Gardeners’ World: Monty Don outlines ‘biggest change’ to Jewel Garden – ‘ripped them out’

Monty Don reveals ‘biggest change’ to jewel garden

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Gardeners’ World returned to BBC Two tonight for the 14th episode in the 2021 series. Tonight saw Monty Don place succulents outside, plant flowers in the Jewel Garden border and plant out dahlias and tender vegetables. Horticulturalist Carol Klein also visited Trebah Garden in Cornwall where she looked at exotic plants for your borders.

Meanwhile, Nick Bailey visited RHS Wisley to look at shrubs which can be used as alternatives to box hedging.

During the show, Monty shared the “biggest change” that took place in the Jewel Garden.

Earlier this year, the gardener had to rip out the box hedges after box blight ravaged huge sections of the borders.

Now, he has detailed what has replaced the box hedging and how you can create a similar effect.

He said: “Here in the Jewel Garden, the biggest change we’ve made for years was to take out the box hedging, which had suffered horribly from box blight.

“We struggled on with it and this winter we bit the bullet and ripped them all out.

“Now, what that’s left is much more open borders and wider paths.

“But, it’s a little bit harsh, a little bit rigid and I want to soften them up.

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“So I’ve got some plants here, deliberately to plant along the edge of the paths so that they can spill over and just soften the whole effect.”

Monty began by planting a “hardy geranium” in a variety called “Anne Thomson”.

The gardening expert showed viewers he was going to plant the geranium right at the edge of the border.

He continued: “When you’re planting on the edge of a path or a lawn to soften, go right up to the edge.

“You want this to sprawl. You’re not trying to contain it.

“Hardy geraniums are very tolerant of most situations.

“These are are a really useful plant.

“But immediately you can see that rather hard metal edging is softened.

“For a splash of colour, I absolutely adore geums.

“This is probably the best known geum of all, it’s Mrs Bradshaw.”

The plant had a “brilliant vermilion” flower but is not known as being a “spreading plant”.

The flowers grow and spiral upwards rather than laterally, according to Monty.

Monty said the “key thing” when creating edging that is both soft and natural is to have variety.

He recommended “hummocks” and “spreads” and “sprawls”, rather than just a rigid row.

Monty also planted a blue nepeta, also known as “cat mint”.

You can watch the latest episode of Gardeners’ World on BBC iPlayer.

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