Two Good Gardeners
Spring has sprung in Kent & East Sussex
Season 1, Ep. 2
Will it? Won't it? As March draws to a close, spring is teasing us, but Dan and Julia see signs of spring everywhere they look. In episode 2, the Two Good Gardeners get animated about April, celebrating foraged food in the form of wild garlic, sharing the joy of daffodils and warning against planting delicate plants outside too soon. Dan offers advice on growing dahlias from seed, cuttings and tubers, and Julia shares a thrifty Easter project involving egg boxes.
- Dan's guide to growing dahlias
- Dan's advice on hardening off seedlings and plants
- Dan's April garden guide
- More about wild garlic
- More about daffodils
Dan & Julia's jobs for the next fortnight:
- Start to feed citrus with summer feed
- Mow lawns. (start with the blades set high).
- Sow hardy annuals outside...
- Plant out potatoes: earlies in the first half and main crop at the end of April.
- Sow squashes, courgettes, and pumpkins under cover this month and protect them from mice.
- Stay on top of weeds.
- Sow parsnips direct into the ground.
- Hand-pollinate peach and apricot blossoms using a paintbrush.
- Plant out leeks.
- Pot up dahlia tubers and take cuttings when shoots reach 5-7cm long.
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Chelsea Flower Show Special
Season 1, Ep. 6
Join us for our first-ever outside broadcast from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. We celebrate Alitex's Best Trade Stand award and discover how Julia was involved in making it happen. We share our show highlights and reveal some of the work that goes on behind the scenes to deliver the world's most prestigious flower show.Please note that batteries for charging your phone can be hired for £3 for every 30 minutes, not every hour, as Dan states.Should we do more outside broadcasts? Would you like us to report from other RHS shows and garden events? We'd love to receive your feedback.Finally, leaving us a rating and a review will help us to reach other gardening enthusiasts like you. Happy gardening!
Friday, May 12, 2023
Season 1, Ep. 5
Episode 5 has a Chelsea Flower Show flavour. Dan & Julia debate the value of a ticket to the world's most prestigious horticultural event and explain how to administer the Chelsea chop to flowering perennials and herbs. Crisp, crunchy radishes are Julia's pick of the crop, and Dan breaks a self-imposed rule by celebrating deciduous azaleas, a plant that doesn't thrive in his chalky soil.For Dan & Julia's complete guide to surviving Chelsea, click here.For more advice on administering the Chelsea chop, click here, and you'll find the perfect pair of shears to do it with here.Plants that respond well to the Chelsea ChopYarrow - Achillea Dyer's chamomile - Anthemis tinctoria AsterBell flower - CampanulaConeflower - Echinacea Joe Pye weed - EupatoriumBlanket flower - GaillardiaSneezeweed - Helenium Perennial sunflowers - HelianthusCandytuft - IberisShasta daisy - Leucanthemum × superbumPurple loosestrife - Lythrum salicariaBergamot - Monarda didymaCatmint - NepetaPenstemonGarden phlox - Phlox paniculataBlack-eyed Susan - RudbeckiaStonecrop - Sedum telephium (now Hylotelephium telephium)Golden rod - SolidagoCulver's root - VeronicastrumChives - Allium schoenoprasumDan's favourite deciduous azaleas:FIREBALLGIBRALTARGOLD TOPAZIRENE KOSTERKLONDYKESTRAWBERRY ICEWhere you'll find us over the next fortnight:Julia will be at Nomad Books in Fulham on Saturday, 13th May, running a workshop and signing copies of her book. You'll also find her on the Alitex stand (MA 336) on the Chelsea Flower Show's Main Avenue on and off between the 23rd and 28th of May.Dan will be at Salthrop House, Wroughton, near Swindon, this Sunday, 14th May, 11 am - 4 pm and at the American Museum & Gardens in Bath on Sunday, 21st May, with Rare Plant Fairs. He takes his tea strong with milk, and no sugar, if you want to treat him to a cuppa!Alitex will be at the RHS Malvern Spring Festival from 11th -14th May, showcasing the Mottisfont greenhouse from the National Trust range. Then, they will be at RHS Chelsea Flower Show with their 'Good Life' inspired exhibit, styled by our very own Julia!
Friday, April 28, 2023
That's the way the compost crumbles!
