Trusty bloom is also a great garden beauty

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Chrysanthemums bought in pots and added to the border look great in autumn.

BRIAN KIDD: Mum’s the word for an added splash of autumn fire in borders

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Wow, doesn’t the weather change!

I love the allotment and have been really pleased with a good crop of peas. No maggots because they were sown during the autumn. Having picked three tubs of peas, I believe this is the best crop we have enjoyed for years.

The next row of peas planted in cells at the end of February in freezing conditions in the greenhouse at the allotment are about a foot high now and I am really pleased with them.

All of a sudden the ground began to crack because the soil beneath the plants was dry. What will save the day?

I went to a garden centre and bought three bags of the cheapest compost they had in stock – you know, buy two and get another free.

Here is a brilliant idea which will stop the ground producing craters.

If you find cracks appearing, water the soil well and use a bag of cheap compost or the contents of a growing bag over the surface and water again.

The cheap compost will fall into the cracks. The crop will be saved because the top dressing will have stopped the roots being severed.

Please make sure the soil is well watered before adding the layer of compost.

If you don’t want to buy a bag of compost, use rotted compost but sieve it through a half-inch sieve.

At home the borders of begonias are looking beautiful. As I have often said, begonias are the most reliable plants – they look brilliant in pots, tubs, hanging baskets and borders,

We used to grow busy Lizzies but after the attack of powdery mildew two years ago, we decided not to grow them again and I expect you decided to do the same.

Our main displays consist of begonia semperflorens and begonia non-stop, which I know many of you bought at Keydell Nurseries during last February.

How do I know?

When we went to buy ours we were lucky to find the last of the trays of seedlings. It pleases me to know you enjoy reading these articles.

I must tell you about this.

Chris, who lives in a flat, heard about my idea of growing runner beans in a growing bag. He put the growing bag on the path on its side and slit the top.

He screwed a piece of two-by-one wood into the wall six feet above the growing bag and inserted seven canes eight feet long and tied the tops of the canes into staples hammered into the wood. He read this idea here.

I would like to say well done Chris!