Happy New Year!
I always enjoy the beginning of a new year in the garden and I can’t wait to get cracking. There are a few jobs at this time of year that I always like to do, and most of them depend on the weather. If it’s wet or snowy, I shelter in the greenhouse, but if it’s mild, I like to get as much done as possible outside.
Whatever the weather is like, a priority is to feed the birds. They use up so much energy at this time of year simply trying to survive, so it’s important to use a high energy mix – don’t miss our bird food Today’s Special Value offer, coming your way on Saturday 7th January. While you’re outside, cut back the leaves on hellebores to ground level. The plants look much tidier and you’ll also be able to see and enjoy the flowers better when they start to appear in late winter.
Also, check your winter pots and baskets to see if they need watering. They can dry out surprisingly quickly in windy weather. You should also take the opportunity to have a good look at your garden. If it looks dull, maybe it could be improved with more winter colour or evergreens?
Take a photo of the border and show it to your garden centre who can help pick the perfect plants. One plant definitely worth considering is the fabulous rhododendron Tinkerbird, with stunning white flowers that smell of jasmine. It’s our Plant of the Month for January and in trials carried out by members of my website, it was the most popular new plant we grew last year.
I’m always keen to do some planting in January and one of my favourite jobs, whatever the weather, is to sow sweet pea seeds. I pop mine in the greenhouse but it’s just as easy to start them off in small pots on a cool windowsill indoors. When the plants are 5cm (2″) high, pinch out the tops to make them grow bushy, then plant in the garden in March for masses of beautiful scented flowers from mid-June onwards.
It’s an exciting time for QVC gardening this month. We’re kicking off the season with a series of shows on Saturday 7th January which will feature the bird food Today’s Special Value offer, the scented rhododendron Tinkerbird and a couple of special offers on my Flower Power, as well as the Root Booster. It’s like making the most of the January sales, but from the comfort of your armchair.