Christine's Garden Series 2 Episode 6

Christine's Garden Series 2 Episode 6

This is the last ever 
episode of Christine's Garden  Episode 6 and the final one of 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.



Christine is leaving her front door and comments on how lovely her hanging basket of Petunias is looking.

She is off round to her neighbour Reg and she is on the 'scrounge' and she is after his Plums!

At this time of year he has an abundance of Plums and she comes round the corner of his garden yelling his name.

They say there hellos and she asks for the Plums as she is off out to a Farmer's Market and her Jam making friend will be there so she wants the Victoria Plums for her.

Christine and Reg

She asks Reg to hold the ladder whilst she climbs up his tree and there is a lot of Plums.

Christine finds one thats too good for Jam and is soon munching on the Plum and Reg says it been a good year for them.

Reg hopes she does not get a stomach ache Christine says you need to eat a lot of Plums for that hmmmmm.

She finds a lot of lovely Plums at the top but also finds lots of Plum Rust on the silver leaves.


The Rust will cause the tree to deteriorate very quickly and Reg points out it does not affect the taste.

Christine tells poor Reg off for not holding the ladder properly and as usual they have a good laugh over this and Reg says he will not let her fall.


With the bag getting heavy she reckons there is enough for 6 pots of Jam she finishes picking and comes down off the ladder.

A cup of Tea is suggested and they go down to the patio for a cuppa.

Christine is at her local Farmer's Market at Hertford to see her friend Mia who sells Jams and Chutneys.


She gives her Reg's famous Plums and she pleased with them and invites Christine round the back of the stall.

Mia offers Christine a sample and she very quick to accept the Date and Celery Seed Chutney and decides it would be fantastic with some Lancashire Crumbly.

Already on to her second sample and Mia says she better give her a jar and Christine even suggests she might buy some.

Christine and Mia

This shocks Mia as she knows of her Yorkshire woman ways of not spending unless she has too.... 'Lancashire' cries an insulted Christine.

She gives her 2 jars as way of an apology as Christine continues sampling.

Farmers Markets are about locally produced food and the smells and tastes of the food, all add to the atmosphere.

Christine is in her element with the tasting and goes from stall to stall trying their local wares, now she onto the meat stall.

Farmers Markets

She is calling it 'research' as she has a course she is running on 'how to run a successful Farmers' Market Stall'. Convenient!

She points out a typical stall all full of colour and a very nice display of Chillies to excite the buyers.

She found a stall with a quirky name 'Nervous Nigel's'.

Next a plant stall where the plants are just stuck on the table and Christine says she needs some information, a picture of the flower and some labels.

Victoria Plums

Another stall has Victoria Plums at £1 a box Reg could make his fortune!

On a stall there no one there to serve so thats another big mistake noted by Christine.

With the research done Christine is off to Lancashire for the afternoon course and she loves the excuse to drive through the valleys and hills of the Trough of Bowland.

Music is played as Christine drives up and down the valleys and she is back in her Lancashire.

She used to come here as a child with her parents and she learnt about scale and the vastness of the landscape around her.

Mother Nature at her best.

Christine arrives at her old College and she is out the back in one of the old barns and local school children  are also attending.


They have grown their own vegetables for the first time and are attending to learn how best to sell them

The first thing they are learnings the ups and downs of selling at the market and it not as easy as you think.

The first hurdle is to sell Christine a Carrot  and although it sounds stupid she asks how it is cooked?

Top off, wash it, peel it and slice it and boil it for 20 minutes is the answer. 

Next the awkward questions of 'what else can you do with it' 'mash it' 'with what?'  then she moves onto the same with a Squash.


A young lad gives a very confident answer although he did not know what he was talking about and this impressed Christine.

Next she was sold some sausages by a very convincing producer until he slipped up on the finer details of not knowing his product.

Christine moves on to the use of colour in selling and shows them displays of well laid out produce and badly laid out produce.       

Christine feels funny coming back as the teacher when 30 years ago she was the student.


With the class over she takes the opportunity to look round her old College, a trip down memory lane.

She was 17 years old when she came her, all young and innocent and she was the first one in the family to go to College.
'Going to College to be  gardener' .
Her Dad could not believe she was going there to learn gardening.

Christine is looking round the Greenhouses she spent a lot of her time in as they are like 'vast Cathedrals of glass'.


She had a tiny Greenhouse at home and when she came here it was magical and so much more to learn about ventilating and heating such a vast space.

