January in the Garden

January here in our wee corner of the Scottish borders has on the whole been very dry and unseasonably warm. Which is great for getting ahead in the garden or getting out walking, but it can lure us into a false sense of security where the garden is concerned. It also encourages fresh fragile growth which can be easily damaged by frost or snow.

Even faded roses are beautiful


Once we are into January, if the weather is favourable I like to get started on the garden clear up. It means all the work is done before the bulbs and new shoots start emerging. I also love the finished results from messy dead growth and weeds to tidy and top dressed, ready for the coming year. I've been doing a lot of this both at home and especially in the nursery. In fact the weather has been so good through January I have got all the nursery borders cut back, weeded and top dressed, last year I didn't get them done until the end of February into March! Unless it snows of course, then it's paperwork and updating the website, another winter task.

Snow at home

Snow dog

A bit of snow in the nursery

The Pentlands from the nursery

When I am doing the winter tidy up I start by cutting back all last year's growth and removing weeds, this all goes on the compost heaps (which have just been emptied and the last batch then turned). It's also an opportunity to see how plants are doing and indeed whether they are surviving or not. The borders that don't have bark on get top dressed with last years compost from the compost bins. This is also all a great work out for getting fit after all that festive indulgence. I always start either in the front garden at home or at the entrance to the nursery, it's all about presentation and first impressions, especially in the nursery.

The stream garden before

and after

The entrance borders before, with their bark mulch are easy and quick to tidy

and after

The track beds, these borders have quite a few spring interest plants coming up already

People have been very complimentary about how good the nursery is looking after it's tidy up. It made a difference to tidy the sales area before Christmas too and I'll definitely try and do that again this year. It means I've been able to put seasonal plants straight out on the tables as they are ready. 

Home made sloe gin

Viburum x bodnantense 'Dawn' in flower and for sale in the nursery, great scent!

Frozen! Ice from the water feature

 Left side of the track

We've had some great sunsets in January

The last two beds in the stock beds, cut back and top dressed, all ready for spring

Garrya eliptica in Dean Village in Edinburgh, showing the
 difference being n the city makes to plants and gardening

So there we are, my January in the garden, some plants and general stuff. Hope your January has been good and here's to a fabulous February.

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