In The Garden: January

16th December 2011

Start a year of celebration in your garden…

Tips for this month's gardening from National Garden Gift Vouchers

January sees the start of a year packed with national celebrations – with both a Jubilee and the Olympics on the horizon – so take it as a time to plan for the summer months and ensure that your garden blossoms into your own personal ‘medal winner’.

You don’t have to spend a fortune, and your garden can be any size and in the country or in a town. A recent survey carried out by PlantforLife (Environment Report 2011) gives an insight into the UK’s green credentials and highlights that urban gardening is becoming increasingly important. In fact, over 90% of people surveyed agreed that they felt it was important to grow flowers, shrubs and trees in built-up areas with 17% recognising the environmental benefits that derive from growing plants in the built environment.

Research also shows that 80% of adults living in an urban area have a garden or access to somewhere to grow outdoor plants. So even city dwellers can create spectacular foliage displays, whatever the size or shape or location of their homes. It’s really about growing plants wherever possible and making the most of your outside space. With just one £50 National Garden Gift Voucher you can create a green paradise on your own doorstep or windowsill. There are numerous combinations of plants that you can grow in confined spaces, which don’t require too much care and attention making them suitable even for the time poor.

One such plant, great for instant winter-spring colour and perfect for containers, window boxes and borders is the Primula. The majority bloom in the spring, but they have been known to flower through mild winters. There is a wide range of colours available from bright yellow to pastel reds and blues; they can grow in most soil types and be planted in sun and semi shade. Primulas can be used very effectively in bedding schemes with tulips and other winter-spring bedding plants or planted alone in blocks of colour. When planting them in containers, use multi-purpose compost and ensure that they never dry out – and remember to dead head the plants regularly as this will encourage a longer flowering period.

Even in the depths of winter there is always something to do in the garden. Top tips for January…

• Plan for the year ahead

• Protect plants from snow

• Put out food and water for birds

• If the ground is not frozen, dig mulch or compost into beds and borders to protect roots of delicate plants and provide nutrients to the soil

• Keep plants in containers protected from frost and check weekly to see if they need watering

• Feed established trees in late January

• Clear away any debris in the borders from the previous season

• Cover vegetable beds with polythene to warm the soil ready for early sowing

By the end of the month you’ll see the structure of the 2012 garden laid out in front of you…

Find Your Local