Christine's Garden Episode 6

Christine's Garden Episode 6

In this last episode of Christine's Garden Series 1 we meet Christine Walkden  at her home in Harlow Essex, who introduces us to the programme by saying "I love gardening - I do not like it - I eat it, sleep it, drink it, dream it".

Christine has been a gardener for over 35 years and her life is fantastic and she never wants to do anything but gardening and horticulture.

She says she lucky to earn a living doing this.



Christine has been away on a Garden Tour and good old Reg has been looking after the garden.

She is lucky to have Reg as he will come round and water the garden but also makes sure the house is alright.

She is off round the Reg's with a bottle of wine she has bought him as a thank you and she straight in the back door to a surprised Reg and they exchange pleasantries.


Reg looks very pleased with the wine and shows it to his wife Pat and Reg also get a big thank you kiss.

He suggests opening the wine now but Christine reminds him it is only 9.30 am in the morning and a bit early.

Reg laughs as usual!

Christine asks him how his vegetables are doing?

He has taken up his onions and they are hanging in the shed and he picked some Runner Beans yesterday.

She suggests they go up the garden for a  look and they wander up the garden.


Christine is surprised his greenhouse is empty of his Tomatoes as hers are doing alright still outside.

Reg says 'they have gone over' and he picked all he could off them and he expected them to be all finished by now. 

Christine disagrees and gives him the look!

She declares he got loads of beans and points out a new scrambler which is in fact Bindweed taking over in the Brassica bed.

Reg is in trouble again and he points out it is in fact a stump of a tree under all the Bindweed.

caterpillar eaten Sprouts

He says he gonna have a tidy up but Christine straight on to his caterpillar eaten Sprouts.

Reg points out the ones up the other end are fine as Christine shows him the Caterpillar poo and she says if you got crap you have caterpillars, but Reg is adamant they will get killed off by the cold weather and be fine.

Christine and Reg

Christine says yes but what if it not cold, you had your ears done you need your eyes done!

Reg just laughs and they head inside for a cuppa.

Christine says Reg has spent too much time looking after her garden and not his own as she heads back home.

She will go back later and give him a hand in the garden.

Christine has lots of vegetables ready to harvest and she loves the time of year, early Autumn with the chill in the morning and warm days.


She harvesting Pumpkins and Autumn veg are her favourite, Leeks, Parsnips and Sprouts.

She pointing out the colours of her chard and leafy greens, from green through yellow to red and they look lovely on your plate.

At this time of year she swaps lettuce for raw sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar, cheese and Granary Bread and she eats an awful lot of it!

Brussel Sprouts

People don't understand Brussel Sprouts they are easy to grow just put some seeds in, space them out, let them grow then eat them.

They can even be grown in a large pot, salad crops, Beetroot, French Beans and Carrots all can be grown in just a window box.

All this talk of food has made Christine hungry and guess what is for lunch?


Supermarket shopping has meant that seasonality has been lost for vegetables but by growing your own you know what you can eat at certain times of year that is in season.

Christine looks forward to her produce being ready at certain times of year but in the supermarket things can be available all year round.


The soil needs attention at this time of ear so Christine is sewing some Green Manure which is a combination of Cress, Mustard and some Clover seeds.

This will protect the soil and keep it topped up with nutrition's near the surface and stop the Winter Weather breaking it up.

In the Spring you just dig the Green Manure into the soil so the top layer is fed.

Tara is barking as she returns with Reg from her walk and he takes her nearly every day.

He taken her for a lovely walk up the Cemetery and she enjoys going there for the Squirrels to chase.

Christine shows Reg what she been doing in the garden and the Tomatoes are coming out and she been forking it all over.

Christine and Reg

They admire what is left of her outdoor Tomatoes and she had some good ones this year.

Reg cannot keep his hands off Tomatoes and he clearing the plants for her but again he doing it wrong and not keeping the green bits on them.

He says he always picks them like that and Christine says they store better with the green things on.

She gives him a plastic bag to put them in as she chops off all the ones he has missed, 'am I getting a slap' he chuckles. 

Christine and Reg

Christine reckons she still be eating her little Tomatoes at Christmas he bets her an Apple pie she won't as they shake on it. Poor Pat has to make it though.

When she not in the garden or with Reg she lectures at Writtle College for a living which is one of the best Horticultural Colleges in the Country.

Hyde Hall

She is off to visit her ex student Sue who now has a job at Hyde Hall in Essex which is a Royal Horticultural Society Garden.

She likes seeing her ex students do well and last year 3 of them got a Gold Medal at Chelsea Flower Show,

Christine been coming to Hyde Hall for over 20 years to visit and it has some lovely ponds and Ornamental Fruit trees.

Its a lovely time to visit with the Autumn colours.

Sue and Christine greet each other and exchange kisses and hugs and say how lovely it is to see each other again.

