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Going to pot with tulips

John Manley
BECAUSE of a fondness for naturalised planting, I find it hard to warm to tulips.

Pruning and fertilising among things to do in the garden this week

:: Plant new border perennials and water in well :: Prune deciduous autumn-flowering shrubs over three years old as they finish flowering :: Boost autumn green crops with a light dressing of general fertiliser :: Lift, divide and re-set large clumps of Lilium regale :: Fix greasebands around the stems of apple and pear trees to prevent crawling insects reaching fruit-bearing branches.

Gardening: 'Spring clean' the greenhouse for winter

Things to do this week in the garden: :: Spring-clean the greenhouse if you've finished harvesting summer crops :: Keep brassicas covered to protect them from pigeons :: Buy a compost bin as so much autumn debris can be added to it this month :: Continue to plant spring bulbs including daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses :: Stop feeding permanent plants growing in containers :: If you're going to plant forced hyacinth bulbs for Christmas, do it now :: Carry out lawn repairs, mending bald patches or sorting out bumps and hollows :: Prune repeat or continuous-flowering old-fashioned shrub and species roses :: If the ground is soft enough, move evergreen shrubs and conifers which have outgrown their allotted space :: Sow overwintering onions in vacant rows in the veg plot.

Casual Gardener - Your own little prairie

John Manley
I’VE never been the to the US or Canada, never mind seen a real prairie but I did on many occasions in the 1970s watch the television show about the early life of Laura Ingalls Wilder and family, who lived some 100 years previous in their eponymous little house.

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