Plant of the week: Summer flower power with Bacopa
THIS effective trailing perennial, often grown as an annual in this country, combines well with almost any colour scheme, its tiny white flowers draped over window boxes or spilling out of containers and cascading over hanging baskets.
You can also grow mauve varieties and it spreads quite effectively in containers so is great as a fill-in. It will do well in sun or light shade in multi-purpose compost, but keep it well watered throughout the summer months, trim and feed it occasionally to keep it going. Good varieties include B. 'Snowflake' and B. 'Snowtopia'.
WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK
:: Water hanging baskets and containers twice a day in extended hot weather
:: Take rose cuttings
:: Layer honeysuckle, wisteria and passion flower by bending the shoots down to the ground, slitting the stem, dusting with rooting powder and burying this end in the soil, holding it in place with a large stone
:: Water blue hydrangeas regularly with a colourant solution to ensure they remain blue next season
:: Support the new growth of dahlias
:: Sow lettuce weekly to continue the harvest throughout summer
:: Don't let runner beans dry out and, as they ripen, pick them regularly to ensure they don't become tough
:: Plant out leeks raised from seed once they are the thickness of a pencil
:: Top up your pond with a hosepipe as water evaporates in the heat
:: If grass is drying out, leave the box off your mower and allow the clippings to remain on the lawn, which will help conserve moisture.