I just love January! For me it’s the real start to the new gardening year. December is mainly finishing off clearing the last of the years growth, from the last few weeds, the last of the skeletons from the herbecous plants and the never ending drift of leaves should be finally finshed. The whole thing I feel, is just so negative, coupled with the days getting shorter and the run up to Christmas, certainly leave me feeling slightly down in the dumps.
But January, glorious january, makes me happy once more. Everything from this time onwards is gettting the gardens and plants ready for the new session. My favourite jobs start up again Pruning! I just can’t get enough of it personally. I start with the fruit trees including the apples and pears, the wall shrubs like wisteria, oh the joy of using my secateurs, string, untangling the mass of stems, just like a ball of wool after a kitten has played with it! It’s enough to get me out of the bed in the cold mornings. I just love leaving the plant all trimmed up and pruned once more into a stunning shape, one that will add structure within the winter.
It is of course well worth making sure your clothes are good enough to cope with the possible wet and certainly cold weather, even more so when you are up a ladder with the wind whistling into any bare patches of skin, lowering your body temperature and making you feel cold and miserable! But it’s also important not to have too many layers or too thick layers, otherwise it can make life just as hard trying to do anything dressed like the Michelin man. I make sure I have a good base layer unit on, one that’s used in mountaineering, this helps to keep my body warm and remove any moisture from the skin, then followed by my Genius work trousers that I just love, top wise it’s my fleece jumper with a body warmer next with a windbeater goretex fleece or coat on top of that. My head is always covered and if it gets very cold I add a snood to keep out the cold. Glove wise haven’t found anything better than the Goldleaf range of gloves. Now I can enjoy the winter work
One other thing to enjoy is the winter plants that have started to flower around the garden. Plants like Helllebores, Hammalis, Galanthus and Viburnums can be found most days, sharing both the delightful flowers and sometimes the stunning scent that can be flowing around the garden. Another reason to enjoy being outside at this time of year.
Well that’s it for this months overview, I shall be back soon with a few other posts in January before the next monthly blog in February