January: A Time To Reflect and Plan For Spring

I asked members of Northumberland Master Gardeners to tell us how they keep in touch with their gardens in January.

Tanya Crowell tells us what she likes best about her garden is January are the swaying grasses. They give something for the eye to light upon in these dark barren days. And of course the conifers. Always the conifers.”

Claire Blahnik responded with “One of my favorite garden activities occurs in January, going through different seed catalogues and dreaming of new vegetables or flowers. I often go through the catalogues with different sticky notes progressively choosing plants as I reread catalogues. I also get my seeds out to see which seeds I have run out of, which I will plant again or share with a friend or neighbor.  My favourite catalogue is the Rareseeds catalogue (see list below).  Next step is to order my seeds at the end of January so I can start planning in February.”

Several other members mentioned purusing seed catalogues. Judy Kaufman  also shares this idea with us “In addition to looking through the seed catalogues, I go back to all the pictures I’ve taken over the past year to remind myself of where the gaps, the successes and the duds are.
I also started a Garden Calendar last April, and in it I make notes of things I want to do, and when. For example, when my peony had become too shaded in its spot, I made a note in the October section to move it, and where to move it to.  It was a good reminder. I keep the calendar beside my morning tea table, so I can read it every morning and remind myself what I have planned, and to jot down thoughts of gardening as I have my tea and look out at the garden.”

Christa Bisanz suggested that we share with you all of our favourite gardening catalogues. I have compiled a list of both catalogues and websites shared by our members.

Pheonix Perennials, an online catalogue www.pheonixperennials.com. You can sign up for their newsletter. They have incredible hellebores.

Botanus, an online catalogue at www.botanus.com, but you can request a catalogue to be sent .  Botanus sells mostly bulbs.  They too have a newsletter and they do online chats that can be helpful.

Veseys www.veseys.com, has seeds, bulbs and gardening equipment. They have a selection of early ripening vegetables and the Carmen greenhouse cucumbers $10.00 for 5 seeds is a bit steep but the yield is incredible.

Fraser’s Thimble Farm thimblefarms.com, have a pdf catalogue that you can download from their website. They specialize in rare, unusual and native plants.

Stokeseeds stokeseed.com, has vegetable, flower and herb seeds. You can request a print catalogue or view their online catalogue.

Johnny’s Selected Seeds johnnyseeds.com has vegetable, flower and herb seeds. They also sell gardening tools and their libraries contain tech sheets on their product. In their Grower’s Library, you will find a vast video library with loads of gardening info at your fingertips.

West Coast Seeds www.westcoastseeds.com, is a source for non-GMO, non-GEO seeds that have never been chemically treated. You can view their online catalogue or request a printed catalogue that is full of gardening tips and ideas.

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds Rareseeds  www.rareseeds.com.offer heirloom vegetable and flower seeds. You can purchase their Whole Seed Catalogue.

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