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.
* Tired box hedges can be boosted with a dressing of some general fertiliser, such as Growmore or Vitax Q4. Use roughly 50g for every yard of hedge. If box hedges have got hideously leggy, try cutting them back hard, leaving no more than 10-12cms of stem. Feed when they show signs of resprouting. They may not. Box is not so forgiving as yew.
WHAT TO BUY
* Spring is the time to plant bulbs and tubers that will flower in the garden this summer. Avon Bulbs have a superb collection of dahlias in their spring catalogue, with many fine single-flowered types such as rich crimson 'Bishop of Auckland' (£3 each or £8.50 for three). They also sell the superb pompon variety 'Natal' (£3 each or £8.50 for three). For more varieties, visit avonbulbs.co.uk