WEEKEND WORK

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The Independent Online
Start to clear out summer bedding plants if you plan to replace them with wallflowers or sweet williams. Though it is difficult to throw out plants that are still doing well, you need time to fork over and feed the ground before the next batch of hopefuls goes in. Look for wallflowers that have been pinched out in youth, forcing them into a bushy habit. Tall, spindly wands are not worth earth-room.

Put the plants in before the bulbs if you plan to interplant with tulips or daffodils, or sod's law dictates that you will dig up the bulb when you try to plant the wallflowers. At Giverney this spring, sharp lemon- coloured wallflowers were used to effect under a white-flowering cherry tree. Dark purple wallflowers were used with mauve sweet rocket, forget- me-nots, alliums and blue pansies in beds edged with London pride and aubrieta.

Lawn edges get tough treatment from dogs and children. Repair the worst bits by cutting turf rectangles behind the edge and re-laying the other way round. Sift earth over the join.

Sow lettuces such as "Cynthia" and "Novita" in the greenhouse for spring. Outside, use a variety such as "Arctic King". Japanese greens and lamb's lettuce can be sown outside for cut-and-come-again salad.

Take cuttings of shrubs such as berberis, deciduous ceanothus, cistus, hebe. Choose semi-ripe wood and cut sections 4-6in long. Root them in a greenhouse propagating frame, or stick them round the edge of a pot filled with sandy compost. Cover the pot with a polythene bag to conserve moisture.

Cut down old blackberry and loganberry canes after fruiting is over and train new canes in their place. Plant new strawberry plants, setting them 18in apart in well-fed ground. The rows need to be 2ft 6in apart.

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