Gardening: Weekend Work

JUNE PRUNING can be disposed of quickly, though apricots and figs will need attention if they are grown as fans trained against a wall. Pinch back the lateral shoots of fan- trained apricots, leaving 3in of the shoot in place. The lateral shoots are the ones that spring from the main branches of the fan. If there are sub-laterals growing from the laterals, pinch these back leaving one leaf in place. Cut out entirely any branches that are crossing each other.

SURPLUS SHOOTS on fig trees can be cut out entirely now. They are over- enthusiastic growers and generally need some thinning. The fruit is borne on the young growth and these shoots should be stopped at four leaves, by nipping off the end of the fruit-bearing shoots.

BAY TREES grown as standards or pyramids need clipping to shape once or twice during the summer. Keep the leaves (pictured) for cooking. Remove any suckers that spring up from the base of standard bays.

PYRACANTHAS GROWN as free-standing bushes need no regular pruning, though you may need to contain their spread by occasionally taking out an entire branch. Wall-trained specimens will need thinning now. Trim away any growth that you do not want to tie in. Pyracantha hedges should be trimmed to shape once they have finished flowering.

SOME OF the early brooms, such as the gorgeous lemon-flowered Cytisus praecox, need trimming over as soon as they have finished flowering. Use shears, but do not cut back into the old buff-coloured wood. Genista can be treated in the same way.

PRUNE LEGGY mahonias by cutting back one or two of the tallest stems by half. Sometimes the mahonia's height is an advantage, looming up at the back of a border. If it is not, you know what to do.