Weekend Work: Turn your attention to the wisteria

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The Independent Online

What to do

Having pruned your jasmine, buddleia, climbing roses, dogwoods and late-flowering clematis (you have, of course), turn your attention to the wisteria. This should have been half pruned last summer, when any growths that you did not want to tie in should have been cut back by half. Now it is time to finish the job. Cut back all spare tendrils, leaving only two pairs of buds at the base of the new growth.

Mulch the ground where lily of the valley and Solomon's seal grow with well-rotted compost. This is more easily done before the new shoots are through the ground. Mushroom compost is excellent for jobs such as this and is friable and weed-free.

Prune and train ornamental vines such as 'Vitis coignetiae' and 'Brant' growing on walls and pergolas. On pergolas, you can wrap long growths round the poles, securing them with soft string. On walls, you should train out growths so that they do not cross over each other, fixing the stems at intervals with galvanised vine eyes.

What to see

Climbers and Wall Shrubs are the focus of this month's 'Back to Basics' class at the Oxford Botanic Garden, Rose Lane, Oxford OX1 4AZ. Learn what to plant where, how far you can push hardiness and, most importantly, how to prune and tie in plants to give the best possible effect. Turn up with a ticket (£12.50) on 31 March (10.30am-12pm). For further information or to book, call 01865 286690 or e-mail postmaster@obg.ox.ac.uk