Beechgrove 2021 Episode 6 6 May 2021

Beechgrove 2021 Episode 6 6 May 2021

Carole Baxter
welcomes us to Episode 6 of Beechgrove 2021 and Mairi Rattray and Carole are happy it has rained at last at Beechgrove.

The rain is needed as it has been one of the driest months on record in the UK.

They have had snow but no rain and Carole thinks it is since Mairi put up the new water Butt!

They are in the Wild Garden and the Daffodil Rapture are out as well as Wood Anemone and amongst it Red Campion.

Snakes Head Fritillaria

Carole really likes the Snakes Head Fritillaria and they seem happy at the edge in the drip line of the trees with some shade and moisture.

Mairi Rattray 

Kirsty Wilson

Kirsty is in the centre of Edinburgh at her allotment at Inverleith Park Allotments.

She welcomes us to her Allotment and says in Edinburgh there are 31 sites including her one  and she has an 18 metre by 3.5 metes, half plot which is south facing.

Inverleith Park Allotments.

Allotments are important in the City for people to do physical activity, socialise, as well as connect to nature.

She has met her friend Clive through the Allotment who is showing her today how to make an upcycled cold frame.

She goes to meet Clive on a beautiful day to see his upcycled cold frame that is made using an old window and wood from pallets.

Kirsty and Clive

The pallets you should be able to get from a builders merchant for free and windows free from home improvement companies.

The only bought part are the screws and hinges so only cost him approximately £5 to make.

It is good for hardening off plants from the greenhouse and this year especially as the weather has been changeable.

You open it up during the day to ventilate the seedlings and then close it if the nights are chilly.

Clive is going to make Kirsty a large cold frame and deliver it to her allotment.

Kirsty new greenhouse she has painted green and added some upcycled pots on the door and its the height of production now.

Spinach, Swiss Chard

She has lots of seedlings including Spinach, Swiss Chard, Lettuce, Sweet Peas and Dahlias.

Se has now added a water butt by attaching some guttering to the greenhouse and she be able to use the water for her plants and she has a cover to keep wildlife safe.

The Seaweed she collected in Fife, Kirsty shows us how to use it and she is putting it around her Tulips and Anemone as a soil conditioner.


You can chop it up to mulch with or leave it in the bucket and add water to make a liquid feed.

She wants to create a Potager style plot to  make it pretty as well as productive, with vegetables and cut flowers.

In her work the gardens have always been formal with them in rows so now she wants more blocks of colour and flowers and vegetables, a more romantic look.

Kirsty has made a Sweet Pea arch by adding a bought archway over her bench and added some jute netting to the arch so she can sit and enjoy the scent.

Sweet Pea arch

Kirsty plot has been divided into 4 sections with the Greenhouse at one end and the bench at the other and she goes to see how Clive is getting on with her latest addition of the upcycled cold frame.

Clive has finished he cold frame and is just finishing painting it green so Kirsty is off to do some watering. Kirsty promises him some beer for his hard work.

Carole Baxter

Carole does love a trial or observation and this one is all about sowing Annuals and Perennial but she is concentrating on the Annuals.

The first seed bed has been prepared by hoeing it a few times, the second one has been firmed using their heels and the third seed bed has been hoed then firmed then raked making it the perfect seed bed.

seed bed

Carole is sowing 4 different Annual mixes, the first one is a Wildflowers a Cornfield mix containing Corn Marigolds and Cornflowers.

The second and third mix are just ones you can buy off the shelf.

The final mix she is making herself which came together as a seed collection and includes Poached Egg Plant, Godetia and 10 more Annuals and she has emptied the seed all together and divided it into 2 pots.


This is because it is all about the sowing of the seeds and wants an even spread so she adds some sand to bulk it up and will sow the first pot North to South and the second East to West direction.

Price wise and the self mix seeds is the most expensive at around £12 but the area is 2 .5 metres by 2 metres, the cheapest is the Cornfield mix at just £2.

