February is a fantastic month in the garden because new life suddenly begins to appear. Snowdrops, aconites, crocuses and early daffodils begin to burst into bloom creating eye catching patches of colour.

Yet there is still work to be done! Complete the pruning of trees and shrubs, giving priority to removing any dead wood. If you have an open fire, stack large branches neatly so that they can dry out for use as kindling. Shred and add the remainder to the compost heap.

Harvest any remaining winter vegetables and begin to get the vegetable plot ready for the new season. Dig it over, removing any weeds and add fertilizer to the soil.

Check you have all the seeds you require for planting outside in the spring.
Start growing tomato and other vegetable seeds in modules. Ideal for sowing at this time are broad beans, salad onions, peas, celery and cauliflowers.
Hardy annuals can be sown in modules. Set potato tubers to sprout.

Put grease bands on the legs of the greenhouse staging to protect seeds against vine weevils. Remember to cover the seed modules carefully – mice love digging up the newly planted seeds especially peas as they are usually desperate for food at this time of the year.

Check dahlia tubers and any stored fruit. Remove anything that is showing signs of mould or decay.

As you move around the garden, check your water butts to make sure they are not overflowing. If necessary, add some overflow connections to another butt to give the water somewhere to go. It is a shame to lose precious water that you will need in a few months time!

But above all, take some time just to enjoy the sight of the lovely splashes of gold and purple as the first plants of the year begin to bloom.