Click to follow
The Independent Online
Lift and split clumps of snowdrops and aconites if you want to hasten their spread through the garden. Replant them with a generous portion of bonemeal mixed into the earth. Snowdrops settle in far more successfully "in the green" than as dry bulbs. If you are starting from scratch, Orchard Nurseries can supply trays of double or single snowdrops in the green, roughly 500 bulbs in each tray though not all will be flowering size. Doubles cost pounds 35, singles pounds 25 from Orchard Place, Flint House Rd, Three Holes, Wisbech, Cambs PE14 9JN (01354 638613).

Catch up on any necessary pruning. Buddleias should be firmly dealt with. Cut back to within two or three inches of old wood. Carypopteris, the late summer-flowering shrub, also needs hard pruning.

In many places the ground is still too cold and soggy to be easily worked. If you are blessed with a free draining soil, plant onion sets, broad beans, parsnips and peas. Calabrese, Brussels sprouts and leeks can be started off in a seed bed for transplanting later in the season.

Continue to sow seeds of plants you would like to see in the garden this year. Next on my list is the hare's tail grass, Lagurus ovatus (Johnsons 79p) which grows no more than a foot high with fluffy pear-shaped heads of creamy white flower. They dry well. Seed is best sown in late summer and overwintered in a cold frame. Germination takes two or three weeks.