TV preview – The British Garden: Life And Death On Your Lawn

BBC Four, Tuesday, July 11, 9pm-10.30pm

Chris Packham
Chris Packham stars in BBC Four’s The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn. Picture; BBC Pictures

Are you convinced your garden is good for native flora and fauna?

In this 90-minute BBC film, naturalist Chris Packham and a team of experts spend a year exploring eight gardens on a suburban street to answer a vital question: how good for wildlife is the great British garden?
Beneath the groomed borders they reveal a beautiful and brutal world that’s far wilder than you might think.

Through all four seasons, Chris examines the secret lives of the gardens’ smallest residents, finding male crickets that bribe females with food during sex, colour-changing spiders that help them catch prey, and life-and-death battles in the compost heap.

There is also a different side to more familiar garden residents, showing that a robin’s red breast is actually war paint, and a single litter of foxes can have up to five different fathers.

In Spring, Chris witnesses a boiling ball of frogs in a once-in-a-year mating frenzy.

By the end of the year, with the help of a team from London’s Natural History Museum, as well as top naturalists, Chris reveals the sheer variety of wildlife living in the back gardens of just one street, and how good for wildlife our gardens really are.

RHS Hampton: Danny Clarke’s 3-hour challenge for Honda

Live gardening challenge for ‘The Black Gardener’

Danny Clarke
Danny Clarke – three hours to create a vertical garden live at RHS Hampton

Talk about putting yourself under pressure – Danny Clarke, aka ‘The Black Gardener’ has a live challenge today (Tuesday, July 4) at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – creating a nine square metre vertical installation with 616 plants in less than three hours.

Danny’s brief is to create a design based on his interpretation of Honda’s ‘Engineering for Life’ philosophy at the Honda stand at 11.30am, with a strict cut-off time of 2.30pm. Continue reading “RHS Hampton: Danny Clarke’s 3-hour challenge for Honda”

Chris Packham: be tolerant towards slugs

Springwatch presenter’s Radio Times magazine interview

Chris Packham
Chris Packham – looking at the bigger picture ecologically

This may not go down too well with lovers of hostas and strawberries, but TV presenter Chris Packham has urged gardeners to “put yourself in the mind of the slug” and become tolerant towards the creatures.

The Springwatch host urged people to stop killing the garden pests in an interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine. “The slug’s been offered a free banquet. You have to expect it to eat it.

He said: “The slug’s been offered a free banquet. You have to expect it to eat it. If you’re planting a row of lettuces, you’re planting a free supermarket for molluscs. Continue reading “Chris Packham: be tolerant towards slugs”

Hampton Court: Kitchen Garden Live with The Hairy Bikers

Si King and Dave Myers broadcast live each morning on BBC One

RHS Kitchen Garden
RHS Kitchen Garden at Hampton Court, home of Kitchen Garden Live with The Hairy Bikers

There are not just plants on offer at this week’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show – BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen is broadcasting a spin-off series live with the Hairy Bikers, from Monday, July 3-Friday, July 7 at 11am.

Si King and Dave Myers will be broadcasting from the RHS Kitchen Garden, which aims to promote innovative, cost-efficient ways of growing fresh food at home. Continue reading “Hampton Court: Kitchen Garden Live with The Hairy Bikers”

RHS Hampton Court: celebrities and children

Celebrity Theatre line-up announced

Chris Packham
Chris Packham

The line-up for Hampton Court’s Celebrity Theatre is led by TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham making his debut at the show, which runs from July 4-9.

He will be joined by fellow Springwatch presenters Michaela Strachan and Martin Hughes-Games, along with David Domoney, Charlie Dimmock, Pippa Greenwood, and Justin Fletcher from CBeebies.

The Celebrity Theatre is in a marquee overlooking the palace gardens, with stars talking about their passion for gardening, wildlife, and nature, as well Continue reading “RHS Hampton Court: celebrities and children”

Gardeners’ World Live: Lubera fruit

Unusual fruit displayed by The Potting Shed Stage

Fruit on display by The Potting Shed Stage at Gardeners’ World Live. Picture; Lubera

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Gardeners’ World, fruit specialist Lubera has been exhibiting a selection of its plants.

If you’re at the show, you’ll find the Swiss fruit experts next to The Potting Shed Stage at Gardeners’ World Live.

The show runs until June 18 but you can order the plants online.

Here are four of the chosen plants the crowds particularly enjoyed: Continue reading “Gardeners’ World Live: Lubera fruit”