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Gardens: what to do this week

Cyclamen coum
‘Cyclamen coum is one tough customer.’ Photograph: Alamy

Plant this Cyclamen coum, common name sowbread, is one tough customer. When all else is hiding from the cold, this hardy groundcover plant produces pretty pink flowers above a cluster of silver-scrubbed leaves. Plant en masse with ferns, snowdrops and hellebores in fertile, well-drained soil under deciduous trees and shrubs for a display from January to March.

Sow this Kickstart your gardening year by starting off some sweet pea seed. Save up cardboard toilet roll centres, fill with damp seed compost and nestle into a seed tray – tie around the whole lot with twine to keep them upright. Place two seeds per roll into seed compost, cover with another centimetre or two of compost and top the trays with a wad of newspaper. Place in a cold frame or greenhouse and remove the paper once they have sprouted.

Record this If you’ve noticed bumblebees bimbling about on winter-flowering plants, the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society wants to hear from you. This volunteer group is gathering data on when, where and on what buff-tailed bumblebees are feeding in the coldest months. Submit your observations at

This article titled "Gardens: what to do this week" was written by Jane Perrone, for The Guardian on Saturday 13 January 2018 11.00am

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