28th January 2022 - Sorry - I am now fully booked for this year

Gardening Job for January.


I work as a professional gardener based in North Baddesley and although January might not seem the idea time to get out into the garden, here are a few thoughts on jobs that might be undertaken…

Prune rose bushes this month while they are still dormant. Cut branches back to just above a bud, making sure to remove any crossing or dead branches. January is a good time to also plant bare rooted rose bushes.

January is the month to start pruning rhododendrons.

If your honeysuckle is very overgrown, now is the best time to prune and cut back hard to encourage healthy, new growth this spring.

Cut back ornamental grasses. Clip back the old foliage from before new growth begins - cut back to within a few centimetres of the ground.

Tidy up perennials. Cut down the old stems of perennial plants like sedum - be careful of any new growth.

Remove old hellebore leaves to expose the new blooms as they emerge this spring.

Cut back willow trees. Remove any damaged or diseased stems. Take out the oldest stems of brightly coloured willows, and thin out any overcrowding.

Remove any faded flowers from your winter pansies to stop them setting seed.

Weeding of any lurking weeds and gently digging over borders with a hand fork.

Prune your currant plants and gooseberries now to maintain a productive framework of healthy branches.

Leave stone fruit trees like plums, cherries and apricots alone until the summer. Pruning them now will only make them susceptible to silver leaf fungal infections.

Check your climbers and climbing shrubs are securely attached to their supports with ties.

Remove slimy patches from patios and paving with a pressure washer.

And…..If it becomes frosty, please do not walk on your lawns

“You can’t kill a rose through kindness”.



A guide to pruning roses



Take your time over pruning a rose bush, follow each stem, look for signs of new growth, understand the bushes shape and what you are hoping to achieve in six months’ time.

I was taught many years ago “You can’t kill a rose through kindness”.

Cuts should be no more than 5mm (¼ in) above a bud and should slope downwards away from it, so that water does not collect on the bud. This applies to all cuts, whether removing dead wood, deadheading or annual pruning

Cut to an outward-facing bud to encourage an open-centred shape. With roses of spreading habit, prune some stems to inward-facing buds to encourage more upright growth

Cut to the appropriate height if a dormant bud is not visible

Cuts must be clean, so keep your secateurs sharp. For larger stems, use loppers or a pruning saw

Prune dieback to healthy white pith

It is important to cut out dead and diseased stems and spindly and crossing stems.

Any stems that have rubbed together, both stems should be removed as this is a way disease can enter the plant

Aim for well-spaced stems that allow free air flow

On established roses, cut out poorly flowering old wood and saw away old stubs that have failed to produce new shoots

With the exception of climbing roses and shrub roses, prune all newly planted roses hard to encourage vigorous shoots

Trace suckers back to the roots from which they grow and pull them away

Pruning an unknown rose

Perhaps if you've inherited a rose or lost the label - you may not know what type of rose you have. In which case, follow our basic tips below to get you started. Prune in February or March.

Climber or rambling type

If your rose has long arching stems, is very tall or needs some sort of support to hold it up then it is most likely a climber or rambler.

Where there is only one thick old stem going down to ground level, go easy as it may not regenerate if cut hard back. Instead, shorten by between a third and a half

For multi-stemmed roses, aim to take out one or two of the oldest looking stems (i.e. grey, flaky bark) to as near to the base as you can

If the response the next season is for the rose to send out a lot of strong but barren (non-flowering) shoots, chances are it is a  A rose that responds with less vigorous, flowering growth is probably a climber

Shrub or bush type

Very small roses are easy to recognise so follow our guide for patio and miniature roses. Larger roses might be any number of types, from hybrid tea and floribunda to species and shrub roses. If in doubt; Take out one or two stems as close to ground level as you can or to younger looking (green barked) side stems low down

Shorten remaining stems by between a third and a half

If the response the next season is lots of vigorous regrowth that flowers well, chances are it is a floribunda or hybrid tea

Otherwise, it is more likely to be a type of shrub rose

Feed all pruned roses with a general purpose or rose fertiliser in spring. I use ‘Toprose’ Rose and Shrub granular feed. Sprinkled 28 grams per plant around the base of the plant and then gently worked into the soil with a hand fork (and if very dry, watered in)

Mulch with garden compost or manure.