This place is filed with very happy memories and lot of hard work.

Christine was cultivated here not just the plants.

Back in Essex and from her College days 30 years ago she has created her own bit of heaven in her garden.

When she is away a lot she can fall behind with little jobs and the grass needs mowing and some deadheading needs doing.


If planted well a garden can look after itself mainly and by filling the garden with plants there is no room for weeds.

She finishes the lawn and composts the cuttings and then its the tidying up and she enjoys it all and the connection with her garden.

She does not call it Maintenance it is a 'love affair' with her garden, she giving it love and cherishing it and it gives her love back.

Christine off to see Neighbours Reg and Pat to put a smile on their faces.

She has brought them a jar of Plum Jam made from Reg's Plums by her friend Mia.

Christine Pat

Reg is chuffed and they open the jar to have a whiff of the jam and Reg manages to tip the Jar to see if it is firm and get it all down him.

They all laugh before Reg suggests a sampling.

Pat is dispatched indoors to make tea and toast to try the Jam with as they discuss his hard Pears.

Tea and toast

Refreshments are served and Christine straight in there grabbing the first bit of toast and Jam.

Reg and Pat follow and all declare it to be very good and to pass it on to Mia.

Christine already suggesting scones and clotted cream for the next taste test what a surprise and they will definitely need more jam.

Christine is back in Lancashire to visit the Farmers' Market her young students from the course are to be selling their produce at.


She is impressed at their first ever market stall and they already are very busy with customers.

'The Veg Bunch' as they have called it has very well made signage as well as matching T shirts for the sellers.

The Stall is nicely displayed with one of the sellers at the front to serve and they all look very confident.


Christine goes over and tells them how fantastic it all is and that they should be very proud and that they couldn't have done any better.

Of course she tries a Tomato and declares it nearly as good as Reg's.

Christine makes the most of her visit and is quickly sampling her home county produce as well as buying!

She wants to thank Reg, Pat and Louise for looking after her house and garden this year so she planning a 'true Lancashire feast' and she is buying all the ingredients today.

This also involves trying the cheeses, black pudding and meat!


With the shopping done she heads back to the Veg Bunch stall and they have made over £100 and are very pleased with how they have sold out of everything.

Next year they plant to grow even more at their School.

Christine has had a lovely day and heads home with bags full of goodies.

After such a lovely day it is time to start preparing the hearty Lancashire feast and its a rush to get it done before the guests arrive at 8pm.


She is preparing a proper Lancashire Hotpot as well as the black pudding and other treats and she pudding up some decorations.

Her guests arrive, Reg, Pat, Louise and her BF and they have even brought their own chairs.

Sausages out they look a little burnt or 'well done' as Christine calls them as she starts dishing up the big plateful of Lancashire food.


They open the Lancashire Beer which is very heady and Reg tells everyone how his mum had 14 children all born at home, probably because they had no television in them days.

They all decide to try the Black Pudding thats also 'well done' and the full plates are passed around the table.

They all tuck in and even Reg is quiet until Louise does an huge Faux Pas by saying 'Yorkshire Pudding' instead of Black Pudding causing everyone to erupt into laughter.

'Sacrilege! Sacrilege!' shouts Christine


Reg said he would eat it all again before bursting into song 'Why do you whisper green grass'.

He blames the wine. Christine is laughing and everyone having a good time.

The evening was declared a success and she is so pleased to have such good friends as these as her neighbours.

Christine looks back at her busy year which started in April with the plan to plant up the rail track at Kirklees Light Railway (now Whistlestop Valley).


On her way to Lancashire she spotted a Three-Cornered Leek at the side of the road.

Christine tackled a monster hedge and won.

Neighbour Reg needed help with his garden including tree trimming.

bath water

There was bath water to syphon because of the drought and hosepipe ban for her garden.

Neighbour Louise needed help digging and planting her new border, with the help of Reg and his plant pot removing technique.

There was even dancing in the rain when the thunderstorm brought a much needed downpour.

Local show

Competition time at the Local show where Reg won 2 Third prizes and beat her with his Tomatoes and Pat got a Frist for her Apple Pie.

After all that Christine says you cannot beat coming home as it is where she belongs in Christine's Garden.

She loves her garden and if you take it away from her you might as well snuff out her light too 'phuff'.

Her garden is her everything 'peace, solitude - a mad affair with Mother Nature'.


We are played out to a version of 'A wonderful world' by The Ramones

All photographs are copyright of

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