The Scottish Mail on Sunday



QA few weeks ago I was given a bouquet of flowers that contained some grass I can’t identify. What is it and will it grow in Devon?

Pam Webb

AIt looks like a type of switch grass or panicum, which is native to the US. Panicum elegans ‘Frosted Explosion’ is a lovely variety with an airy head of flowers carried on 2ft-tall stems. It’s a half-hardy annual that can be sown between March and May, either in sun or light shade.

QWeeds are appearing through a brick driveway that was laid two years ago. What can I use for a quick fix?

Tony Pusey

AIt’s difficult to hand-weed on hard surfaces so I would suggest using Weedol Pathclear, which will kill weeds on contact and prevent new ones appearing for three months. Another option is to use an electricpo­wered weed-burner tool. These incinerate top growth, leading to roots dying.

QI read that fruit produced by fig trees over the summer period should be removed when the trees become dormant. Is this correct and is it possible to use them to make chutney?

Eileen Lawson

AFirstly, yes, it’s best to remove any figs in late autumn or early winter as they will not ripen and could rot, damaging the wood beneath. As the fruit are small and hard, I’m afraid they are not really suitable for eating or cooking.

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