Snowdrops - January 31, 2013, galanthus, garden Victoria BC, Pacific Northwest Vancouver Island

January Garden Activities

bus stop snowdrops in January, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

I’m so glad we planted some winter interest within the sight lines of my winter vantage points.  Over morning coffee, I spy the first patch of snowdrops to open. Is there any better way to start a January morning?

 Winter Protection

  • While there’s more elbow room in the beds, spreading a 2-3 inch layer of mulch is easier now than at any other time.  It insulates the garden  & provides a tidy backdrop for all those early bulbs that are getting ready to burst into life.  The effort this month pays BIG dividends over & over again through the entire year.
  • If it does happen to snow, get out there with a wee broom & shake off the cold, wet weight from the evergreens.  Start with clearing lower branches, so their load is gone before the snow drops from the upper branches.   Rhodos are particularly susceptible to breaking.
  • As long as it isn’t frozen, the rains have softened the ground for digging, so it’s easy to stomp the edger between the beds & lawns. This protects the beds from the grass’ invading as soon as the lawn starts to grow again in February.
  • Celebrate the occasional sunny weekend, but don’t be fooled.  January is contrary, and cold snaps are still likely to visit.
eranthis, winter aconite, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest,
photo by SVSeekins

Pruning

  • Hellebore are prepping their blooms for the new year, but some older foliage can detract from the show.  Trim back the ragged or blackened leaves.
  • It’s almost shocking to see the blooming Hardy Fuchsia react to a snow flurry.  The poor thing withers the moment a flake touches it.  But no fear – it’s really  only hibernating.  Just the same, I trim back the skeleton & dream  of the renewed spring growth.
  • The evergreen Strawberry Tree blooms & bears fruit right up until the snowfall too.  When it’s hibernating is the time I like to tidy up any unwieldy branches.
  • This is all good, but seriously – – prioritize mulching above the rest. When that’s done, be happy & relax with a good book for the rest of the month.
unusually early crocus in January, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Veg / Berry Patch (& Orchard)

  • It’s astonishing  how well some vegetables survive in the  cool if protected from soggy ground:   kale… chard…  leeks… 
  • This is all good, but seriously – – prioritize mulching above the rest. When that’s done, be happy & relax with a good book for the rest of the month.  Seriously!
    🙂
sarcococa, fragrant sweet box, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Seasonal Color

trees: holly… mountain ash… paper bark cherry… paper bark maple… Twisty Baby (dwarf Black Locust)…
shrubs: . sarcococca…   viburnum bodnantense…. winter camellia… jasmine…  pyracantha (firethorn)… beauty berry (callacarpa)… witch hazel.. heavenly bamboo …  berberis…  cotoneaster… mahonia…  snowberry… rosemary… dragon claw willow…
perennials:  early hellebore… variegated yucca… Chinese lantern…  hens & chicks, sedums…
bulbs: snowdrops… eranthis (winter aconite)… iris reticulata… early cyclamen coum… early crocus… early narcosis…
ferns: Hart’s tongue fern…  sword…  deer… licorice…

unusually early cyclamen coum in January, garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Planning & Events

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© SVSeekins, 2015

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