Happy New Year!
I don’t know about you but my garden looks a complete tip, all that wind and rain has taken its toll. I also find that when you are away for a long time (6 weeks in panto for me) on your return you look at your garden in a new light and see all the negative things about it. The gaps in the flower borders, the panes of glass missing from the greenhouse, the hedge that has got a little too wide over the years, the ditch that needs digging out – which will definitely help with the drainage. As, on New Year’s Day the patio filled up with 6 inches of water and came in through the patio doors onto the new carpet, what a great start to the new year! So, the plan is to walk around the garden and list all that needs to be tackled. This time of year is also a great time to redesign your garden as you can really see the basic structure, a lot of the plants have died back or aren’t in leaf so you can see which bits work and which bits don’t.
If you need ideas or inspiration pop to a larger garden centre as they often have small garden features set up with planting or visit gardens like Wisley, Capel Manor that has Show gardens. Alternatively check out the RHS website as there is loads of photos from Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows. Do think about the maintenance as you don’t want a garden that you have to spend all your spare time looking after. Likewise, the garden needs to be practical ie. Somewhere for the bins and washing line etc. And when it comes to the plants choose ones that will be happy in the conditions that you actually have.
It is a good idea to draw up a basic scale plan of what you want to do and there is no reason why you cannot start the hard landscaping at this time of year. Having said that you may want to leave it until we have got rid of all this horrible rain! Lastly, what to do with your Christmas tree. If it is a cut one then most councils recycle them at your local dump. If you splashed out on a potted tree, plant it out in a flower border leaving it in its pot which will mean it will not blow over and get damaged and will also need less watering but do remember to check on it in the summer months and then come Christmas it is easy to pull out of the ground and reuse.