Tony Huxley's January Compost Corner

A new year in the garden beckons.  Another four seasons to do all the things that never happened last year.

That greenhouse still isn't finished, and I will eventually build that path through the vegetable patch. And Lord knows I will eventually empty and relocate the old compost bin. We?ve all got a neglected garden list so take of advantage of the season and make a few New Year gardening resolution.

Tonys TriffidHere are a few things I?m sure we can all resolve to do in the garden.

1: Get shifting. That Triffid like plant or shrub that always looks out of place. The one that dominates, never flowers, always reverts, is destined to grow into a monster. For whatever reason we all have a cuckoo plant that has outstayed its welcome. Now is the time to say sayonara. Sometimes removing one overbearing shrub can transform a garden. If you want to relocate any plants, doing it now while the roots are dormant will give you your best chance of success.

2: Get that mower serviced. The poor old grass-cutter thrashes up and down our lawns tirelessly for an ever-lengthening growing season. It's then shoved in the shed until the spring, when we drag out and expect it to hack back the sward we should have mown a month earlier. It's then we discover the grass box was never emptied, the contents are now silage and the rest of the cuttings are welded to the mowing deck. Treat your gardening buddy to a decent service. Get that blade sharpened or replaced. It'll love you for it.

Fritillaria3: Be adventurous. Grow something completely different. Even if you don?t think it'll fit in, just do it. Those hardy banana plants that always caught your eye, that Gingko with its weird looking leaves and great autumn colour. Or those gaudy orange Fritillaria imperialis that just don't go with anything else in the garden. And if it doesn't work, then just refer back to resolution 1.

So, stop procrastinating and start cultivating!

Happy New Year.              

Tony Huxley