January garden plant maintenance

January garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

January, one would think, can feel so dismal and dreary, especially in the garden. However there are some real stars to consider introducing into your garden. Lonicera fragrantissima is a shrubby honeysuckle which has sweetly scented, creamy white waxy flowers that flower reliably from January during any milder spell of weather.

Another spectacular January flowering shrub is Chimonanthus praecox with its strange, stiff, claw-like flowers which are pure white with purple centres. Again, it is superbly scented. Or you could consider Chimonanthus praecox “Grandiflorus” which has deep yellow flowers with a conspicuous red stain.

Winter favourites are the Witch Hazels: Hamamelis mollis “Pallida” is one of the best forms with large sulphur-yellow flowers which are much more prominent than straightforward Hamamelis mollis. Or, if you want one with a difference, try Hamamelis x intermedia “Jelena” which produces dense clusters of bi-coloured petals which, viewed from a distance, appear to be orange but are actually deep red at the base, fading to butter yellow! The added bonus with Witch Hazels is that they are all brilliantly scented.

Pulmonarias are lovely plants commonly known as Lungworts, and one of the earliest herbaceous perennials to flower. They are commonly seen with blue flowers but why not try Pulmonaria rubra “Redstart” which has pinky-red flowers – or Pulmonaria “David Ward” which has coral-red flowers. The other great benefit of Pulmonarias is that they thrive in full or partial shade, as long as it is damp.

Viburnum x bodnantense “Deben” is also a great performer in January. Actually this upright shrub often starts flowering in December and goes on well into February, no matter how hard or nasty the weather conditions. “Deben” has pink buds opening to white and again, like all the other January candidates, is highly scented.

Structural plants give interest in January and throughout the winter months. Shrubs such as Corylus avellana “Contorta” or, as it is commonly known, the “Twisted Hazel” with its corkscrew stems is a great addition to any garden. Many of these are grafted specimens so be careful to keep an eye out for any straight shoots coming from the base; these must be removed as soon as possible because, if left, they will become dominant and take over.

Garden maintenance in January

  • When is the best time to lay turf – see our lawn page for advice.
  • Hollow tine aerate any water logged lawns
  • This is the time to dig over the vegetable plot.
  • Hollow tine aerate any water logged lawns
  • Remove any moss or leaves from borders and gently till, without damaging the shoots of emerging bulbs, to aerate the soil and promote growth. This also removes any weeds which have continued to grow and gives the garden a neat cultivated look.
  • Faded flowers and the stems of some perennial plants, such as sedums, look untidy so should be cut down to soil level, ensuring that any new growth coming through is not damaged.
  • Mulching herbaceous borders while the plants are still dormant helps to protect new growth from frost damage.
  • Bare rooted roses and shrubs can continue to be planted. Apply plenty of compost into the bottom of the hole before planting to give the roots a good start. Roses planted this winter will flower in the summer.

Gardeneer can help give you a few ideas to help brighten up your gardens in January. Happy New Year from everyone here at Gardeneer.