Weekend Work: Still time to fill gaps in borders

What to do

As always at this time of the year, aphids are building up in astonishing numbers. Flea beetle is flourishing, too. Sowings of rocket can quickly be peppered with holes. Watch for blackfly on beans, thrips on peas, root fly on cabbages, Brussels sprouts and cauliflowers, and slugs and snails on everything.

Mildew may also be a problem. It has already broken out on the bits of acanthus springing up in the border where I thought I had dug it out. Roses and other herbaceous plants may also be affected. Unfortunately, fungicides work better as preventatives than cures.

There is still time to fill gaps in borders with fast-growing annuals such as clarkia and cornflower. If you have had no luck in the past with sowing direct in the ground, try scattering the seed thinly over compost in a seed tray, and waiting for the seedlings to grow in that. Then transplant them in little clumps to where you want them to grow.

Biennials such as double daisies, forget-me-nots, wallflowers and sweet Williams should be sown in drills outside, ready for a display in spring and summer next year. I am also sowing seed of a hollyhock Alcea rosea 'Nigra' (Thompson & Morgan £1.49) which is about 150cm (5ft) tall. The flowers are rich chocolate-maroon, as close to black as a hollyhock can get.

Take cuttings of pinks, pulling off non-flowering side shoots and pushing them round the edge of a 13cm (5in) pot of compost mixed with extra sand. Cover the pot with a polythene bag until the cuttings have rooted.

What to see

More than 120 private spaces are opening up as part of the London Parks and Gardens Trust Open Squares weekend. Visit the Zen Garden at the Hempel Hotel in Bayswater or Little Abbey, part of the historic Abbey Orchard site, in Westminster. At Sir John Cass's Primary School in Whitechapel, you can admire a new roof garden. One ticket (£9) gives access to all venues over the entire weekend. For full details of all the places you can visit, go to opensquares.org

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?