A pot look to keep the winter blooms happy in their work

Keep container-grown winter-flowering pansies happy by dead-heading them, using your finger and thumb to snap off their stems cleanly.

Move around pots of spring bulbs as new heads appear. You can expect snowdrops and species crocus to pop through first, followed by miniature daffodils.

The actual blooming times will vary depending on your where you live and how sheltered your garden, but pots placed close to a south-facing wall should always bloom first.

Left unpruned, rampant climbers such as wisteria can turn into a mass of green leaves that carry very little flower.

To encourage plenty of blooms, cut back any main stems that are not needed to build up the framework and cut back all the side-shoots to about 8-10cm (3-4in). Do this now while the plant is dormant.

The tangled growth of late-flowering clematis can also be cut back to within a few inches of the soil, thus encouraging strong new shoots and taking away any growth that continues to carry any powdery mildew on the dead leaves.

YP MAG 29/1/11