Weekend Work: Time to trim the hedges

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The Independent Online

What to do

Trim hedges of Berberis darwinii as soon as the flowers are over. Trim forsythia similarly, if it has not already been done.

Remove unwanted runners from strawberry plants, cutting them off at the main clump.

Thin outdoor peaches and apricots, leaving roughly one fruit for each foot of stem.

Start to earth up early potatoes. Sow new rows of lettuce, radish, cress and some main crop peas. Set up pea sticks, netting or some other support for early peas. Set out plants of broccoli and other brassicas as they become available.

Sow biennials such as verbascum, Canterbury bell and wallflower. I'm sowing yet more foxgloves: Digitalis x mertonensis (Chiltern Seeds £2.65) with flowers of crushed strawberry, and 'Apricot' (Suttons £2.55), the most beautiful of all foxgloves.

Pinch out the growing tips of fuchsias and ivy-leaved geraniums regularly. This forces them to make extra side growth, which eventually will produce extra flowers.

What to see

Gary and Kay Vanstone's two-acre garden is enclosed in a secluded wooded valley at Bradstone Coombe, nr Tavistock. The streams, pools and mill pond are fed by underground springs. The Vanstones are running an Arts & Crafts festival on 17-18 June, admission £4. Call 01566 783179 or visit coombetrenchard.co.uk.

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