Prune late summer flowering shrubs that flower on current year’s growth such as Buddleia, Lavatera, Hydrangea and deciduous Ceanothus. Group Three clematis can be cut down to 30cm from ground level. Once winter flowering heathers have finished, they can be trimmed with shears.
Complete pruning of climbing and bush roses before new growth becomes too strong. Cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials left for winter interest. Prune shrubs hard such as Cornus and Salix grown for winter coloured stems.
Winter flowering jasmine can be pruned after it has finished flowering. Take out any dead or damaged wood, then tie in any stems needed to extend the framework, then shorten side shoots to5cm from main framework.
Topdress beds and borders with a balanced fertiliser. Prepare ground for sowing grass seed by digging it over and adding organic matter. Level and leave to settle for a few weeks.Start to water fuchsias and pelargoniums that are kept under cover. Prune autumn fruiting raspberries, cutting all stems down to ground level.
Sow broad beans directly in the garden, or in pots. Apply a layer of well rotted manure or garden compost around perennial vegetables such as asparagus, Jerusalem artichokes and rhubarb. Sow chillies and sweet peppers under cover. They need a temperature of 210C to germinate.
An old saying of weather lore comes as a warning to gardeners as well as wildlife: If the birds sing before Candlemas (2nd February) they will cry before May.