Alan Titchmarsh: Grow ‘little bit of everything’ in ‘practical’ patch – including onions

Alan Titchmarsh offers tips for planting onion bulbs

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Camilla Bassett-Smith is a horticulturist that appears regularly on television to share her expert gardening tips. On ITV’s Spring Into Summer today, Camila shared which flowers and vegetables are best to plant together, getting your garden ready for summer.

Today on Spring Into Summer, Camilla and Alan showed audiences how to plant “edibles, flowers, a little bit of everything really” in your garden ahead of summer.

Camilla explained that the people used to plant vegetables and flowers side-by-side in Elizabethan times due to a lack of space.

“It’s practical too,” Alan added.

“Flowers for the kitchen table, fruits and vegetables to eat.”

Alan and Camilla showed viewers their “cottage garden”, which is a patch of land where you can mix flowers and vegetables together.

The flowers Camilla had already planted in her garden and recommended viewers to do so too included the wallflower Bowles’ Mauve and lavender.

Alan said that the Bowles’ Mauve “can last several years”.

As for the lavender, Camilla said that it is a plant that “you can’t do without in a summer border”.

The lavender varieties Camilla had were the Hidcote and the Munstead.

“They smell gorgeous,” Alan noted.

To keep lavender going, Alan recommended a “little light clipping when the flowers are faded”.

Camilla added: “They need a good haircut. Don’t be afraid to cut back.”

Lavender is also “very easy to take cuttings from”.

The fruit and vegetables Camilla had in her cottage garden were rhubarb and onions.

She said: “You can’t go wrong with a rhubarb can you.”

Alan agreed, saying: “I love rhubarb.”

April is a good month to start sowing onion sets or bulbs, said Alan.

Onions can be “dotted through your flowers” or you can plant onion sets.

Onion sets are little bulbs that you put into the soil.

Alan explained that you must make sure to bury the bulbs deep enough into the soil that their tops don’t stick out, so that blackbirds can’t take them.

Alan continued: “Space them about nine inches apart.

“Do them in rows in your veg patch or in groups in your cottage garden.”

Camilla added: “It’s very much that feel of a little bit of everything mixed in.”

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