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December 30, 2020

Beechgrove Garden S10.

Series Repack

Ep01 - The best sign of spring is when the Beechgrove Garden returns and Jim McColl, Carole Baxter, George Anderson, Chris Beardshaw and Brian Cunningham are all back in the garden dispensing sage advice to keep growing. At this time of the year, we are normally bemoaning winter storms - so what do we have to talk about after one of the mildest winters on record? Jim and team look at the signs of spring and see if it really has come early this year. Jim also takes a look at the progress of the overwintered veg, while George has already set himself a challenge to produce a weekly salad.

Carole has been in search of early signs of spring as she takes an up close and personal look at the tiny world of snowdrops. She also visits Helen Rushton in Rothienorman to discover why these tiny beauties excite such passions.

Ep02 - Winter hasn't been too cruel this year, but Carole is still hoping to find out how hardy the plants are that she deliberately left in the ground last year to test their resilience, meanwhile, George takes a look at his winter stem border that's full of plants that have been shining out in the darker months. Undercover, the glasshouse is a hive of activity at this time and Jim is sowing for Scotland. Chris continues to work on the pond area of the garden, planting a range of grasses on the banking, but it's perhaps a little too early for the waders. Carole visits retired doctor and artist David Hawson, who has created a fascinating topiary garden in Monymusk.

Ep03 - To dig or not to dig, that is the question on Jim and George's lips in the Beechgrove Garden. Two side-by-side veg plots, both preparing to grow, but one has been dug over and the other untouched. Scone Palace is overrun by rabbits like many Beechgrove viewers' gardens. Head gardener Brian Cunningham sets up an observation to try and find out if there really is such a thing as rabbit-proof plants. George is no shrinking violet when it comes to floristry and as Jim would say, every day is a school day. This week, George goes back to school, not just any school but flower school in Edinburgh, where he learns tips and tricks to put together some unique arrangements with spring flowers.

Ep04 - Carole and Jim are also both planting potatoes; Jim is planting new blight-resistant varieties in the main veg plot, whereas Carole tries cheap and cheerful potato bags on the decking. The typical size of a UK garden is 14sqm, which provides little space for planting trees. Jim has asked the team to each choose their best tree for a small garden and is planting them all in Beechgrove to compare and contrast.

Ep05 - Jim is planting a selection of swedes and turnips for later in the year, meanwhile, Chris is attempting to create a rose garden at Beechgrove, but how will it cope with exposed Scottish conditions? Carole is in Ardersier for Vegetable Garden on a Budget, with recent research suggesting that a family of four could save roughly £1,500 a year growing their own vegetables. Mari Reid lives and gardens in Ardersier and has come up with a clever way of helping others to grow their own by using community-minded land or garden share.

Ep06 - Jim has set up the 6 x 8 greenhouse in an almost exact replica of his own greenhouse at home and this week he's adding some half-hardy colour. Meanwhile, Carole trials a range of fertilisers using Scotland's number one bedding plant, the begonia, to see what if any difference adding fertiliser makes, and Chris continues development of the new, old (Scottish) rose garden. It has been planted with every variety of rose, but they will all have to be able to cope with exposed Scottish conditions.

Ep07 - In the Beechgrove Garden, it's tomato time as Jim and Carole both start off their own tomato trials. Brian Cunningham is back at Beechgrove and he continues with the next phase of development for the alpine garden. George packs his loppers and cuts a dash to see Sheila Harper in Banchory. Sheila's garden boasts two old, unruly apple trees which George brings back down to earth. Jim is visiting the inspirational Firpark School in Motherwell and finds that horticulture is at the very root of the school's success. Firpark has 150 pupils with a range of additional support needs, and pupils learn to take produce from fork to fork and from garden to bistro.

Ep08 - Jim, George and Carole do their best to rescue some pot-bound camellias, and Carole gives advice on how to properly care for house plants.

Ep09 - It's bedding plant time and Jim, Carole and George are planting out a bevy of beautiful bedding in the Beechgrove Garden. Scotland's number one bedding plant is the begonia, and Carole checks on the progress of her fertiliser observation using begonias as the test plant. Brian Cunningham responded to a cry for help from Susan Bulleid in Newton Mearns, who has a problematic dry shady spot under a mature beech tree. Brian uses the beech to its best advantage and creates a new woodland garden fit for purpose.

