44th Cerne Abbas Open Gardens June 19 & 20 2021
www.cerneabbasopengardens.org.uk Second Site by Bob Foulser
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Queries number
01300 341311

Tasks in January

Flower garden

Cut off leaves of hellebores that produce flowers from ground level to expose the flowers. Mulch to reduce flower spoiling by mud splash.
Cut away some Iris unguicularis leaves to expose the flowers.
Cut back grasses and other perennials left for winter interest and clear weedy beds ready for mulching in the spring.
Herbaceous perennials can be moved, divided and replanted.
Sow seeds of Begonia, Lobelia, Salvia and Pelargonium in a heated greenhouse or propagator to provide early plants.
Sweet peas can be sown inside a heated propagator, in long tubes filled with compost. Some varieties need chitting and/or soaking in order to germinate well.
Sweet peas sown earlier in the autumn can now be potted on.
This is the last chance to sow seeds that need frost in order to germinate.
Plant lily bulbs in pots and in borders during mild spells.
Take root cuttings now. e.g. Papaver, Verbascum, Acanthus and Phlox.
Pots sheltered by eaves, balconies or in cold frames may need watering.
Ensure tender plants overwintering outdoors are protected.
Alpines should be mulched with gritty compost.

Trees and shrubs

Plant bareroot deciduous hedging plants and trees. Insert stake before planting to avoid damage to the roots.
Plant roses, but avoid areas where roses were previously grown.
Move established deciduous trees and shrubs, provided the ground is not frozen or waterlogged.
Check tree ties and stakes on established plants.
Firm back newly planted trees and shrubs lifted by frost heave or strong winds.
Pack the branches of tender deciduous trees and shrubs with straw or bracken, and securing this with fleece and ties, will protect them from frost.
Take hardwood cuttings of ornamental shrubs such as Cornus, Salix, Forsythia, Weigela, Escallonia, Rosa, Ribes, Chaenomeles and Elaeagnus.
Seeds of berrying trees and shrubs can still be sown. Some (e.g. Sorbus, Cotoneaster and Pernettya) need a period of frost to break their dormancy.
If there is snow, brush it off the branches of conifers, climbers and light-limbed shrubs and trees.
Many deciduous trees, shrubs and hedges can be pruned from now throughout the dormant season.
Wisteria. Cut back the sideshoots to two or three buds. Avoid cutting off flower buds.
Tie in wall shrubs and climbers to protect them from wind damage.
Ornamental vines, ivy, Virginia creeper and Boston ivy can be cut back now.


Repair lawn edges with turves to improve the appearance.
New turf can be laid if the weather is mild.
Get the lawnmower serviced in time for early spring mowing.
Mole activity may increase in January and February. Remove largest hills and re-firm before overseeding in spring.
Brush away worm casts.
Repair hollows and bumps in the lawn. Make an H shaped cut in the turf, peel back the grass, and either fill the hollow with loam, or scraping away the soil from a bump.