I’m so glad we planted some winter interest within the sight lines of my winter vantage points. Over morning coffee, I spy the first patch of snowdrops to open. Is there any better way to start a January morning?
- While there’s more elbow room in the beds, spreading a 2-3 inch layer of mulch is easier now than at any other time. It insulates the garden & provides a tidy backdrop for all those early bulbs that are getting ready to burst into life. The effort this month pays BIG dividends over & over again through the entire year.
- If it does happen to snow, get out there with a wee broom & shake off the cold, wet weight from the evergreens. Start with clearing lower branches, so their load is gone before the snow drops from the upper branches. Rhodos are particularly susceptible to breaking.
- As long as it isn’t frozen, the rains have softened the ground for digging, so it’s easy to stomp the edger between the beds & lawns. This protects the beds from the grass’ invading as soon as the lawn starts to grow again in February.
- Celebrate the occasional sunny weekend, but don’t be fooled. January is contrary, and cold snaps are still likely to visit.
- Hellebore are prepping their blooms for the new year, but some older foliage can detract from the show. Trim back the ragged or blackened leaves.
- It’s almost shocking to see the blooming Hardy Fuchsia react to a snow flurry. The poor thing withers the moment a flake touches it. But no fear – it’s really only hibernating. Just the same, I trim back the skeleton & dream of the renewed spring growth.
- The evergreen Strawberry Tree blooms & bears fruit right up until the snowfall too. When it’s hibernating is the time I like to tidy up any unwieldy branches.
- This is all good, but seriously – – prioritize mulching above the rest. When that’s done, be happy & relax with a good book for the rest of the month.
Veg / Berry Patch (& Orchard)
- It’s astonishing how well some vegetables survive in the cool if protected from soggy ground: kale… chard… leeks…
- This is all good, but seriously – – prioritize mulching above the rest. When that’s done, be happy & relax with a good book for the rest of the month. Seriously!
trees: holly… mountain ash… paper bark cherry… paper bark maple… Twisty Baby (dwarf Black Locust)…
shrubs: . sarcococca… viburnum bodnantense…. winter camellia… jasmine… pyracantha (firethorn)… beauty berry (callacarpa)… witch hazel.. heavenly bamboo … berberis… cotoneaster… mahonia… snowberry… rosemary… dragon claw willow…
perennials: early hellebore… variegated yucca… Chinese lantern… hens & chicks, sedums…
bulbs: snowdrops… eranthis (winter aconite)… iris reticulata… early cyclamen coum… early crocus… early narcosis…
ferns: Hart’s tongue fern… sword… deer… licorice…
Planning & Events
- Need a fun New Year’s resolution? How about learning more plant names? There are monthly walks at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific.
- Cabin fever? There are more than enough garden clubs around Victoria that there’s plenty of opportunity to get out of the house. It’s easy to fill my evenings with garden talks. Here’s just a few :
Victoria Flower Arrangers Guild – 2nd Tuesday
Victoria Cactus & Succulent Society – 3rd Thursday
Victoria Orchid Society – 4th Tuesday
View Royal Garden Club – 4th Wednesday
© SVSeekins, 2015