January not only marks the beginning of the calendar year, but also that of the gardening year. Taking its name from Janus, a god of Roman mythology, the first month of the year is about new beginnings and a transition period, and this concept is extremely important within the gardening world.
Many look at the new year as an opportunity to develop some new ideas into their garden design, whilst also providing a time to evaluate their gardening experiences from the previous year, analysing what had a positive effect upon the appearance of the garden, and what perhaps, did not.
January however is not a month purely for thinking, it is a time to act, and not to react within the gardening world. Many associate December with the cold, wintry evenings, however the frost really bites during the early months of the new year. It is therefore important to ensure that your design is well protected prior to the cold weather hitting, otherwise your plans for the year could well be scuppered before they have even begun.
Perhaps you have been using or are planning to use your greenhouse excessively, in order to protect plants from the harsh elements. It does however remain important to ensure that ventilation is maintained within the greenhouse when the opportunity presents itself. Sunny days are few and far between in January, however when they do occur it is important to make the most of them, by opening up the windows, allowing for air to flow through.
For many the last few weeks have been somewhat hectic due to the high winds and torrential rain which have hit hard across many areas of the country, and thus leaving families the task of clearing up. With debris being blown around, and various other items possibly being washed into gardens, a general tidy up following this cannot go amiss.
It is also important to consider the wildlife during the early months of the new year. Whilst we look to shed the weight put on over Christmas through food consumption, for the animals living within gardens food has been scarce and opportunities to eat few and far between, therefore it is vital that bird feeders continue to be filled in the same way that they were last year.
How have you learnt from your gardening experiences in 2013, and what plans do you have for your garden design over the next 12 months? You can let us know your thoughts through any of our social media channels.