Kaffir lilies are a striking addition to the garden.

Kaffir lily
Kaffir lily
Dahlias - one of the boldest plants you can grow .

GARDENING: Brian Kidd is planning for summer with dahlias

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My word don’t the weeds grow? We enjoyed a wonderful summer and kept things going along really well, kept watering, dead heading and feeding and noticed that there were very few weeds.

All of a sudden the welcome rain arrived and the weeds grew as if there was no tomorrow.

Weeds grow rapidly in order that they can produce seeds which will fall on to the ground to ensure the survival of the species.

Many weeds are present because they absorb trace elements in the soil and chickweed, which is a real menace on newly dug ground, is there to absorb nitrogen from the soil.

While we all agree the weed is a nuisance, it is doing a good job because the winter weather will wash the nitrogen out of the soil, but chickweed absorbs it.

In spring the plants need nitrogen to grow. How do we keep it? Easy, simply dig the chickweed into the ground, where it will rot down and in spring will be ready for the new plants to thrive.

A couple of lovely readers have mentioned how pleased they have been with these articles. When I open these letters I feel everything has been worthwhile.

Keep dead heading! We can prolong flowering on all the summer plants if the dead flowers and seed heads are removed every week.

You may have noticed some of your neighbours have had a good clear-out because the plants are past their best.

What a pity – by clearing the garden too early it means the soil is bare and it looks as if winter has arrived.

Have you noticed how beautiful the Japanese anemones are? White, pink and odd shades of claret, the flower stems range from 15 inches right up to six feet or more and they have been 
in flower for over a fortnight and will continue right 
up until the hard frosts arrive.

Another great favourite is the Brown-Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia fulvida. Large golden yellow daisy-like flowers about three inches across cover the base foliage so that the strong stems are about three feet above the ground.

An excellent flower to contrast with the Rudbeckia is the brilliant scarlet trumpet blooms on the Kaffir lily.

This enjoys the name of Schizostylis. The narrow iris-like leaves complement the plant but are never in the way of the blooms.

It is a joy to see these in our garden.

The good news is that all of these mentioned are hardy perennials and will survive the winter.