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Tuesday 10 January 2023

This Month in Your Garden – January

“Nature has undoubtedly mastered the art of winter gardening.” Vincent A Simeone

Vincent, a horticulturalist and author, goes on to say “even the most experienced gardener can learn from the unrestrained beauty around them.” 

So, January need not be all dull, damp and cold. You could even be sowing seeds that need frost to germinate, including alpine plants, native shrubs and trees.

Among the many plants that bring colour to grey days are Iris reticulata, hellebores, crocus, Berberis, Daphne and Hamemelis. Snapdragons, violas and winter pansies glow brightly from containers and if you feel like more planting, bare root roses can go in the ground now along with hedges, shrubs and new fruit bushes if the ground is not too hard.

Apple and pear trees will thank you for pruning back dead wood, weak branches and areas of thick growth to open them up to the light and air. If it is relatively mild you could sow sweet peas and plant lily bulbs in pots. 

Traditionally, after twelfth night is the time to take down Christmas decorations and recycle the tree unless you bought a live one with a good root system that you can plant in the garden. But first consider how tall and large it will grow. If it’s cold outside and you have heated greenhouse or coldframe why not sow some Pelargonium and Lobelia. Alternatively, indoors you could sow bedding plants and annuals in modules. 

  • Take hardwood cuttings of shrubs and deciduous trees
  • Prune rose bushes and wisteria
  • Remove old Hellebore leaves to expose new blooms
  • Prune late vines but not cherries, figs, apricots peaches or nectarines
  • Sow hardy bulbs
  • Cut down old stems of perennials such as Sedum

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