Weekend Work: Time to pinch sweet peas
What to do
If you sowed sweet peas in the autumn and the mice haven't eaten them yet, pinch out the growing tops of the young plants. This forces buds lower down into growth, so you end up with a plant with three stems rather than one. Pinching out is best done when the plants are about 8cm (3in) tall.
Bring 'Paperwhite' narcissus bulbs and hyacinth bowls into the warmth in batches to get as long a flowering succession as possible. With care, you should be able to keep the flow going until early crocus start to flower outside.
If you have a greenhouse or a cold frame, continue to make successional sowings of easy salad crops such as mustard and cress, radishes, rocket and lamb's lettuce.
Complete any pruning of vines before the year is out. Vine sap starts to rise very early in the New Year. If you cut canes then, they bleed copiously, which weakens the plant.
What to see
Garden designer Isabel Bannerman has perfected a way of photographing garden flowers so they emerge, brilliantly spotlit against an infinite black void. These are wonderful, dramatic close-ups, but each one retains the essential nature of the flower. Until 24 Dec you can see (and buy) these images at Jonathan Cooper's gallery, 20 Park Walk, London SW10, 020-7351 0410, Mon-Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat 11am-4pm
Life & Style blogs
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...