Sue and Christine

Sue came to her evening classes for 4 years and was a busy Mum with 2 young children as well as working as a Beautician.

Sue says she never thought she would end up working in a RHS garden and the course gave her confidence to apply to get her dream job.

They admire the size of the Gunnera and Christine says you can hide under it from her supervisors looking to see where you are working.


Christine says they make her want to be a Dinosaur so she can roam through them and they go off for a wander around the garden.

Christine loves seeing her students carry on her passion for Horticulture out in the wide world.

This gives her real satisfaction as their tutor.

They carry on the tour and the Roast Beef plant is coming out and they discuss which plant smells of which.


Christine says the garden is fantastic and the fruits on the trees are all changing for the season.

Sue says its a shame that people put there gardens to bed for 5 months of the year and they are losing out.

Christine is pleased that Sue is doing a job she loves now as she heads off home.

Now Christine is home her and Tara are off round to see Reg's garden to give it the tidy up she mentioned earlier.

She loves being in the garden whether her own or someone else as there always something going on.

She finds a remote control it looks like Reg has tried to compost in the veg patch? What has Reg been up to?

What he has got a lot of is Bindweed as he rotavated his garden in the past and this just chops it up and spreads it.


Christine starts taking the rest of his beans down and he has tied up the poles with Speaker wire! 

Reg has not joined her outside so she needs to make her own cuppa today.

Christine comes round the front and there is a surprised Reg who says she was gonna take Tara out for a walk.

Christine and Reg

He has been out to get new hearing aids and he going to have a new one in each ears so he can actually hear her.

She tells him what she been up to in his garden and she leaves Tara with Reg so she can have her walk.

Christine says if you do a bit in your garden every other day or more it becomes easy to look after and keep maintained.

She finds nothing in the garden to be a bind as she loves doing it.

Two weeks later
The Autumn has been crazy weather and very mild and the Busy Lizzies have only just succumbed to the cold at night its all been weird this year but thats Mother Nature for you.

Busy Lizzies

Autumn and the garden goes wild and there lots of pruning and tidying up to do but do not tidy up to much as the wildlife and insects need somewhere to hibernate.

all along her hedge she leaves so there is some vegetation and leaves etc for the insects and she likes frogs and hedgehogs in the garden.

Tara barks and its time for her walk and every day is special as its different.


Today it is Hawthorn berries, or 'Mother Natures Christmas Decorations' as Christine calls them.

She loves the Birch trees as they dance and sway in the wind, they are called the ladies of the forest.

Christine says there no start or end to a year just transitions as the seasons change when they start and end like Autumn that is late this year.


You will know when Winter starts and these are both special months and you get to see the trees shape with no leaves and how they fit in the landscape.

Back at home Christine says how the temperature has really started to drop and it is time to take her plants that are not hardy indoors and she needs to find room for them all.

She is in and out bringing in pots and finding dishes and plant trays to put them on including a 30 year old Christmas Cactus that she started from a cutting from her Grannies plant.

Christmas Cactus

She puts it on her dining room table and the flowers should open around Christmas time.

Every Windowsill and surface is filling up with plants and the doorbell goes and it is Reg to see how her Tomatoes are doing.

She invites him in for a look and she got them all inside ripening on trays and this makes Reg chuckle.

Christine starts popping them in her mouth and Reg says they are ripening and he reckons its the variety she grows and she says they all do it.


Reg still seems sceptical but agrees she has won the bet as they look like they are all gonna ripen.

Christine is still beaming as she sees follows Reg back to his house with some Tomatoes to show wife Pat.

It may also be to pick up her prize which is a huge pie baked by Pat.


She has a peek under the foil and thanks Pat who says she knew she would win and Christine going to think up more bets to have with Reg if she gets pie like this every time.

Christine says you can almost guarantee the Tomatoes will still ripen at this time of year and can even put a Banana with them that gives off ethylene gas to help it ripen.

The days are colder and it its time to put the garden to bed for the Winter and this means covering some of her more tender plants with fleece.


Christine is tying the foliage together before wrapping fleece around it but this will not help if there is extreme weather and as she starts to do this the snow starts to fall.

In extreme weather this will be brought indoors if possible and she says never use plastic or Bubble wrap on your plants as this will make it sweat and rot.


The garden has a drop in colour at this time of year but Christine says in a matter of weeks the Snowdrops will start along the hedge and surprise her.

This is why she says there is no end it is a flow from one growing season to the next as things spring into life.

Christine Garden is very special to her and this year in the Summer it was so beautiful and full of colour.


It was so hot in July followed by rain which she preferred and her trees looked amazing and it wont be long before they are back in glorious red leaves again.

This years leaves are in the Border and they will be composted to put goodness back in the soil.

This garden is not just a Summer garden she says we will soon see, Christine locks up the shed and goes indoors with Tara to warm up.

The series ends playing out to 'What a Wonderful World' by Joey Ramone and clips of the whole series.

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