The 71-year-old is often regarded as the best gardener in Britain and has been very influential in some circles to reawaken the nation’s love for its backyards. He has become a mainstay on television screens, largely thanks to his appearances in shows like Gardeners’ World and his role in reporting on the Chelsea Flower Show. The star has always been the one to share the latest trick or advice he picked up two years ago – he wrote for Country Life – and revealed a breathtaking hack to let the beautiful summer colors grow until winter.
The gardening expert said: “Although my own garden is not specifically planned for late summer, I am flattered that I can anticipate this season with almost the same feverish excitement as I look forward to spring, simply because I am hiding in mine . ” Beds and borders are plants that like to wait until others have given their all before they glorify my Hampshire soil with their own contributions.
“The daisy family is extremely useful because many of its members are autumn bloomers with dark oranges, plum purples, and mahogany to match the mood of the season.
“Rudbeckia, Helenia and Echinaceas are of particular value here, and the fact that most of them are large enough to position at least halfway up the border means that you don’t have a blunt mass of shoots in the foreground between April have to look and July. “
He said that he had a border in his garden that was “flooded with Allium Purple Sensation in April and May” and said surprisingly that “many gardeners consider this plant to be nothing but weeds”.
However, Alan had an ingenious method to ensure that the plant did not produce seedlings.
He added, “We cut the seed heads off before they ripen each year and thin out the plantation, which has allowed us to plant a variety of perennial asters or Michaelmas daisies for late summer colors among them.
“These flowers were very popular with the Victorians, but rightly found bad press in the late 20th century because their constitutions were weakened and they tended to disfigure mildew.
“Now there are newer, stronger varieties on offer. If they don’t have too little water, which puts them under stress and makes mildew attacks more likely, they report well about themselves from the end of August until frost and they can grow to something between 1ft and 5ft to grow.
But in 2019 Alan made another plea when he called for people to stop eating tomatoes in the winter months.
He argued – while writing for Gardener’s World – that we should only eat products grown in the UK to protect the industry all year round.
Alan said: “We shouldn’t eat tomatoes and strawberries in the middle of winter.
“I am annoyed when my local supermarket sells tomatoes from Spain in the middle of summer, when we produce a lot of delicious fruit on the Isle of Wight.
“We should really support our local producers and do our part to make this country produce food more efficiently.”