Colin Evans garden tips
With a double helping of bank holidays this month and the Chelsea flower show round the corner, now's the time to get your garden looking perfect. BBC Berkshire's Colin Evans is at hand to show you how.
April's at an end and generally it has been cold and wet. My garden seems to have had its fair share of water logging. For those of you who read and listen to me on a regular basis you will know that I like to keep my lawns trimmed, even during the winter months.
So you can imagine my frustration with not being able to get out and cut the lawns at least once a week. Whilst I can accept my lawn not resembling a bowling green, never the less, like yours it plays a great part in making the garden look good.
A tidy garden lawn.
If your garden is lacking in colour and parts of it are looking unloved, then a quick once over with the mower and a trim of the edges will make all the difference. You can even get away with not weeding the borders, as long as the grass looks good.
Lots of money is spent on lawn feed and selective weed killers, but if you keep the lawn cut you won't notice the lack of maintenance. If you want to invest in a piece of gardening equipment then you can't do better than to treat yourself to a new lawn mower.
Make sure you choose one that leaves your lawn with nice lines and shadings. It will definitely impress your visitors and neighbours. The Chelsea Flower Show will soon be on our screens, so create your own little piece of Chelsea and get the lawn looking right.
I'm often asked about trees and how they work in smaller gardens. Most of us want something that'll make an impact but not take over. I usually suggest a great favourite of mine, the Mimosa.
This form of Acacia (Acacia dealbata) has wonderfully feathered leaves and is covered with masses of fragrant yellow flowers from January to March. Mimosa will grow well in a container or in the open ground, especially at the back of a border. It likes a sheltered site but in full. It should grow well providing it is given a little cover during cold winters.
Camellia's have done very well this spring with some making great amounts of growth. In order to get the best out of the flowering next season it's wise to remove all the old finished flowers.
Just grab each one and pull it off once each flower is past its best (you can see this because the bloom will have turned deep brown in colour). If they're a bit reluctant to move then get out the secateurs and cut each flower just above a healthy leaf. Apply some liquid feeds at the roots and cover the ground underneath with a thick mixture of leaf mould or bark.
Powdery Mildew can be a problem on fruit trees, bushes and canes. Keep a look out for this grey mould which will prevent good cropping. I prefer to treat the plants even before I see signs of this problem.
Garden fungicide or Bordeaux mixture will do the trick but it's important to keep up the treatment throughout the year. If you don't want to use chemicals, then remove all the infected wood with garden shears.
Take heal cuttings of Lavender using newly formed top growth. Simply pull away the cuttings from the main stem and you'll have a piece of propagating material, with a strip of the main stem at the bottom of the cutting (better known as the heal).
Dip this in rooting hormone liquid and plant in multi purpose potting compost. If you keep this cool and damp then the cuttings should root in about six weeks. Happy Gardening.
last updated: 07/05/2008 at 15:22
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