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is it safe to cut back trees and shrubs now, as my garden has gone wild with all the rain, and is closing in on me?

Hi Mary

It really depends on which particular trees and shrubs you mean.

Anything that has flowers in the spring or early summer can be normally be pruned because it will put on new growth for flowering the following year but if it has not flowered yet then you need to either be a bit selective or leave well alone.

One rule of thumb I adopted as a commercial maintenance gardeners was the 3-5 year plan.

If you are working on a 3 year plan then remove one third of the growth from a shrub in season one (after flowering)and then another third the following year - this means you will have old wood, new wood in year two - the following year, take out the remaining old wood - this will leave you with one year,two year and old wood and repeat the cycle from then on.

In years four and five the shrub will always have no more than three year old wood on it and the flowers will remain fresh and strong all the time but the best bit is you will always have flowers.

love your programme , very informative.
Can you please advise me? You have heard of Manuka honey? proven antimicrobial properties and used in NHS to treat wounds and MRSA resistent.

Any way Very expensive £20 - £30 .

I am interested in bee keeping and wish to grow the shrubs around our apiary.
I have a choice of either buyinh seeds from New Zealand (home of shrub) or from Scotland were there a re shrubs there. Can you recommend where to get seeds and best way to start populating area around apiary.

many thanks

I hope someone can help you here Elaine.
It might be a good question to pose on the network.

Its great they are thinking of building a garden in the north, but if recent weather patterns are anything to go by it is the south and south-west that are truly showing the vagaries at present

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