Q: I have 5 big pots in which I’ve got lilies growing, on some now the flowers are starting to fall so coming to an end. Can you please tell me what I do now keeping them for next year … once the flowers have fallen do I cut the stems down or leave them?  Thank you, Dorothy.

A: The stems are normally left until they start to die back and go brown, then you can cut them back.  Up until that stage it is import to keep the soil moist and maybe in early stages a liquid feed across the stem and leaves will help the lily bulb for future years.  Then stand somewhere shaded and water occasionally.

Q: Could you please tell me suitable shrubs to grow in pots in the front of my house.  The house faces North West and catches the wind.  I have tried Rhododendrons also Box plants which have not survived.  I would like to try again but need advice before I buy !  Jill.

A: See that the pot is large enough – at least 20 inches with a compost made up from half John Innes No. 3 and half multi-purpose compost which will retain sufficient moisture to help when the site is windy.  Lonicera nitida is often found in shaped bushes which will be hardier than Box.  Alternatively you could use Viburnum tinus which would also be suitable and can be shaped on a regular basis.

First of all our 35ft oak tree came out with reddish leaves, they have now turned green but every day there are small brown dead leaves on the ground.   They are not the old leaves but some of the new leaves seem to be dying.  Ideas please?  Mrs King

ANSWER:  I believe that these leaves formed early when we had a spurt of hot weather, since then cold weather affected that small growth and now the full flush is sending that damaged growth to the ground. Keep an eye on it, if the
new growth is affected let us have a leaf to look at.  Keep Listening.  Ken C

Q: Dear Ken,  Where we live there are four houses surrounding a large natural pond over which we have joint responsibility.  A few years ago we planted waterlillies which have spread in an impressive fashion.  Unfortunately last year the leaves grew to significant proportions and the hundred flowers ended up hidden behind them.  Have you any idea why this is or what could be done to curtail the process so we can benefit from the blooms?   John Talman.
PS  If you wanted to see for yourself ours is one of the gardens open on June 10th as part of East Bergholt Open gardens day.

A: Hi, Ken Crowther has passed me your email about the waterlilies.  I think the description you give is when the leaves stand upright from the water instead of laying flat.  Generally this is a sign the lily crown has become overgrown and the solution is to lift the lilies and split them into smaller plants, which should solve the problem.  Best time to do it?  Now!  Afraid you’ll need to get your waders out.  Kind regards, Bernice Brewster, Aquatic Consultancy

Question: Hello Ken, I listen to your BBC Essex gardening programme as often as I can and find it very interesting and informative.  I recently heard you mention a lawn moss killer, only available on the internet, but cannot remember its name.  Can you tell mw what it is please, and where I can get it.  Many Thanks, Lynda

Answer:  The moss killer product is called Mo Bacter.  If you put it in a search engine lots of websites will come up.