Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

Gardening in January

The month of January is the beginning of the preparation for the new garden year. In recent years, November and December have mostly been very rainy, followed by a dry and cool January and February. I love this time of the year, as it is quiet and I can walk wherever I want in the garden without damaging plants :). Further on, I am able to see all kind of birds as the can not hide in the naked garden. Robins, tits, wren and finches are always very close by. Woodpecker, blackbirds, jays and fieldfares are always alert and on guard. Dry weather on firm ground is the ideal prerequisite for gardening.

The actual weather is not as usual. The weather is dominated from the west and the typical cold and dry east influence is missing.

Our most important works in January are:


  • Clear lawn from rets of leaves
  • Check lawns and borders for voles
  • Pruning
  • Start cutting down the border
  • Garden Tip: Cut back helleborus leaves





After removing the last leaves and pieces of wood from the lawn, I do a walk through the entire garden. My eyes look specifically at the ground and into the trees and bushes. On the floor, I’m looking for holes from voles. In the case of heavy infestation, these can cause great damage to the wild flower bulbs, perennials, grasses or individual shrubs. Even entire lawns can fall victim to rodents. I use January to remove broken and splintered branches from the trees.

We have in the meantime  more than 100 different hellebores varieties in the garden. Mainly “springroses” which partly bloom until May. In order to bring out the flowers better, but also for plant health, I cut off the old leaves of the plants just above the ground. The plants thank it with an abundance of flowers.



Sunday, 19th January more detailed information about cutting leaves of hellebores.