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Two Good Gardeners

All Set for Summer

Season 1, Ep. 8

In the final episode of this series, Dan and Julia share tips for adapting your garden to cope with hotter, drier summers. Julia offers advice on getting your plot holiday-ready, and Dan showcases a product that can act as a mulch, fertiliser and slug deterrent. This episode's drought-proof 'top of the crops' is the stately artichoke, and Dan chooses salvias as his sun-loving 'pick of the bunch'.

Your hosts return in late summer / early autumn for Series 2 and would love to hear about any topics you'd like to be featured.

Want to know more? Here are this episode's show notes:

Julia's recommended artichoke varieties: 'Green Globe', 'Purple Globe', 'Romanesco'.

Note that cardoons (Cynara cardunculus) are a close relative of the artichoke (Cynara scolymus). Cardoons are grown for their edible stalks rather than their flowers. The cardoon is much more cold-tolerant as well.

Dan's recommended salvia varieties: 'Hot Lips' - red and white; 'Nachtvlinder' - inky purple; 'Royal Bumble - bright red; 'Trellisick Creamy Yellow'; 'Jemima's Gem' - cerise; 'Amistad' - purple; 'Blue Suede Shoes' - dusky pale blue; 'Amante' - pink.

Jobs to do in your garden this fortnight:

  1. Find someone to water your garden if you plan a holiday this month or next.
  2. Sow salad leaves, turnips, French beans, spring cabbages, chicory, kohlrabi, dill, coriander and parsley.
  3. Take Cuttings of hydrangeas, lavender, rosemary, salvias, penstemon, mint, thyme and sage.
  4. Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as colchicums, autumn crocuses, cyclamen and nerines.
  5. Prune early spring flowering shrubs, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias, conifers, plums, cherries, damsons and wisteria.
  6. Harvest courgettes, calabrese, French beans, Swiss chard, lettuce, mint, parsley, radish, beetroot, carrots, spinach, spring cabbage, spring onion, garlic, onions, globe artichokes, strawberries, raspberries and loganberries.
  7. Pick sweet peas, roses, zinnias, cosmos, gladioli, dahlias, lilies, carnations and pinks.
  8. Buy reduced perennials in your local garden centre - trim back, plant out and water thoroughly to encourage lush new growth. Stock up on plant food.
  9. Enjoy a stroll around the garden or a moment on your balcony after sundown.
  10. Visit open gardens across the country, especially those with herbaceous borders. The RHS holds shows at Hampton Court and Tatton Park in Cheshire this month.

Website links:

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