Monthly Gardening Tips - January 2023

Happy New Year to all our supporters!

The late autumn rains, and frosts in December, have helped normalisation in the garden. Most deciduous plants have now lost all their leaves. Never hard prune evergreen shrubs in winter but rather in March, and again in mid summer if you want to keep them in check, which allows them to green up again before winter. Whilst yews, laurels, hollies and olives will readily produce new shoots from old wood always cut back to a side branch where possible; but most conifers won't take more than light clipping and don't re-grow from old wood.

Now is the time to check ties on trees, shrubs and climbers - when you can see the wood from the trees. Avoid using plastic or wire; green string is preferable and will generally break when constriction occurs. When staking trees make sure the tie, with spacer, is near the top of the stake to prevent chafing.

In the November Tips I showed Hylotelephium spectabile (Sedum) in flower. Frosts quickly put paid to these, so cut them to within a couple of inches of the ground to free up basal growth. To easily propagate you can dig a whole clump up during a mild spell this month and use a spade or saw to cut it into smaller clumps, and replant, maybe as a group, a foot apart. See below.

As a retrospective horticultural glance I present you with a reminder of a few of the lovelies that I spotted for sale over the festive season. Ainít nature wonderful?!

Hylotelephium spectabile, showing budshylotelephium spectabile
Hellebore. Christmas Rosechristmas rose
Cineraria maritima. Half-hardy. Best for baskets & bowlscineraria maritima
Primula. Hardy if planted out in Octoberprimula
Cyclamen. Many are not hardycyclamen
Poinsettia pulcherrimapoinsettia pulcherrima
Mistletoemistletoe
Gaultheria procumbens. Hardy groundcover.gaultheria procumbens
Viburnum tinus. Clip after spring flowering.viburnum tinus
Skimmia japonica. Scented in springskimmia japonica

Richard Ward