1. Check your garden for signs of spring. Exciting new growth is starting to peep through the ground now. Snowdrops and Crocus (right) are beginning to sprout. Also Hellebores are flowering now, so cut back their leaves to see the flowers better. Lots of potted bulbs are available to buy now too.
- © RHS/Leigh Hunt
- © RHS/Carol Sheppard
2. Buy seeds for vegetables and flowers to grow in the coming months. Have fun planning the coming years’ crops.
3. Lots of new varieties of summer-flowering bulbs are on sale in your local garden centre now. Buy early to get the best choice for a fabulous splash of colour.
4. Plan visits to gardens, such as the RHS Garden Wisley (rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Wisley) in Surrey and the RHS Garden Hyde Hall (rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Hyde-Hall) in Essex. Check out websites of local activities for garden-related events at garden centres and public gardens.
5. Feed the birds. There are lots of specialist feeds available now, including a Robin Blend, as well as dried mealworms which the Robins and Blackbirds love. The more types of feed you offer, the wider range of birds you can attract to your garden.
6. Clean out nest boxes, bird feeders and baths. Make sure you use bird-friendly cleaning products and wear gloves. It is also a good idea to cover your mouth and nose with a scarf to avoid inhaling harmful spores.
7. Make a nest for solitary bees. You will only need a few materials that may be lying around in the garage or shed already.
© RHS/Carol Sheppard
8. Buy yourself a special gardening book and indulge in some armchair gardening, planning and dreaming.
9. Clean the trunks of birch trees with warm water and a stiff brush. This will make the bark sparkle. Start at the top - as high up as you can reach - and work downwards. This method is also effective on snake-bark and coral-bark acers, to bring out their colour.