Join FileFactory!


February 23, 2016

Beechgrove Garden s08.

(Series Repack)

The return of the programme offering horticultural tips for both beginners and seasoned enthusiasts, with Chris Beardshaw, Jim McColl, Carole Baxter and George Anderson on the team of experts. In the first edition, Carole and Jim take on the upkeep of neighbouring greenhouses to try to produce food and flowers all year round, while George visits the Scottish Rock Garden Club’s show in Kincardine and witnesses the eerie elegance of the Electric Gardens at the Botanics in Glasgow.


Chris Beardshaw dons his safety gear as he prunes conifers with the aid of a chainsaw, while George Anderson starts a project to see how productive he can be in just one square metre of space. Carole Baxter makes her first visit to a garden in Newport-on-Tay in north-east Fife where she will work with homeowner Aileen Snowden throughout the season to tame the mature and overgrown plot.

In this programme, Jim is hoping to sow early broad beans while Carole and Chris check on the progress of their containerised peaches. Meanwhile, George is in the fruit cage planting a new mini orchard and Jim is in Inverurie helping Carol Cocker as she learns how to grow her own fruit. Plus Jim visits an arboretum in Kippen.


Jim McColl takes a look at the results of his trial pitting traditional daffodils against contemporary specimens, while George Anderson visits the Backhouse Heritage Daffodil Collection at the Rofsie Estate in Collessie, Fife. Chris Beardshaw reviews his climbers and adds roses to the cutting garden, and Carole Baxter and Jim offer advice on pruning.

In this programme, Carole shows an easy way to sow flower seeds and Jim works on the lawn. Chris is back with Jenny and Euan MacLean in Linlithgow for a second visit to their problematic plot, and George is tending his small-space vegetable garden. Carole travels to Renfrewshire to visit Hamish McKelvie, who has been collecting cacti since boyhood.

Jim McColl works to create an instant wall of colour using annual climbers. Meanwhile, Carole Baxter puts together hanging baskets, and pays a second visit to new gardeners Mark and Aileen Snowden in Newport on Tay, where she helps them create a fruit border the whole family can enjoy. She also visits the ‘auricular theatre’ at Rumbling Bridge Nursery, where she is treated to a spectacular spring show.

In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim hopes to catch up with the veg planting that he wasn’t able to do last week in the torrential rain.Carole and Jim are also back in their side-by-side 6 x 8 greenhouses pricking out and planting. George helps Josine Atsma in Glendevon to create a new bog garden and plants it up with moisture-loving perennials. Carole visits Peter and Gill Hart in Fife.They have 20 acres of woodland, the floor of which at this time of the year is carpeted with bluebells, hellebores, trilliums and wood anemones – as well as a collection of rhododendrons.


The Beechgrove team are at Gardening Scotland, Scotland's biggest gardening show. The cream of British growers will be there, with everything from pansies to pelargoniums and cacti to clematis on display. The team will meet those trying for a gold medal, as well as seeing the gold medal-winning exhibits from last week's Chelsea Flower Show. Beechgrove will be concentrating on the Scottish talent and Scottish plants but will join them all for a sneak preview, as well as sampling the unique atmosphere of Gardening Scotland.

It's June and even in the Beechgrove Garden it should be time to remove the vest and finally plant out the bedding plants. Jim, Carole and George urge caution and protection as they plant out a traditional summer bedding scheme. Carole is taking no chances with her tender veg and does a little undercover work in the polytunnel. Jim is with the Woodend Barn allotmenteers at Banchory. Every day is a school day even for Jim as he learns new recipes for successful compost.

Jim is observing different types of watering systems for tomatoes and begins the feeding regime. Carole shows how to rejuvenate winter interest shrubs by pruning and also has alpine expert Ian Young with her in Beechgrove's own alpine garden. Ian shows how to transform uninspiring materials into convincingly old-looking alpine troughs. George visits Jean Knox's garden in Hunter's Tryst, Edinburgh, which is packed with survivor plants.

This week in Beechgrove garden, Carole visits Kirsten Walker in Scone to advise her on how to save an old apple tree, and also adds a crab apple and an understory of wildflowers. Carole also visits Hamish Martin in the Secret Herb Garden to learn all about herbs. Plus Chris provides an update from Beechgrove's cutting garden, as he checks on the progress of the standard roses and adds some colourful herbaceous underplanting.

In the Beechgrove Garden, Jim and George are in the fruit cage while Carole starts off new collections of odd aubergines and small sweet peppers. Staying on a small scale, George is also back in his 'square metre' plot attempting to be constantly productive in the tiniest space. Chris is in mid-build of new garden for Euan and Jenny Maclean in Linlithgow, trying to take a nightmare site and turn it into a dream garden.

There’s plenty to catch up on at the Beechgrove Garden and a bountiful harvest to enjoy too. At Cove allotments, near Aberdeen, the small plots are packed in cheek-by-jowl making it easy for the plotters to socialise and of course, learn from each other. As Jim says, ‘every day is a school day’.Back at Beechgrove, Jim checks up on the progress of his tomatoes and there’s lemons for gin and tonics up in the conservatory. It’s all looking very rosy when Jim meets the Duchess of Northumberland at the spectacular Alnwick Garden, one of the world’s most ambitious new gardens.

The Beechgrove team take the high road to the beautiful Howe of Cromar on the edge of the Highlands for a special Beechgrove Roadshow. Along the road there's a Q&A evening with no shortage of questions from the audience and an abundance of fascinating answers from Jim, Carole, George and Chris. George visits Anne Harper's beautiful garden, close beside the river in Aboyne, to see her collection of Scottish cooking apples and a huge border of architectural plants for people to admire from the bridge.

