Head Gardener Jacqui is reminding us that there is always something joyful to be found in nature, whether you’re nurturing new shoots or simply seeking a breath of fresh air.
As we enter a whole new shiny year it’s so often tempting to stay indoors in January and to experience the garden through a window from the cosy and warm inside. Even if it’s cold and looks uninviting in the garden it is so good for you to venture out, even if it is for just five minutes, and you will feel so much better for it.
Take a moment to really look around. What do you see? Describe the colour of the sky to yourself: piercing blue or dappled with cloud? Can you feel a little warmth from the sun? Are your toes and fingers tingling from the cold? Are there bulbs starting to push their little green spears of good things to come up through the earth? Think of the life slowly emerging, of the lush leaves and flowers to come.
January is often a time for planning, thinking about what to grow this year. Although it is often tempting to start clearing on sunny January days try not to clear too much old growth yet – all sorts of creatures will be hunkering down in there, as well as some of the old growth offering the plant protection from frosts and cold. Hellebores could have the old leaves removed to really allow the flowers to be seen in their fully glory. Paths could be swept clear. Debris removed from the pond surface.
You could begin to sow undercover some seeds that benefit from being sown early (broad beans, chillies, aubergines or sweet peas, delphiniums, cleomes) then place in an unheated greenhouse or coldframe to germinate. It is always so encouraging watching seeds germinate and grow. It gives you that feeling of good things to come.
Lastly bring a little of the garden inside. Maybe dig up and pot some snowdrops from the garden. Or, pick a stem of Hellebore flowers.
Wishing you all a very happy January!
We hope you all enjoy spotting the early signs of the brighter days awaiting us in spring.