At last the warm weather is here and the gardens are growing almost too fast. Plants are very vigorous and it looks like a good year for peonies; mine have never been so tall!
Put plant supports in the borders among stronger plants before they get too big and fall over. It’s time to prune the spring flowering shrubs like forsythia, as they produce next year’s flowers on new growth and pruning helps control the size of the shrub. If you have managed to over-winter fuchsias in pots, they will need re-potting in fresh compost and, if they are growing well, pinch out the tips of the shoots to make a bushier plant and produce more flowers. Any long shoots can be used for cuttings. Daffodil and tulip foliage is dying down quickly now and can soon be cut. A sprinkling of fertiliser such as Fish, Blood and Bone around them helps the flowers for next year.
If you have any annuals ready for planting out (unless you have a cold frame which can be opened during the day) just stand them outside during the day and put them back in the greenhouse at night for a week to harden them off. If you grow asparagus, look out for the asparagus beetle which has arrived. Pick the beetles off before they do too much damage; it is a daily job!