I’VE got a couple of large grape vines in the garden, one concealing the garden shed and the other across the front of the studio at the top of the garden.

To be honest, they were not really planted to gather the crops of grapes each year but more to provide the greenery and soften the impact of the garden buildings within the plot.

However, that said, we have picked grapes some years, if the weather has been kind and produced a good crop. This time of the year is a very good time to prune them, while they are dormant.

Once, and if, the warmer weather eventually arrives, their sap will start to rise and there is a risk they might bleed badly when cut. Generally, vines will produce fruit on the side shoots developed from last year’s growth. The guide books say that by restricting growth and the number of shoots, you should get a much better quality crop. Time will tell.

My garden is full of grasses, both front and back. This is the perfect time of the year to cut back any deciduous specimens you might have growing in your own plot. I’ve got several varieties, notably Miscanthus, which will soon start to sprout again. It is a good time get down on your knees and to cut them all back before the risk of damaging new growth. You need to cut them to a few inches above ground level and you will soon see the new growth coming through.

If you haven’t already thought about visiting a National Garden Scheme snowdrop garden next month, why not check out Pembury House in Clayton. They have one of the best collections in East Sussex and are open by arrangement through February and March. Check dates on their own garden website. Pre-booking essential for all, phone/email. Entry is £10, with children free, home-made teas included. There are winding paths through three acres of owner-maintained garden in the South Downs National Park and you’ll see hellebores and snowdrops at their best. They are in Ditchling Road, Clayton, Hassocks, BN6 9PH. Call 01273 842805 or visit www.pemburyhouse.co.uk.

I was pleased to learn that Stamford Avenue Community Garden, a garden for the local community to plant herbs, vegetables and flowers for everyone’s use and enjoyment in the city will join the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail in July. It won the “Best Community Garden” award at the Brighton & Hove City in Bloom competition in its first year of opening.

Read more at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk