January in the Garden

Well, first the good news – the days will only get longer from now on and before you know it, spring will be upon us, and nature will refresh us all with burgeoning new life.  Further good news is that December and January can be wonderful months in the garden - days may be short, but on a clear, crisp sunny day it can be a pleasure to be out and about, despite the temptations of a blazing log fire!  Plants can look charming covered in a thin layer of snow, with a number of plants, such as winter flowering heather, providing splashes of colour, especially tinged with the crispness of a sharp frost, and there should also be berries on trees and shrubs (birds permitting).


And the bad news?  Well let’s just ignore it, we have had enough bad news over the last couple of years to last us all a lifetime.


Somethings however, cannot be ignored and there are still things that need to be done in the garden, albeit at a gentle pace!  Now is the time to prune ornamental plants and fruit trees and, weather permitting, continue with any winter digging incorporating compost and other organic material into the soil to turbo start your growing season.  Time also to do a little maintenance of paths, sheds and fences etc before the worst of the winter storms and snow, and to clean out the greenhouse or conservatory.  Make sure any outside taps and exposed pipes are insulated.


If you are lucky, while you are outside digging, repairing etc, you will be accompanied by a  companion, such as a robin, eagerly seeking a juicy worm or insect.  It is also a reminder to regularly put food out for the birds to help them though winter – with any luck they will remember your kindness and favour your garden over your neighbour’s in the summer.


And lastly, reward yourself with a bit of armchair gardening.  This is the time for that log fire, with a glass of something, carols on the stereo (OK, it’s Spotify now), while you browse the seed and plant catalogues considering what you want to grow and features to be created in the coming months.


So let’s raise a glass of hot mulled wine (or whatever your preference) to 2022 and welcome it into our lives, but only on the condition that it is better than 2021 – your garden however can be its own reward during the year, nature reminding you that, no matter what is thrown at us, your garden can provide a sanctuary providing both solace and delight.


All at Eynsford Gardeners’ Club wish you an rewarding Christmas and, more importantly, a safe and healthy New Year.

Malcolm Richardson