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Another little job that always gets the better of me every year is the staking.

In my defence, I will say I keep trying to grow new things and then discovering too late that they are the kind of things that flop in an ungainly way over everything around them once they get to flowering. Last year it was Aster “Climax” (now moved to the cutting garden); this year it’s a big clump of Anthemis tinctoria “Kelwayii”, a brassy yellow daisy with profuse, pretty flowers which I grew from seed last year. I planted three as young plants, but they didn’t do much last year, despite being touted as first-year-flowering perennials – I suspect though it might have been to do with my thin soil rather than anything else. Anyway, this year they’ve shot up, to about 4ft tall, and as soon as they formed flower buds they promptly crashed to the ground.

Sadly for the hemerocallis behind, to say nothing of the poppies all around and a hellebore or two, floppy plants mean crushed neighbours and a bare centre where the clump has fallen outwards. It’s extremely unsightly and very bad for the border.

As usual, I’ve done a sticking-plaster job – really tricky this time as unlike the Aster, the Anthemis is near the front of the border. Actually I’m quite pleased with how it’s gone: I had some old plant supports someone gave me, real instruments of bondage with five vicious-looking wire “arms” which until now had flummoxed me as to how to use them. Fortunately they sink nicely into the ground and the arms hold up the Anthemis nicely. Situation saved: but, like the Aster, the Anthemis are now earmarked for an alternative home next year!

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