Christine's Garden Series 2 Episode 4

Christine's Garden Series 2 Episode 4

In this episode 4 of Christine's Garden Series 2 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.



Summer is in full swing and the sun has not stopped shining and temperatures have been as high as 34 degrees, everyone including the garden is hot and very bothered.

The garden is at its best early in the morning and Christine this morning has been sat on her bench in the peace and quiet and the light in the garden made it look beautiful and the garden looked fantastic.


This morning the flowers were like Ballerinas now they look droopy after dancing for hours they have lost there 'zumph'.

She does not think we should have July and August because she hates it.

The lawn is not looking good and look 'as dead as a dodo', but if you look carefully at the bottom of the grass is the growing shoots and no drought has ever killed a lawn.


All lawns that are looking dead like hers will all be alright and some people are doing the worst thing for the lawn, watering and feeding it.

It is just daft the lawn is ill and like humans you do not want a full beef roast and Yorkshires you want light and refreshing things and the grass just needs to be left alone.


The weather could stay like this right up to October and with a very good downpour the lawn will come back to life.

The best place to be in Summer is under a shady tree, looking at and relaxing in the garden but definitely not cutting the grass.

Christine despite the heat is popping round to Neighbour Louise's to help her out in the garden as she has not caught the gardening bug.


She has planted trees and is now growing her own vegetables but every now and again Christine lends her a hand with a project as well as boss her about (gives Reg a break).

Christine greet Louise and she says what hard work it trying to do the border is as it is so hot, and Christine asks why she doing it now?

Louise says its the only spare time she has this week and she wants it done but it is so dry and stony.

Christine and Louise

There is also a lot of broken glass and they wonder if there an old greenhouse buried in this back corner!

What Louise is aiming for is a nice wavy border, with nice soil and climbers to cover the ugly fence.

They decide to start at opposite ends and Louise would like it to join onto her other border.

Christine says the first thing you need is a hose pipe, not to water the ground but to mark out the shape of the border you want.

Christine and Louise

Now it is marked out comes the digging and that will be no fun in the heat.

They are having to practically scrape the turf off as you would not normally do it with the ground so dry.

Louise says her Sister asked her to go to 'keep fit' with her and Christine says just garden you soon be very fit, fit to drop!

Louise notices that Reg has not come round like he normally would if they were doing anything in the garden?


Reg is asleep in the shade in his garden next door oblivious that they are talking about him missing out on the hard work!

They have nearly finished and Louise is so hot her Mascara has run everywhere as Christine kindly points out and laughs at.

Louise says 'my mother taught me never to leave the house without mascara' which make Christine laugh even more as she wearing it for gardening.

Christine and Louise

Louise is beyond caring as Christine continues to chuckle.

She suggests calling it a day and having a beer in the shade and Christine is very keen on that idea.

Christine is quick to lay down in the shade as Louise goes and pours the beer and they are soon both in the shade supping cold beer.

They are pleased with what they have done today and both take their boots off but Louise wants her hot feet blown on but its a 'get lost' from Christine.


Having neighbours who will do anything for each other is 'something money just can't buy' says Christine as she heads home.

Christine heads home for a bath and her dinner but before that she needs to prepare her slides for a talk.

At the sound of pounding rain Christine runs down the stairs and into the garden to dance in the rain.

She is loving the rain nearly as much as the plants and she inspects each one to see how they are perking out oblivious to her getting soaked through.


She encouraging it to rain more and does not want it to stop but sadly it is a brief downpour and the blue sky returns as well as the sun!

Christine is thankful for the small amount they did get but a lot more would have been better., the garden looks a lot better for the rain.

Christine is off to prune a hedge but it no ordinary hedge but was planted as a shrub border but it has got out of hand as its never been pruned or looked after.

It is huge and she is not looking forward to it, but it's all in a days work.


When she arrives she can see that it has grown a lot, 'crikey' is one way of putting it.

Christine thought because of the drought it would have stunted its growth so she suspects its been getting moisture from somewhere.

There are 2 ways to trim a hedge 'from the inside out' or 'from the outside in'.

Christine is soon hacking away at the jungle and she is soon, dusty, mucky and sweaty.


She is not using an electric trimmer because there are some big leafed shrubs and this would cut them in half and damages them, killing off the whole shoot.

As she carries another bag of clippings, she estimates it will produce about 23 bags of clippings.

She is trimming it so she is leaving 2 sets of buds in case 1 set fails and is very simple to do.

