February 27, 2016

beechgrove garden s05.


Complete season 5 of the Scottish gardening show.

Ep1: 30-03-12
Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson and Carolyn Spray assess the winter damage and the unaccustomed spring warmth’s effect on the garden. Then it’s time to don the gardening gloves and get gardening again. Carole and Jim have been in Beechgrove throughout the winter and we uniquely begin with a glimpse of winter work in the garden, from taking hardwood cuttings to forcing bulbs for early spring showing. Jim and Carole then follow on the tasks that they started in the winter.


Ep2: 05-04-12.
Jim and Carole are reviewing some of the trails that they began in the autumn. Did the winter flowering pansies do what they say on the tin and flower all winter? Did the newbies, the garvineas, make it through the winter at all? Did the dwarf narcissus that claimed to flower in February actually do so? Jim and Carole were also in the garden on Valentine’s Day in the second of the looks at Beechgrove in winter.

Ep3: 15-04-12.
In the Beechgrove Garden, everyone is looking for an inside job as the garden is covered in an unexpected blanket of six inches of snow. Jim takes cover in the propagation house to prick out his brassica seedlings while George is putting in the work inside the fruit house to optimise the Beechgrove fruit production this year. Lesley tackles another common garden design challenge and shares her ‘Off the Peg’ design solutions, this time for front gardens. Lesley ‘clothes’ a square blank canvas of gravel front garden to create something both pretty and practical that gives us all more than a little kerb appeal. After George’s runaway (almost) success with growing veg for showing last year, he is having another go. He and Lesley are starting off growing ‘sweet candle’ and ‘purple haze’ carrots that George hopes to end up with award-winning dimensions. George is also visiting the fascinating Linn Botanic Garden Cove by Helensburgh.

Ep4: 19-04-12.
Jim is once again on the quest to find a viable alternative to using peat in the garden and trailing another range of new ‘peat free’ alternatives. Lesley tackles another common garden design challenge and shares her ‘off the peg’ design solutions, this time for front gardens, and Carole is planting both Chinese and Jerusalem artichokes – a flower that has not yet bloomed, a rich source of vitamin C and until a few hundred years ago women were not allowed to eat as it’s said to be too powerful an aphrodisiac !

Ep5: 26-04-12.
Jim is in among a crowded Beechgrove border. These acid loving lovelies are enjoying the conditions so much that they are taking over and need a bit of taming. One of them is a huge juniper that is now straddling and obscuring the path, and Jim tries his hand at a little topiary that may turn into some drastic pruning. Lesley is in the potager garden, a mini garden that is supposed to be both pretty and productive in a very tiny space.

Ep6: 03-05-12
Jim does love his traditional flowers, and this week he is planting out his cordon-trained sweet peas to encourage them to have straight, sentinel-like stems and huge blooms, as well as starting off a range of new chrysanthemums. Carole and Lesley start off their annual tattie-growing battle on the decking, where they both try new methods of growing tatties in containers and compete to see who manages to grow the most.

Ep7: 10-05-12.
In the Beechgrove Garden, something smells… and it’s Jim! After the success of the garlic spray last year, Jim is spraying the roses and all the fruit with this wonderful, but slightly smelly, garlic spray to deter pests. The queen of bedding plants, Carolyn, is planning and designing a bedding plant display for Beechgrove to mark and celebrate the Queen’s jubilee. Jim and Carole are trying their hand at growing asparagus again. They’ve have had mixed results over the years with asparagus at Beechgrove, and that makes them even more determined to make it work this time. For asparagus inspiration, Jim visits Charleston Fruit Farm near Montrose, where they also grow six varieties of asparagus.

Ep8: 20-05-12.
Jim is looking to produce a succession of most people’s favourite fruit – strawberries – all the way from May to September for a Beechgrove Strawberry Fayre. Meanwhile, Carole starts off all the tender greenhouse veg planned for this year as well as setting up a trial of grafted versus non-grafted tomatoes.

