The focus this month in my studio is designing a medium sized family garden and ongoing garden maintenance. Time allows to also focus on how to use social media as a business effectively using my blogs and tweets to get my rankings on google up! Whatever that means …

I also have facebook page and every like – as you know- makes me happy.

https://www.facebook.com/Greenardendesign?ref=hl

It is an fascinating and terrifying subject at the same time but I gradually warm to it and the excitement about it takes over.

I have signed up to 3 exciting planting workshops with Chris Marchant from Orchard Dene Nurseries which will span the seasons and focus on different planting styles. I am very much looking forward to these as I want to further develop my planting design concepts.

Another interesting event for me to attend in February is hosted by BALI, the British Association of Landscape Industries on a debate about forms of contract, supplying of materials and competitive tendering. The panel consists of Garden Designers, Landscape Gardeners and Nurserymen. All happening in Kew Royal Botanic Gardens with a tour by Tony Kirkham of Kew’s tree nursery and arboretum.

Maintenance tasks this month are mainly tidying up borders and starting to mulch if weather allows. A client of mine has introduced my to strulch, http://www.strulch.co.ukwhich is a garden mulch made from wheat straw for organic gardening. ‘A patented process is used to preserve the straw so that it lasts for up to two years and gives an earthy brown colour’. An interesting new material which I want to try. I will use it on my allotment and have encouraged the client to use it in her garden as it fulfills many of her needs at the moment: keeping the weeds down and retaining moisture in order to water less during summer months.

I have pruned Wisteria and Pittosporum. My Indian beantree (Catalpa bignioides) had a drastic prune as it grows like mad and I want to keep it small to develop an umbrella like shape. Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ is looking gorgeous.

Roses are flowering in January which I have never seen before. They obviously like the mild conditions and even don’t mind the wet weather if positioned in a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden.

I find inspiration during my morning walks with my dog and this one, special frosty morning made my heart jump and winter felt good