The weather should be at its warmest now and there will be times when gardeners feel like hanging up their boots. There is little point in slaving over a garden if you leave little time to enjoy it. One advantage of getting on top of the work in winter and spring is that there is more time left now to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Another reward that the gardener can take delight in at the time of the year is the sudden rush of ripening vegetables and fruit and the wealth of colourful flowers.

Many flowering plants are finished and will need to be cut back, while others have dead flowers that will need removing. At this time of year one of the criteria of a successful garden is to keep it looking good by removing the dead and the dying.

VEGETABLES - Make last successional sowings. Harvest vegetables as they are ready. Lift and dry shallots. Earth up potatoes. Continue lifting early potatoes. keep vegetables weed free. Water when necessary.

FRUIT - Continue thinning tree fruit. Remove raspberry canes that have finished fruiting. Tie in new raspberry canes. Cut off leaves and remove mulch from strawberries that have finished fruiting.

FLOWERS - Dead head regularly. Water baskets, beds and borders when necessary. Fill any gaps with bedding plants. Keep beds weed free.

GREENHOUSE - Keep greenhouse adequately shaded and ventilated. In hot weather dampen the floor of the greenhouse. Pick early tomatoes and cucumbers. Water and feed regularly.

LAWNS - Mow when necessary. If the weather is suitable give a light application of fertiliser.

TREES & SHRUBS - Deadhead early summer flowering shrubs. After flowering, prune shrubs that flower on old wood. Cut hedges and trim topiary as necessary.

GENERAL - Water when necessary, keep on top of the weeding and watch out for pests and diseases.