Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODPASTIMES -

Di­anthus, pic­tured, cope well with heat. These old­fash­ioned charm­ers with plain green or blue-green leaves and sin­gle or dou­ble white, pink, claret, scar­let or rose flow­ers, with plain or fringed edg­ings to the petals, are won­der­ful sub­jects for pots, bor­der­ing paths and bor­ders.

As well as the trop­i­cal hibis­cus with brightly coloured blooms, there is a de­cid­u­ous Hibis­cus syr­i­a­cus that has small blue-mauve flow­ers in sum­mer. There are also pink and white forms. This is an up­right shrub that is able to with­stand colder weather.

Fer­tilise and wa­ter fruit trees deeply once a week in dry weather. Spray for fruit fly and pick up and de­stroy or bury fallen fruit that may be in­fested with the lar­vae of fruit fly. Sup­port branches laden with fruit to avoid break­ing in strong winds.

Is your gar­den too shady? Some­times all that is needed is a lit­tle ju­di­cious cut­ting back of lower branches to al­low light to reach plants or lawn. Do this on a sunny day so you don’t cut back too much.

Plants with grey fo­liage – laven­der, Phlomis fru­ti­cosa, artemisia and westringia, blue Salvia “Vic­to­ria” and mauve-blue ager­a­tum cul­ti­vars are great “cool­ers” when used in com­bi­na­tion with orange marigolds.

Sum­mer let­tuce is best grown by di­rect sow­ing of seed. Keep the soil moist and har­vest leaves when 5 or 6cm for sal­ads.

When de­sign­ing in­for­mal bor­ders, use a hosepipe to shape the curves, re­mem­ber­ing that gen­tle curves are more pleas­ing than lots of “ins and outs”.

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