Episode 3 of season 8 of ITV1’s Love Your Garden has just finished and I think you’ll agree that the garden featured in this episode was a real stunner. Here’s a deeper look at my 5 favourite plants from this spectacular garden.
5. Phlox subulata ‘Fabulous White’
The freshly-pressed-school-shirt white of these quaint little flowers really caught my eye during the filming of episode 3. Phlox subulata is an exceptionally hardy evergreen perennial that will spread to form rich cushions of deep green ground cover which is covered with plentiful flowers in early spring. This variety does especially well in rock gardens or on exposed hillsides, in full sun or partial shade. It does not spread as vigorously as some moss phlox varieties, growing to around 35cm (14″) wide, and prefers a well-drained soil.
4. Lettuce ‘Lollo Rosso’
The owner of the garden in episode 3 wanted to plant vegetables with her grandkids, so we chose this beautiful variety of lettuce to meet that need. Fantastic for beginner-level grow-your-own gardeners, ‘Lollo Rosso’ has delightful, frilly leaves tinged with a gorgeous reddish-pink. It is unfussy about soil type and pH, and will do well as long as it is planted in moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Rather brilliantly, you can sow this lettuce from seed all the way through to August! You can pick leaves off here and there for throwing into salads or leave it to mature and pick the lettuce whole.
3. Euonymus fortunei
A jolly evergreen shrub with beautiful variegated leaves, ‘Emerald Gaiety’ will even add a touch of pink to your garden palette in winter. Growing up to 1m tall, Euonymus is fantastic for creating a low hedge to section off parts of your garden. It requires little pruning and will flourish in most conditions. Two things to bear in mind are that it requires sun for part of the day and enjoys a well-drained soil, so it is worth mixing a little sand into your compost as you plant it.
One for year-round colour, Convolvulus cneorum (aka Shrubby bindweed) has elongated silvery leaves that add a touch of frost to your garden whatever the season. It is a cousin of the common weed, Bindweed, and has similar white trumpet-shaped flowers. However, unlike its cousin, Shrubby bindweed has superior flowers that cover the plant from June through to September and its shrubby habit keeps it contained in a spot of up to 1 metre square. It needs a little more looking after than its weedy relative, requiring a sheltered spot in full sun to be at its best.
1. Trollius europaeus ‘Lemon Supreme’
The aptly-named ‘Lemon Supreme’ variety of Trollius europaeus, with its zesty yellow flowers, is sure to brighten up anyone’s day. Flowering from May to June, the variety we chose for the garden in episode 3 was a special compact variety which grows to 30cm tall.
This plant is so hardy as to survive even the harshest of European winters, bouncing back into life every spring without fail.
The most important thing to remember about this plant is that it absolutely loves moisture and, unlike most plants, does best in poorly-drained soils. This is because it grows naturally in marshland or on damp riverbanks. It is particularly happy in heavy clay soils that do not readily dry out.
Whether you plant it in full sun or partial shade, in an exposed or sheltered location, ensure its water needs are met and you’ll have a happy plant on your hands.
It’s advisable to cut back heavily soon after flowering to keep the plant at its best for next year.
Trollius europaeus can sometimes be prone to infection with powdery mildew – a fungal disease which leaves white floury patches on leaves and stems. Once of the best means of protection for this plant is to ensure its water needs are met, by keeping soil moist, and even covering the ground with a layer of mulch to prevent ready evaporation of water from the soil. This prevents plant stress and makes it less susceptible to catching this disease in the first place.
Here’s a look at the other plants that we used in the creation of episode 3’s garden, so that you can get the look in your own garden if you’re feeling inspired:
Unlike its relatives, the beautiful mop-head flowers of this Hydrangea remain white whatever kind of soil they’re planted in.
This beautiful shrub features the defining spectacular deep-red leaves which are characteristic of Acer trees while saving on space.
Calibrachoa ‘Deep Yellow’
Too tender for UK winters, these trailing plants are perfect for pretty ground cover in sunny spots during the warmer months.
Delightfully pretty flowering plants, Alyssum are at their best in full sun and well-drained soil.
An ornamental grass with feathery flowers, this plant will add a playful feel to garden borders.
Cystisus praecox ‘All Gold’
A hardy evergreen shrub, this plant is great for adding a ‘pop’ of sunshine yellow to spring borders.
I hope you’ve enjoyed having an in-depth look at some of my favourite plants from Love Your Garden season 8 episode 3. Remember to tune in to ITV1 each week at 8pm on Tuesdays for the latest episode in the series and to visit this website for my weekly update on the plants that were used in each week’s show.
I will also be appearing on Facebook Live after certain episodes to discuss some of the plants in detail, share my top horticultural tips and take questions from you, the viewers. Join me again soon for lots more Love Your Garden fun!