What to do
Thinking is often better than doing at this time of year. By March, the to-do list will be so long, there'll be no time for considering changes in the garden.
In small town gardens, ricketty boundaries, often of wooden larchlap or trellis, may be the single greatest problem in terms of the way the garden looks. If you do not have a secure background against which to pin climbers and wall shrubs, you can't prune them effectively, or tie them in properly.
Spending money on securing boundaries, with strong fenceposts in between sound panels (Metposts may help; log on to metpost.com), will improve the look of a garden more radically than extra plants. When the boundary is secure, stretch wires across at 30cm intervals, so that you have plenty of places to tie in new growth.
What to buy
The new season's seed catalogues are glinting deliciously on my desk. Mr Fothergill is offering a new kind of cucumber which they call "half long". 'Twenty F1' (£2.15 for 10 seeds) is ideal for an unheated greenhouse or polytunnel and bears mostly female flowers. Also new is their radish 'Esmerelda' (350 seeds for £1.45), a long French Breakfast type that can be grown all the year round. Mr Fothergill's Seeds is at Gazeley Rd, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7QB, 01638 751161, mr-fothergills.co.uk
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