WHAT TO DO
* Remove any shoots that have died back in winter from outdoor abutilon. Large specimens of acacia (mimosa) can be cut back as soon as they have finished flowering if you want to reduce them in size. Otherwise, leave them alone.
* Arbutus, the strawberry tree, likewise needs no regular pruning but straggly shoots can be cut right back to the main stem now if necessary. Cut back varieties of ‘Artemisia absinthium’ (which include ‘Powis Castle’ and ‘Lambrook Silver’) to within 15cm of the ground.
WHAT TO BUY
* Because it was on special offer in our supermarket, I picked up a pack of a veg that called itself Flower Sprout. They looked like sprouts that had ‘blown’ but apparently aren’t. This is a new kind of greens (actually slightly purplish) and they are completely delicious, steamed for just a couple of minutes. Seed (£2.90) is available from Chiltern Seeds (01491 824675; chilternseeds.co.uk)