I don’t do much gardening in January…a bit of nonchalant weed-pulling, some chopping of gone-over things, and some deadheading if I’ve got winter bedding (cyclamen, pansies) on the go. More time is spent spring cleaning…getting the shed tidy and in order, sluicing out the bins (yuck) and clearing any gutters low enough not to induce vertigo.
My favourite gardening endeavours then, take the form of dreaming, and leafing through catalogues. Getting in early and ordering the things you want is always a good idea.
Here is my January shopping list.
Having decided to put snowdrops (Galanthus) in my lawn last year, I then went and forgot to order any. The best way to plant them is not as bulbs, but in flower, or having flowered (or ‘in the green’) as gardeners say. I shall be ordering three each of G. Magnet and G. S. Arnott to start off what I very much hope will become a carpet of snowdrops. For these particularly tall varieties I’m prepared to wait, as I’m also mindful that I don’t want to spend lots of time and money planting hundreds of snowdrops only to have them turn their noses up at the conditions they’ve been given. Slow gardening then, and I’ll be buying them from Avon Bulbs, who always deliver good quality specimens, and whose packaging is completely plastic-free. If I had a large space and wanted an instant carpet though, I’d probably go for this deal. They are simple G. Nivalis, and very gorgeous, and good value to boot.
Gladiolus callianthus murielae
These are the stunners I plant in containers ever year, successionally and they give me a continuous, scented display from midsummer right through to the first frosts. I love them unconditionally and if I had more space, I’d fill it with them. I actually planted some in the ground last year, and left them there over winter to see if they come back, an experiment I’m not holding out much hope for, but hey, it’s good to try! I’ll be buying 80 bulbs from Farmer Gracy who I bought from last year. Their bulbs were cheaper than I could find elsewhere, great quality, grew really well and their packaging was plastic-free.
These daisies are the hardest-working container plant in my garden over the summer months. I buy them as plug plants, grow them on and plant them in my big pots once my bulbs have left the building. I water and feed the living daylights out of them, and they reward me with continual flowering until well in to November and beyond. I used to buy them from Sarah Raven but was disappointed by last year’s plants - the colour was so much duller than before. So this year I’m going to get them from Brookside Nursery and I’m changing my colour choice and going for a variety called ‘Halo Pink’ - not just because I love the rather outré colour, but also because they’re selling a tray of 42 plants for £30 and I love the idea of having them EVERYWHERE. The safe option is to go for the gorgeous white one…which is never not charming and gorgeous. Over to you.
That’s it (for now).
ps if you want a much more personal run-down of all my five minute forays, I write a newsletter every week which drops on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s full of the rather messier, more real, and, let’s face it, rather less pin-worthy stuff that life throws at me, and it’s the thing I enjoy writing most of all. Hit the button below if you want to have a go…and know that you can unsubscribe any time if it’s not for you!