Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

Gardening in January

The days are getting longer bit by bit and nature is preparing for spring. The first spring flowers such as snowdrops, crocuses and spring roses are already appearing, and among the trees there are hazel, willow and birch.

With the current temperatures above 10 degrees, the bees are already busy flying through the air in search of nectar and pollen.

January is a month between hibernation and preparation for the coming spring. On rainy or wintry days, there is office work to be done. And on the milder days it’s off to the garden….

Our important works in January are:

  • Cut back elf flowers
  • Add onions
  • Move composter
  • Pot the last shrubs
  • Prune all perennial beds


Wet December didn’t allow us to do much gardening. Therefore, the most urgent and first task now is to cut back all wintergreen elfin flowers ( Epimedium ) before they push the flowers. You can of course leave the foliage as it is, but the flowers won’t be as spectacular. This behaves in a similar way to the spring roses. The flowers are then partly under the foliage.

And the new leaf shoots of most of the species are also very nice to look at.

In some places voles have probably decimated the stock of crocuses. That’s why I put the corresponding varieties in boxes in December for the “failures” to replant and fill up. So I can easily see where exactly I have to fill up and refill.

I’ll do this also with Galanthus, Wild Tulips and Narcissus.

I covered all the composters in October and can therefore now convert the dry compost and distribute the new garden soil obtained in the garden. In addition, I have space again for the perennial pruning.


In January I pot the last perennials for the first half of 2023. This is done in connection with the pruning of the beds. I take out the perennials that have become too large, reduce them and repot the interesting plants. For example Viola sororia, Hosta’s, Epimedium, seedlings of Helleborus.


Last but not least, there is the Herculean task of cutting back the large perennial beds and the prairie borders. Since there are also bulbs in these borders, it is high time not to step on the sprouting daffodils & co.

It’s always a race against nature until the whole 2,000 square meters are cut back…..


Otherwise we enjoy the warm rays of sunshine on sunny days and enjoy the nature around us.