Weekend Work: Time to cut off the suckers
Saturday 04 July 2009
What to do
Trees and shrubs such as cherries, lilacs, crab apples and medlars which are normally propagated by grafting may start throwing up suckers. Cut them off flush with the trunk.
Several traditional cottage garden plants – sweet williams, wallflowers and forget-me- nots – are biennials and can be sown now in rows outside. Sow the seed as thinly as you can in drills that have been well soaked with water.
Garden pinks can be propagated now by taking 8cm cuttings of shoots that are not flowering and pushing them in round the edge of a pot of damp sandy compost. I've added several pinks to the garden this season. 'Whatfield Magenta' has been a particular success, flowering itself silly with rich scented flowers.
Whitefly is a plague in greenhouses, as always. Toads are the ecological answer. If you can persuade a toad to take up residence under the staging, you need never suffer insect attacks again. First bribe your toad...
Net currants and raspberries against squirrels and birds. Blackbirds are the worst and they seem oblivious to humming lines, shiny sparklers or the like.
What to see
The Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace opens next week, giving visitors a spectacular view of the Long Water from the bridge that is put up specially for the show. It runs from 7-12 July (Tue & Wed, RHS members only). See rhs.org.uk/ hamptoncourt for ticket details
Life & Style blogs
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
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- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 The response to my Pizza Express review has been overwhelming, and taught me a lot about journalism
- 5 Free U2 album: How the most generous giveaway in music history turned into a PR disaster
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