Ep10 - The Beechgrove team take a break from the garden to be at Gardening Scotland, the biggest gardening show north of the border. The cream of British growers will be there, with everything from pansies to pelargoniums, and cacti to clematis in a stunning floral frenzy. We will see those who are growing for gold including those exhibits showing off their medals from last week's Chelsea Flower Show. Beechgrove will be concentrating on the Scottish talent and Scottish plants but we'll join them all for a sneak preview, as well as sampling the unique atmosphere of Gardening Scotland.

Ep11 - In the Beechgrove Garden it's fire and water as Carole and George don waders and climb into the pond to clear the blanketweed, while Jim also wages war on weeds with a new flame-thrower. Brian and George plant up a new alpine wall with blue and white plants that will create sky beyond the alpine mountains. Carole is in the water again as she visits Julia Young's unique garden in a quarry at Blebo Craigs, near Strathkinness, as Julia has a small rowing boat to weed and plant around the quarry.

Ep12 - In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim is growing tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers side by side in his domestic-sized greenhouse. They shouldn't work together, but with limited space you have to make it work, and Jim is determined to find a way. With pruning saws at the ready once again, Carole and George take the Woodland Garden in hand as, at the moment, you can't see the wood for the trees, and Brian visits the meticulous Pitmedden Gardens in Aberdeenshire to find out how head gardener Susan Burgess tackles the problem of box blight, with the six miles of clipped box hedging to maintain.

Ep13 - Last week, Brian visited Pitmedden Gardens to see how they deal with the threat of box blight on their six miles of hedging. This week he is experimenting with a range of slow-growing, small-leaved evergreens as potential alternatives to using box. Jim takes a look at progress of his favourite cutting flowers and adds an easy staking system to the beds to keep flower heads up, while Carole visits David and Laura Gill in Dunblane to see the garden that David has created from scratch over the last eight years. The garden's centrepiece is a beautiful pond that provides a floral oasis of calm in a busy life.

Ep14 - In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim is investigating the mysterious death of a hedge. He suspects foul play, and has a water diviner on hand to search for clues, Carole is in Ardersier for the second visit to see how Mari Reid and her friends are getting on in Vegetable Gardening on a Budget. Recent research suggests that we could all save £1,500 a year by growing our own. Mari and her friends are putting that theory to the test, and Jim takes the high road to Ballinluig, where Ian and Christine Jones have created a hidden gem of a garden at 600ft above sea level.

Ep15 - Life is a way more than a bowl of cherries at Beechgrove this week as Jim and Carole harvest bucketfuls of ripe cherries in the fruit house. Carole visits two passionate showers and growers who are entering the Dundee Flower Show. Alistair Gray in Brechin is a show vegetable grower and winner of the 2016 World Potato Championship, while Bruce McLeod in Meigle grows champion chrysanthemums, while Jim visits Philip and Marianne Santer at Langley Park near Montrose. With little previous gardening experience, they have reclaimed the long-neglected garden to create a haven of colour. To their amazement and delight, the garden has been attracting visitors to what they call their little piece of paradise.

Ep16 - The whole Beechgrove team are on the ferry to the Orkney Isles this week. Famously a place of only two seasons, 18 hours of light or 18 hours of dark, with constant winds but mild and with little or no frost. The assumption always is that nothing much grows on Orkney in those conditions, but Jim, Carole and George find that is far from the case as they discover the determined gardeners of Orkney and how much they have achieved, to the extent that there is a thriving Orkney Garden Festival across the islands. Jim, Carole and George host a Beechgrove Gardeners' question and answer session in Kirkwall and visit a host of good gardens on South Ronaldsay.

Ep17 - In the Beechgrove garden, Jim and Carole enjoy a red cabbage success story. Chris plants a range of hostas in the Beechgrove cottage garden. Since hostas are usually tasty morsels for slugs and snails, Chris also tries out a range of preventative measures. George visits Fiona and Euan Smith's garden at Kierfiold House on Orkney. The garden is a lesson on how creating shelter allows for planting in exposed conditions and is home to a large collection of hardy geraniums.

