Professional Gardener - Visitor interest

Summer holidays One in four working families will be depositing the children with grandparents for much, if not all, of the long summer school holiday. Can you do more to encourage the grandparents to bring these future garden visitors to your venue? Make sure the garden appeals to children and grandparents alike.

Be prepared for the weather Clear gutters on sheds, greenhouses and other buildings. With unsettled weather, make sure all staff have wet weather gear and suncream.

Eating area Keep a handheld blower ready to dry seating in the picnic and other outdoor catering areas. Make sure litter bins are regularly checked and emptied.

Plants for tomorrow New Leaf Plants' Clematis 'Beautiful Bride' took best in show and best in the nursery stock category at the HTA National Plant Show. A free-flowering variety producing amazing displays of large pure-white flowers, 'Beautiful Bride' has that "wow" factor.

Look after the Bees In 2014, Suttons Seeds will offer a Wildlife Sanctuary seed range to provide nectar and pollen year-round. Endorsed by the British Beekeepers Association, it will provide bees, butterflies and other pollinators with essential nourishment. It includes flowers, vegetables and herbs.

Autumn plans Start planning for autumn planting, moving, clearing and renovation. Make sure machinery and tools are in good condition. Prepare for ditch cleaning - a task that many estates have overlooked and is now becoming an increasing priority in managing water. AFT Trenchers recently introduced a range of ditching equipment for tractor-mounting.

Winter plans With yet another snowy winter being predicted by some of the leading forecasters, now is a good time to investigate winter clearance equipment.

Water You may feel that we had enough rain in spring, but it is always worth considering collecting and storage. Rainwater-harvesting kits - complete with tank, filters, automatic pump, hose and plumbing connections - are available from several sources, including Southern Tank Services. The company offers tanks in sizes up to 100,000 litres for aboveor below-ground installation.

Beds & borders Pay attention to deadheading, provide extra staking where needed, control weeds and keep alert for pests and disease. Slugs and snails remain a problem this year - control accordingly.


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