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Hazel keeps heads up; diary.

WE'VE had such a brilliant start to the season that everything is growing apace. Or it was.

Temperatures plunging to below zero, snow in parts of Scotland and cruel, battering winds recently have brought progress to a grinding halt.

It is disconcerting to see big clumps of phlox and tall stems of sweet rocket leaning at alarming angles.

In some years, we hardly stake anything at all but exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures. We're lucky in having quantities of hazel - twiggy branches cut from our hedge - that we can use to lend support to perennials. It is ideal because you can push stems into the ground in an overlapping circle around the collapsing clump and you don't need string or twine.

O | | OUR euphorbias will needtoo. We use bamboo canes for them and tie twine securely one then loop it around the others, tying it at the end.

Euphorbia palustris is probably my favourite spurge and at the moment it lights up our brick garden like a set of beacons. But it looks at its best with its head held high.

We're up to date with most of the pricking out but on a tour of inspection, I realised more seedlings are the brink. But my delight my orlaya seedlings are germinating. They haven't done well the past few years but things are looking up - 12 have germinated.

|Pretty: Orlaya I counted them - is that sad?

CAPTION(S):

Hazel cuttings make excellent |stakes for our struggling plants

Our euphorbias |need support

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:May 16, 2015
Words:252
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