Gardening: Cuttings

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April courses at the English Gardening School include one-day sessions on "the Mixed Border" (16 April, Nada Jennett) and "Scent and its Impact in the Garden" (23 April, Phillip Harkness and Stephen Lacey). For more information contact the school at the Chelsea Physic Garden, 66 Royal Hospital Road, London SW3 4HS (0171-352 4347).

A superb stone pine, Pinus pinea, growing in Maids of Honour Row, Richmond Green, has recently been designated as one of the great trees of London. An initiative launched jointly by the London Tree Forum and the Countryside Commission aims to mark the city's best trees with a commemorative green plaque. To nominate a tree for the scheme, contact the tree officer at your local authority. For a leaflet explaining more about the project, write to the London Tree Forum, PO Box 15146, London WC2B 6SJ.

The Alpine Garden Society is holding a show today (12pm-4.30pm) at the Burleigh Community College, Thorpe Hill, Loughborough, admission pounds 1. Look out for primulas, cyclamens, saxifrages, orchids, dwarf narcissus, fritillaries, sempervivums and ferns.

For bridging awkward gaps, providing a smooth cover over uneven surfaces in the garden, timber decks are friendly and adaptable. Using a deck, you can convert a steep slope into an extra outdoor living space. They can be cut round trees; they can be bent round corners. The Outdoor Deck Company uses southern pine, a honey-coloured timber imported from the US. DIY enthusiasts can send for their free Decking Projects Book, which has plans and advice on construction. The company can also arrange site surveys, and will advise on installing decks to order. Prices start at around pounds 500 for a deck 8ft x 12ft; the price includes timber, fixings, screws and nails. For details contact the Outdoor Deck Company, Mortimer House, 46 Sheen Lane, London SW14 8LP (0181-878 7887).