IT MAY be the bleak midwinter but that doesn’t mean the gardening stops, as a recording of BBC Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time in Langholm discovered.
The team recorded two episodes of the programme in front of an audience of more than 100 people, taking questions from a number of them.
In the chair was Kathy Clugston, Radio 4 presenter and newsreader, with a panel of three well-known horticulturalists, Christine Walkden, James Wong and Matthew Wilson.
Langholm Chilli Club hosted the programme and the broadcasters recorded a piece about the club earlier in the day when they interviewed Mark Hodgson.
The Buccleuch Centre provided the perfect venue for the event. According to Margaret Pool, GQT, as it’s better known, previously visited Langholm in 2005.
The producer briefed the audience before Kathy took over in the chair.
The questions to the panel were varied and answers included squirting cucumbers, why it’s probably not worth trying to grow roses in Langholm and the type of lawn to plant to withstand dog pee.
Recognising the damp climate here, the panel seemed envious that it was possible to grow meconopsis, the Himalayan blue poppy, as well as other water-tolerant plants.
We learned from James that the ability to smell freesias is genetically determined and from Matthew that a raised bed of varieties of mint might be pleasing to the senses, particularly for those who have limited vision.
We learned the box tree caterpillar is a scourge in the south but hasn’t migrated as far north as Langholm yet.
It was a fascinating evening with very knowledgeable panellists who were humorous throughout.