Weekend Work: Time to cut out the raspberry canes
Saturday 31 July 2010
What to do
Raspberry canes that have finished fruiting need cutting out and the new growths tying in. Spindly stems are not worth saving.
Strawberry beds should also be tidied up. Shear off the old leaves on established plants and retain only a few runners to make new plants. Remove straw or other mulch from around the plants as you weed them.
Prune rambling roses when the flowers have faded, taking out some of the oldest stems entirely to encourage new growth to sprout from the base of the plant.
'Buddleia alternifolia', deutzia and 'Kolkwitzia amabilis' can also be pruned now by cutting out up to a third of the flowered stems entirely. Shrubs such as cistus and halimium need different treatment. Cut back side shoots on these by two-thirds. You can also prune hebes when they have finished flowering by taking out one or two of the straggliest stems at ground level.
Pinch out the tops of wallflowers to make bushy, compact plants.
Sow herbaceous perennials such as aquilegia, delphinium, hollyhock and verbascum outside or in seedboxes in a cold frame to provide plants that can be set out next spring.
Collect likely looking seedheads in the garden. Keep them in a paper bag in a cool place while they finish ripening.
Continue to dead head annuals and border perennials to encourage them to produce more flowers. Geraniums, too, need to be picked over regularly to remove spent flower heads and any dying leaves. Although not hefty feeders, they do well when given liquid feed weekly.
What to see
Cloud pruning in the Japanese style is a fine art, one that Jake Hobson acquired when he spent time working in a nursery in Japan. Now he's organised a practical workshop on Japanese topiary and pruning to take place on 15 September (10am-4pm) at his home, Harvard Farm, Halstock, Dorset BA22 9SZ. Tickets are £95 to include lunch and a tour of the garden. For more information call 0845 116 2372 or go to niwaki.com
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