French garden diary - Boxing clever

As summer concludes, Cathy Thompson is battling pests and planning bulbs

August is my least favourite month in the garden. Every other month carries the hope of something better – even November, because we can be busy planting trees.

But in August it is over, the end of the gardening year. Many gardeners call September the first month of a new season, since we can safely begin planting bulbs and herbaceous perennials in the knowledge that the damper months of autumn will look after them when they go into the ground. Looked at this way, the dog days of August become an inspiring time for preparation!

For me, the most important bulbs to order are the tulips, because so many of the more special kinds will go out of stock ...

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