Season 1, Ep. 4
In this fortnight's episode, Dan & Julia talk tomatoes, chat about compost and wax lyrical about wallflowers. Dan introduces his new Dutch planting trowel, similar to the traditional tool cherished by Monty Don, and Julia explains how to grow ginger from supermarket-bought roots. Your hosts look forward to an action-packed coronation weekend and the crowning of King Charles III, one of the nation's most celebrated garden makers.Julia's jobs to do in the next two weeks:Earth up potatoes as shoots emerge to protect them from frost and boost the crop.Harden off and plant out sweet peas and other hardy annuals.Sow pumpkins, sweet corn, courgettes, French beans and runner beans indoors.Sow sunflowers inside or out.Prune Forsythia and Ribes after flowering.Remember not to clear away daffodil foliage. Let it die down naturally to boost the bulbs.Repot houseplants now they're starting to grow again.Feed lawns with a nitrogen-rich feed to replace nutrients that have leached away over winter.Continue sowing tender herbs such as basil, coriander and dill. Sow salads and radishes at regular intervals.Check lilies and fritillaries for lily beetles - clumps of black gunge where leaves should be are a telltale sign they've been at work.Start using slug and snail protection as soon as vulnerable plants emerge from the ground.Protect fruit blossoms from late frosts using specially designed fruit sleeves.Plant ListJulia's tomatoes:San Marzano PlumBlack CherryGreen Zebra Yellow SubmarineBarry's Crazy CherryBlack RussianFeo De Riogordo Gardeners' DelightDan's wallflowers:Fire KingVulcanCloth of GoldCottage Fragrance' (mixture)'Persian Carpet' (mixture)Useful LinksDan's Signature Dutch trowelSaltwood Castle open garden and plant fair on April 29thHatfield House plant fair on April 30thOne Garden Brighton - Julia's book signing on May 1stBorde Hill plant fair on May 7thWebsiteshttps://www.dancoopergarden.com/https://www.parkers-patch.com/
Friday, April 14, 2023
All things bright and edible
Season 1, Ep. 3
In episode 3, Dan and Julia discuss how to grow awesome asparagus, go crazy for Japanese kenzan, celebrate a much-overlooked foliage plant and bemoan the fate of the suburban front garden. Julia explains how to get more bang for your buck when buying pot-grown herbs from the supermarket, and Dan reveals the top jobs to do in your garden over the next fortnight. You'll find these listed below, along with details of the plants, products and events mentioned in the podcast.Dan and Julia's jobs for the next fortnight:Plant potatoes - dig a trench or use a bulb planter to get them in, and remember to earth them up when the shoots emerge to protect them from frost.Sow sweetcorn, courgettes and pumpkins, butternut squash, basil, coriander, and other tender herbs and sunflowers under cover. Beetroot, carrot, chard kale, lettuces, radishes, pak choi, leeks, spinach and broccoli can now be sown directly outdoors.Sow annual flower meadow mixes into prepared soil, which should be weed-free and raked to a fine tilth, like a crumble mixture.Deadhead daffodils, unless you want them to seed.Water pots and containers, even when it's been raining.Cleaning patio furniture and terraces on a dry, sunny day.Tie in clematis, which will be growing vigorously now.Stake perennials, including peonies, lupins, phlox and delphiniums.Check for bugs and encourage predators such as ladybirds by leaving material in your garden that they can find shelter in.Remove rhubarb forcers, and don't put any further strain on forced crowns by continuing to pick the leaves.Start hardening off plants if you live in milder areas.Remember to wear sunscreen! The April sun is fiercer than you think.Plant ListDichroa' Long March' (Chinese quinine)Delphinium' Blue Tit'Lathyrus vernus' Rainbow' (spring pea)Erigeron karvinskianus (Mexican flea bane)Baptista australis (false blue indigo)Ocimum basilicum 'Sweet Genovese' (sweet basil - as you will find in supermarkets and atop pizzas)Ocimum basilicum 'Crispum' (lettuce-leaf basil)Ocimum basilicum var. minimum (Greek basil)Ocimum basilicum var. thyrsiflora (Thai basil)Ocimum basilicum var. purpurascens x kilimandscharicum (African blue basil)Asparagus officinalis 'Gijnlim''Pacific 2000'Solenostemon's Burgundy Wedding Train', 'Lord Falmouth', 'Pink Chaos', 'Wisley Tapestry', Henna', 'Campfire'Useful LinksSongbird Survival charityArtisan nestersGreat Comp Spring Fling Plant FairGreen Rooms MarketArundel Castle Plant FairAlitex open morninghttps://www.dancoopergarden.com/https://www.parkers-patch.com/
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Introducing Two Good Gardeners
Season 1, Ep. 1
Welcome to Two Good Gardeners, sponsored by Alitex, home of the modern Victorian greenhouse. In our first episode, we ask the question 'to chit or not to chit', share thrifty tricks with toilet roll tubes, explain how to help your garden survive the mad March snow and offer tips for staying on top of your garden over the next fortnight.If you've enjoyed our foray into podcasting, please subscribe for notifications when we upload new episodes.ResourcesFor more on how to chit potatoes, you'll find Dan and Julia's combined wisdom crystalised right here.If you're interested in using seaweed as a garden fertiliser and soil conditioner, there is more information on Dan's blog, The Frustrated Gardener.For help with snow damage, and how to revive ailing plants, there's help at hand here.You can find out all about Julia on her website: https://www.parkers-patch.com/To buy rubber seed trays and explore Dan's range of handpicked garden tools, accessories and gifts, visit https://www.dancoopergarden.com/