Late January feels bitterly cold, with snow still on the ground and new layers of frost that build upon each other with no relief from a thaw. It’s a time when I want to be out in the garden more as a new year is calling, but the cold this year is a painful one that makes my bones feel sharp and my skin burn. So, I am taking my time to get organised. I have arranged for my broken secateurs to be replaced, I have started gathering the things that I will need. The potatoes are starting to sprout, and I can sit in the warm with a cup of tea and start planning my seed sowing and other tasks for the year.
At the very beginning of the year I made a simple weekly gardening calendar, which would help me to organise my tasks for the next twelve months, working in that format so that I could plan around them time that I had in any given week.
Today I have made myself an online week-by-week gardening schedule, with a tab for each month, that I can simply pull up on my phone when I need to quickly check on what tasks I can do. That way it will not matter whether I am at home, at the garden centre, or at the other end of the garden – I can simply find what I want to do. I will add to it as jobs make themselves apparent, such as pruning the hedges and shrubs, and setting up my new herb bed, but for now there is the basis of a good plan in place.
One of the best jobs of the year is choosing which tomato varieties to sow. I have some exciting new varieties this year which I hope will make up ‘tomato lane’, which runs down the central path of the garden in summertime. The varieties I am excited about this year are:
(links to suppliers of new seeds are given where available, and links to original suppliers of saved seeds where available elsewhere).
As well as planning my vegetable growing, I am going to give more attention to planting flowers this year. we are going to make a concerted effort to make more of the central flower patch, which I have planted with tulip bulbs as a starter, and to reclaim some of the borders which were long lost to ivy when we moved in. The flower seeds I have gathered together make me feel excited to start bringing colour back to the garden. Now I just have to wait for the seasons to change and bring back some warmer weather.