Cuttings a rewarding part of gardening

While some gardening enthusiasts may be reluctant to harvest their flowers, they may could actually be helping out their flora, according to sector commentator Sarah Raven.

By cutting, rather than dead-heading, horticulturalists can keep their blooms flower for longer than if they let them flourish and then run to seed.

She suggests that by cutting, gardeners can get their plants to flower for double the time they normally would.

"Its one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening," Ms Raven enthuses.

Horticulturalists planning to try cutting at home are advised to harvest from plants which are self-replenishing and that will flower again within a week or so.

Among the flowers in her own beds that she plans to cut and allow to grow again, she lists sunflowers, antirrhinum, cleome, scabiosa atropurpurea and zinnas.

The Royal Horticultural Society recommends people cut flowers in the morning when their stems will be fully turgid, adding that they should be placed straight into a bucket of water.