DSCN2223.jpgThe evenings are slowly getting lighter, and things are beginning to grow. January has felt like a month of gloom interspersed with high winds but there has been rain, sleet, snow and the odd spot of sun too.

DSCN2227.jpgThe snowdrops are beginning to form drifts and I am eagerly awaiting my hellebores, still in bud! I shouldn’t wish my time away but I can’t wait for the tulips either. Still, a gardener’s work is never finished and this is about what I am doing at the moment.

One of my main tasks over winter is pruning roses and that is ongoing. I can’t bring myself to cut off the few brave flowers but on the whole I am quite brutal and the more grumpy I am, the harder I chop!

With tulips starting to show, hurrah, I am finishing off tidying the borders and doing the final cutting back of perennials. It is really cheering to see shoots emerging I do hope that they don’t get caught by the frosts as it is still quite early.

At the pub, rather appropriately, I have cut back the grape vines. I don’t know a lot about it except that you do it in January so that the stems don’t bleed. I have trimmed back mid season before and the sap does rather gush out. They seem to grow like mad so I have pruned to give a nice structure on the wire supports.


Grape vines before pruning. Note fallen tree in between shepherd’s huts.

At home, progress on the actual garden is slow but I have been thumbing through the seed catalogues trying to make a decision as to what to grow this year.


You would think that with this many seeds already I would have enough but I’ve found lots more that just have to order! Lots of salad leaves that I pick everyday for my sandwiches, leeks for soup, beans, courgettes and some giant pumpkin seeds from Matthew Oliver at RHS Hyde Hall so fingers crossed! I have to think about what I want to eat, what will sell on my stall (to cover some of the growing costs), and filling those large veg plots at the pub. There will be lots of flowers too.

I can’t wait for some warm spring sunshine, but I have got plenty to do to get the garden ready before the big seed sowing frenzy begins.


January veg, my first cauliflower!