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Brian Kidd, retired Parks Officer for Portsmouth City Council, will be giving weekly gardening advice and answering gardeners emails. Email your gardening questions to



Have a look at the lovely range of cyclamen in pots at Keydell Nurseries, remember they like a cool light room. Did you notice the Chinese lantern plants in pots? Are they not delightful?


Keep cutting the grass, it is much easier and quicker to cut if done regularly. If the grass is sometimes a bit too wet, drag a stiff broom behind you dragging it over the surface. This makes the water droplets fall onto the soil and an hour later the grass is easier to cut. Keep the edges neat by using long handled edging shears, you will find just what you need at Keydell.

If you are intending to treat wooden garden furniture with a presrevative to restore it’s quality, choose the correct product. Ensure the wood is dry before using any preservative otherwise moisture is locked in. Ask for advice if you are not sure, you will find staff are very helpful at Keydell.

Buy some fragrant long stemmed exhibition sweet pea seeds ready to sow next month. They are more expensive but if you love perfumed sweet peas it’s worth paying a bit more.

Try to get the hedges trimmed before the cold winds arrive, the good news is that this will be the last trim required this year - hooray!

Keep mentioning that an electric hedge trimmer would be a good idea to your wife’s best friend, your wife might buy one for you for Christmas. You will find these in stock at Keydell.

Take a lot more care about watering the greenhouse. From now on until springtime, watering is best done in the mornings. Take care not to splash it around as wet conditions encourage fungal problems.

In the greenhouse plan to keep a small area warmer by dividing the greenhouse with bubbled polythene sheeting. Packs are in stock at Keydell and look for the D shape fixings to keep it in place.

Try to get some more digging done, bear in mind it is a good idea to complete the winter digging before Christmas - I wish I could.

Plant a horse Chestnut Conker and a walnut in a pot and next year plant it somewhere so that the children in 30 years’ time can get the nuts without breaking windows.

Have a look at the excellent range of shrubs in pots at Keydell, you will find there is useful information on the labels if you need assurance.