RTÉ One, Friday, 8.30pm

Programme 5

Gardener: Peter Dowdall

Week 5 in the Create a Garden project was great fun and more glorious weather. I was busy planting up my raised bed in a bag! Its basically a bag divided into 4 compartments to prevent any overly vigorous plants spreading beyond their assigned space. The bag is then surrounded with a willow box to make it look that much more attractive. In it I planted beetroot, lettuce, tomatoes chives and marigolds to keep aphids at bay naturally.

The kids from the Gaelscoil in Cobh were up to help Kitty with her scarecrow and I borrowed them to help me put down some wildflower mix. They really got into it and the whole morning was great fun. You should have seen their faces when I opened the lid of the wormery to show them thousands of wriggly worms, you could hear the screams as far away as Dublin!

I decided on a Cotoneaster and a Crab Apple tree for my garden after much deliberation, I was first thinking about Cherry Blossom and Japanese Maples but because the Cherry Blossom has such a short period of interest and the Japanese Maple at any decent size was too expensive I decided on the other two. The Cotoneaster is evergreen with white flowers in the Spring, good Autumn colour and lovely red berries during the winter. Meanwhile the red crab apple, Malus Royalty has beautiful red foliage and similar coloured flowers and produces stunning crab apples during the winter. The winter fruits on both of these trees are a valuable food source for local birds and I really think that this should be a factor when choosing a tree for your garden along with other factors such as the eventual height and spread of the tree and how vigorous a root system they will have.

Finally I don’t think a garden is complete in the summer without some hanging baskets so I did up a few of them 2 Hanging and 2 wall mounted baskets. I used the same plants in all four for a bit of continuity. The plants I chose were red Surfinia Petunias, yellow Bidens aurea, white BAcopa Snowflake and mixed Trailing Lobellia. These really give such great colour from now until the first frosts in the Autumn I really think that they are a must for any garden.

Watch Peter's video on how to plant a tree...


The Gardeners