Anna Pavord: Weekend Work

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The Independent Online

What to do

* Deadheading is scarcely work – more tinkering, a job to fill the odd 10 minutes. Phlomis needs it, roses of course, old flowered stems of various iris, Jacob's ladder, little violas, sweet williams. These last can be left in the ground if they are not in the way. Growth will thicken up and provide you with more flowers next year without the bother of sowing fresh seed.

* Clear out rows of early peas and broad beans and fork out any stray weeds growing among them. If you have not set out your leeks yet, they could go in the same ground.

* As spikes of delphiniums finish flowering, cut them to within six inches of the ground. If well mulched, they should produce enough growth for a second flowering in early autumn.

* Layer border carnations, choosing sideshoots that have not flowered. Nick the underside of each stem and peg them down with earth scattered over each one. New roots should have formed by September, when the layers can be separated from the parent.

* Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as colchicum and sternbergia as soon as you can get hold of them. Colchicums are ideal in rough grass, perhaps a meadow area that you have recently mowed. They also sit well among shrubs, where their large leaves (they emerge in spring) will not get in the way. Set them about 10cms deep and put a pinch of bonemeal into each hole at planting time. The bright yellow sternbergia will need a sunny position to flower well. Established clumps of either flower can be split and replanted now.

What to see

* In the Thirties, Reginald Kaye's Lancashire nursery was the place for ferns. Now his grandson, Dominic, is pushing into a new sphere of interest, with an event centring on the design and planting of grass and perennial borders. Working with Natacha Lawrie, Dominic has planted a new border at the nursery, 30 metres long, which comes to a peak in the second half of summer with a rich mixture of herbaceous plants and grasses.

Their design and planting day is on Monday (10am-3pm), tickets £28.95. To book, or for further information, contact the nursery at 36 Lindeth Road, Silverdale, Carnforth, 01524 702010, www.kayesgardens.co.uk

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