Five-minute filler jobs
Got a spare moment? Here’s what you can do, says Ruth
IT isn’t always the big garden jobs that give the most satisfaction. Sometimes – often – it’s the accumulation of lots of little jobs, done well, that keep the garden looking good and being productive.
Last week I spent a catch-up day doing several tasks that need doing now. I started by giving a final trim to our large winter-flowering heather.
This is one if my favourite plants as it provides a burst of colour when there’s not much else around, gives sanctuary to hibernating invertebrates and provides essential nectar for early flying bumblebees and butterflies.
A gentle trim is all it needs as heathers don’t like being cut back hard because the older, brown wood is unlikely to regenerate.
Using shears (or secateurs on smaller plants) simply trim away the dead flowers and top inch or so of greenery. This keeps the plant looking neat and encourages robust new growth for next year’s blooms.
I also tied back an enthusiastically growing honeysuckle and a rambling rose that were outgrowing their allotted space. Train growing shoots in the direction you want them to grow and don’t tie them back too tightly as the twine can bite into the stems, creating an entry point for pests and disease.
Trim the dead flowers off winter-flowering heather Tie in unruly climbers Check long, unkempt grass before cutting it back – hedgehogs and amphibians like to shelter in it and sustain horrible injuries (as well as fatalities) from strimmers. Just nip the tops off heather plants