November Jobs

Clean your greenhouse and disinfect it in time to overwinter tender perennials such as pelargoniums. You can either line with bubble wrap or install a heater on a timer to keep it to temperature when the thermometer drops below zero.   If your terracotta pots have a particularly intricate, raised design or are sited in …

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Trim trained trees

Its time to trim those trained trees! Apple and pear trees that have been trained into cordons or espaliers need pruning this month.  A trim will maintain the shape of the tree and prevent new growth from taking up space needed by developing fruit.  Cut back new shoots coming from the main stem to three …

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trained trees

Pinch out beans

Climbing French and runner beans will keep going upwards for as long as you let them, so pinch out their leading shoots when they reach the top of their supports.  This helps divert energy into the production of flowers and beans and prevents tangled stems.


Delphiniums and geraniums

Once these have finished flowering, delphiniums and geraniums should be cut hard back to ground level.  Keep watered and they will reward you with a second flush of fresh young foliage.  You will have some flowers to take your garden through to late summer.

Delphiniums and geraniums


Repeat flowering roses should be pruned once the flowers have died.  Just remove the dead flowers and possibly one set of leaves.   Cut to the nearest healthy looking bud which, if you look closely, will just be emerging where the leaf petiole meets the stem.  For climbers, any long, whippy growth should be tied in …

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‘Les Jardins de Marqueyssac’, in the Dordogne Tradition has it that box topiary should only be clipped after Derby Day (3rd June 2017).  With all the other demands of a June garden, I rarely get around to clipping mine before July.  Don’t leave it much beyond this date otherwise that sharp line that you are …

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Go easy on the weeding!

If you’re anything like me, you can often be a little overzealous on the weeding front.  Years of gardening has taught me that the slightly larger weeds are easier to remove – this eases my conscience a bit, of course.  But be observant!  Often those ‘weeds’ are actually self-sown seedlings of surrounding plants that you …

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Blossom – to pinch out or not?

The blossom is beautiful at this time of year but if your tree is groaning with it, it may be that you have to pinch out some of the blossom.  Beware, the pigeons or the elements may get there first but if they don’t, you should consider doing this to prevent overcrowding and poor fruit …

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Spring flowering shrubs

Shrubs such as Osmanthus burkwoodii which flower in the early spring should now be pruned.  Their fragrant flowers have been and gone so now is the time for a little re-shaping.  Spring flowering shrubs will flower on the previous season’s growth so by pruning now you are ensuring an abundance of flowers next year.

Spring flowering shrubs

Spring flowering bulbs

Leave these to die back for as long as you can bear it before you cut them back.  That way, all the goodness will go back into the bulb, ready for a resplendent display next year.  No need to fold and tie the daffodils – this makes no difference and just looks ugly.  Best to …

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spring flowering bulbs