NOW that we have entered a new year it's time to turn
over a new leaf and get back to work in the garden; there is a
lot of preparation work ahead and now is the time to get
started. Freshen over beds and borders and start spraying weeds
on paths and drives and through the borders.
Plants which keep
their leaves in winter are often worth more than the flamboyant,
herbaceous plants which disappear completely when conditions are
grim. They give pleasure all year round, give a reason for
walking in the garden in winter and help present a picture from
Hot, sandy or gravel soils which cause concern in
dry summers often provide the most furnished areas in winter,
apart from the absence of flowers in several winter months.
Perfect examples are Viburnums, Laurels, Photinia ,
Rhododendrons, Conifers and Holly. These will also provide a
wind-break and give a great structure to the garden through the
The garden's greatest enemy is wind and this month
often proves to be the stormiest. You cannot stop the wind, but
you can slow it down and you can create a micro climate in your
garden. Fences, walls and artificial screens will affect this,
up to a point, but the best way is with plants.
excellent wind-breaks and grow far more quickly than you might
imagine, especially if you nurse them with a temporary fence or
shelter screen while they develop.
Groups of trees and shrubs also make great shelter devices
and have the added advantage of reducing noise. Plant densely at
first, but be prepared to thin out later. The best time to plant
shelter trees, hedges or any woody plant is now.