Outdoors: CUTTINGS

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The Independent Travel
The Suffolk group of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens is holding a grand spring sale tomorrow, 11am-4pm, at Wyken Hall, Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds. Specialist nurseries will be offering a wide variety of trees, shrubs and other plants. The Suffolk Group's own stall will have other rarities and bargains. Admission to Wyken Hall gardens is pounds 2.

The Alpine Garden Society's North of England group has a big show at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, this weekend. Saxifrages, lewisias, cyclamen, primulas, dwarf rhododendrons and pleione orchids will all be on display. Open today, 9.30am-6pm, admission pounds 7.50, and tomorrow, 9.30am- 4.30pm, admission pounds 6. The Ulster group of the AGS is also holding a show today, 1pm-4pm, at Greenmount Agricultural and Horticultural College, Muckamore, Co Antrim. Admission pounds 1.

The swoony heat over Easter and just after was followed by nights of finger-aching cold. Rogue potatoes that never got lifted last year, and had already gaily sprouted growth above ground, got a nasty shock in our garden. I've reached for the Agralan mail order catalogue to increase the fleece cover of the vegetable patch. The stuff they call Envirofleece Plus costs pounds 9.99 for a piece 2.6 metres by 7 metres. To protect newly planted or tender shrubs, you probably need the slightly heavier grade Envirofleece 30, which costs pounds 8.99 for a piece 2.4 metres by 5 metres. Tri-pegs to hold down fleeces cost pounds 3.15 for a pack of eight. You can get the mail-order catalogue from Agralan, The Old Brickyard, Ashton Keynes, Swindon, Wilts SN6 6QR (01285 860015).