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As the new gardening year begins winter-flowering shrubs emerge to fill the air with rich and delicate fragrances. A great example of such a shrub is Sarcococca confusa (sweet box) which produces clusters of tiny white flowers amongst its dark green leathery foliage. Although its flowers are small they more than make up for this with their sweet fragrance, which can be best enjoyed when planted at the front of a border or path edge.

In January, your garden could need protecting from frosts, gale-force winds and heavy rain. Check stakes, ties, fleeces and other supports for damage and consider moving plants to sunnier positions to maximize light. Do not forget to keep feeding the birds, food is scarce for them over winter.

Direct Gardens offer a professional garden design service which is specifically tailored to your needs, providing shrub and planting advice, designs and planting plans, from a small area to a full-size garden.

We will work with you so you have something that meets your requirements, from the traditional cottage garden to a contemporary city garden.

Plant of the month - Sarcococca confusa

Top 10 jobs for January

  1.  Recycle your Christmas tree by shredding it for mulch
  2. Ventilate the greenhouse on sunny days
  3.  Dig over any vacant plots that have not been dug already
  4.  Repair and re-shape lawn edges
  5.  Inspect stored tubers of Dahlia, Begonia and Canna for rots or drying out
  6.  Prune apple and pear trees
  7.  Start forcing rhubarb
  8.  Plan your vegetable crop rotations for the coming season
  9.  Keep putting out food and water for hungry birds
  10.  Prepare a polythene shelter for outdoor peaches and nectarines, to protect them from peach leaf curl

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