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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 May 2007, 12:50 GMT 13:50 UK
Gardeners using planet guidance
View through the arch showing summer borders and fountain at Nymans Garden
More than 6,000 flowers are being packed into the summer borders
Gardeners at a National Trust site in West Sussex are trialling a method using a planetary calendar in an effort to ensure stunning summer borders.

The team based at Nymans Garden, at Handcross, near Haywards Heath, have a 48-hour period, known as a flower day, in which to plant 6,500 flowers.

Under the Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar, the optimum time began at 0200 BST on Saturday.

Head gardener Ed Ikin said he hoped for extra special borders this year.

"Every year we do our best to ensure the appearance of fantastic blooms in the summer months, and there is always a worry that we will disappoint due to the high standards we have set ourselves at Nymans," he said.

Moon's gravity

Sixteen gardeners, including volunteers, began work at 0800 BST on Saturday in the hope of creating "an extremely colourful and very vivid display".

The Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar predicts how plant sap and water table levels will be impacted on by the moon's gravity, and identifies optimum times for sowing certain types of plants.

According to the calendar, the moon's gravity produces varying conditions for planting, and is much more specific about the exact time when a flower, root or plant should be placed in the soil than conventional planting schedules.

"We can't wait to see if our additional efforts will result in extra special summer borders," Mr Ikin said.

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