Weekend work: Time to cut back perennial plants such as veronicas and campanulas and clear rotting water lily leaves


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The Independent Online

What to do

Biennials sown from seed earlier in the summer can be lifted this month and planted out in their permanent homes. Foxgloves, forget-me-nots and double daisies such as the charming Bellis perennis ‘Tasso Mixed’ (Thompson & Morgan £2.99 for 80 seeds) should all now be good-looking plants.

Start to cut back perennial plants such as veronicas and campanulas if they are leaning on their neighbours.

Clear rotting leaves of water lilies, iris and such like from garden ponds.

Take cuttings from old-fashioned and species roses this month. This gives you one infallible way of growing roses without the bother of suckers. Take the cuttings from sections of strong well-ripened wood, about 30cm/12in in length. The cuts should be made just beyond a bud at either end. Make a narrow V-shaped trench n  o more than 25cm/10in deep and half fill it with sand. Poke the cuttings into the trench, leaving as much above ground as below. Fill with soil and tread the earth down firmly.

What to buy

Invest this month in bulbs to flower next spring. Try something you’ve never grown before – pink-flowered Allium cernuum perhaps, an enchanting small allium which appears in early July (£3.40 for three from Avon Bulbs; 01460 242177, avonbulbs.co.uk), or the white-flowered St Bernard’s lily, Anthericum liliago ‘Major’ (£7.50 each from Avon Bulbs). I first saw the latter growing wild in Tuscany; in a garden, the flowers last a long time, opening in a spike from the bottom upwards.