Hannah’s check­list for chives, plus jobs for the gar­den this week:

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

CLUMPS of chives are about to bloom in my rock gar­den, the small pur­ple lol­lipop flow­ers adding colour and up­right struc­ture to the scene.

Both dec­o­ra­tive and de­li­cious, they are easy to grow in a sunny spot and the stems snipped to add a mild onion-type flavour to sal­ads and dips.

Sow about 40 seeds per 13cm pot of multi-pur­pose com­post with added John Innes on the win­dowsill or al­ter­na­tively plant pot-grown spec­i­mens in spring or au­tumn, leav­ing 20cm (8in) be­tween the clumps, wa­ter reg­u­larly and hope­fully they will come back year af­ter year.

You’ll need to divide clumps ev­ery few years for best re­sults.

What jobs to do out in the

gar­den this week:

Wa­ter newly-planted bed­ding when the weather is dry, prefer­ably with a sprin­kler so that the wa­ter re­ally pen­e­trates the soil.

Keep weed­ing reg­u­larly and check­ing for pests and dis­eases.

If you live in a cold re­gion, don’t be tempted to plant out your sum­mer bed­ding plants un­til the end of this month or even early June. Be guided by your lo­cal parks – plant out your sum­mer bed­ding when they do.

Ap­ply a com­bined weed­killer and fer­tiliser dress­ing to the lawn.

Earth up early and main­crop pota­toes.

Plant wa­terlilies and other aquat­ics in gar­den pools.

Sow broad beans, French beans, parsnips, peas, rocket, spring onions, turnips, leeks and let­tuces if weather per­mits.

Clean the bulbs of early tulips and daf­fodils which have had time to die back and store them in shal­low trays in a cool shed ready for re­plant­ing in Oc­to­ber.

Take basal cut­tings from plants such as lupins and del­phini­ums and keep cut­tings out of di­rect sun.

Af­ter flow­er­ing, cut back all last year’s growth of spring-flow­er­ing clema­tis, such as C. alpina and C. macropetala va­ri­eties, to 25cm (10in) from its point of ori­gin.

Dec­o­ra­tive and de­li­cious in dips or potato salad

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