Blog: Baby, it’s warm out there!

Ladner

Baby, it’s warm out there and it’s only January. On this day last year it was -6C in the Lower Mainland and it was 6C when I woke up this morning. Being a dry day it was time to get out in the garden with my camera. Dry sunny weather has me itching to get in the garden but it’s too wet to be walking on the soil yet. I was excited to see what was growing in the garden today.
 

shasta

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The daisies have lots of green growth at their base so its time to trim back the old stems from last year. I need to relocate a few plants so hopefully we can get in the garden soon. I am not foolish enough to think that winter is over as we often get our cold and snowy weather this month. I can dream, right? Maybe it will be an early spring but we haven’t had one in years. 

 

daylily

 

I see the new growth of the daylilies are showing and it’s time to move them. The heavy shade in this corner means they don’t bloom well so they basically are there for their foliage. I love daylilies or Hemerocallis as the trumpet shaped flowers come in so many colours.
 

daylily2

 

Above is Hemerocallis ‘Pardon Me’ which grows to about 12″-15″ high. The daylily gets its common name as its blooms open for one day. Fortunately these plants have many buds so there are flowers on the plants for several weeks.  For a great local source of daylilies visit Pam at Erikson’s Daylily Gardens

 

buds

 

It's always exciting to see the winter flowers start to bud with Snowdrops, Primula and Hellebore in the lead this month. Snowdrops or Galanthus are an early bulb with cute nodding white flowers. Grown in clumps they tend to naturalize in the garden and bloom for years to come.
 

hellebore

 

Hellebore are by far my favourite winter flower and many of my plants are from my Mom’s old garden so they are sentimental to me. These are the few I have in the garden but there are double flowered varieties as well. 
 

prim

 

Primula are quickly sending out new leaves and flower buds are almost ready to open. I like the new Primula Belarina series with their double flowers. They are so much nicer than the store bought Primulas you see at the grocery store.

 

lettuce

 

In the kitchen garden the lettuce is overwintering successfully. We could still get snow but there is a floating row cover over this section of the raised bed to keep the roots of the lettuce plants from freezing. Last fall I let the lettuce go to flower and set seed. A few shakes of the seed heads and I had lettuce start to germinate before fall. This will be ready to harvest in March if not sooner. 

So what should you be doing in the garden in January?

1. Order seeds from catalogues and plan your garden. 

2.Check on stored dahlia tubers for rot, disease or insect problems. 

3.Be sure to knock any snow from evergreens in the garden. 

4.Cut a few branches of forsythia to force indoors. 

5. Plant bare root roses if ground is not waterlogged or frozen. 

6. Prune fruit trees. 

7. Start lettuce and early greens in a cold frame. 

8. Sharpen the lawnmower blade and garden tools. 

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