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Autumn carpet

Cyclamen hederifolium is coming into flower and leaf after its summer dormancy, and you can plant it now under trees or in borders for a late summer and autumn carpet. Flowers are pink or white and leave silver patterned. Potterton's Nursery sells a strain with entirely silver leaves (pottertons.co.uk).


Mint cuttings

Take root cuttings of mint to keep you in indoor mint through winter. Tip out of their pots and pull away a length of the thick white root that is snaking around the edge. Snip lengths a couple of inches long then lay them across the surface of a pot of compost, covered with a little of the same. Water and grow on a sunny cool windowsill.

Lavender hint

Give lavender plants a light trim all over as soon as the flowers are past. Like all silver leaved, Mediterranean shrublets they hate to be pruned back into dead wood, so you need to keep them trim and neat with an annual going over. Use shears and take off just an inch or so of this year's growth, to stimulate bushing out from below.

Protect soil

This is a good moment to sow any bare patches of soil with green manures, which protect soil from winter erosion but also improve soil structure when the growth is dug in come spring. Try a 'winter mix' from suttons.co.uk which contains rye and vetch – the vetch will also fix nitrogen from the air to enrich the soil.

Micro fibre

Micro greens are tiny seedlings of strongly flavoured herbs. They can be sprinkled on the top of dishes for a punch of flavour, easy and delicious. But it takes a lot of seed, so look around your garden now and collect up seed of coriander, basil, rocket and parsley.

Mow a meadow

Summer-flowering meadows can be cut now that knapweed, devil's bit scabious, selfheal, lady's smock and others have flowered and set seed. Use a strimmer to cut to a height of around 3in, then let the fallen stems lie for several days to allow the seeds to drop before raking off.

Cut back

Loganberries and tayberries fruit on their current year's arching growth, much like blackberries. Therefore there is no point in keeping branches that have done their thing this year. Prune them right to the ground, unless you want a bramble-like thicket within a couple of years.

So delicate

The flowers of late summer tend towards bold and solid daisy types but Gaura lindheimeri is an exception. The variety 'Whirling Butterflies' is as delicate and floaty as its name implies, producing a misty haze of flowers to soften the rest. It needs a hot and sunny position (monksilvernursery.co.uk).

Wasp alert

Wasps are a nuisance only late in summer when their queen stops rewarding them with sugary treats so they set out to find other sources, usually picnic-based. The rest of the year they are brilliant predators of garden pests. But if they are becoming too troublesome you can try a wasp trap from trapawasp.co.uk to draw them away from your jam sandwiches.

Tile tip

Wade into your pumpkin or squash patch and pop a small tile or piece of wood under each fruit, to stop them being rotted by contact with the soil. This is a crucial time for swelling and hardening up, so a liquid feed to each plant will prove useful for the final stretch.

More tips for August...

Flight of the queen bees

If you have a bumblebee nest in your garden, count yourself lucky and your garden wildlife-friendly – and don't panic: they die out naturally in autumn.

ueens take off into the wider garden to overwinter, and can sometimes return to the same nest, so if yours is in an awkward spot, wait until winter then block off the entrance. She will find another spot next spring.

Chervil cheer

Collect seeds of chervil on sunny, dry days, then sow immediately on trays of moist compost, as they don't store well. Prick out into individual pots in September or October and grow under cover for soft and ferny winter leaves.