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Tips for January

  • Plants for January – Skimmias (evergreen leaves with long-lasting berries), Hamamelis (spidery winter blooms), Pernettya (shade tolerant evergreen with showy berries), Hedera helix (evergreen ivy).
  • Sow sweet peas and annual bedding plants like salvias, petunias, busy lizzies and lobelia.
  • Take root cuttings from dormant perennials like acanthus, ceanothus, dicentra, echinacea, Japanese anemones, phlox and verbascum.
  • Protect alpines from excess dampness.
  • Stake new trees and check supports of older ones.
  • Shape young trees.
  • Prune trees and shrubs grown for their leaf colour like Sambucus nigra ‘Aurea’, Acer negundo ‘Flamingo’, Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ and Catalpa bignonioides ‘Aurea’.
  • Winter-prune wisteria by shortening sideshoots back to 2-3 buds.
  • Improve the lawn drainage by spiking with a fork.
  • Plan vegetables and herbs for an early start to the cropping year.
  • Set up early potatoes to sprout or chit.
  • Bring strawberry plants in pots into the greenhouse for forcing.
  • Prune hazelnut trees.

Links to interesting sites

Allotment growing

Royal Horticultural Society

Society of Garden Designers

Rock Unique

Creative Landscapes

New legislation for front garden paving

The Government is hoping to steer the public to use more environmentally friendly products in their front gardens.

From October 2008, home owners in England must apply for planning permission if they want to pave their front garden with an impermeable material, such as asphalt. Planning permission is not required if you use a porous or permeable product which will reduce flooding and its subsequent damage.