Snowed out of the garden? There are still things you can do.
If the snow has left you barely able to open your back door or the howling wind has forced you inside don’t get frustrated. This time of year gifts gardeners with time to spend on planning.
So what new features can you add to your garden to make it look impressive for the rest of 2015?
A cool conservatory
Conservatories are the middle class dream. Not only do they extend your living area but they capture sunlight and heat to extend the usually dismal UK Summer. However they require plenty of preparation before you can enjoy them.
The average conservatory will set you back several thousand pounds, and could take a few months to construct – so forward planning is a must if you want to be using it this summer.
Think carefully about how much space you need for the new construction. How will it affect the layout of your garden and the light and air your internal rooms get. Think about the possible impact your neighbours. While local councils generally don’t require planning permission for conservatories, it’s always best to check before you commit.
Before you plant any bulbs determine when they should flower because this will tell you when to set them. Spring flowering and hardy summer flowering bulbs (daffodils, lilies, tulips & hyacinths) are planted in Autumn, tender Summer flowerers (gladioli) are planted in early Spring and Autumn-flowering bulbs (nerines) in late Summer. So at this time of year you should be thinking about Summer flowers bulbs that you can plant this Spring.
Find bulbs that will teem with colour and life when the sun begins to coax them into full bloom. Identify spots of your garden that lack this colour or need contrast.
The transition between your garden and home should have an organic feel to it that links the two areas in a pleasing and practical way. Can you sit outside in the garden but close to your BBQ and kitchen? Is there an area you can change wet or dirty footwear? If not then think about some decking. This is a relatively cheap solution that can provide a practical and versatile outside space without the need for ugly cement or flag stones. Finding a fitter, getting quotes or researching how to DIY it will all take time. So what better time than now to do some research and get started? You can try the Timber Decking Association for wood decking advice.
Your garden will have suffered a hefty level of damage by January, so keep abreast of your repairs. Mend lawn edges, use (and regularly update) frost protection, dig over any vacant beds or pots and turn any rotting leaves into mulch for your compost heap.
For more tips about what to do in your garden this month visit the RHS website.