Todmorden in bloom: Starting the New Year with a great garden

A midwinter display with a container of heathers

A midwinter display with a container of heathers

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Todmorden in Bloom wish you a successful year of 2017 gardening and recommend that seed catalogues are a good place to start planning.

There you can buy every kind of annual plant seeds (such as nigella and poppies) or perennial which take more patience. It’s a good idea to liaise with green-fingered friends so you grow something different and can share young plants with each other.

Although a good tidy up in the garden will make it look smart and neat, often wildlife appreciate us leaving seed-heads for them to eat during winter. Indeed some dormant plants look spectacular when frosted. Do sweep your paths and surfaces regularly especially those nearest the house for extra safety during icy weather.

Tidy the garden to avoid that sad neglected look. If space permits put leaves onto compost heaps. Turn older compost and spread over dormant borders. Applied thickly this will save weeding and improves the soil nutrients lost in heavy rain. If the weather is really wet try forking around to improve drainage in wettest parts. Otherwise, try to keep off soggy grass to prevent damage. Lawns are also vulnerable during frosty spells when each footstep could damage the frozen grass.

Garden plants are also at risk from rain-soaking or temperatures below zero. Hopefully you already know which of your garden species are most vulnerable to frost and have taken protected them. Ensure tender species in containers are moved to sheltered spots or fleece-wrapped for extra protection when frost is forecast. Really tender plants need indoor space or even specially constructed caging.

The New Year is an ideal time for projects, so if your garden has features that don’t work you have a few midwinter months to plan. It does not need to be dramatic. Perhaps there’s an odd-shaped border or little colour in winter. Tackle it now and add plants that look ‘blooming’ good currently sitting in our local garden centre. Winter heathers have become popular with 200+ cultivars, some flowering October to March and various heights and colours. Other favourites blooming now include Mahonias, winter Jasmine and Daphne mezereum.

Todmorden in Bloom will always welcome more helpers, especially those wishing to make positive New Year’s resolutions to get more exercise with a friendly small group trying to make Todmorden a cleaner and greener town.

For more information please phone Jean on 01706 817492 or see our website at www.todmordeninbloom.com or www.facebook.com/Todmordenbloomers