Jim is minding his tomatoes while Carole in the poly tunnel, dealing with her spaghetti squash and noticing hopeful tassels on the sweetcorn. Carole makes the first of two forays away up north to Orkney. She visits Caroline Critchlow's garden, which is a historic walled garden a stone's throw from the sea and completely restored in 2008, the garden is planted to withstand winds in excess of 100mph and the planting reflects its coastal location and is done in cottage style with towering alliums, many varieties of geranium and plants collected from around Europe.


In the Beechgrove Garden the air is filled with scented sweetpeas. Jim grows his strictly standing to attention in cordon fashion while Carole's blue collection are left to scramble. Carole returns to Newport-on-Tay, where she has been helping first-time gardeners Mark and Aileen Snowden tame their mature garden. This is the last visit this season and Carole catches up with the family's progress, harvests some of the new fruit and suggests some final tidying up.

Everything is blooming rosy in the Beechgrove Garden as Jim, Carole and Chris catch up with progress of Beechgrove's new/old rose garden. Finding out a bit more about the science of plant genetics, Jim is at Dundee Botanic Garden taking a walk through plant history in their Evolutionary Garden, while George is with Lee Street in Bonchester Bridge creating an edible, fruiting hedge as a windbreak to protect her existing productive raised beds.

In the Beechgrove Garden Jim and Carole are waging war on pests and take on 4 baddies; vine weevil, whitefly, slugs and snails. They identify the pest and its symptoms and recommend a few cures. Chris is back with his new-build couple, Jenny and Euan MacLean in Linlithgow. After months of work from Jenny and Euan this is Chris's final visit and this time it's the finishing touches - the fun bit, the planting. George visits Monteviot Garden near Jedburgh. This stunning 30-acre garden surrounds the house and spills out through richly-planted garden rooms down to the River Teviot below.

Jim is on his own in the garden, taking on all his special subjects, including monitoring the progress of the tomatoes and reviewing his hydrangea pruning observation to see which of his three methods of pruning is working best and resulting in most flowers. Meanwhile, Carole and George are helping out with the last stages of the creation of a new community garden with the good folk of Inverbervie. The new community garden will be the central feature to a garden trail around the village, designed for locals to enjoy as a florific community space and to have tourists stop and take time in the village.

The whole Beechgrove team are travelling 'doon the watter' to the Buteiful island of Bute and to Rothesay for a Beechgrove Special Roadshow. The Pavilion in Rothesay is the venue for a Beechgrove Q&A evening. The historical venue will be full of locals and their gardening questions which Jim, Carole, George and Chis will hope to have answers for. Bute has a favourable climate for growing and is known for Bute tatties, Bute dahlias and most recently Bute truffles. Jim and Carole will also visit some of the gardens of Bute to set the gardening scene there and to be not a little jealous of what the locals can grow.

Jim, Carole and Chris assess how the new Michaelmas daisy collection has fared over the summer. Carole looks at her aubergines and peppers to see if they have managed to bear any fruit this season. Jim visits Heathryfold Allotments in Aberdeen, whose multicultural plotters grow a range of vegetables and fruit from their homelands. Both Jim and Carole are on the island of Bute, to attend and enjoy the famous local Horticultural Society's summer flower show.


Jim and Carole are preparing for the seasons to come as they show how to overwinter a whole range of vegetables so that they will be ready for harvest early next year. Jim is also preparing plants for the winter months and shows how to put begonias to bed. Also in the programme, Carole and George taste test Carole's spaghetti squash and her greenhouse-grown aubergines while Jim and George revel in the late fruit harvest, and Chris visits Greywalls Garden near Gullane. Built in 1901, Greywalls is a stunning example of an Edwardian arts and crafts garden. Although this is a grand garden, Chris finds planting combination lessons for all of us - but particularly appropriate for those who garden in exposed conditions.

Jim and Carole walk around the garden pointing out plant combinations showing colour at this time of year. Jim prepares half hardy perennials for winter, whilst Carole enjoys the gloxinias which are still flowering well and shows how to dry off amaryllis bulbs. In Coldstream, George Anderson meets Alec West who has an orchard jam-packed with apples, pears and plums - his fruit collection is said to be the biggest in Scotland.

The team enjoy the autumn colour in the Beechgrove garden. Carole and George plant various combinations of bulbs and spring bedding plants to see which of these make the most attractive displays, while Jim has a big clear-out in his greenhouse. The programme catches up with Brian Cunningham at Scone Palace Garden to review the progress made to the David Douglas trail, and Carole also visits Tillypronie Garden near Tarland and delights in the swathes of heathers.

Although this is the last in the present series, gardening is a year round activity and so Jim, Carole, George and Chris have a long list of jobs that we could and should be doing that will keep us all busy for the foreseeable future. This is also a perfect time to be planting and Chris and George are starting off a new project to create a 'sub-tropical' garden that although will look exotic and jungly next year, it will be created with super hardy plants. Carole visits Tom Taylor in Drumoak who lives on an estate where 30 years ago, the front gardens were all planted with 'dwarf conifers'. Those conifers have all grown into massive trees. Tom became interested in the Japanese art of Niwaki training and sculpting of trees. Tom shows Carole how to be more creative with conifers.

Filefactory links are available to donators

Leave a Reply