Ep9: 27-05-12
After all the rain, Jim finally manages to tend to the main vegetable plot. George and Carole take another look at George’s show vegetables to see how they are faring, before setting up a trial to compare growing French beans and sweetcorn. Carole will be growing them in Beechgrove while George will seed his in his allotment in Edinburgh. George also visits Jacqui Ritchie in Edinburgh, to help Jacqui remove a stubborn lilac tree root and replace it with a vegetable patch. Carole meets Alex Reynolds, who is exhibiting at Gardening Scotland for the first time, and hears how he would like gardeners to discover that growing carnivorous plants is just as easy as growing any other perennial.

Ep10: 01-06-12.
The Beechgrove team take a break from the garden to attend Gardening Scotland, the biggest gardening show north of the border. Taking place at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, it has over 150 stands in the floral hall. The cream of British growers are there, including those showing off their gold medals straight from previous week’s Chelsea, but Beechgrove is, as ever, concentrating on the Scottish talent and Scottish plants.

Ep11: 07-06-12.
It’s a jewel of a programme as Beechgrove goes a little diamond jubilee crazy. Carolyn has created a striking painting/planting by numbers jubilee bedding plant scheme set off with red, white and blue hanging baskets. Meanwhile, Lesley has designed a diamond-shaped, sophisticated planting scheme. Which one will receive royal recognition?

Ep12: 17-06-12.
Jim is surrounded by the promise of a bumper crop of tomatoes this year as he takes a look at his favourite variety, Shirley, growing in growbags, as well as starting off a range of bush tomatoes. He also takes a look at the lawn to see if the early hollow tyning and moss treatment has made the lawn, fairway fair, golf green good or still in the rough. Beechgrove helped the coastal community of Johnshaven start their community garden along the disused railway line in 2002 and now, ten years on, the volunteers are a bit overwhelmed by the growth of their garden. Carole rolls up her sleeves with a squad of Johnshaven volunteers and gets to work restoring their lovely garden.

Ep13: 21-06-12.
On the longest day of the year, Jim has already been harvesting strawberries for three weeks but warns to be vigilant for pests and diseases, and tells us how to deal with them if we find them. Meanwhile, it’s apples and pears with George in the orchard. Carole shows how to sow easy-to-grow house-plants from seed. George is blue in Branklyn Gardens in Perth – revelling in the beautiful blue poppy national collection.

Ep14: 28-06-12.
Jim takes a look at the triffid tomatoes that are taking over in the greenhouse and later in the main veg plot has a look at why our French beans are so poor this year. Carole is in the decking garden where all the produce is in pots and containers and demonstrates just how much can be grown to eat in a very small space. Carole tops up her tatties in bags and will be adding some colour with a new range of trailing clematis for hanging baskets.

Ep15: 26-07-12.
Jim is busy in the vegetable plot and in among the tomatoes once again. Everyone’s busy lizzies have been suffering with downy mildew for the last few years and so Carolyn decided to try out a range of bedding plants that might take over the mantle of most favourite bedding plant, but in this case specifically bedding plants that should do well in Scotland.

Ep16: 02-08-12.
The whole Beechgrove team are out of the garden and on the road to help out on the final stages of the creation of a wonderful new community garden for the village of Barrmill in North Ayrshire. This tiny community have come together to build their community garden out of marshy wasteland and create a woodland walk and welcoming garden in previously inaccessible land for locals and visitors alike to enjoy.

Ep17: 09-08-12.
Jim is revelling in the produce in the fruit cage. The gooseberries have been cordoned, making them easy to tend and best of all easy to pick. The redcurrants look like they have been polished and are red, ripe and ready. Carole looks at the results of her perennials flowering from seed in one year, and is delighted with the results and with how economical this method is. Lesley is in the pretty and productive Potager garden, planting oriental veg as well as showing how to make a flowery ice bowl to make a wonderful centre piece to a dinner table.

