Late summer pruning tips and how to move a rose, by garden expert Helen Yemm

Syringa cv (lilac) at Glin castle, Ireland
Lilac flowering in spring Credit: Andrea Jones

Every week, Telegraph gardening expert Helen Yemm gives tips and advice on all your gardening problems whether at home or on the allotment. If you have a question, see below for how to contact her.

Lilacs in clay soil

My pair of lilac trees are two years old and are beginning to look most unhealthy. They had no flowers last year and only one this year. We live on a new-build estate and the soil is horrid (thick grey clay), so we piled on some topsoil before we planted, and feed our plants quite a lot. Please can you tell us how to make our lilacs improve and flower properly?

Sheila Maw – via email

Your young lilacs are, in fact, more or less on course. Lilac foliage is never particularly lovely...

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