Weekend Work: Time to replant snowdrops and aconites

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The Independent Online

What to do

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 sort of starved grass you get under deciduous trees.

If you have not already pruned your roses, do it immediately. Start by cutting 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 up from the bottom until you come to a likely looking outward-facing bud and cut the stem off above the bud. That is the tidy way. The quick way is to shear over the top of HT roses with a hedge clipper.

]Tired box hedges can be boosted with a dressing of some general fertiliser, such as Growmore or Vitax Q4. Use roughly 50g (2oz) for every metre of hedge. If box hedges have got hideously leggy, try cutting them back hard, leaving no more than 10-13cm (4-5in) of stem. Feed when they show signs of resprouting. They may not. Box is not so forgiving as yew.

]Cut to the ground shrubs such as rubus grown for their coloured winter stems. If you have not already done so, shear off the old foliage of 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, 01460 242177, avonbulbs.co.uk are offering three Nerine bowdenii for £2.80 and some nice lilies, including three white 'Casa Blanca' for £4.60 and three darkly speckled June/July flowering 'White Twinkle' for £4.50.

What to buy

A new turf, suitable for green roofs and wildish garden slopes has been launched by Lindum. It's a drought-tolerant mix of wild flowers, sedums and perennials, which doesn't need regular cutting, just occasional dead-heading. Lindum won't quote a price per sq m, but will give a rough cost once they know the extent of the job and location. Call them on 01904 448675 or go to turf.co.uk