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Our Greatest Gardens

Our summer special on gardens begins with some suggestions from Norman Wright for flowering bulbs to brighten your borders.

Just about the best thing you can do in the garden at this time of year… is sit in it. Apart from keeping on top of the weeds in your flower beds, doing a spot of dead-heading, watering up if the rain holds off and mowing the lawn weekly, there should be a bit of time to enjoy it.

Actually, that sounds quite a lot of work and if you have a kitchen garden you’ll be even busier, but when the sun shines put the garden gloves and pruners aside for an hour or two and just relax – there’s nothing better. Or get some friends and family round, fire up the barbecue and pop a bottle of chilled Prosecco.

Our garden special covers getting the best out of your garden.

There’s a section on some of the best barbecues available to help you entertain, and our resident wine expert Graham Sherwood recommends some supermarket wines perfect for alfresco drinking.

Summer is also a great time for visiting gardens and we have picked some of the superb National Trust gardens around the UK in case you fancy a day out.

It’s good to sit and enjoy the fruits of your labours but, as one of the golden rules of gardening is planning ahead, you could use some of that time – before you doze off – to think about making next summer’s display even better.

I’m not suggesting major landscaping, just spotting the gaps and when the borders flag a little and need a boost of colour to keep them going right through the summer season. Summer and autumn flowering bulbs are very useful for this. Here are some you might like to try:

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