Plant advice

Getting More out of your Herbaceous Perennials

I'm quite excited about getting more from plants - and if it means hardly any effort I get even more excited!

First of all, lupins and delphiniums. Once you've had a lovely show of flowers, cut them back to ground level. If the conditions are right, did you  know you could get a second flowering? It's worth the effort for a further display!

Remove dead flowers from peonies by cutting the stalk back slightly to a leaf. It makes the bush look more compact during the non-flowering stage and allows other plants to shine in the border. Note: peonies must be left to die back naturally.

Get more from your irises. If they've not flowered well, dig up and divide dwarf, bearded and intermediate that have not been touched for more than three years. Look at the rhizomes and select the best ones. Cut off the top halves of the leaves and replant in soil you've made sure is full of nutrients, leaving the tops of the rhizomes just above the soil. Your display next year should be spectacular again. Ensure you water irises during dry spells so they settle back into their surroundings.

Hope you have fun in the garden this month!

Bretby Borders

Pampas Grass


At this time of year grasses can look a little untidy. What can you do to spruce them up?

First of all, start by removing the old shoots that have died back. Then clear away any plant material from the soil, and look for the new shoots appearing from the base.

If the plant is getting too big remove some sections using a spade to ensure it stays a size that is suitable for the area.