In winter many perennial plants die down to a permanent rootstock.
This is a survival mechanism for the plant in its original, cold climate habitat.
These plants can be dug up and moved during this dormant stage.
Gooseberries fruit on permanent spurs on old wood and well-ripened young wood.
Prune to keep the bush open so that air and light can reach the fruit.
Carpet roses are at their best when used as groundcovers, mass plantings, border edging, potted colour or to disguise that ugly bank.
These hardy, highly disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants like a position in full sun and usually cover an area one metre wide by about 60 to 80 centimetres high.
Prune back by one-third in late winter with a pair of garden shears.
There are some stunning new varieties available.
If you have an exposed area in your garden and are looking for a hardy shrub to brighten it up consider one of the coprosmas.
These plants come in a range of hybrids with stunning foliage in colours from lime to yellow, cream to pink to burgundy.
Some are variegated.
These plants are ideal as single, hedge or mass plantings.
Water lilies can be divided up now while dormant.
Each division should have a growing point or bud on it.
Replant the division in a container of aged compost and wet well.
Cover the top of the pot with pebbles to weigh it down and immerse in a pond.
Remove any sucker growth on grafted plants as soon as it appears or it will eventually take over the plant.
May is the month when pruners get itchy fingers. If in doubt as to how to treat an ornamental, leave it alone except to pinch or snip off any seeds heads and leave the foliage intact.
Tie up any young shoots rather than cut them off before they have grown tall and firm.
Do not cut back frost-tender shrubs until the frost danger is over.
Just after flowering is the time to give spring flowering shrubs any necessary pruning.
This includes camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and heathers that may need a little more than seed head removal. Prune roses in late July-August.
Mealy bugs appear as tiny white fuzzy patches on indoor plants and are detrimental if not addressed. Swipe off these sap suckers with a cotton bud soaked in methylated spirits. Check daily for new outbreaks.