Weekend Work: Cut back the broom

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The Independent Online

What to do

Cut back broom when it has finished flowering, shortening the shoots that have flowered to within a couple of inches of the old wood. Do not cut into this older wood.

Dead-head lilacs and trim back Clematis montana if it is getting too greedy of space.

Watch for suckers on roses. They always spring from the base of the shrub and the foliage usually looks different to that of the parent. The sucker's leaves look more like a wild dog rose's. Pull the suckers out if you can, or trace them back underground to their junction with the rootstock and cut them off there.

Cut back the old foliage of early flowering 'Iris unguicularis' so that the sun can bake the rhizomes. This will increase flower power early next year. Trim off dead flower spikes of early flowering bearded iris.

Keep on top of bindweed (counsel of perfection), especially where it threatens to join up with climbers such as clematis. It is particularly difficult to extricate from situations such as these once it has got a hold.

Take cuttings from pinks by pulling out non-flowering side shoots. Trim them just under a stem joint, so that they are about 10cm long. Root them in pots of sandy compost or in a narrow trench in a side border.

What to see

This weekend 170 garden squares in London will throw open their gates to visitors. Lincoln's Inn Gardens, Fitzroy Square and Gainsborough Gardens are just some of the usually locked-up delights that will briefly be accessible. The House of St Barnabas in Soho helps homeless people and alongside their 18th-century chapel they've laid out a quiet, secluded courtyard garden, a surprising space in this crammed part of the city. For full details of all the gardens and their opening times, go to opensquares.org