January and time to plan the garden year

Cornish spring daffodil

The multi headed Narcissi where the first welcome flowers of spring this month

January is a great month to take stock of the garden and plan the direction of the garden year and this year we’ve started work quite early. The mild winter has brought the new spring growth so far forward that now is the time to start, although I must admit I step gingerly on to our lawn sometimes as I feel it gently yielding like a soft green cushion under my feet. As our gardener remarked as we toiled away  “I’m usually still in my winter hibernation now!” still as our garden has been formed over the last twenty five years now, some areas are ready for reassessment and rejuvenation to allow the garden to breath again with fresh new growth. this months diary looks at :-

  • Garden rejuvenation
  • Planning garden changes
  • January photo album

Garden rejuvenation

A hidden doorway as we clear the garden for spring

As we cleared away the overgrown pampas I was so pleased to discover a self seeded Myrtle, the symbol of love and so apt as we approach valentines

One of our early jobs this year was to tackle a vastly overgrown pampas grass, that whilst dramatic in the past was now overshadowing the entrance into the main courtyard garden beside the house. An entire afternoon was spent snipping and pruning before carting the old foliage away to real the massive spreading base of the plant. It was quite nice to see our slate “Ednovean Farm” once more in the daylight. I’ve decide to live with the new open aspect for a few weeks and put “pending” on the decision as the whether to dig out the miscreant plant, reduce is mass by a quarter or just allow it to make new spring growth! As I said decision pending!

broad garden border of hardy coastal plants

We spent an afternoon cleaning this broad border of its winter debri ready for the summer – this was before!

Our next job was to start to clear one of the borders in the outer garden, of the winter debris first removing the long dead leaves around the base of those useful Phormiums that give tough layers of interest to a coastal garden before gathering up the palm leaves and cutting back tall overwintered grasses. Every now and again I would glance up at the perfect blue sky and soft green expanse of lawn but I’m afraid I didn’t stop to take a single photo that day. All in all we filled five, one ton builders’ bags with rubbish that afternoon, that all needed to be carted away back through the courtyard to the bonfire and by the end of the afternoon and I was rewarded by the sight of the newly revealed daffodils and sedums pushing up through the  exposed soil.

Ednovean Farm lawn with Mounts Bay beyond

The lawn mower and rubbish bag waiting in the garden while we have lunch!

Garden planning

A forgoten statue emerges in winter

A half forgotten statue emerged from the planting as we cut back and cleared the borders

For a while I’ve been contemplating making an archway between two of the lawned enclosures in the Italian garden to fill with two small very English type formal gardens, surrounded by the existing tall hedges………I wonder?!

But in the lane the overgrown buddleias have been trimmed back severely this year and I hope to under plant them with a marching rhythm of box balls using the ones that usually line the parterre in pots – they are looking a little wan of late and I think their time as pot plants has come to an end. Mind you perhaps I should reflect the more exotic strappy planting of our Mediterranean garden here for a more relaxed less formal feel – Oh the indecision!

January’s Garden album

I hope that you have enjoyed a peek at our garden in the winter months ad some of the work that goes into preparing the garden for our summer guests. To compare the garden with last January try this link

About Christine Taylor

Charles and Christine Taylor have hosted Luxury Bed and Breakfast at Ednovean Farm Nr Penzance in West Cornwall since 1991 and live there with three cats and eight horses including a Spanish Stallion called Danni. Christine writes a weekly blog about life on the farm and garden with an occasional series about places of interest in West Cornwall

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