Mairi Rattray
Mairi is sowing the Perennial seeds for the trial which will be a bit more expensive.

The first lot of seeds are quite cheap and is a true Wild Flower Meadow mix with grasses and native flowers costing £3.

The next 2 seed mixes Tuscan Hills and Turkish Delight are about £20  but hopefully they will last many years.

Flowering Turf

For the final bed it is Flowering Turf that is being laid and it is £150 to cover the bed but it is a selected mix of Herbaceous Perennials for pollinators that will last many years.

It does need looking after to get it established and Mairi has pre watered the ground and has laid it in a brick pattern so there are no big gaps.

The edges should if you can butt up against each other although unlike a lawn you can walk on it straight away.

Flowering Turf

She is then going to use a roller to ensure its in good contact with the soil if yo do not have one you can walk on it instead to firm it.

The ground will then get another good watering and this will need to keep being done as the roots have been severed in cutting the turf.

The flowering turf should hopefully be flowering well later in the year but the others might not look good until next year.

George Anderson

George is in Joppa and this week he is reviewing some of the things he has done in his garden.

First is the Lasagne pot of bulbs and both him and his wife Jill did one each, George's is not looking good as everything has finished flowering.

Jill's Pot is still looking food with the Tulips still in flower and the variety is Fire of Love and when they have finished the bulbs will be taken off, the compost disposed of and replanted with some bedding plants.

Tulip Fire of Love

George does have some more pots that were planted last October and they are full of colour and the Tulip variety is Candela and the narcissus is Stint.

George is now in the small space garden looking at the raised planter mini frames he made previously using old slabs.

The seeds were sowed 2-3 weeks ago and there some Radishes, Pak Choi, Spinach and Early Turnips variety called Falco which he sowed quite thick so he can show us how to thin seedlings.


You select the seedling you want to keep and press down on the soli either side with one hand and pull out the spare seedlings with the other.

You are left with a lot of 'dirty' seedlings but George does not let them go to waste so another way of thinning them is with some scissors or snips cut off the spare seedlings and use them in salads.


He says they have a lovely flavour of concentrated Turnip.

Viewers have contacted George to ask how he supported the slabs in his mini planter and he dug them in to half the depth of the slab and should last the year.

The Beechgrowers

This episode we are visiting the Beechgrowers  for their monthly update of how they are getting on.



Diana welcomes us to her garden in West Linton and now the weather has got better she is hardening off her seedlings during the day and putting them away at night in the greenhouse.

On the cold nights she covers them ion horticultural fleece to keep them warm.

Today she is planting out her Peas she started off in the Greenhouse a few weeks ago and she is growing them in an old piece of guttering.


Growing them in the  guttering which has drainage holes stops mice getting to the seeds as it is suspended as well as saving space.

Diana has already hardened them off and prepared the soil and they are planted in a shallow trench with some willow trellis for them to grow up.


She firms them in well and gives them a good water and they will need protecting from the Pigeons using twigs or mesh.

At the end of the season save a few pods to dry out for seeds and keep them somewhere cool, dark and dark ready for next years crop.

Catriona & Sophie


Sophie welcomes us back to Crieff Community Garden and a local Artist called June has made some amazing Willow sculptures and her favourite one is the one with a long dress.

There is even one doing a handstand which Sophie tries to do!

Willow sculptures

The Willow is grown in the garden and they harvest it for June to then make the sculptures, Sophie found another one who does high fives!

Everyone can get involved in the Community Garden.

Aidan & Joe

Aidan & Joe

Aidan welcomes us saying its lovely in Kilwinning and they are planting a very special tree and his Papa is preparing the area to plant it in.

The tree is a Liriodendron Tulipifera Fastigiatum or Tulip Tree that has yellow tulip like flowers in just 20 years time!

It likes to be planted deep in well drained but damp soil and although they are planting it close to the river the land slopes and is well drained.

