‘They go yellow’: Alan Titchmarsh issues warning when growing Camellias

Love Your Garden: Alan Titchmarsh on growing roses in 2011

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The garden expert will appear on Love Your Cottage Garden tonight on ITV, where he will reveal a mixed border which he has created himself in his own garden.

During a previous episode of Love Your Garden, Alan and his team designed a traditional garden for Richard Warren, a 74-year-old voluntary community constable who was known as “the nation’s oldest policeman”, and his wife, Lynette, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis.

The team had the task of creating a garden which provided greater access for Lynette, while offering appealing and practical features.

The garden featured an oval lawn, a new summer house, planted clipped evergreen, and a pond planted with water lilies.

To gain inspiration for the project, Alan visited a landscaped garden with extensive grounds at Hanham Court Gardens in Gloucestershire.

While the garden’s design was a lot more grand and on a much larger scale, Alan highlighted that it had incorporated  “elements of a traditional formal English garden,” which had been “taken to new heights”.

He said the well-manicured garden, which featured clipped hedges, evergreen and containers planted with bedding, was typical of a small suburban garden. 

While planting a Camellia, which had been trained on a frame in Richard and Lynette’s garden, Alan shared some useful tips with viewers.

He said an acid to neutral soil should be used when planting a Camellia.

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“They don’t like chalky or limestone earth, they go yellow if they’re grown on chalk, so they need a good acid to neutral soil,” he said.

Issuing cautioning about the amount of sun they should be exposed to, Alan said to ensure they “don’t get too much early morning sun, as it can brown them in cold weather.

“They’re a bit frost sensitive,” he added.

However, when placed in a sheltered spot, he said “they’re gorgeous.”

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While pruning a Pittosporum, Alan advised trimming it sometime around April and May.

A Pittosporum, which is also known as Cheesewood, is a species of flowering plants from the Pittosporaceae family.

During the show, Alan also planted a range of evergreens, which had been inspired by his visit to Hanham Court.

Among the variety, he planted a Portugal Laurel and an Ilex Crenata, or Japanese Holly, as it’s also known.

For an evergreen which can be shaped into a dome or pyramid, Alan suggested choosing an Ilex Crenata, which he said could be pruned  “without suffering from blight.” He also planted a Laurel Pendulum Firedance.

Alan revealed that the key to creating a traditional garden style is to incorporate box line pathways in the design.

He accomplished this in his project by featuring an Ilex Crenata, which he said served as a Box substitute and would “make hedging that is just beautiful.”

When planting an Ilex Crenata, he said it was important that the soil was patted down firmly to avoid creating air pockets.

Love Your Cottage Garden airs tonight on ITV at 8pm.

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