Well that was a tricky few days wasn’t it. A good fall of snow with no advance notice and a period of bitter cold, with silly low temperatures which just blocked any hopes for a quick thaw. Nature is the greatest leveller, and it was actually quite special to get a smell of winter before Christmas. Even if it was a little frustrating to be wrestling with retail Christmas. The gardens took a bit of a thumping and it was amazing the tree damage caused by the weight of snow. I have had some heavy pruning to do and one or two shrubs look very sorry for themselves, there was just no warning and everything had been growing on quite luxuriantly. A good deal of damage probably will not be seen until the spring and who knows what the next bit will bring. In fine gardening tradition we just have to get on, the days will race by. New seed is on the shelf, seed potatoes are in as are onions and shallots and I am perusing the on-offer dahlias having had a most successful show from tubers in 2022. So start thinking about what you what you want to grow and get planning. I will be starting a few bits of seed this month on a windowsill. Only a pinch of this and that to pave the way. Lettuce, cabbage and spinach are all easy and not too demanding and I may get some hardy annuals off as well. Antirrhinums are not complicated. Old fashioned they may be, but they are great value for money. They will not require great heat and are best sown on the surface of a pot or tray, which should be covered with black polythene after watering for about a week. Cool growing is a very sensible practice and was the key to all of our commercial production through my father and grandfathers’ time. If the weather is fair and you have the energy, then get your digging finished. Frost delivers fine cultivation and heavy ground turned this month will drop to dust in the coming weeks. This is also a good time to be pruning and particularly top fruit, apples and pears brought to order now will be easier to manage later.
Prune to create shape and space.
And finally. Stick your spade through rhubarb crowns, they propagate easily by division and just drop the split pieces where you want them.