Broad Street The month's
Gardening Column
L D Prior

Hardy annuals can be sown in pots
or modules this month to provide colour in the garden. Annual grasses can be fun to try too: Briza maxima, Lagurus ovatus and Hordeum jubatum are suitable examples. Marking out irregularly shaped seedbeds and broadcasting 'drifts' of different seed gives a more natural look.

Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials that you want to propagate - those that have become too large for their allotted space, and those that are flowering poorly or have lost their shape. Bamboos and clumps of bulbs or rhizomes can be divided in the same way. Just make sure that the transplanted divisions have roots, shoots, and are given adequate water to settle into their new positions.

Prune penstemons and other slightly tender plants such as Teucrium and lavender. Make the cuts just above fresh, new shoots.

Some perennials benefit from having their flowering shoots thinned out. Although this results in fewer blooms, they are larger and of better quality. Delphiniums, lupins and phlox all benefit from this process.

Apply a general-purpose fertiliser to borders and beds. Take care not to damage emerging shoots, or to burn them with fertiliser.

Remove faded daffodil and tulip flowers, nipping off the heads and seed pod at the same time. Finally attend to any herbaceous perennials that have become infested with couch grass, lift them so the roots of the weeds can be removed, replant and thoroughly water.