1Sow alpines from seed
Alpines can be sown from seed, as they need a period of cold to break their dormancy. A moveable cold frame can be positioned over the sown area to protect it from excessive wet. Alternatively, the seeds can be put in the fridge, for sowing next spring. This will really upset your family.
2Keep feeding the birds
Winter can be a tough time for birds in terms of water and food, so keep supplies well topped up. Once you start feeding, don’t stop – they will come to depend on it.
3Protect borderline hardy perennials
Apply a mulch to protect plants that are borderline hardy such as Agapanthus, Kniphofia, and Phygelius. The plants’ own leaves, e.g. Kniphofia, can be tied up and used as protection for the crowns underneath.
4Protect early Hellebore blooms
Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) blooms can look unsightly when splashed with muddy raindrops. A mulch will reduce this, and cloches can always be used where practical.
5Keep hyacinths cool
Place hyacinths in a cool, bright place in the home. If it’s too warm, the leaves will elongate and the flowers will fade quickly.