January can be a bleak month, still shortage of daylight and as I write we have just had some very wet days.

Thinking of New Plants and breeding now is the time to start sowing perennials, the cold weather will help stratify seed aiding germination as the days get longer and temperature start to rise.

Helleborus will soon be flowering, I have seen some in flower already, look for some interesting colours, double flowers for new cultivars or hybrids.


Helleborus niger crosses are more commercially viable, Helleborus Orientalis produce more mixed hybrids

If you have breeding lines and are thinking of how you can develop them further I can assist you with any trialling that is needed.

Further advice can be found on my website.


Happy New Year!

With recent storms there may be branches and leaves to clear from the garden, these can be trimmed up and burnt, composted or taken to local recycle centre.

Carry on trimming back perennials and tidying garden beds.

Can still take root cuttings and seed sowing of perennials, shrubs etc can be carried out now, either in greenhouse or outside. You may need to protect seed trays from vermin. Cover with wire netting is ideal.

Plant lily bulbs and check Dahlia and Canna tubers for drying out and mould, remove any that are rotting.

Outdoor pots and baskets overwintered may need some water, can dry out surprisingly quickly during windy weather

During freezing weather winter bedding such as Viola, wallflowers can lift slightly from soil, go round beds and firm gently back in.

If growing sweet peas you can sow them now indoors, pinch out tops when 5cm high

In the veg patch you can cover some bare soil with clear polythene or cloches to warn soil ready for early sowing in March.

Remove any weeds that appear.

Still time to plant Garlic, I received some bulbs this week and will plant as soon as frost has lifted.

When lawn is not frozen or waterlogged cut lawn edges to improve appearance of garden, you may also need to give lawn a light trim once if month is mild.

Remove any leaves and debris remaining. Aerate the lawn to improve any wet areas.

Remember don’t walk over the lawn during frosty weather.

Remove any leaves from pond, melt a hole in ice with hot saucepan, check water levels, take advantage of any sales on for aquatic plants and pumps filters etc.

Move any shrubs, tress and plant new ones.

Cut back ornamental vines

Good time to do any landscaping

Pressure wash pathways to prevent algae, clean drains, check pipes, taps for damage from frost lag or drain if needed.

Hippeastrum bulbs need to be brought into active growth by watering and feeding, looking for flowering in late winter to early spring.

Check and clean gutting and down pipes, clean down pipe filters.

Now is good time to take some time to look at your garden and consider new projects, plants to add, things to change.