THE corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana Contorta') is one of those spooky, mystical trees you could imagine popping up in a witches and wizards story, producing its long yellow catkins on curiously twisted bare branches in late winter.

It's often used to add drama to a cut or dried flower display.

The leaves appear later in spring and are also coiled and twisted and turn yellow in autumn.

Its female flowers are like tiny red sea anemones.

It thrives in any reasonable soil in partial sun or shade, growing slowly to about 6m (20ft) tall and 5m (16ft) wide.

WHAT TO DO THIS WEEK Protect outdoor peaches, nectarines and apricots from frost by covering them with old curtains or sacking on frosty nights Spike lawns with a fork if surface drainage is poor Sow spinach and broad beans when soil is workable Lift, divide and replant established clumps of rhubarb which need rejuvenating Make new rock gardens Prune winter jasmine as the flowers fade Plant lily-of-the-valley crowns Top up bird feeders regularly and fill up bird baths which are drying out Cut back tips of blackberry canes and tie the stems into the support wires In the greenhouse, take cuttings from flowering and foliage pot plants.