The Mains of Drum

January Garden

Published 27/12/2021

Although some might think that there is nothing to enjoy in the garden at this time of year...think again! Wrap up warm and get out there in the fresh air for a wee while – you are sure to enjoy seeing the many interesting and amazing plants at this time of year. If you’re lucky a small robin or blackbird will pop past and keep you company.
There are so many beautiful hardy plants displaying their wonders in this cold weather. There are some gorgeous trees which have tremendous colour in their trunks, Betula jacquemontii with its sheen of white and Prunus Serrula with a copper lustre are just a couple of examples. Stunning Cornus stems give an eye-catching display coming in bright reds, oranges and yellows. Sarcoccoca hookeriana which has such a strong sweet fragrance and don’t forget the Snowdrops dancing in the frosty morning sun, they are a sight worth seeing.
At this time of year, if you haven’t planted out your bulbs at the end of last year, the garden centre will have potted growing bulbs that you can enjoy in pots or plant out into the garden (if the ground isn’t frozen). Everything from Daffodil, Tulip, Puschkinia and Scilla to Muscari, Anemone, Iris and Crocus. A proper selection of jewels to tempt you.

Helleborus x hybridus must be one of my favourites at this time of year too. I adore the selection that we get in from the specialist growers every January. There is such an array of gorgeous colours with both single and double varieties to choose from. There is white through to yellow, pink, red and almost black. There is sure to be something to please everyone.
If part of your garden has an area sheltered from strong winds, where there is a fertile, humus rich soil that is moist and free draining, partially shaded from the sun, then the Hellebore would be really happy there. Their single or double flowers brighten a shaded area and they can form large spreading clumps. Mulch annually in the autumn.
They will give lots of pleasure to the gardener through winter and into spring. Remove any old foliage when the plants are showing their flowers.

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Winter is a wonderful time to get creative. As the days are short and cold we tend to spend more time inside and less in our gardens. For this project you can bring a little bit of nature inside, or hang it on your front door. You can take cuttings from the garden, forage for foliage, berries, and cones (if the weather permits!), or buy real or artificial foliage and flowers instead. It's up to you what you want to include on your wreath!

First off it's best to go with a theme. Are you wanting a traditional wreath, with red, gold and green? Or maybe something more modern like silver, blue and green? Or you could even go rustic with a simple green and brown colour palette. There's so many different options to suit every taste.

Next decide what kind of wreath base you want to use. You can use rattan (like I have here), or a base with wire and moss. Moss is a good option as it holds moisture, keeping your wreath fresher for longer.

Once you've decided on a theme and you have your base, it's time to choose what foliage, flowers or fruits and decorations you want to include. Make sure to have plenty of foliage, as this is the back bone of your wreath and what makes it look full. There's no right or wrong combination, so just experiment with what you think works well together, and have fun!

Stick the stems into the base until they are secure, or for extra hold you can use a little florists wire to keep the stem in place. Work your way around the wreath ensuring there is a balanced amount of foliage. I tend to add odd numbers of things as this works best.

Once you're happy with the foliage you can start to add in any cones, berries, dried flowers and fruit. You could even wrap around a small set off lights, which will illuminate your wreath and add a bit of festive sparkle. Finish off by adding any bows (you'll need something at the top to hang the wreath from, but you can also add for decoration).

And voila, a festive wreath! Mist the foliage each day to keep your wreath fresher for longer, avoiding the berries, dried flowers or fruit. And for those of you who don't feel so confident making your own or simply don't have the time, we have a lovely selection of pre-made wreaths in store now in a range of styles and sizes.

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