The catalogues have arrived and numerous packets of sweet pea seed have been ordered, I could not live without a small pot of scented flowers on my windowsill. Please do not buy plants, they are very easy to grow from seed, have a wonderful range of colours and as long as you keep the mice away are full proof and cheap. Seed lists such as Chilterns, Special Plants are on the internet. We grow a couple of climbers each year which I use up shrubs which have flowered earlier, Cobaea and Ipomoea.

The Ipomoea I grow is ‘Knola’s Black Knight’ which has deep purple flowers, it is commonly known as Morning Glory and the flowers open only for a day but the colour is magical. Another useful plant I grow is the biennial Lunaria [Honesty] and the variety ‘Chedglow’ which has purple foliage and flowers and the usual transparent seedpods, excellent in shade.

If you grow vegetables can I recommend Simpson’s Seeds? Old fashioned sensible varieties, for instance I had no idea you could grow early and late leeks until they told me! They also have a wide range of tomato plants. We grow 8 in the greenhouse and I love the fact that I can buy several different varieties.

Still time to plant a bare root tree or shrub, much better choice than when you have to have what ever the garden centre has in stock. I have planted a cherry ‘Snow Goose’ which is a fastigiate form with white flowers and small enough for nearly every garden. Prune apple trees and Wisteria this month if you have them, there are very good guides on the RHS site or come on one of our courses next year.

Not a book to recommend this month but a blog on the internet. Dan Pearson is a designer, interesting gardener and writes interesting articles about his own garden, Dig Delve, it is worth a few minutes each month.

More perennial planting ideas next month when the soil warms up.