This week we're heading out into the darkness to meet some surprising garden friends – bats. These furry night fliers are surprising garden helpers, hoovering up all kinds of mosquitos and midges that might otherwise be biting us instead. Shirley Thompson MBE has been at the forefront of UK bat conservation for almost 40 years and she offers advice to gardeners on how we can all play our part in helping keep bat numbers strong.
Did you know that some cacti grow on trees and bloom at night? Meet the spectacular moonflower, Selenicereus wittii, an epiphytic cactus from the Amazonian rainforest. Sally Petitt of Cambridge University Botanic Garden tells the tale of how it bloomed in Britain last year, for the first time ever. Plus expert veg grower Matthew Oliver from RHS Garden Hyde Hall gives some brilliant tomato-growing tips, particularly for the tricky-but-tasty beefsteak varieties.
Useful links: ►RHS advice on bats in your garden ►Stars of the Night (Wild About Gardens pdf all about UK bats) ►Secrets of the Moonflower (Cambridge University Botanic Garden) ►RHS advice on how to grow tomatoes ►Visit RHS Garden Hyde Hall
This week we meet Michael Marriott, one of the UK’s foremost rosarians. Michael shares his expertise from a lifetime of rose growing, which is distilled into his new book, RHS Roses: An Inspirational Guide to Choosing and Growing the Best Roses. Plus troubleshooting tips on rose growing from the RHS Gardening Advice team.
Matthew Oliver, horticulturist and veg grower extraordinaire continues our greenhouse growing mini-series with a piece from the beautiful glasshouse at the heart of RHS Garden Hyde Hall. Hear seasonal GYO advice and first-hand hints on how to grow melons.
Useful links: ►RHS Roses: An Inspirational Guide to Choosing and Growing the Best Roses ►RHS advice on how to grow roses ►Global Growth Vegetable Garden ►How to grow melons
Join us as we celebrate 200 years of spreading gardening knowledge with RHS educational programmes. Whether you want to travel the world on botanical adventures for a Master of Horticulture qualification, or for your children to learn how to plant seeds, we are there for you. An RHS course can open the door to a fantastic career in gardening, and we hear from students past and present who share their stories.
Useful links: ►Study & learn with the RHS
Out of more than 200 gardens nationwide, only one can take the coveted crown of RHS Partner Garden of the Year. The 2021 winner has just been announced as Larch Cottage Nurseries in Cumbria's Eden Valley – we meet owner Peter Stott to find out the story behind his piece of horticultural heaven.
Back at RHS Garden Wisley, horticultural advisors James Lawrence, Nikki Barker and Julie Henderson get together to answer queries on compost-making, wildflower growing and how to get year-round fragrance in your garden. Plus we talk to Sui Searle, curator of the alternative gardening newsletter Radicle, to hear about her journey into gardening and the changes she hopes to inspire within the horticultural world.
Useful links: ►RHS Partner Garden of the Year ►Larch Cottage Nurseries ►How to make compost ►Radicle newsletter ►Join the RHS for free access to RHS Partner Gardens at selected times
Scented shrubs mentioned ►Winter honeysuckles (Lonicera fragrantissima and Lonicera x purpusii)►Osmanthus x burkwoodii and Osmanthus heterophyllus ►Elaeagnus x ebbingei ►Daphnes
Today we're taking a trip back in time with Dr Chris Thorogood, Head of Science at Oxford Botanic Garden. Enter long-forgotten worlds of the weird and wonderful plants which flourished before, during and after the age of dinosaurs, and discover their descendants that still flourish today. Ferns are among these 'living fossils', and RHS Gardening Advisor James Lawrence shares some favourite varieties to grow in the garden* in discussion with colleagues Nikki Barker and Julie Henderson.
Plus, an alternative look at ancient plants with Sarah Gerrard-Jones, aka The Plant Rescuer. She's built a huge online following charting her journey into rescuing abandoned plants and championing houseplant heirlooms passed down through generations.
Useful links: ►RHS info on ferns ►RHS info on houseplants ►When Plants Took Over the Planet: The Amazing Story of Plant Evolution by Chris Thorogood ►The Plant Rescuer – The Book Your Houseplants Want You To Read by Sarah Gerrard-Jones
*James's recommended ferns: Dryopteris atrata, Polystichum, Asplenium scolopendrium (hart's tongue fern), Dryopteris wallichiana, Matteuccia struthiopteris (ostrich fern), painted lady fern (Athyrium niponicum var. pictum)
Contributors: Chris Thorogood, Sarah Gerrard-Jones