Cut and thrust and give tender plants a helping hand

Winter is a good time to cut down unwanted trees and saplings as there is less potential to damage the rest of the flower garden. Just approach the job with care.

And to ensure the stump doesn't spring back into life next spring, treat the cut surface as soon as possible after felling.

There's no need to drill any holes – simply paint the cut surface and remaining bark thoroughly with a 10 per cent solution of Roundup Tree Stump & Rootkiller.

It's time to give some protection to marginal plants that may struggle to survive bad winter weather.

As many gardeners found in 2010's winter, marginal plants such as penstemons, bottle brush bush (Callistemon)

and young ceanothus do not easily survive really cold spells when frosts are persistent and hard.

To give extra protection to the roots of these plants, add a 10-15cm (4-6in) mulch layer of any left-over compost to the


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