Weekend Work: Time to trim the hedges

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The Independent Online

What to do

Trim hedges of 'Carpinus betulus' (hornbeam) this month, treating new hedges gently, cutting harder into established ones. Hedges and screens of 'Crataegus monogyna' (hawthorn) can be dealt with in the same way. If specimen trees of either kind need reducing in size, leave until winter when they are dormant.

Griselinia, a New Zealand native with leathery evergreen leaves, is sometimes used to provide shelter in seaside gardens as it's wonderfully resistant to salt and wind. Where it is used to make a hedge it will need regular clipping: do it now. Shrubs planted as specimens need no regular pruning.

Deutzia, which flowers in June and early July, can be pruned immediately after flowering. Take out some of the old flowered stems, cutting them down at the base of the plant. This will encourage strong new shoots from the base.

'Kolkwitzia amabilis' (beauty bush) has tiny foxglove flowers carried on upright, arching stems. Treat it in the same way as deutzia.

Rambling roses such as 'Albertine' and 'Albéric Barbier' should be pruned as soon as they have finished flowering. Where ramblers are grown on pergolas, you need occasionally to untie old branches of rambling roses and cut them out. Other roses that need this treatment are the old-fashioned rambler 'Dorothy Perkins', 'Emily Gray', 'May Queen', 'Sanders White' and 'Veilchenblau'.

What to see

Brogdale, the Kent home of the National Fruit Collection, is holding a cherry festival today and tomorrow (10am-5pm). You can buy cherries of course, but there will be cherry-themed displays too, tours of the orchard and practical advice about the best varieties to buy for your own garden. Admission £6 (children £3, families £15). For more information call 01795 536250 or go to brogdalecollections.co.uk

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