The 70-year-old is one of Britain’s most well known faces, thanks to his role in reinvigorating the public by getting them outdoors and back in their gardens. Throughout his four-decade long career, the star has routinely shared an abundance of hints and tips on the best way to make the most out of your garden. The garden has become one of the most enjoyed areas in recent months, with families and friends forced outside while enduring the coronavirus lockdown.
But writing for the Daily Express in 2017, Alan offered a set of brilliant tips to ensure one of his favourite flowers can be enjoyed throughout the summer months.
He wrote: “Many of the older shrub roses have one brief but glorious season of flower in June and early July but with these I tend to train a clematis up through them.
“This means that the roses have, in effect, two seasons of flowering – the rose itself providing one and the clematis the other – but since all the clematis stems are cut away in autumn they do not clutter the rose when it is in flower.
“If space is a problem then miniature and patio roses are your best bet and groundcover types that run along the earth and stud their foliage with flowers.
“Hybrid teas and floribundas are the classic roses we used to grow on their own in beds.”
Alan explained that those types of roses were “seen at their best among border perennials” but warned that disease resistance should be a “prime consideration when buying them”.
He added: ” Look for those with glossy, leathery leaves since they are much more resistant to those two disfiguring diseases mildew and blackspot.
“Rich soil, beefed up with plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost, will get them off to the best possible start and you can buy the plants in containers now and enjoy a summer that really is roses all the way.”
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Alan was the face of the Chelsea Flower Show for around 30 years and became an instant hit with fans back in the Nineties.
He rose to fame on an array of garden, and makeover, shows including ‘Gardeners’ World’ and ‘Ground Force’.
It was his work on the latter that earned him universal acclaim as he was invited to renovate then-South African prime minister Nelson Mandela.
More recently, he has been offering more advice to gardeners who are tackling the perils of lockdown.
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However, in 2018, Alan gave another tip for those worried about getting green fingered in a small garden.
He said: “I hear people say they haven’t got a big garden but you can get a little trough, you can get multi-purpose compost in it and you can get herbs.
“You buy them in pots, such as mint, which is very invasive but in troughs who cares. They’re glorious.
“The key with this is to put it outside your back door. We’ve got mint, we’ve got thyme, sage, parsley, chives and basil in a sunny spot right near your kitchen window.
“And even if you don’t end up using them the smell is amazing.”
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