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hedge thoroughly before trimming it to ensure there are no birds nesting within. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to damage or destroy the nest of any wild bird while it is in use or being built.Conifer hedgeElectric or petrol
Madeiran climate!After 10 days in the company of more than 100 keen gardeners, I feel refreshed and invigorated. The calabrese I planted the day I left has doubled in size, and the last-minute tomatoes that I planted also seem sturdy and unstoppable. So
Carol Klein demonstrates how to cut back ornamental grasses in spring, with tips on different methods for dealing with evergreen and deciduous species.springMore on grassesOrnamental grasses from the RHS Chelsea Flower ShowPlant profile of feather reed grass, Calamagrostis x acut...
Watch Monty Don as he creates a scented garden using a variety of lavender plants, with suggestions for encouraging bushy growth.summerMore advice on growing herbsMedicinal herbs by Jekka McVicarPicking herbsRaising new mint plantsPlanting herbs in a window box video projectBrows...
The technique of miniaturising trees or plants by growing them in containers and pruning, training and trimming them to achieve an aesthetically desirable result.
Keep baskets and patio pots wateredSpray roses to protect them from pests and diseasesCut the foliage of daffodils and tulips down to the groundTrim box topiary and formal edging to keep it neat and tidyTake cuttings of non-flowering new shoots from
perennials and bedding plantsCollect seed from any flowers you fancy propagatingTrap earwigs among dahlias with upside-down pots stuffed with straw and balanced on canesPick leaves off plants affected by rose blackspotTrim conifer hedges and evergreen hedges
you want them to form autumn hipsTrim lavender immediately after flowering to maintain its shape, but avoid cutting back too far into old woodHoe weeds regularly to prevent seedlings establishingTrim conifer hedges, evergreen hedges and topiary
or single-handed shears to cut young topiary or intricate forms. Cut back the young current season's shoots when they have reached 8-10cm long. Cut back to 2 leaves from the base. Avoid cutting into the previous year's older growth.For box hedges and edgings
Plan your seed-sowing year by organising packets in sowing order in a shoe box or trayTrim lawn edges to keep the area neat and tidy Apply residual path weedkillers to paved and gravel areasLay sheets of black polythene on lawns overnight to bring