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Carol Klein: Life in a Cottage Garden


by Adam Pasco

With such a dull, damp and dismal start to the year, I didn't feel very motivated to venture into my garden. That all changed last Friday [...]


Carol KleinWith such a dull, damp and dismal start to the year, I didn't feel very motivated to venture into my garden. That all changed last Friday as I watched Carol Klein's new series, Life in a Cottage Garden, documenting her gardening year at Glebe Cottage, North Devon.

The first episode covered January and February. Carol showed how to lift and divide snowdrops in her woodland garden, then demonstrated a rarely seen propagation technique called twin scaling. This technique is much used by professional growers to raise new bulbs, but rarely by amateurs. By simply cutting bulbs into tiny sections with two scales attached to a piece of basal plate, a single bulb can yield perhaps a dozen or more new bulbs in just a few years.

Carol moved on to lay a new hedge, plant garlic in modules, lift and divide clumps of phlox, and prune an overgrown Clematis viticella. Her husband Neil held the ladder, watching as Carol climbed an alarming distance. Perhaps, like me, he doesn't have a head for heights!

Ever fancied breeding your very own new colours of hellebore? Carol explained how, making it look remarkably easy. That's another thing I'll enjoy doing when mine come into flower soon.

No gardening programme would be complete without, in Carol's words, the 'magical material' - compost. "I never feed my plants, I feed the soil". Great advice.

Well, with a list of jobs running to several pages by the end of Carol's programme, I certainly had a busy weekend planned. Her infectious enthusiasm rubbed off and I ventured outdoors - the perfect way to dispel the winter blues.

Carol's series continues for the next five weeks, every Friday on BBC Two at 8.30pm.



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Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2011 at 17:05

It makes a wonderful change to have an inspiring gardening programme back on the tv. which has been sadly lacking the past couple of year with Gardner's World being so basic ..like how to dig a hole to plant...over and over again. I love Carol's enthusiasum and your always learn something different.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2011 at 20:33

I know exactly what you mean but ventured out this afternoon really enjoyed a couple of hours out doors

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2011 at 22:20

Must agree with other comments it was very good.looking forward to fridays show.

Gardeners' World Web User 10/01/2011 at 22:50

if only this blasted snow would go away, then I might get out in mine too - mind you, it's raining very heavily just now, so hopefully will wash away the last of it ...

Gardeners' World Web User 11/01/2011 at 12:33

I learn more in Carol's programme than in a whole series of Garener's World. So inspiring too.

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