January is a fairly quiet time in my garden. Whilst there are a lot of behind the scenes preparations going on with my notebooks and pencils, actual time out in the garden is limited to an hour here and there when the weather is fine. My last list of jobs was posted in December and seems a long time ago now.

I do spend quite a lot of time walking around with the dogs and cat, observing the garden and listening to the birds who are starting to make their presence known again. Yesterday I took advantage of a sunny interval to walk around the boundaries and take a few photos which I am sharing with you today.

First up are Nelson and Ruby sharing an affectionate moment.

Golden Retriever & Cat

Here is a rosebud I spotted on a patio rose in a pot near the house. This rose flowered very early last year and looks set to do the same again this year.

January Rosebud

In the autumn of 2011 I purchased a number of young trees that were planted around the garden to fill out some bare spots. Whilst most are still looking like sticks this curly willow is really beginning to settle in and bulk out. Its coloured waving stems are beautiful.

Curly Willow

I was amazed yesterday to find the first shoots of rhubarb popping up above their layer of compost. I have decided to treat myself to a terracotta rhubarb forcer this year, so need to add ordering it to the garden list asap – I do not want a layer of snow to fall and ruin these precious shoots. Note the mulch of garden compost in the picture – there will be more about that in my next post in the series about Managing An Organic Vegetable Garden.

Rhubarb Shoots

So, jobs to do this week. On my list are:

  • Order sweet peas – I have completed this and the list is here.
  • Order a terracotta rhubarb forcer. I think I will get this one from Crocus.
  • Order dahlias from Rose Cottage Plants – I have made a list but need to finalise my plans
  • Check stored dahlia tubers to make sure none are rotting
  • Order flower seeds for the Cutting Garden
  • Dig up some clumps of snowdrop bulbs to put in pots and bring into the house to flower in cool spots
  • Remove any remaining leaves from hellebores to reveal the growing flowers.


Finally, I was reading Ingrid’s blog Of Spring and Summer this morning and she included this link to Gardenista, which is about forcing Lily of the Valley. I have never thought about trying to get Lily of the Valley to flower indoors and am keen to give it a go. I have some pips in pots in the cold frames that were not planted out last year, so I have brought a few pots into my warm kitchen to see what happens.

I will let you know if I have any success.