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PROBLEMS; The Beechgrove Garden's Carolyn Spray answers your questions.

Byline: Carolyn Spray

Q I WANT to plant a small tree or a shrub such as a buddleia next to my lawn, but it needs to be hardy as I live 700ft above sea level. I like cherries, but would they be too big?

A THE large park's varieties such as Kanzan or Tai Haku are magnificent but too large for most gardens. You could go for Prunus Amanogowa, which is columnar in shape, has pink flowers and gives height without taking up too much space. Alternatively, a small weeping willow (Salix Caprea Pendula) has a nice shape with pussy willow catkins in the spring. I am partial to the buddleia family. I can recommend Lochinch, Violet Blue, Royal Red and Buddleia weyeriana, an unusual late-flowering yellow variety. Buddleias live up to their name as the butterfly bush by attracting hundreds of insects with their open flowers.

Q I HAVE an umbrella plant in my living room which is still producing new leaves even though it is winter. It has nearly reached the ceiling. How can I stop its growth?

A PRUNE the centre stem in spring. If it is a single stem you could cut it back by two-thirds. It will produce new shoots from the leaf axils, but all the new growth will need food so start applying a liquid fertiliser when you cut it back.

Q I HAVE moved into a house with a garden for the first time. I want a small bed in the front lawn for roses and bulbs. What should I plant?

A A CIRCULAR bed 5ft in diameter would be ideal for three rose bushes. For the best show choose floribunda varieties, but if you want to use them for cut flowers you would be better with hybrid tea varieties. Dig organic material and rose fertiliser into the bed before planting your roses. Plant the bushes so the 'bump' on the stem is covered by soil, then cut it back to about 9in. For added summer colour in your new border, you can plant pansies or violas between your roses. Enjoy your garden.IF you have a gardening query, write to: Carolyn Spray, Seven Days Magazine, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 28, 2001
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