WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Start a lavender hedge by taking cuttings (3-4ins long) of non-flowering shoots and sticking them round the edge of a pot of sandy compost. Keep them in the cold frame or a shady place where they will not dry out too quickly. Rooted plants can be set out next spring.

Deutzias can also be propagated now. They are medium-sized shrubs no more than 5ft high and wide, covered in clusters of flowers, white, pink or purple. Choose half-ripe lateral shoots (those that grow out from a main stem) and set them in sandy compost in pots or a cold frame. Rooted plants can be set out next autumn. Philadelphus, senecio and shrubby grey- leaved artemisias such as A. arborescens can be treated in the same way.

If you can bear to, cut back any violas and pansies that you want to increase and cover the crown of the plant with a finely sifted mixture of sandy soil. This will encourage the plant to produce some good new growths. You can then pull these out with a few roots attached and pot them up to grow on as new plants.

Take cuttings from tender plants such as geraniums, fuchsias, helichrysums and penstemons. All these root easily in small pots, but must be given frost protection through the winter before they are planted out again late next spring.

Cut back tarragon, mint, savory and other such herbs. This will force them to make useful fresh new growth. Fennel heads are handsomely in flower now, but need to be cut down before the seeds spread over the garden.

Cyclamen corms that have been resting can be started into growth again now. Clean off all the old leaves, shake any loose soil off the roots and re-pot the corm in the smallest possible pot. Use John Innes No 1 compost or its equivalent and set the corm so that the top just shows above the compost. Spray the corm every day with tepid water to start it into growth. Do not bring the plant into the house until there are at least four flowers in bud.

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