Although gardens look like they are in a gentle slumber there is still a lot of beauty and interest outside. Enjoy the fiery stems of Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’, the rich bark of Prunus serrula var. tibetica that looks like it has copper wire wrapped around it’s trunk, the peeling bark of Acer griseum, the flowers and scent of Hamemalis, the pearly heads of Snowdrops, the evergreens shrubs touched by the frost and our favourite the spider webs that are jeweled with drops of the morning dew.
Keep an eye on newly planted trees, shrubs and roses. Strong winds can make them rock. Make sure they are secure in the earth. Cold winds and frost can scorch new growth on evergreen shrubs. If weather conditions are bad, we would recommend covering these with some fleece.
Clear snow off plants. The weight can cause damage to stems and branches.
PESTS & DISEASES:
Practice good hygiene in the garden. It will help prevent pests and diseases that are just waiting for the weather to warm up. Don’t let fallen leaves gather on top of herbaceous perennials or alpines as these will cause rot under the damp leaves.
Try and avoid walking on wet lawns and definitely no walking on frosted lawns. There should certainly be no lawn mowing. If you do need to walk on the lawn our suggestion would be to put some scaffolding planks down and walk on those. If it has snowed, avoid piling the snow into a heap on the lawn as it encourages disease.
Wisteria require their second prune. The stems that you pruned back to 5 or 6 buds in summer, now need to be pruned back to 2 or 3 buds. Other climbers that require pruning are Boston Ivy, Virginia Creeper and climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomola subsp. petiolaris)
It is a good time of the year to prune and shape ornamental deciduous trees as they have lost their leaves and are now dormant. The same applies to ornamental deciduous shrubs. Remember it is good for plants to have air going through them.
It will be time to order summer flowering bulbs.
If you are storing Dahlia or Begonia tubers just make sure you check them to make sure there is no disease or rot setting in.
Trees, shrubs, hedges and bare root roses can be planted so long as the ground is not frozen solid. If the soil conditions allow, deciduous trees, shrubs, climbers or herbaceous perennials can be moved but make sure to take as large a root ball as possible.
RUNWAY PLANTS FOR JANUARY
Acer palmatum ‘Sango-Kaku’
Betula utilis ‘Jacqumontii’
Prunus serrula var. tibetica
Tillia cordata ‘Winter Orange’
Chimonanthus praecox ‘Sunburst’
Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’
Cornus sericea ‘Falviramea’
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Flame’
Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’
Erica carnea ‘Springwood White’
Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’
Hamamelis x intermedia
Ilex x altaclerensis ‘Camelliifolia’
Mahonia x media ‘Charity’
Phormium ‘Apricot Queen’
Pittosporum tobira nanum
Pyracantha ‘Saphyr Rouge’
Sarcococca hookeriana var digyna
Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’
Clematis armandii ‘Apple Blossom’
Eranthis hyemalis (Winter Aconite)
Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrop)