Keep your

Keep your

garden in full

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bloom during

the scorching

summertime

GARDENERS who went on holiday confident friends and family would water, deadhead and harvest their crops in their absence must be feeling pretty smug.

But what about those of us who didn't have the luxury of a mate to water the garden while we were away? What about those who just didn't install an automatic irrigation system? Well, you now have to look at the mess that remains and consider what's worth saving and what isn't.

Annual bedding plants in containers and baskets are unlikely to recover fully in hot weather and if they've been left in the sun. It may be easier to start again.

Best of bunch in bid to survive

THESE cottage garden favourites add an element of height to planting schemes, their flower spikes reaching up to 1.5m (5ft).

Some may not survive over the winter, but the more reliable varieties include V. chaixii 'Gainsborough', which produces pale primrose-yellow flowers and 'Cotswold Queen', which has striking yellow flowers and terracotta eye.

Berries good enough to eat

DEEP blue berries can be added to summer pudding and other red fruit desserts.

Best planting time is late autumn to early spring, although container-grown bushes can be planted at any time.

Blueberries thrive in well-drained, moist acid soil in a sunny, sheltered position and will grow to around 1.5m (5ft) high.

You should get some fruits several years after planting, but by the fourth or fifth year you should get up to 5lbs of fruit a year from mid-summer to mid-autumn.