Wilde side

Kim Wilde answers your gardening questions.

What can we do to stop cats using our garden as a litter tray?
Cats hate pungent smells. Try curry plant (Helicrysum italicum): it has my mouth watering for a lamb bhuna, but will have the opposite effect on your feline guests. The aromatic foliage of Artemisia lavandula and choisya can also deter, but don’t plant catnip (Nepeta cataria): it will have them in raptures. Cats hate citrus smells, so try spraying a mixture of citrus peel and water around the garden. Ultrasonic and motion-sensor sprinkler devices (from garden centres) can be very effective, too. A few dollops of leopard dung apparently scares the crap out of them; try the Santago Rare Leopard Project (01438 714393).

Being a big Dusty fan, I want to get hold of the Dusty Springfield rose. But I have only a patio. Can roses be kept in pots instead of in the ground?
Rosa Horluvdust, aka, ‘Dusty Springfield’, is light pink and repeat flowering. It’s a cluster-flowered bush rose (floribunda); these and patio roses are the best for containers, so you’re in luck! Place gravel in the base of your container, for drainage, and fill with John Innes No 3 mixed with gravel and some well-rotted manure or compost. Roses are heavy feeders, so add slow-release fertiliser when planting and liquid feed regularly thereafter. Prune hard in late winter. Make sure the container has lots of space for the roots. Place it so the roots have shade but the bush has sun, or, if this isn’t possible, put the container inside another one. Ensure it receives some moving air to stop fungus-related diseases. From one Dusty fan to another, all your rose needs is just a little loving.

I’ve hunted high and low for adult wellies with a frog face on the toes, or in red or yellow. Can you help?
I’ve never seen a gardener with funky wellies. This can’t be right! Tamara Henriques has a fabulous selection, including stripes and camouflage (mail order from Bones, 01285 750007; Tamara Henriques). Boden is also worth a look, 020-8453 1535 (Boden).