Green-fingered youngsters challenged to set sights high

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This is also a good time to trawl among herbaceous perennials in search of similar growths that will root quickly. Helenium, rudbeckia, Lobelia cardinalis and echinacea are obvious candidates.

Alternatively, there is still time to take a spade and slice an outer section of vigorous young growth with roots attached from an existing herbaceous clump. Water it in thoroughly when you replant.

Sweet peas figure prominently in our plans for continuous flowers for vases.

If you missed the opportunity to sow seed earlier, don’t worry as there are small pots and trays of seedlings on sale that can be transferred to individual containers and grown on in time for summer-long blooms.

Hardy annuals can be sown now for summer display and cut-flower use.

When you’ve grown something special, be it a fruit, vegetable or flower crop, there is a sense of achievement, and this is one aspect of gardening I enjoy seeing in others at various times throughout the year.

It will no doubt be present at the Alnwick Spring Show on Saturday, April 16, at Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre from 11am to 5pm.

If you wish to see spring bulbs grown to perfection, that’s the place to be.

Spring and summer shows always set out to appeal across the age demographic, offering a good range of classes. Entries from children are especially welcomed as they represent the future of such organisations.

This is an opportune moment to remind youngsters in the Alnwick district that free seeds are available at the Northumberland Gazette office for this year’s giant sunflower competition. All you have to do is grow them as tall as possible and we’ll be around to measure them in August.