Well I suppose it had to happen and for once the weather forecasters got it right! We were told to expect about 10cms of snow and that is what we got. A good time for gardeners to stay indoors and keep warm whilst doing some serious planning for the coming summer. Lots of us buy plants by post and this is certainly one way of getting some of the more unusual varieties at a good price. But for success there are a few basic rules we need to follow. Usually this is a very reliable way of buying plants, but be sure to unpack your plants as soon as they are delivered and check them carefully. If they are not what you ordered or if they aren’t in good condition get out your camera and take a picture to send to the suppliers as soon as possible. The next important job is to carefully read the instructions; this applies to any plant wherever you buy it, as quite a few plants are specific in their requirements. If you have bought hardy perennials or shrubs put in a cool but light place. This gives them a chance to get used to new conditions. If you have bought annuals or container plants they will need a bit more protection and should be put into your greenhouse, or if you don’t have one into a cool conservatory or onto a windowsill. In all cases check to see if the compost is dry and needs watering.

If you have bought plug plants these should be potted on as soon as possible and kept in a light, warm place. If you don’t have a greenhouse windowsills can be put to good use. Wait until the soil has thawed out and is not too wet before you start to plant out your hardy plants. A good tip is to give them a liquid feed the day before you replant.

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