January finds me planting trees, pruning dozens of deciduous shrubs and  mulching.  Raking away vast amounts of collapsed spent foliage appears to be my main task though.

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Gardens with narrow borders pose no problem,  these jobs can be undertaken from the  edge.  Wide borders pose a  gardening dilemma, should  I stride through them to complete my winter work?  the answer is no – I will not be the person responsible for damaging the soil structure and leaving  a mud bath in my wake as I do so.  Instead, I  choose to stretch in as far as I can reach,  the rest will have to wait until it is a little drier underfoot.

However I am striding through Geoff’s large borders pruning as I go,  due to countless small stepping stones which have been set into the border.   Over the years they have become well camouflaged by encroaching planting and earth.  In fact I would go as far to say you probably wouldn’t know they were there if I hadn’t  mentioned them.  I like the fact that they are unobtrusive, yet extremely useful, and when well placed don’t affect the aesthetics of a border.

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January finds me surrounded by the immense beauty of bark, sharp winter sunlight, flowering shrubs, magnolia buds and racing streams.  Believe me,  gardening is good for the soul  throughout the entire year.

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