Time to concentrate on border issues

PUBLISHED: 11:28 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 14:40 12 May 2010

The mixed coloured cosmos

The mixed coloured cosmos

AFTER planting early potatoes, peas, onion sets, lettuce, spring onions, more broad beans, and beetroot in the garden over the Easter holiday weekend, it is time to turn my attention to the flower border and the greenhouse. I took a number of cuttings of

AFTER planting early potatoes, peas, onion sets, lettuce, spring onions, more broad beans, and beetroot in the garden over the Easter holiday weekend, it is time to turn my attention to the flower border and the greenhouse.

I took a number of cuttings of pentstemons at the end of last summer which I have over-wintered in the greenhouse and kept there longer than intended on account of the exceptionally cold spring weather.

Now I am putting them outside by day and back in the greenhouse at night. Soon they will be planted out in the border.

During the winter one of the parent plants died and a couple of the others look a bit the worse for wear and will benefit from having their old stems cut back to encourage new growth from the base.

So I am glad I took the cuttings which have produced vigorous young plants likely to flower well.

Since my greenhouse is without heat, I have only just sown tomato and sweet pepper seeds since the night temperatures have been too low to promote good germination.

However, the mixed coloured Cosmos seeds have germinated quickly under glass, flowers which I like to grow in clumps in my herbaceous border, since they go on from July until the first frosts of autumn.

These will be pricked out from the seed tray into individual modules, but will need protection until the first week of June.

Outside, the display of hellebores in my winter border is fading and reaching the seed setting stage, but I shall remove the flower heads, since I allowed them all to seed last year, and the result is an abundance of young plants, some of which flowered, while others were too crowded to grow and need to be lifted and planted elsewhere.

It was interesting to note that all the self-sown young plants had pink flowers in varying degrees of intensity.

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