Hamemelis x intermedia 'Pallida' is unmarred by a bit of snow.

Hamemelis x intermedia ‘Pallida’ is unmarred by a bit of snow.

Books for reading: ‘Hygge’ is the keyword here, from what I gather it means being cosy inside while the weather does bad things outside.  For gardeners this activity can be accompanied by the type of book that takes the reader’s mind forward from the dark days into the light.  There may be more recently published books but in my opinion none better than the following: “The Morville Hours” by Katherine Swift, this follows the changes in the author’s own garden (well worth a visit) framed within the themes of the devotional “Hours” as followed by the long absent monks of Morville.   “The Ivington Diaries” by Monty Don is both practical and inspirational, it covers several years’ diary entries per month, describing his work and garden, and “Lead by the Nose” by  the well know poet Jenny Joseph, which also follows the course of the gardening year, but concentrating on scents.

'Lead by the Nose' Viburnum bodnantense is sweetly scented.

‘Lead by the Nose’ Viburnum bodnantense is sweetly scented.

Not Snowing/freezing/blowing a gale?  Well go on then, steal a march on spring, and do a bit of pottering about.  Prop up things that have blow over or are rocking on their foundations, especially broccoli, cabbages, they need to be firmed in and staked if necessary.  Then as the temperatures go up and days lengthen, their roots can get on with their important job. Cut back any broken branches (not birches and acers) or ones that are rubbing together.  Pounce on any weeds.

Greenhouse:  Try sowing some tomatoes towards the end of the month.  It is a gamble – but you never know.  This is when you really appreciate having a greenhouse, It is a pleasure to be in a warm(er) greenhouse, fiddling with tiny seeds investing in the coming month’s harvest while it pours down outside.  Tidy up anyway and prepare the soil, pitch in a bit of feed if you have been growing salads which have been eaten.  The same goes for sheds, be inside and tidy up the shed, you will never have time to do it at any other season.

Hydrangeas in the snow.

Hydrangeas in the snow.