Monty Don, who received the highest honour in horticulture from the RHS, has shared some of his gardening tips. The TV personality, who presented Gardeners’ World since 2003, has a passion for gardening and has shared his expertise with the nation.
He says it’s important to regularly deadhead plants and he recommends making compost. He also suggests planting guelnsey lilies and he advises that they need plenty of sun.
One of the best gardening tips Monty Don ever gave was about deadheading. This task, removing faded flowers from perennials and some shrubs, helps plants look more attractive by eliminating unsightly seed heads and allowing them to put energy into producing new blooms.
According to Monty Don, a gardener’s best time to deadhead is in the spring. It’s easier to spot spent flowers and stems then, before they blend in with the foliage.
He also recommends keeping an eye on plants that self-seed, such as foxgloves and delphiniums, to stop them from going to seed. In addition, he notes that many of Proven Winners’ flowers have attractive seed pods and can be left for wildlife to enjoy in the winter – such as Echinacaea (coneflower) and Rudbeckia.
Monty Don is one of the UK’s best known and most respected gardeners. The Chelsea Flower Show and Gardeners’ World presenter was recently awarded the prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH), which is the highest honour in British horticulture. Only 63 VMHs have been awarded since its creation in 1897 with the approval of Queen Victoria. The accolade is given to horticulturists who have ‘a conspicuous effect on the popularity and advance of gardening within Britain’.
Keeping shrubs, trees and plants pruned helps them to stay in a more garden design-friendly state and can help prevent diseases. The Royal Horticultural Society explains that pruning can also help to restrict size, remove dead or unsightly growth, increase vigour, improve shape and keep the plant in a suitable state to produce flowers, fruit or berries.
After his jewellery business closed in the early 1990s, Monty Don focused on his passion for gardening and has been presenting Gardeners’ World since 2003. He now hosts the show from his garden at Longmeadow in Herefordshire. He has also written several books, including Nigel: My Family and Other Dogs, Down to Earth and The Complete Gardener.
Gardening expert Monty Don has revealed how Britons can make their own compost. The pro said that the key is to mix fast-breaking material such as grass clippings and vegetable peelings with drier stuff like tea bags and scrunched up paper. He added that it’s important to turn the compost to aerate it.
He also recommends adding a few crushed eggshells to the mix as it helps add valuable nitrogen and phosphate. He says that people can also include paper towels, tea bags and newspaper as these will help with aeration.
Monty has several books under his belt and is currently filming a series for the BBC about American gardens. He says he never aspired to work in television, but has a passion for gardening and stewardship and loves learning about other cultures’ approach to their own gardens. During the COVID lockdown, he has been filming from his own garden at Longmeadow in Herefordshire. He hides a walkie-talkie in the garden to communicate with the director and sound crew.
Monty is a best-selling author, gardening expert and host of the BBC show Gardener’s World. He and his wife Sarah live on two cultivated acres in Longmeadow, Herefordshire. His latest book is The Complete Gardener (opens in new tab) which is a revised edition of his 2003 Sunday Times best seller that covers every aspect of gardening.
He is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in 2019. The RHS council confers this honour — known as the VMH — on British horticulturists who deserve recognition for their contribution to gardening.
Monty’s advice for small gardens is to divide the plot into large borders and fill them with a riot of flowers like foxgloves, delphiniums, nasturtiums, roses and herbs. He also recommends planting a couple of ‘Guernsey lily’ plants (N. bowdenii). They grow to about 60cm tall with a starburst of flamboyant pink petals. These bulbs do well in a sunny position but don’t plant them too deep.