WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Have you pruned the buddleia? Tidied up the winter jasmine? Dealt with the climbing roses? If the answer is "Well, I did mean to, but...", sharpen up your secateurs and get to work. Buddleia flowers adequately if it is not pruned but it quickly becomes too big for its boots. Be ruthless - cut all last year's growth to just above where it started. If you get a mound of butchered stumps about three feet high, you will have done a good job.

Jasmine requires more care. It is best trained high up a wall and allowed to fall forward. The wood to keep is the long, bright green stuff. Encourage new green growth by cutting out a proportion of the old stems entirely.

Climbing roses can be pruned on a replacement principle. If strong new stems arise near the base, cut back the older part of the stems above the point where the new shoot rises. Tie in new growth securely.

With wisteria, you can finish the job you should have started last July. Unwanted new growth should have been cut back by half. Now, you cut those same shoots back to within two buds of the point where the new growth started. It's a wobbly ladder job. Our wisteria keeps diving under the eaves into the roof space and I haul out yards of peaky-looking growth that has been wandering around under the tiles looking for the light.

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