What to do in the garden in early April

Many desirable low-growing shrubs get irritatingly tatty through the winter months, but if they’re cut back hard to tidy them up, winter cold and wet will often polish them off altogether. Now is the time to step forth with shears and secateurs.

The arch-offender is usually Santolina, with its less than endearing tendency to fall apart. Cut it neatly off just above ground level and dispose of the debris. Your eye will soon turn to Artemisia species for the same treatment.