Why not work off the excesses of the festive season with some gardening? If you were lucky, Santa might have given you new tools, gardening gloves or boots. If not, treat yourself to start your gardening year on a high.
It’s tempting to stay indoors, but a spot of gardening will soon warm you up. Making those all-important preparations towards the growing season will save you time when the spring growing season starts. Avoid digging if it’s been frosty or the ground is waterlogged. Weather permitting, roughly dig over bare areas, forking in plenty of compost or rotted manure.
If you can’t wait for the spring to get some outdoor colour, there are plenty of options for perking up your winter garden. Snowdrops and Christmas roses are coming into flower this month. Skimmia, witch hazel and holly are at their best and all are available at Garsons. You can plant them so long as the ground isn’t frozen but make sure you firm them in well to stop the roots freezing.
Winter honeysuckle is a lovely addition to the garden with its fragrant creamy yellow flowers. It can grow up to eight feet tall and likes a lot of space, otherwise it might not flower.
If you have an overgrown apple tree, now is a good time to prune out unwanted growth. Remove dead or diseased branches and aim for well-spaced branches to give a good shape and allow each branch to get plenty of light. Take out all the upright whippy new growth as these rarely produce a good crop of fruit. Instead, concentrate the energy of the plant to the more horizontal branches.
Lastly, don’t forget to feed garden birds and leave out an unfrozen water supply.
Until next month, happy gardening.