Late summer colour and strawberries

PUBLISHED: 16:09 16 June 2009 | UPDATED: 15:25 20 February 2013

Achieving the perfect garden

Achieving the perfect garden

Bob Hares, RHS adviser at Warwickshire College in Pershore answers your gardening queries.

Bob Hares, RHS adviser at Warwickshire College in Pershore answers your gardening queries.

Q. By the end of summer, 'flower power' is falling off rapidly in my garden. What do you suggest I plant to offset this problem?

A. If you have any Buddleia davidii in your garden, try pruning them hard, later than usual, say in April or even May if they are robust plants. This will delay their flowering by a few weeks.

Other suggestions for planting are the hardy Hibiscus syriacus cultivars, Japanese anemones, eucryphias (provided your soil isn't alkaline), helianthus, asters, crocosmias, and miscanthus, which just keep getting better and better as the year goes on!

Q. My wisteria, which used to flower regularly, seems to lack its previous vigour and has not flowered well for a number of years. What can I do to revitalise it?

A. Quite often wall plants such as wisteria and camellia suffer from their roots being too dry when planted near a wall. This occurs even in wet years when the wind tends to be in a certain direction. It may well be that the soil on the surface is moist but dry below. I think you will find that regular watering combined with a high potash feed each spring, will greatly improve its general health and flowering.

Q. I love to grow strawberries but I am often disappointed with the crop the following year. Can you suggest where I might be going wrong?

A. There could be a number of reasons such as poor soil, too much shade, etc but the commonest reason is planting too late.

Do be sure to obtain clean, virus free plants from a reliable source and try to plant as early as you can this month. By doing this plants become well established and strong and you should get an excellent crop, and much better than those planted in the autumn.

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