WHAT a glorious week we have had with lovely sunshine most days, perfect for getting lots of jobs done in the garden if you are still in isolation at home.

I’ve taken advantage of the weather and spent a lot of time outdoors. I’ve carefully cut back the large elaeagnus hedge in the front garden. There are several birds nesting in it at the moment, so it had to be done carefully with secateurs, not an electric trimmer. Needless to say, that generated quite a bit of rubbish that I would normally have taken to the tip.

Still isolating to protect my mother, I have had large canvas bags delivered. I’m placing my debris in them and then once full, they are collected for me. It’s a great service avoiding contact with others.

I spent a couple of days feeding everything in the garden, both front and back. Even though we will be the only people to see it this summer it is still quite satisfying to see everything looking good and I have always loved taking my own images of plants and objects in the garden to post on social media.

This past week normally sees the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show take place. Like everything else it’s gone “virtual”. I was asked, with two others, to review the online content by Garden News magazine and our comments will be in next week’s magazine.

Most gardeners will have heard the phrase, the Chelsea Chop, but what is it and what does it mean? It’s a pruning technique used at this time of the year which helps to control and limit the size and flowering season of many herbaceous plants. I shall be applying it to my achillea.

According to the RHS, there are three methods to ensure the Chelsea Chop is effective. Which method you choose will depend on the type of plant, how big your plant clump is and the effect you want to achieve.

a) Clumps of perennials can be be chopped back by one third to a half, using shears or secateurs. This will delay the flowering until later in the summer and keep plants shorter and more compact.

b) If you have several clumps of one plant, try cutting back some of them, but leaving others. This will prolong the overall flowering time as some will flower early and others later.

c) Another method is to cut half the stems back at the front of an established clump, which will extend the season of flowering rather than delay it. After you’ve cut back your plants, make sure you give them a thorough watering.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk