Carol Klein: Wollerton Old Hall gardener shares ‘perfect’ trick for staking plants

Great British Gardens with Carol Klein trailer revealed

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Renowned horticulturist Carol Klein returned tonight for the fourth episode of the second series of Great British Gardens with Carol Klein on Channel 5. The show has seen Carol visit some of the UK’s most incredible gardens throughout the seasons. Tonight, Carol visited the garden of 16th-century manor house Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire.

The four acres of gardens left Carol in awe as she picked her way through elegant topiary, beautiful trees and stunning borders.

The gardens looked as though they were the product of hundreds of years of work.

However, viewers, and Carol, were “surprised” to find they were created over a 36-year period by current owners Lesley and John Jenkins.

During the episode, head gardener Phil Smith shared several helpful tips with Carol and viewers.

In the spring, Phil shared how to save money by staking a plant using natural materials.

Rather than buying twigs or other synthetic materials, Phil used hazel twigs.

He explained to viewers: “These are all hazel twigs that we’ve cut from the garden, and they’re perfect for staking at this time of year.

“So all of the perennials are starting to grow up really quite quickly.

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“This is veronicastrum ‘pointed finger’ and it has lovely pink, flower spikes in early summer.

“But, you can see how quickly it’s growing and we need to give it some support.

“These bits of twig will just provide the support it needs and when I’ve put them in, all I’m going to do is just snap them and bend them over the actual clump.”

Phil said the shoots will then start to grow up through the bent over twigs to give it support.

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The gardening pro said you can purchase twigs but that they’re “very expensive”.

He continued: “If you know someone with a woodland or you’ve got a bit of room in your garden for some hazel at home, it’s the perfect thing to grow.

“You can use the longest stems for growing runner beans up and the shorter ones for doing this.

“Of course, all of this is really natural-looking.

“So there’s no wire, no string and it will just blend in with the plant as it grows up.”

Carol said she “loved” the idea of using hazel and that it’s one of Phil’s many tricks to help keep the garden looking “effortlessly beautiful”.

Great British Gardens with Carol Klein is available to watch on catch-up on My5.

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