Weekend work: Time to prune elders
WHAT TO DO
Elders grown for their decorative foliage need regular pruning. If you cut all the stems to ground level, you get the best leaves, but sacrifice the flowers. Cut a third of the stems down to the ground each year instead. That way you can have both.
The snowberry, 'Symphoricarpos albus', gets overgrown and overtwigged as it ages. Thin out some of the most densely twiggy stems, cutting them down at ground level.
Lilac also benefits from regular thinning. Take out any weak or crossing branches. If you want to rejuvenate an old, overgrown bush, cut the whole thing down to within 60cm/24in of the ground. You won't have any flowers for the next couple of years, but the gain is worth the sacrifice.
Continue to plant hyacinths in bowls to flower in January and February.
WHAT TO BUY
Miniature tulips, give a fantastic show in bowls and pots outside. Cover the pots with fine mesh wire to protect the bulbs from rodents. Crimson-pink 'Little Beauty', and copper-orange 'Little Princess' are both 12cm/5in tall, and cost £3 for 10, £7 for 25 from Avon Bulbs: 01460 242 177, avonbulbs.co.uk
Life & Style blogs
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...