January in my garden

Happy New Year! Although admittedly, it does feel strange to write that when we’re two thirds of the way through the month already. Anyway, after a much needed festive break, it’s time to take stock and have a look at January in my garden once again.

What's flowering now?

Not much at this time of year, the garden is in its resting phase. Most plants are conserving energy and concentrating on their roots, ready to put on a burst of colour and fragrance in spring. It’s actually one of my favourite months (even though I say that every month) because I can see the shape and layout of my garden more clearly. Where there are gaps, and what might complement existing shrubs.

But there are a few splashes of brightness, like the lovely vibrant cyclamens (cover pic) nestled among the wild strawberries under our weeping pear tree. They seem to thrive on a woodland floor environment.

And my collection of hellebores are starting to open up. I’ve cut back the old leaves around their bases to get rid of any fungal spores that can infect the new growth. They’ll be glorious in a few weeks’ time, if last year is anything to go by.

I’m so pleased to see a few snowdrops under the weeping birch in our orchard, a sign that the longer days are coming. They’re supposed to be easy to grow but that’s not been my experience over the years. They seem to be happy here though so I’ll buy a few more clumps “in the green” to add to them. (In the green simply means planting with all their green foliage intact once flowering is over, to get established faster than tiny bulbs).

I mentioned last January that one of my garden pleasures was relaxing on the bench next to our fragrant Daphne odora on a sunny morning. I’m looking forward to doing so again just as soon as it warms up a few more degrees, brrr. The contrast between the delicate pale pink of the flowers and the glossy dark green of the leaves looks stunning, don’t you think?

What's sprouting now?

Surprisingly, given how early in the growing season we are, quite a lot. Various bulbs have started poking their leaves through the grass and weeds on top of my pots (clearly I need to do some weeding and re-composting shortly).

There’s also a lot of new growth coming on some perennials, so I’ve cut the old brown foliage away to give them light and air. And I’m absolutely thrilled to see I have three new roses that are growing from some cuttings I took and stuck in a flower bed after pruning last September. This was a tip from Gardeners World but I didn’t really expect anything, I’d even forgotten I’d done it. But look (very closely!) at those green sticks at the front of the photo. Fingers crossed, come early summer I might have three new FREE rose bushes, which will be clones of my favourite climbing fragrant Madame Carriere 🙂

And the sunflower seed heads I’d left out for the birds last September have started sprouting! As it’s far too early for tender little seedlings to survive the frost