Welcome to January which looks like it's going to be a particularly cold month - wrap up warm if you are going to work in the garden and avoid walking on the frosted lawns.

          This would be a good moment to check and oil all your garden tools with a view to having them in a good working condition when they are needed.

           It is also worth spending time clearing leaves off lawns and borders - this will help prevent the spread of fungal disease problems. 

         •We are now closed on Sundays until Sunday the 9th of April when we will open at 11 am

         •It is still not too late to plant spring-flowering bulbs - we have a good range of tulips and narcissi in stock. We also have a limited range of pre-pack selections that combine colour themes left in stock 

          •Soon we will renew our 2017 seed selection from Thompson & Morgan and Franchi seeds - now is the time to start planning vegetable choices and summer bedding schemes 

          •Outdoors we have changed our selection of bedding plants to reflect the winter - cyclamen of different sizes and colours, winter pansies, primroses, hellebores and early spring-flowering bulbs are part of our varied selection of seasonal interest

          •We are stocking up on a large and varied selection of evergreen shrubs and climbers - some with winter berry and others with the promise of spring flowering. All our camellias have now arrived with a good range  of sizes and varieties

          •The box tree caterpillar continues to be a serious problem in this area. Check all your buxus plants and take action if necessary as soon as possible, because delay will result in you losing your favourite plants or topiary. Be aware that this problem will likely re-occur when the weather warms up again and that you should continue to monitor the situation. In addition buxus blight seems to have been exacerbated by the relatively mild winter - perhaps it is time to think of planting alternatives, such as ilex crenata

          •Our selection of tools from Spear & Jackson, the Kew Gardener collection, is one of the best available and has proved to be a great success with our landscapers and customers. Do not forget that a rake is a very useful tool throughout autumn and winter

          •Our cards from the Natural History Museum's Archivist collection are both beautiful and inexpensive and provide a lovely way to send a message with a floral gift. We have added ten new designs from Blume editions to add choices to our range which are equally as charming

           •We stock all the necessary components for irrigation systems from both Hozelock and Gardena - both these companies recommend the temporary removal and dry storage of their water timers before the risk of serious frost

           It is still worth taking the time to work in your garden, with just a few hours spent the benefits of your labour will show in the spring. In the meantime stay warm and think of the warmer months to come

               Enjoy your garden, 

               Richard Hood