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# It is hard to believe we are close to the shortest day, but winter will come. It has meant we have had extra time in the garden to do those pre winter jobs, such as cutting down your dahlias, lifting and storing gladioli, remove dead leaves of daylilies, trimming hedges and shrubs. It is much nicer working in the garden without that cold wind and wet muddy ground.

# Please don't be tempted to prune your roses. July is soon enough. They need more cold, to harden off the new growth. Sometimes if cut back too early you will get dieback on the stems that you cut and it can also encourage new growth that can get burnt off with heavy frosts. What you can do now is cut out, with loppers, any branches that have completely died over the summer. Spraying with the smelly Lime Sulphur in early June is an option if you have had a problem with fungus diseases.

# Keep raking leaves off lawn areas, so grasses are not smothered. Use these leaves too mulch other areas of the garden, such as under shrubs.

# Feed your pots of winter/spring flowering annuals too keep them growing nicely. Remove the dead flowers on viola and pansies.

# Your veggie garden will be  a bit empty unless you were organised and sowed broad beans, carrots, beetroot and parsnip. But you can be planting broccoli, perpetual spinach and pak choy.

#  I remind you again to order roses, fruit trees and specimen trees, that you wish to plant during the winter months.