Ep18 - In the Beechgrove Garden, Carole and George have a tough job of taste testing the new super-sweet tomatoes and thin-skinned cucumbers in the tender veg polytunnel. Jim visits Glasgow Botanic Gardens - now in their 200th year of existence - to see how the new young gardeners of Glasgow are being trained through a unique apprenticeship scheme. George is in his horticultural element as he visits Rosa Steppanova in Lea Garden at Tresta on Shetland. This extraordinary garden is 12 hours and 200 miles by sea from Beechgrove, and yet it is an astounding display of plants from all around the world.

Ep19 - The whole team travel deep into Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Sunset Song country, to the Howe of the Mearns village of Arbuthnott. For anyone who drives the A90, the red clay soils of one of the most fertile and productive areas in the country will be familiar and are the dominant feature of the area. Jim, Carole, George and Chris explore the area horticulturally and also solve some gardening problems for the gardeners of Arbuthnott gathered in the Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Centre for a Q&A, while Jim and George visit one of the oldest gardens in Scotland at Arbuthnott House, while Carole visits the contemporary gardeners of Milltown Community.

Ep20 - They say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Well, this week in the Beechgrove Garden, Jim and Carole munch their way through the veg plot as they taste-test turnips, a new broad bean and some blight-resistant potatoes. Chris takes a look at the new rose garden and has a new take on some age-old remedies for common rose problems. George visits the grand Drummond Castle Gardens near Crieff in Perthshire. The formal garden and parterre are among the oldest in Scotland and reputedly some of the finest in Europe.

Ep21 - Jim takes a final tally and taste-test of tomatoes in the greenhouse. Carole is in Ardersier for Vegetable Garden on a Budget. Carole catches up with Mari Reid for harvest and a picnic on the beach, and to hear how much three families have saved and gained by growing their own. Tourists and townspeople often stop to admire the front garden of James Findlay in Carluke. Jim joins the crowd and James explains how he took over his neighbour's garden to increase the kerb appeal in Carluke.

Ep22 - The whole Beechgrove team are on the road again, this time to the Fife county town of Cupar. Renowned for its award-winning floral displays, the Cupar in Bloom team have invited Beechgrove to come and take a look at their efforts, as well as hosting a Beechgrove Gardeners' Question Time in the Corn Exchange. Jim, Carole, George and Brian attempt to answer as many Cupar gardening questions as possible. The team also visit some of Cupar's outstanding gardens and tee off with a visit to Elmwood Golf Course.

Ep23 - It is hedge-clipping time at Beechgrove and Jim, Carole and George trim their way around the garden. Chris finishes the planting in the heather garden to help create the windswept, top-of-the-mountain look, adding a range of tough grasses and ferns. From prodigious parsnips to dinner plate-sized dahlias, Jim visits the showers and growers at the Dundee Flower and Food Festival. Earlier this year, the Beechgrove team visited some of the entrants to the show to see how preparations were going. Jim catches up with them again at the show to see if their labours have borne fruit.

Ep24 - The Beechgrove Garden is a blaze of early autumn colour and Jim and Carole show off some of the very best for this time of year from dahlias to hydrangeas. Scone Palace Gardens are overrun with rabbits and deer. At the start of the series, we saw head gardener Brian Cunningham setting up an observation to see what methods, if any, work to deter them and to find out if there really are rabbit-proof plants. Brian pulls a rabbit out of a hat with some surprising results.

Ep25 - This week, the whole Beechgrove team head to what has been Jim McColl's adopted home for the last 40 years, the Aberdeenshire town of Oldmeldrum, for the penultimate programme of the series. Jim takes us on a tour of the horticultural highlights of the area, including visiting the magnificent Haddo House, whose gardens have been recently restored to their 1830 heyday. Haddo House is also the venue for a Beechgrove question-and-answer session, where Jim, Carole, George and Brian attempt to answer some of the local gardening queries from the gardeners of Meldrum as it is affectionately called.

Ep26 - It's the final programme of the Beechgrove series, and Jim, Carole, George, Chris and Brian are all battening down the hatches, preparing the garden for winter but with a barrowload of hopeful hints to anticipate spring. Jim and Carole have succumbed to a little tulip fever as they go a little crazy with bulbs, planting in containers, in spring displays and naturalising in the lawn. Sandy has a lifetime of experience to impart from how to keep tartan patterns on the lawn, through to keeping your shrubs in beautiful shape.

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