Favourite pot plants that inhabit the same container for years on end can be helped along a little at this time of year. Gently remove some of the surface compost and replace it with a fresh layer of the original mix. For most plants, a loam-based compost does best. Take the opportunity to cut out any dead shoots, then settle down to the task of wiping the leaves over with a damp cloth and cleaning the pot. You’ll both feel much better for it.

* Subscribe to Country Life and save over £50 a year