If your plants have suffered with the rain and wind cut them back to tidy them up. With a reasonable autumn, they could continue flowering until the first frosts. Give them a liquid feed and water them – they will need watering even after periods of heavy rain.
Also, keep roses dead headed, and check all plants for caterpillars.
Around August, apples and pears are almost ready for picking. How do you tell if they’re ready to eat? For apples twist the fruit one turn and if it comes off in your hand, it is ready for harvesting. With pears, pick whilst the fruit is hard because if the weather gets hot they will cook on the trees. You won;t be able to tell because they’ll look alright from the outside but when you go to eat them, they will be rotten inside.
If the fruit is not ready, continue to check them daily. And watch out for earwigs, ants wasps, bees, snails because they will eat through your fruit crop in no time.
This time of the year your hedges need a trim, especially conifers, wisterias. Give them a hair cut to shorten all the long growths.
As well, cuttings of Pinks/Dianthus, tender perennials and shrubs can be taken now, while seeds can be collected now and dried.
By Mike Curtis, An English Nursery in France; 00 33 (0)5 46 33 66 17