January Gardening

Gardens can often be forgotten in the winter – I suppose it can seem like there’s no point in making your garden look nice if you’re not going to be outside enjoying it very much. Well, depending on what you’ve got growing in your garden, there are jobs that are best done now in preparation for when it all goes mad in the spring and everything starts growing too fast for you to keep up!

I’ve been gardening this weekend – it’s pretty nippy so I did a few of the more energetic garden tasks to keep me warm. These included:

Raking up leaves
A job that seems to go on for about six months after they actually start falling off the tree. I don’t know where they’re coming from anymore but they still keep appearing. 

It’s best to pick up and get rid of leaves wherever they land because they smother grass and leave bald patches and make patios dirty and slippery and all-sorts. If you have a patio or steps, undoubtedly leaves will have accumulated in the corners. I have a few steps in my back garden where leaves had accumulated. I ignored these leaves for too long, it seems, because they’d actually turned into soil with worms in and everything! I scooped it all up, put the leaves in the pile at the bottom of the garden and put the soil and worms in the flower bed.

Dividing perennials
Splitting your garden plants up while they’re dormant and replanting them elsewhere is a rewarding and free way of changing or adding to your planting schemes, as well as stopping the plants from becoming too cramped (and all that digging and dividing keeps you warm too!)

It’s do-able on pretty much all clump-forming garden perennials. Yesterday I divided a big patch of Leucanthemums (a tall daisy-like flower). These do really well in my garden and the clump had got so big it was starting to look ridiculous. So I got a spade and dug a big section of the clump up. Once unearthed, I chopped it clean in half with the spade again. With a more manageable two smaller clumps, I then replanted them in a different area of the garden next to a patch of Foxgloves – The Foxgloves will flower first, and then the Leucanthemum (which are about the same height as Foxgloves) will take over with their flowers afterwards. I’m looking forward to seeing them when they start to grow in the spring!

Cut off dead branches
Dead branches are quite noticeable at this time of year. They’re all brittle and flakey. Cut them off now while you can see them as it keeps the plant/tree/shrub healthier and it looks better too.

I cut some dead bits off a Jasmine bush yesterday, I’m not really sure what type it is, I need to look it up, but it always looks tatty, doesn’t flower very much and often produces dead branches. Whichever one it is, it’s not happy.

Also, a couple of Aucuba branches had died. It’s easy to spot these because they look awful, the leaves and branches go completely black and stick out like a sore thumb from the nice shiny gold & green flecked leaves. I cut these off too and it immediately looked a million times better.


I noticed while I was out there that bulbs are starting to come up – spring’s on its way!


About garden nomey

I studied Horticulture at Writtle College in Essex back in the early noughties – it was good fun and a great place to learn, and since then I’ve had various lovely jobs. I started working as a gardener at Trinity College in Cambridge, which is the biggest of Cambridge University’s colleges. That was the best gardening job I’ve ever had, the gardeners were talented and knowledgable (and fun!), the college was relaxed and the grounds are extensive and beautiful. There are amazing gardens locked behind ‘secret garden’ doorways in ancient walls, huge perennial borders to tend to, massive hedges to trim (one is 30ft high) and lawns to mow with precision. It was the perfect place for me, as a new gardener, to gain all the experience I might need to see me off into a career in horticulture. I went on to do various other gardening jobs for a few more years, before deciding that I would like to write about plants. Just as I was wondering how on earth I might get into this (as I was only trained in horticulture), I stumbled upon a Marketing Assistant job with an online and catalogue plant supplier, and they kindly took me in. This was my dream job at the time and I felt so lucky, I spent every day writing plant copy and gaining experience and knowledge in marketing and website management – something I’d never even thought about doing in the past. As it turned out, I loved it! Since then I’ve worked for more online plant suppliers, plus magazines including Which? Gardening Magazine and BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. I currently work as a garden writer for Hubert Burda Media UK and fill some of my spare time with freelance copy writing and blogging work. Every single one of my jobs has taught me so much and I think I’ve found my niche – I’m a Gardener, Copy Writer, Garden Marketer, Feature Writer and Online Content Manager! I’ve been involved in this industry for a good while now. I’ve been to a lot of press shows, I work and have worked with a lot of suppliers and I constantly see people I know in magazines and at gardening events. I really feel like I’m part of this lovely, friendly industry and that makes me very happy. I hope you enjoy my blog! Naomi
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