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As winter approaches, Helen Mark heads to Drenagh Gardens near Limavady where Conelley McCausland has set about restoring the vast walled garden and extensive grounds which had almost disappeared under the invasion of bamboo. Also on the programme, a visit to Ciaran Mulholland’s garden at the foot of Slemish where he’s growing a ready supply of winter veg. In studio, Reg Maxwell joins Helen to take questions live and Tony Kirkham reveals his tree of the month for November.
This week, David visits the gardens at Glenarm Castle where Neil Porteous is making the best of late autumn sunshine to prepare for next year. From heeling in rhododendrons, to starting perennials from seed, there is a long list to get through before winter sets in. At Rowallane Gardens near Saintfield, Claire McNally picks some highlights including Mahonia and reveals her quest to find a ‘not so tart’ berry from the plant sometimes known as the Oregon Grape. Also on the programme, Mary Doris on her favourite plants for winter interest, Tony Kirkham’s ‘Tree of the Month’ for November and Claire Woods joins David live in studio to take questions and offer autumn inspiration.
November is the perfect time to plant tulip bulbs and that’s what Claire Woods is doing when David Maxwell visits her at Hillsborough Castle. Then it’s off to the RSPB’s Belfast Wow where Tim McCann has lots of tips on getting garden birds through the worst of winter. With the new season of The Crown due to start on Netflix, David chats to the Duchess of Rutland whose home and garden stands in for Windsor Castle in the series. Also on the programme, Emma McIlveen heads to Augher Central Primary School where the school garden has been transformed with help from the BBC’s Little Green Fingers project and Brendan Little joins David in studio to take live questions. Email the programme on
As the Halloween half term begins, David Maxwell visits a pumpkin patch in the Orchard county. Brian Hutchinson has been growing the gourds for a decade and knows what they need to thrive. Also on the programme, a visit to Mount Stewart where head gardener Mike Buffin is making plans t0 revamp the lily wood and Tony Kirkham will reveal his tree of the month for October. In studio, David is joined by Reg Maxwell who will take questions live and suggest some activities for kids in the garden over the half term break. Contact the programme on
With Autumn colour all around, Gardeners’ Corner with David Maxwell celebrates the wonder of trees. At CAFRE’s Greenmount campus, the first of the Hiroshima survivor trees grown by staff and students is planted out. In County Laois, David is back at Gash Gardens where Mary Keenan has an impressive Katsura tree, also known as the candyfloss tree because of the smell given off by its dying leaves. In County Antrim, Duneane Primary have a school garden full of trees but its autumn containers the pupils are planting to keep up their reputation as a ‘Best Kept’ school and Tony Kirkham will reveal his tree of the month. Also on the programme, Claire McNally will be live in studio with David to answer questions from the Gardeners’ Corner mailbox. Email
Some plants leave their best show until last and this week David heads to County Laois to find spectacular autumn colour at Gash Gardens. Mary Keenan describes how her family’s dairy farm has been transformed into beautiful gardens with standout plants like the Spindle stealing the autumn show. In Omagh, David visits the Sow and Grow Project at the Ulster American Folk Park. It’s run by the Leonard Cheshire trust which supports those with disabilities. Amy Kelly introduces the uncommon Quince and Ann Fitzsimmons joins David in studio to answer gardening questions live.
David heads to the annual symposium at Kells Bay gardens in County Kerry which attracts top horticulturalists from across the country. John Anderson from Windsor Castle gardens is planning for the future with climate change in mind. Alasdair Moore from the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall is championing the health benefits of heritage fruit. Also on the programme, Averil Milligan joins David to tackle listeners’ questions and Maurice Parkinson tames a rambling rose. Contact the programme on
In this week’s programme David visits the Killyleagh garden that was never meant to be. Janie Metcalf wanted land around a house for horses, her late husband loved trees, but over the years she was bitten by the gardening bug and now has an enviable collection of plants that thrive on her thin dry soil. Among her favourites are the grasses which are stealing the autumn show. At Ballyrobert Cottage Garden, Maurice Parkinson explains how to improve native hedgerows for wildlife. Also on the programme, Cherry Townsend is taking questions and among her ‘jobs for the week’ is making rose hip syrup. Contact the programme on
We often think about planting bulbs at this time of year for a colourful spring display but what about the bulbs that are flowering right now? In this week’s Gardeners’ Corner, David Maxwell visits Ballyrobert Cottage Garden where there is a fine selection of Colchicums, Hesperanta, Crocosmia and Cyclamen putting on a dazzling autumn show. In Islandmagee, he finds Cherry Townsend harvesting seed that will make free plants for next years garden and he chats to Mr No Dig aka Charles Dowding about the benefits of undisturbed soil when it comes to drainage, weed growth and crop yields. In studio David is joined by expert Claire Woods who will be answering listener questions live. Contac the programme by email –
A life of flowers

