Many roses have not lost their foliage at all this winter, but if you have not already tackled them, do it immediately. Cut out dead wood, then all spindly stems and suckers. That will be enough for old-fashioned roses. Hybrid teas need sterner treatment: follow each stem upwards until you come to a likely-looking outward-facing bud and cut the stem off above it. A quicker way is to shear over the top of HT roses with a hedge-clipper.
Boost tired box hedges with a general fertiliser, such as Growmore or Vitax Q4. Use roughly 2oz for every yard of hedge. For hideously leggy hedges, try cutting them back hard, leaving 4-5in of stem. Feed if they start to resprout. They may not. Box is not as forgiving as yew.
Cut to the ground shrubs such as rubus, grown for their winter stems. If you have not already done so, shear off the old foliage of periwinkle to make way for new shoots now springing up through the dross.
Summer-flowering bulbs should be planted as soon as possible. Parkers, of 452 Chester Road, Manchester M16 9HL (0161-872 3517) are offering 10 nerines for pounds 2 and a wide selection of lilies, including 10 'Mont Blanc' for pounds 3 and 10 of the deep pink and white July-flowering 'Stargazer' for pounds 4.50. All prices plus VATReuse content