Anna Pavord: Weekend Work

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What to do

There is still time to indulge in instant scene shifting in the garden, more difficult later in the season when the soil gets drier. If your hosta offends you, pluck it out and plant it elsewhere. Take out a good spade's width of soil all round any plant that you move, and, however damp the ground, water it well when you have transplanted it.

I have a small patch of instant plants in a corner of the garden for just this purpose. When there is a gap, I can go down and choose a victim for transportation. Pansies and violas are very useful for this. If you keep a good stock of mixed colours, there is usually something to fill a hole where perhaps early spring bulbs have left a space.

Some of the early brooms, such as the lemon-flowered Cytisus praecox have already finished flowering. Trim the soft young shoots with shears to keep the bush compact. Genista can be treated likewise.

Be generous in planting up windowboxes. To succeed, they need to be lush. Try two different kinds of yellow pansy with yellow-spotted tolmeia and lime green helichrysum for bulk. Or use dark bronze bugle with pink verbenas, lime helichrysum and deep pink busy lizzies.

What to see

This year, the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a jamboree tomorrow (10am-4pm) at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. Twenty-five collection holders will be displaying their plants, and Roy Lancaster will be doing what he does best, enthusing about the extraordinary diversity of plants available to gardeners. Admission £4. For further information go to or