Is January the month for Gardening from your armchair?

By Paul Hervey-Brookes, January 21

Is January the month for gardening from your armchair?

The lawn is often covered in frost and snow making work difficult and causing damage if walked on, but don’t think you are off the hook! Armchair and a cup of tea at the ready, now is the time to peruse your seed catalogues and draw up lists and plans for the coming seasons.

Seeds and plug plants can catch you imagination galore and maybe the odd bit of hard landscaping that can be dreamt of now as well as you rethink parts of the garden. It's not only seed catalogues which introduce their latest offerings at this time of year so be sure to order new catalogues of hard landscaping supplies as well.

On the days when the weather is less inclement there are jobs to be done outside. Air out the greenhouse and clear any odds and ends out. Check your pots to make sure that they are still intact and sweep out the shed checking the tools as you go. Bare root planting can be done now and moving existing trees and shrubs if the ground is not waterlogged. Fruit bushes, wisteria and winter flowering shrubs (after they have finished flowering) can be pruned.

Clear up the last of the fallen leaves and trim dead ones from hellebores to really reveal their sparkling flowers this month. Lift, divide and plant snowdrops and other plants best planted “in the green” - with snowdrops you really have two choices, split before they flower or after, I have tried both ways with equal success!

Clean out the bird boxes, check for small animals and hedgehogs before lighting any bonfires, top up the feeders and water bowls for the birds and relax - but not for long spring is soon to come a knocking!

MEET PAUL

Paul has his own highly successful landscape design business, and has also designed a range of gardening gifts for Marks and Spencers.

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