Weekend work: Time to start preparing sites for new lawns


What to do

* This is a good time to start preparing sites for new lawns, to be sown later in September. The earth should be well raked and all clods knocked down with a fork.

* Prune rambling roses, together with climbers that have only one season of flowering. Keep any new long growths that have sprung from the base of the rose and cut out entirely a few of the old growths that flowered this summer. If no new shoots have appeared, cut out one old growth and prune back side shoots on the rest.

* There are several hardy annuals which will make a good show early next year if they are sown outside now in the place where you want them to flower. Sow as thinly as possible, cover lightly with sifted soil and firm down the earth on top of the seeds. Then protect them with netting until the seedlings are decently established. Annuals such as poppies, calendula, larkspur, limnanthes (called fried eggs because each flower has a brilliant yellow centre surrounded by white-tipped petals), love-in-the-mist, clarkia and cornflowers can all be treated in this fashion.

Cut back chives, marjoram, mint and oregano to about 8cm/3in from the ground to encourage fresh growth that you can use during the autumn.

What to see

* Permaculture is a growing trend for those who like to forage for their food and tomorrow (11am-1pm), at the Dorothy Clive garden, Market Drayton, Shropshire, Marcus Chilton-Jones will be leading a tour through the new Edible Woodland garden and talking about Fruits of the Forest. Tickets are £16. For more information call 01630 647237 or go to the website at dorothyclivegarden.co.uk