Ep18: 16-08-12.
Jim is in the poly tunnel checking on the bush tomatoes. They are usually grown outside in other areas but Jim is glad that he decided they should be undercover tomatoes this year after the lack of summer. Meanwhile, Lesley is back in the cutting garden to see if her black and white colour-themed bed has made it through the wet weather. She will create a seasonal flower arrangement from what is there.

Ep19: 23-08-12.
Carolyn visits the garden of Caroline Doig in Kirkcaldy, who needs a bit of help with her garden. Caroline has cleared a section of her garden and was hoping to create a seaside theme but the clearing is as far as she has managed. Carolyn creates a seaside bed with boulders, pebbles, driftwood, grasses and alpines… ah you can almost smell the seaside.

Ep20: 30-08-12.
Carole Baxter offers tips on growing asparagus and artichokes, before visiting the recently redeveloped garden at Westfield Lodge near Aberdeen. George Anderson helps a couple in Gartcosh, North Lanarkshire, disguise ugly parts of their front lawn, and the presenters show how to trim different types of hedge.

Ep21: 06-09-12.
Jim McColl returns to his home town of Kilmarnock, accompanied by his fellow Beechgrove Garden presenters, to help put the finishing touches to a new community garden in Knockinlaw and answer local residents’ questions. He also joins the garden’s designer Lynn Harris to explore the town’s horticulture.

Ep22: 13-09-12.
George Anderson visits the National Vegetable Society’s Scottish Branch Championship, which is being hosted by the Kelso Horticultural Society, and discovers whether Ian Stocks from Dunipace, near Falkirk, manages to impress the judges with his produce. Back at Beechgrove, Lesley Watson adds wildlife-friendly bulbs to the Garden for Life, Jim McColl offers tips on saving seed potatoes for next year, and the team sets about pruning the hedges following the departure of the nesting birds.

Ep23: 20-09-12.
Jim assesses his strawberry experiment. He was attempting to have strawberries fruiting from the end of May into September. This week – the results. In the vegetable plot, Jim introduces a lesser-known vegetable growing well this year – kohlrabi. Carole is in the fruit cage taking a look at more fruity good news with cranberries, autumn raspberries and blueberries. Lesley and George are with an inspirational group of people who are creating an unusual garden. Spinal Injuries Scotland has converted part of a 280-year-old farmhouse for use as accessible accommodation and respite care for those with spinal cord injuries. Around the building the group are creating a productive and pretty garden appropriate to their needs. Lesley and George join the group for the finishing stages.

Ep24: 27-09-12.
Jim McColl travels up and down the Ayrshire railway to assess the Adopt a Station initiative, which has seen volunteer gardeners brightening up more than 100 train stations with colourful floral displays. He also offers advice on autumn-flowering chrysanths and crocosmias. Carole Baxter meets the people who have taken over an abandoned school garden to create new allotments, and George Anderson reports on how vegetables from Beechgrove fared at the Dalkeith Show.

Ep25: 04-10-12.
In the penultimate Beechgrove for this year, Jim is lifting begonia tubers and preparing them for storage for the winter. He and George also review George’s trials of grasses and meadow wild flower mixes to see what’s still flowering at the end of the season. Lesley plants up containers for autumn colour that will have immediate impact and help take away the blues of the poor summer. Carole and George reach the culmination of their beans and corn experiment. Carole grew sweetcorn and French beans in Beechgrove while George did the same (well almost the same – he did cheat a bit) in his allotment in Edinburgh to see if 120 miles makes a difference – this week we will see the results. Also, Jim revisits the community garden at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. This was a massive project (a 15-acre site) and Jim returns to see how well they have fared two years on.

Ep26: 11-10-12.
The last in the present series of the Beechgrove Garden is also sadly the last featuring Lesley Watson. The Beechgrove team are celebrating and remembering Lesley’s 16 years with the programme as she hangs up her purple boots for the last time. Also in the final programme of this series, Jim McColl, Carole Baxter and Lesley are battening down the hatches ahead of the winter and looking forward to spring. They take a look at what dictates the ‘hardiness’ of a plant and how we can better understand it.


Originally Posted 13/11/2012

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