January

                Welcome to January, which is generally a quiet month in the garden centre. However, it is important to monitor the weather and do not forget to wrap up tender shrubs with frost protection fabric if necessary.

             •We are now closed on Sundays until Sunday the 8th of April

             •Soon the new seed range for 2018 will arrive from Thompson and Morgan, Suttons and Franchi seeds. Now is the time to plan next year's bedding display and vegetables to eat - all grown from seed with a little patience

              •Our summer-flowering bulbs and tubers will also arrive soon - many types of dahlias and begonias, lillies and freesias amongst just some of the new stock

              •Our selection of tools from Spear & Jackson, the Kew Gardener collection, is one of the best available and has proved to be a great success with our landscapers and customers.        

              •Our cards from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection are both beautiful and inexpensive and provide a lovely way to send a message with a floral gift. We have added ten new designs from Blume editions to add choices to our range which are equally as charming

              •We stock all the necessary components for irrigation systems from both Hozelock and Gardena

              •The box tree caterpillar continues to be a serious problem in this area. Check all your buxus plants and take action if necessary as soon as possible, because delay will result in you losing your favourite plants or topiary. Be aware that this problem will likely re-occur when the weather warms up again and that you should continue to monitor the situation. In addition buxus blight seems to have been exacerbated by the relatively mild winter - perhaps it is time to think of planting alternatives, such as ilex crenata

              •Think about removing leaves from lawns and borders as January gets underway gets under way - and cut back any perennials that may have finished and been forgotten

               •Winter-flowering hellebores have arrived and they continue to provide long-flowering winter cheer that is a positive addition to any garden or pot

              Time to enjoy January evenings which give us time to plan for the gardening year ahead. Stay warm and well.

              Richard Hood