Liriodendron Tulipifera Fastigiatum

The do not add Compost to the planting hole so that the tree roots spread out searching for nutrients.

Joe says he has not got 20 years to wait but if we return to the tree in the Autumn it will have lovely green leaves that will be turning a pale yellow.



Ballal is in a sunny Lochinver and he is sharing with us his easy to build pallet shelving.

He has been doing a lot of sowing of seeds in his house and he has run out of room so he has made some shelving for the Polytunnel.

Using 4 old pallets he has cut off a third of them so that they are not too deep.


He then attached old fencing timber to the base pallet and then attached the other 3 shelves.

When using pallets they should have been heat treated and not treated with pesticides or chemicals.

On the pallet it should say HT for heat treated.



Asta is in her Balcony of her East Craigs, Edinburgh flat and they have had an incredible Easter and the plants have thrived in the sun.

She shows us her Daffodil 'Waltz'  as well as her Tulips and Hyacinth whose bright pink flowers are smelling incredible.


She is a big fan of Lasagne planting which is layering bulbs in a pot in Autumn so you get a succession of bulbs flowering.

There were Crocuses then Tulips in her pot.

The Murray Family

The Murray Family

The Murrays give us a noisy welcome to Melvich and they have a coastal garden.

They do not have much to report and their garden overlooks Orkney and being very exposed it brings lots of challenges.

This week they had a Zoom call with a Beechgrove Presenter to give them some advice on the design and planting of one of their plots.

They will let us know in a few weeks who the mystery presenter is?

We will return to The Beechgrowers in a few weeks time.

Kevin Hughes

Kevin Hughes

Kevin is an Environmentalist who lives in Gatehouse of Fleet and we are visiting  his inspirational Cally Gardens.

Cally Gardens is very old and in the last few years it had become neglected, with Couch Grass in the beds as well as Ground Elder.

Both of these are near impossible to get rid of unless you manage to remove every last piece of the plants.

Cally Gardens

The problem is worse as they are growing in with other plants like his Trollius and the Couch Grass is in with its roots. 

A lot of the Herbaceous plants would be ok in a living lawn so he could remove them with the Couch Grass and in a meadow they would fight with the other grasses for survival.

He is moving whilst it flowering but says this makes no difference as he has dug it up in a lovely big clump of earth and its ready for grasslands or meadow.


He is in the strip that will be the Living Lawn which is in front of the Grasslands

He is removing a Dock to replace it with the Trollius and it seems like hard work just for the one plant as he has to dig deeply to get rid of the roots.

The hole now is about a spade depth deep.

The Meadow as undisturbed is really good at blocking Carbon and he pops the plant in the hole and props it up with soil.


It will now get a good water by flooding the hole with water and then letting it drain in and he will fill in the hole and it should not need watering again this year.

With his meadow of inherited Coarse Grass, especially the Couch Grass so it forever coming up places like the path but he has a patch of Viola Sororia that in America is a weed in their lawns.

He is going to dig this up to edge his meadow and he is cutting a slice off the main plant and it is ready to be used as edging.

He is putting the nice and straight cut Viola into a trench at the edge of the grasslands and its next to the gravel so Insects like well drained soil and the gravel heats up in the sun attracting Ants and small Wasps.


He is going to add more slices of Viola and he also uses Origanum as it keeps coarser grass away.

This will clear room for Yellow Rattle to get established and help keep the path clear.

Kevin never uses Pesticides and he keeps his paths weed free by hand hoeing and pulling up the weeds.


You do not need to pay to go to a Gym just hoe and weed your garden to stay fit.

This is his 4th Spring at Cally Garden and there been lots of change in the Wildlife in the garden and gained so many new species and breeding birds.

He Butterflies they have gained have been Northern Argus right through to the Scotch Argus.

Mairi is showing Carole a pot of Daffodils and Tulips she very happy with as usually they are not in flower at the same time and they both wave us off for this week and say their goodbyes.

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