Gardeners Blog – January

Starting the year as we mean to go on

Happy new year! We hope you’ve enjoyed Christmas in the way you wanted to and are now rested and ready for what 2020 will bring.

January tends to be quite quiet for gardeners but we can find plenty to do, nevertheless. If the ground isn’t frozen, we’ll be aerating the grass that has been compacted as well as turning over the soil in the beds and borders, ready for lashings of our homemade compost to improve the soil structure, improve drainage – and to encourage worms.

We’ll also be checking tree ties to ensure there’s sufficient space for growth this year – we recommend you do the same and remove any stakes if the trees are doing well. If stakes are left for too long, it can prevent their growth and development. If they rely too long on stakes, they don’t develop a basal flare, which helps them to sway in the wind.

The gardening team will be returning to the Alpine Garden this month to continue the landscaping and planting of various alpine plants from the northern hemisphere. We’re so pleased with how this revitalised area is looking – we hope you’re also enjoying this new-look Alpine Garden.

We’ll also focus on the semi-circular bed on the Terrace and plant it up with winter interest. We’re creating an area of colourful twigs, bark, berries and highly scented flowering plants. If it inspires you to recreate similar in your own gardens, many of these plants are available from our Plant Sales.

There’s work to be done in the glasshouses, too. We’ll be pruning many of the species planted in there to let in more light, encourage spring flowering and prevent the tallest from growing through the roof.

If we can’t be out and about in the fresh air and the borders, we can keep ourselves occupied in the potting shed and checking our inventories. We can also check to see if we need to update the labelling, recording and interpretation plaques.

We’ll be looking forward to seeing the winter aconites, early daffodils and snowdrops peeping through in the coming weeks – as we carry out our work, it’s always great to see these pops of colour emerging from the ground in the dead of winter. It shows that spring is just around the corner.