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Whether you are a keen gardener or whether you are starting out from scratch, there may be some things you are not sure of. We have compiled a list of commonly asked questions and one of our plant experts has provided the answers for you. If your question is not listed below please get in touch or come and visit one of our plant experts who will be more than happy to help.

Question: When is the best time to prune roses?

Answer: It is a good idea to prune your HT/floribunda roses back by half in the Autumn to prevent strong winds from rocking the plant and damaging the roots. Shrub roses and David Austin roses just need a light trim to keep a good shape.

Question: When is the best time to plant trees and shrubs?

Answer: Autumn has always been the traditional time for planting – as trees and shrubs used to be supplied bare rooted. This is still good advice as the soil is warm and moist and will encourage the tree or shrub to set down some roots before the worst of the winter sets in.

Question: What can I plant in my vegetable garden in the autumn?

Answer: October and November are good months for planting out garlic. Break the bulb into individual cloves and plant them 15cm(6″) apart. They can also be potted individually into 9cm(3″) pots and grown on in a cold frame for planting out in February. At the same time you can plant out onion sets (autumn varieties) and sow broad beans. Sowing broad beans in autumn avoids the problem of blackfly in the spring.

Question: When is the best time to transplant shrubs?

Answer: Shrubs and small trees can be moved at any time from the end of October through to the end of February, as long as the ground is not frozen or waterlogged. Prepare the new hole before moving the plant to avoid keeping it in the open air for too long. Work in lots of organic matter (soil conditioner, well-rotted manure, garden compost etc.) to encourage the shrub to produce new roots.

Question: Are there any shrubs that will flower in winter?

Answer: Try shrubs like Viburnum Tinus with pink buds followed by white flowers in late winter, Mahonia japonica with scented yellow flowers between November and January, Sarcococca (or Sweet Box) which will produce highly scented flowers from Christmas into February. For late winter colour and perfume you cannot beat Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) available in shades of yellow and orange. For a winter climber try the winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum) which produces bright yellow flowers on leafless stems or Clematis Cirrhosa which will flower throughout the depths of winter.