Weekend Work: Time to make rose pruning a priority


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The Independent Online

What to do

Rose pruning should be behind you by now. If it's not, make it a priority. Established HT roses need most attention. Cut back any wood that is dead or diseased, making the cut just above a plump, healthy bud. Take out shoots that are growing in towards the centre of the bush. Finally, shorten the strongest remaining branches by about half, but be more savage with spindly growths, taking them back to about two buds from the base.

Hibernating tuberous begonias need prodding into action now. Tip them from their pots, clean off old stems and then settle them into a tray of moist peaty compost to sprout again. Set them so that the concave side is uppermost. When new leaves have appeared, plant the tubers in separate pots and grow them on around 10C/50F.

Moss has had a field day in lawns through winter. If you cannot learn to love it (it is beautifully spongy to walk on) hire a scarifier and sweat the weekend away waking it from its reverie.

What to see

On Mondays and Tuesdays through March and April, Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire is offering a five-course lunch and garden tour for £100. The restaurant is supplied by its own two-acre kitchen garden where all fruit and vegetables are organically grown. To book, call 01844 278881 or e-mail hannah.ferguson@blanc.co.uk