Expert says now is the time to prune wisterias

A top gardening expert has advised gardeners to step out of their greenhouses and brave the December cold to prune climbing wisterias.

Neil Wormald explained in the Sunday Times (December 14th) that pruning wisterias in winter could ensure they flower in the summer.

It will also make sure they dont look unruly and overgrown through spring and gardeners should snip off any side shoots leaving two or three buds to bloom.

Mr Wormald also advised gardeners to protect any plants grown outside the greenhouse from birds.

He said that netting should be used to protect easy targets such as brassicas from pigeons.

The Royal Horticultural Society also advises that tinsel and shiny, reflective and colourful Christmas ribbon can be used to deter birds.

Birds can go for plants and vegetables as the ground hardens and it seems clear that gardeners have to be extra vigilant at this time of year.

Finally, Mr Wormald advised that gardeners can avoid nasty eye injuries by using wine and champagne corks as "cane toppers", making them easier to see and less likely to injure if they are missed.