* Split clumps of snowdrops and aconites as they finish flowering and replant the bulbs with a handful of bonemeal to encourage them. Snowdrops look particularly good in ivy. Aconites seem to flourish in the kid of starved grass you get under deciduous trees.
Cut to the ground a third of the stems of shrubs such as cornus, grown for their coloured winter stems. This will encourage new stems, with bark more brightly coloured than the old. By cutting out a third of old stems each year, you can, within three years, totally regenerate old specimens.
* If you have not already done so, shear off the old foliage of the large-flowered periwinkle to make way for the new shoots now springing up through the dross.
*Summer flowering bulbs should be planted as soon as possible. Avon Bulbs of Burnt House Farm, Mid Lambrook, South Petherton, Somerset TA13 5HE Tel: 01460 242177, website: www.avonbulbs.co.uk are offering 20 Gladiolus callianthus for £3.20. They are superb in pots. If you bring them into the house, they scent the whole place.
* A tremendous fuss has been made about the Goji Berry, the latest plant to be dragged into the spotlight as a superfood. D T Brown, who sold out of plants in the autumn demand was so high, have a new consignment arriving this month. It's a Himalayan plant and is hardy to –15C. It'll grow in sun or part shade and you can expect it to get up to eight feet tall. Summer flowers are followed by autumn berries that look a bit like little chillies. Each bush, when established, will produce about a kilo of fruit. The berry takes top place on the US Department of Agriculture's ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). The scale measures the antioxidant level of different foods: the higher the score, the more capable it is of destroying these "free radicals" we now hear so much about. Where have they been for the rest of our lives? To order, contact D T Brown on 0845 1662275 or check out the website at www.dtbrownseeds.co.uk A single bush costs £9.95, with an offer of three for £19.85. Or you can forget the whole idea and stick to prunes, which come second on the ORAC scale.Reuse content