Q: My rowan tree is about 30 feet high and my next door neighbours are saying they are fed up with having to dig out little rowan trees. We are good friends and I don’t want to spoil our relationship nor do I want to remove the tree. Any advice please? Also, legally could I be forced to have it removed? CS via email
A: If it's a normal rowan or mountain ash it will reach 50 feet tall when mature and cost a lot more to remove than if you do it now. There are varieties of rowan which don't grow half as big. You could consider a crab apple as an alternative as the fruit stay on the tree for a lot longer and you have lovely spring apple blossom, your neighbours won't get all those seedlings either. I have heard of enforcement notices to remove large plants.
Q: I want to grow a little herb garden but I am told that the herbs will spread and take over the garden. Is this true? Which are the ones to avoid? When is the best time to plant them and can you do me a ‘best’ list please? MW, Pontypool
A: People get worked up about mint spreading in the garden,just keep it in a container. If you have a heavy soil I would use containers for all of them as they like good drainage and a sunny spot. My list; French parsley,sage,thyme, rosemary,spearmint,coriander, French tarragon. there are lots more but those are the most used for the kitchen.
Q: When should I cut my lavender? Mine has finished flowering and looks rather untidy now. EM, via email
A: Lavenders hate being pruned hard. Give it a light prune now and in September and next spring.
Q: The wonderful hydrangea displays this year have inspired me to plant one in my garden - when should I do it, and which variety should I choose for a small space? BP, Cwmbran
A: There are plenty of hydrangeas for sale at the moment. If you plant one now keep it well watered until established. There is a compact pink mop head variety called Pia.
Tips for the week:
All plants recently planted should be kept well watered. Its better to give them a good soak once a week. Watering in the morning is best.
Flowering displays will last a long time if you remove spent flowers, this is especially true for sweet peas, dahlias and geraniums.
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