WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
There was a slightly glum air about the little sweet pea plants as they gazed out of the kitchen window at the snow piling up on the ledge. I had been meaning to get them down to the cold frame to start hardening them off. They get drawn and over-fragile if they stay inside too long. But I think I'll wait until the snow has gone.

Over optimistic perhaps, with this warning so recent, to go on sowing seed, but I am. This week I started off the yellow daisy, Bidens `Golden Goddess' (Thompson & Morgan £1.99). This is a winner in pots as it flowers from midsummer right the way through to the first frosts. The plants bulk up well, sometimes reaching two feet wide and high and they have very fine ferny foliage starred with the small daisy flowers.

I first saw it, as I have seen so many things for the first time, at Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys, where the head gardener, Jimmy Hancock, used it in pots with the rich velvety fuchsia `Gartenmeister Bonstedt'. I want it, not in pots, but to fill in between the box cones and balls that march along a narrow border by the drive. The first flush of colour there, provided by the aconites, is over and a satisying amount of their seed is germinating around the original clumps. Then there will be wallflowers and after that the bidens. Eventually, I hope the box bushes will join hands and the ground between will not need filling.

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