick Bailey

Nick has wanted to have time to do his garden after moving to his flat 3 years ago in London.

It is a small garden 11 x 10 metres and it is a blank canvas and the first thing he added was a garden office but since then he has been too busy to do any more.

In the last few weeks all the perennial weeds have been dug out and the garden designing can begin.

Nick Bailey garden

First he assessed his site, what stays and what goes. The fencing, terrace and shed are remaining.

Then you need to look at the different conditions in the garden, where is sunny, shady or windy?

The property is North facing but there is one area that gets the sun for 6 hours a day. This is where the vegetable plot will be.

Nick Bailey garden

As the garden slopes it will be terraced.

When laying out paths or terraces you need to follow a few rules like a width of 1.20 metres for a single path and what materials you are going to use.

Nick has chosen Brick / Paving Block and Cedar Sleepers.

We return 5 months later and its transformed into a lush jungle of plants all fitting perfectly within the structured parts of the garden.

The planting has been chosen carefully as every plant counts in a small space and needs to give you a succession of colour and interest.

Geranium Rozanne

The secret is to put long flowering perennials like Geranium Rozanne which flowers for at least 6 months and a Wallflower Erysimum Apricot Twist which flowers for an amazing 9 months!

Successional plants like Salvia Amistad and prior to that there was Orange Lilies in its place that were cut back to make way.

Salvia Amistad

Finally there is the 'slot-in' plants like annuals that he has grown himself in the greenhouse like Cerinthe and Tropaeolum.

Nick will have colour last for months in his garden.

Viewers Videos

Sophie Painter in Cornwall

Sophie Painter in Cornwall

Sophie has a Dinosaur themed garden which is just 8 x 6 metres and is full of Ferns and Tree Ferns.

A stream runs through the garden and under a boardwalk and in the bird box they have nesting Blue tits.

They have made planters out of the left over wood and some are on the shed roof which has decking on it and is the perfect spot to get the last of the sun.

Briony from Oregon America

Briony from Oregon America

Briony originates from Scotland and now lives in Oregon and she is using old milk plastic jugs to sow seeds in.

She cuts the jug in half and after sowing the seeds she uses tape to stick them together again.

Milk jug

She has some Larkspur she sowed in February and they have all sprouted and she will open them up.

These have been out all Winter in their own little cold frames and has meant she has not needed to start any seeds off indoors.

Viewer from Brazil

Viewer from Brazil

Since he was young he has loved plants and now conserves Brazilian species like Orchids and Bromeliads.

His season highlight is a Bilbergia Porteana which is a local Bromeliad. 

Bilbergia PorteanaBromeliad

The plants he looks after are extremely vulnerable and they need to understand how to cultivate them.

We all need to plant seeds for a better future and Gardeners' World is a huge inspiration for him.

Nell & Patti

Nell and Patti joined Monty for the Sweet Pea sowing, Nell had something to chew, Patti just stared at the camera. Attention seeker!


Nell watching the mulching

Patti makes an appearance by the Greenhouse.


Nell and Patti snuggle up with Monty by the pond.

Jobs for the Weekend

Cut back Sage
Now the time to cut back the old wood hard to promote new growth

Sow Cabbages
To ensure a good supply of cabbages now the time to sow. 

Pot on tender Vegetables
If you are growing tender vegetables like Sweetcorn, Climbing Beans or as Monty has Artichokes you need to put them in bigger pots until its warm enough for them to plant outside.

This means the plants will stay strong and healthy for another month.

Monty Nell and Patti

Monty ends the programme by the Wildlife Pond with Nell and Patti looking at the frogs spawning with a well deserved cuppa.

All Photographs are copyright of

No comments:

Post a Comment