Weekend work: Make way for wallflowers; Japanese greens and lamb's lettuce; take shrub cuttings;
Saturday 29 September 2012
What to do
* 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 their best for you, you need time to fork over and feed the ground before the next batch of hopefuls goes in. Look for wallflower plants that have been pinched out in youth, forcing them into a compact, bushy habit.
* Japanese greens and lamb's lettuce can be sown outside now to provide cut-and-come-again crops.
* Take cuttings of shrubs such as berberis, deciduous ceanothus, cistus, hebe, mallow, philadelphus, potentilla and pyracantha. Choose semi-ripe wood and cut sections 10-15cm/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.
What to see
* Save next weekend for the Great Dixter Plant Fair, the closest thing England can provide to the magnificent plant fair held each year at Courson in France. At Dixter you'll find nurserymen from all over Europe, as well as from the best British nurseries, many giving talks about their favourite plants. Great Dixter is at Northiam, Rye, East Sussex TN31 6PH. The fair is open 6-7 October (11am-4pm), admission £7.50 (which includes entry to the garden). For more info, call 01797 254048
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