Welcome to February which looks as though it might promise colder but brighter weather. Although cold it is still an encouragement to get into the garden to clear away the remains of the winter. Removing leaves from beds and borders will immediately change the look and feel of your garden, giving bulbs a chance to come through the ground - look out for snowdrops, crocus and early-flowering scillas.

             •We are now closed on Sundays until Sunday the 8th of April

                 •Do not forget to order a Valentine's Day bouquet of flowers - whether traditional red roses or a mixed bunch of tulips, our florists will be able to help (give them a call on 0207 937 0481). 

             •Very soon the new seed range for 2018 will arrive from Thompson and Morgan, Mr Fothergill's seeds and Franchi seeds. Now is the time to plan this year's bedding display or vegetables to eat - all grown from seed with a little patience

              •Our summer-flowering bulbs and tubers have now arrived - many types of dahlias and begonias, lillies and freesias amongst just some of the new stock

              •Our selection of tools from Spear & Jackson, the Kew Gardener collection, is one of the best available and has proved to be a great success with our landscapers and customers.        

              •Our cards from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection are both beautiful and inexpensive and provide a lovely way to send a message with a floral gift. We have added ten new designs from Blume editions to add choices to our range which are equally as charming

              •We stock all the necessary components for irrigation systems from both Hozelock and Gardena

              •The box tree caterpillar is currently dormant but we think will continue to be a serious problem in this area. Check all your buxus plants and take action if necessary as soon as possible, because delay will result in you losing your favourite plants or topiary. Be aware that this problem will likely re-occur when the weather warms up again and that you should continue to monitor the situation. In addition buxus blight seems to have been exacerbated by the relatively mild winter - perhaps it is time to think of planting alternatives, such as ilex crenata

              •Think about removing leaves from lawns and borders as January gets underway gets under way - and cut back any perennials that may have finished and been forgotten

               •Winter-flowering hellebores continue to provide long-flowering winter cheer that is a positive addition to any garden or pot, Early flowering bulbs are making an appearance and are all available for sale at the garden centre.

              Hopefully February is a time to re-think both your garden and all its extras - pots, troughs and window boxes for the coming spring. Enjoy the thought and stay warm.

              Richard Hood