Weekend work: Time to do some deadheading


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The Independent Online

What to do

Deadheading is scarcely work – a job to fill the odd 10 minutes. Phlomis needs it, roses of course, old flowered stems of various iris, Jacob's ladder, little violas and sweet williams.

Clear out rows of early peas and broad beans and fork out any stray weeds growing among them. If you have not set out your leeks yet, they could go in the same ground.

As spikes of delphiniums finish flowering, cut them to within 15cm/6in of the ground. If well mulched, they should produce enough growth for a second flowering in early autumn.

Plant autumn-flowering bulbs such as colchicum as soon as you can get hold of them. Colchicums are ideal in rough grass. They also sit well among shrubs, where their large leaves will not get in the way. Set them about 10cm/4in deep and put a pinch of bonemeal into each hole at planting time.

Garlic can be lifted as soon as the tops begin to wither, and onions turned down to help the bulbs ripen.

What to see

New exhibition, The Plant Seekers, opened earlier this month at the Garden Museum in London. With images drawn largely from the Lindley Library's extraordinary collection of botanical artwork, the show highlights the work done by plant collectors of the past and reminds us of the treasures they brought back. The show at The Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Rd, London SE1 7LB, 020-7401 8865, runs until 21 October