●● Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch. ●● Inspect stored tubers of dahlia, begonia and canna for rots or drying out. Remove any diseased or dried-out bulbs. ●● Plan vegetable crop rotations for the following season. ●● Cut off old leaves of hellebores that produce flowers from ground level to expose the flowers. ●● Collect leaves that have blown over alpine beds as these plants are easily smothered. Bare patches can be covered with gritty compost. ●● Watch out for downy mildew and black spot on winter pansies. Remove any infected leaves and destroy badly affected plants. ●● If there is snow in your area, then you may need to brush it off the branches of conifers, climbers and light-limbed shrubs and trees. Heavy snowfall can splay branches, break limbs and spoil the shape of the tree. ●● Ornamental vines, ivy, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy can be cut back now – it’s a good idea to keep them away from windows, doors, gutters and roof tiles. ●● Put rabbit guards around newly-planted trees and shrubs to protect the bark from rabbit damage. ●● Mole activity will increase in January and February due to mating and nest (fortress) building. Remove the largest hills and re-firm before overseeding in spring.