Weekend Work: Time to cut back broom

 

What to do

Cut back broom when it has finished flowering, shortening the shoots that have flowered to within 5cm/2in of the old wood. Do not cut into this older wood. It will not sprout new growth.

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. 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 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.

Continue to make successional sowings of summer veg. I've been putting in more carrots, including the bright yellow 'Yellowstone' (Suttons £2.35). I've also been sowing more lettuce – the coloured 'Red Iceburg' (Dobies £1.70) and plain-leaved endive 'En Cornet de Bordeaux' (Suffolk Herbs £1).

What to see

The Galway Garden Festival runs from 14-15 July this year, with plenty to see and buy: tools, botanical art and plants from some of Ireland's best nurseries. Book for talks by Helen Dillon, Diarmuid Gavin and the magnificent Joy Larkcom. The festival is held at Claregalway Castle, Galway. For more details go to galwaygardenfestival.com

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