Weekend work: Time to clear out summer bedding plants


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The Independent Online

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. If you plan to interplant your wallflowers with tulips or daffodils, put the plants in before the bulbs.

* There is still time to sow Japanese greens and lamb's lettuce outside to provide cut-and-come-again salad crops through autumn.

* 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 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

* Nobody needs a push to visit Great Dixter. It's the best-gardened garden in the country. Why wouldn't you want to go? But from today until 27 October there'll be an extra attraction – an exhibition in the Great Hall of the work Alan Caiger-Smith produced at the Aldermaston Pottery between 1955-2006. Christopher Lloyd loved Caiger-Smith's work and acquired more than 30 pieces. Open Tues-Sun until 27 October. Admission £9.50