Gardening: Weekend Work

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AT THIS time of year, the main task is to keep everything ticking over: keep dead-heading annuals to prolong the flowering season and, in the case of many perennials, to encourage a second burst of flowers in early autumn; keep mowing the lawn regularly; and above all, keep watering.

By this point in the summer, you can see where your planting schemes have been successful, and where there are gaps that could be filled next year. Draw a plan reminding you where everything is; once the summer is over it is easy to forget how things looked, and the leaves are dying down.

Look at the shapes and colours that are currently growing side by side, and make notes of successes and failures. Any combinations that look less than harmonious can always be moved later in the year.

Take cuttings from geraniums; they will have time to root before there is any danger of frost, and can then be overwintered indoors. Remove a young shoot, which should be a few centimetres long. Take off the lower leaves, dip the stem in rooting powder, and push down into a pot of compost. Several cuttings will fit into one pot.

Supplies of bulbs are now available from most garden centres, and bulk orders should be put in as soon as possible. Take a look at the areas of the garden that may need a splash of winter or spring colour, and decide what to put where, so that you can get your order in as soon as possible.