A life of flowers


Gardeners’ Corner looks at the life of Queen Elizabeth II through the lens of all things gardening. David Maxwell chats to those who met her at great gardening events, he visits Northern Ireland’s official royal residence at Hillsborough and explores what her favourite flower, Lily of the Valley, says about her. Also on the programme, Cherry Townsend tells David why sowing now can save you money and get next year’s garden off to a good start.
How can you garden if you only have a yard? The answer is to garden on the vertical! This week, presenter David Maxwell chats to Ann Fitzsimmons about her new living wall. She maintains it with a fork and spoon from the cutlery drawer and manages to grow both flowers and herbs. In Magherafelt David meets the youngest competitor in the Garden of the Year TV series on Channel 4. Just how has 28 year old Philip Stewart created a top class cottage garden while holding down a full time job? Also on the programme, a return to Airfield Estate where Colm O’Driscoll says a simple low maintenance border can be created with just three plants and expert Claire McNally will be in studio to take questions live. Contact the programme on
Just a few minutes walk from Ireland’s largest shopping centre, a garden provides a quiet place in the city. A haven for wildlife and place to learn about our food, Airfield Estate in Dundrum was left in trust to the people of Ireland by trailblazing sisters Letitia and Naomi Overend. They understood the importance of people self sufficient and sustainable, an ethos that continues today under head gardener Colm O’Driscoll. In this programme, David Maxwell has a tour with Colm and finds about the Totally Terrific Tomato festival. Also in the programme, David finds out from expert grower Charles Holmes what makes the perfect Dahlia and he chats to wildlife gardener Kate Bradbury about her new book encouraging us all to plant a tree for the planet. Contact the programme on
With late summer approaching David is joined in studio by Reg Maxwell to take questions on everything from sickly tomatoes to Oh la la clematis. He finds out about the Old Mill garden in Helen’s Bay which is being lovingly restored alongside an abandoned walled garden and Tony Kirkham picks his top tree for August. Contact the programme on
Allotments across the country are burst with flowers and produce right now and in National Allotments Week, Gardeners’ Corner visits two. David Maxwell heads to Ards where Amy Kelly has her plot. He also meets some of her neighbours who grow Willow for weaving and exotic crops like the African Horned Melon. In the north west, Helen Mark visits Ballymagowan community allotments which as well as producing healthy fruit and veg, is also a sanctuary for some. In studio, Ciaran Mulholland will bring his fruit and veg growing expertise and organic gardener Klaus Laitenberger will join David from somewhere in Europe as he takes the long road home to Ireland from his epic vegetable odyssey. Contact the programme via email –
At the end of a week of record temperatures, David Maxwell chats to Ann Fitzsimmons about making our gardens more resilient. David also visits the Ravine project at Knockbracken Healthcare Park which gives horticultural opportunities to young adults facing mental health difficulties. In Killinchy, Lesley Simpson and Moira Concannon have been gardening together as neighbours for decades – so just what makes this perfect partnership work? And in Stoneyford, David meets Joy Gordon who has transformed her outside space into a place to remember her husband who was tragically killed in a car accident 2 years ago.
David Maxwell visits Ireland’s largest gardening festival in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. At Bord Bia Bloom he’ll meet designers, growers and tour some of the 19 show gardens. Also on the programme, David finds out what’s happening in the gardens at Hillsborough Castle to mark the jubilee and what exactly is the ‘tree of trees’. Garden expert Ann Fitzsimmons will be in studio to answers questions and she’ll be planting up a platinum planter. Contact the programme on
David Maxwell brings highlights from the Show Gardens to the new All About Plants gardens
Can weeds be useful? This week David Maxwell meets Becky Cole at Broughgammon Farm near Ballycastle. She considers some weeds free food and uses others for their useful herbal properties. Down in Slane, County Meath, Rosie Maye has a selection of attractive plants that can give those problem weeds a run for the money - Lamium, Lady’s Mantle, Euphorbia robbiae are top of the list. Also on the programme, Helen Mark visits the historic Drenagh Estate in Limavady where the gardens are being tamed after decades as a jungle and the Chelsea designer who is creating a ‘high maintenance’ garden for spinal patients in Belfast. Contact the programme on
Gardeners' Corner

Gardeners' Corner


The weekly gardening programme for keen gardeners with the latest advice, news and visits to gardens large and small around the province. Presented by Helen Mark.
A childhood fantasy has become a reality for Rosie Maye who has spent 20 years transforming the three acres around her home near Slane in county Meath. Without any formal training Rosie aka The Insomniac Gardener on social media, has created a woodland garden, an ornamental meadow and a Mediterranean courtyard among the ruins of old farm buildings. In this week’s programme, David Maxwell finds out how she filled the space with year round colour without breaking the bank. Also on the programme, how a group of women in north Belfast have transformed unused parking spaces into an urban oasis and what’s going on at Ards allotments in National Gardening Week. All that and the experts will be taking questions live. Contact the programme on
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