Weekend Work: Time to replant primrose and polyanthus


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The Independent Online

What to do

Various forms of primrose and polyanthus can be split and replanted in ground refreshed with bonemeal and compost. Prise each rosette of leaves carefully away from the clump (easier if you lift the whole clump first) and replant in fresh ground. The uprooted plants should be out of the ground for as short a time as possible. Water the replanted rosettes well.

Prune early flowering shrubs such as forsythia, taking out some of the old, flowered branches at the base. Mahonias with giraffe necks can be cut back.

Grass has scarcely stopped growing this winter. Nor has moss. Treat the lawn with a mosskiller and lawn tonic. The moss will turn black.

Harden off bedding plants such as petunia and ageratum before planting out in May.

Sow another row of peas (two weeks ago, I suggested sowing the early variety 'Spring'). Now it's time for a slightly later variety such as 'Kelvedon Wonder' (Marshalls £1.95) or the late maincrop 'Geisha' (Marshalls £1.95). 'Geisha' grows to 60cm (2ft) and will need propping up with netting or pea sticks.

What to buy

This month, sculptor David Nash is using the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew as his workshop, making monumental new pieces from the wood of fallen trees. Many are made with axe and chainsaw, some charred to give a deep, tactile finish. The exhibition of finished works will open on 9 June. More information from kew.org.