Christine thinks every day is going to be hot this year and you cannot turn work down because of the weather.


For gardeners it is either too hot or it is raining and wishes the temperature could be just 21 degrees.

The hedge is going well and after clearing up the clippings Christine sits down under a shady tree to have her lunch.

It is a Maple/ Sycamore called Crimson King and Christine loves tress and like people they have veins, a pumping heart.


Every leaf on a tree gets some light as no leaf completely covers another one.

The trees like a skeleton and Christine is loving laying under it looking at all the patterns above her as she drifts off for a nap.

She is up and hoping to get it finished today as she squeezes through the hedge to do the other side.

Christine has come across some Ivy which she needs to remove as its roots hang on tight and kill the shrub.


It is no good just chopping it off at the bottom as these roots on the stem just keep it alive and growing.

A good hedge has a thick bottom and the it grows up like that, you do not want to let it grow thin and straggly, so you cut it short to thicken it.
'Big bums, better hedges'
She is finally finished and is pleased how it looks and is a job well done.

There has been a change in the weather today and it is overcast which is a change from the hot days they have had recently and Christine is pleased as she got a busy day.

Garden Centre

Louise her next door neighbour has come round and they are off shopping together.

They are off to the Garden Centre to buy plants for Louise's new border and Christine does not need an excuse to go out to buy plants.

Louise has no plans for colours or the type of plants she just wants to browse and then decide what to buy.

Christine and Louise

They arrive at Harlow Garden Centre and Christine looking forward to seeing what plants they can put together.

It is not long before Louise see something she likes and Christine jumps straight in to say they also have it in the variegated variety.

She picked a Kentish Belle, which looks like hanging lanterns and likes being in full sun.

'Miss Christine'

They move on to look at some Climbers and they find one called 'Miss Christine' it is a Montana and Louise wants that one even tough it is going to be quite big but it is scented.

Louise jokes about Miss Christine being big but it is also pretty and aromatic.

They need something for the Autumn and end of the year and they find a yellow flowering plant to go with the white and Orange of the previous 2 plants.

Your local Garden Centre should stock plants that are good for the conditions in their area because there are lots of differences in the regions, what grows well in Essex might not grow well in Yorkshire.

Christine and Louise

All the plants they are getting today will grow well in Louise's garden.

Louise points out a rose and says Christine not a Rose and she agrees thats she is not a Clematis either but she would be a big tree!

It would also be a  in charge Oak tree and Louise would be a little weed!

With 2 trollies full of plants they load the car and head back to Louise's garden, whilst arguing over who is doing the planting.

Now they are back home Christine says she will now see if Louise is any good at planting but she does not need to be as Christine is the expert.

Christine and Louise

They carry all the plants into Louise's garden and Christine is soon arranging the plants starting with the climbers that will go at the back of the border.

Miss Christine the Clematis is given pride of place.

Christine says the best way to plan the border is to plonk them down them move them bout according to colour and how big they are going to grow.

You then keep moving them around until the balance looks good and the plants are in the most suitable place.


Louise likes the arrangement but Christine thinks it still needs some tweaking and then they are finally happy with it.

Then its the planting and Christine says you do not need to put all the tall plants at the back, the heights should be mixed so you do not see it all at once.

Christine tells Louise to prise some of the roots out if they are spiralled round from being in the pot but she thinks it's brutal but Christine reassures her its doing them good.

Louise is carrying buckets of water up the garden to water them in to give them a good start.

Who should turn up when the work is nearly over but Reg from next door to see what they are up to.

Reg Christine and Louise

They say 'planting' and he says 'they are nearly all in'!

Reg has come to supervise and watch them work which he enjoys and they all laugh at this.

He does have a go at trying to get a pot bound plant out but needs the help of Louise as Christine watches and chuckles.

As he bangs on the pot Christine shouts 'is anyone in' Reg says 'this is no joke' Christine finds this hysterical.

There is no way they are going to get that out of the pot like that!


Reg keeps banging away at the pot and Christine is getting more and more red in the face and hysterical.

Reg finally yanks the plant out of the pot and he says 'there are too many cooks here' .

Louise plants the last one and all their hard work is done and Reg is happy with what they have done and they all laugh.

The bed looks bare but before long the climbers will be all over the fence and the plants will spread out.

Reg Christine and Louise

The wine is open and they are soon toasting the new bed, 'cheers' as Reg thinks its for him for all his help and Christine laughs yet again.

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