HIHS On Line Magazine: January 2020

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Abeliophyllum distichum
New Year Resolutions
What Are John Innes Composts?
Keep Off The Grass
Traditional January Sayings
Formulate A Seed Calendar
Christmas Flowering Hyacinths
Garden Spiders
January Houseplant Care
Christmas Cactus: Schlumbergera truncata

Home Page Photo: Abeliophyllum

Abeliophyllum distichum blooms in January.
A scrambling deciduous shrub with slender branches,
bearing dark green leaves and forsythia-like,
fragrant white or pale pink flowers.

RHS advice on care and best locations.

New Year Resolutions

“I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the years'.”
Henry Moore

“You are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.”
C. S. Lewis

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Larry Elder

“What the New Year brings to you will depend
a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”
Vern McLellan

“Cheers to a new year and another chance to get it right.”
Oprah Winfrey

“In a gentle way you can shake the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“The future belongs to those
who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.”
Winston Churchill

What Are John Innes Composts?

John Innes Composts are a blend of loam or topsoil,
sphagnum moss peat, coarse sand or grit and fertilisers.

The loam is screened and sterilised,
then mixed with the other ingredients,
in proportions to achieve optimum air and water-holding capacity and nutrient content for different types and sizes of plants.

Link to: explanation on different composts.
John Innes composts are available from our Trading Centre.

Keep Off The Grass

When the lawn is covered in frost try not to walk across.

The grass blades actually freeze.
Any trafic will cause damage to the lawn,
which may not fully bounce back until spring.

RHS Advice: Preventing frost damage

Traditional January Sayings

If St. Paul's day be fair and clear,
it will betide a happy year.
(St. Paul's day 25th January)
By her who in this month is born,
No gems save Garnets should be worn.
January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
'Sara Coleridge'
From Christmas to May, weak cattle decay.
Who in January sows oats, gets gold and groats.
Who sows in May, gets little that way.

Formulate A Seed Calendar

Seed Calendar
Sort your seed packets in the order of the sowing dates,
earliest at the front latest at the rear,
and store in a suitable sized container in a cool location.

This system comes into its own for successional sowing.
Following sowing of lettuces or whatever on the given day,
replace the packet three weeks forward,
into the time slot ready for the next sowing.

Seeds are available now from our Trading Centre.

Christmas Flowering Hyacinths

Christmas bulbs
Don't plant out till danger of frosts pass.
Till then keep watering and feeding with
a general liquid house plant fertiliser.

If your forced bulbs were not up to much
then don't bother and dispose.

Garden Spiders

Spiders generally do not survive cold winters,
so in autumn lay eggs protected in nests.

The baby spiders appear in spring
simultainiously with their prey
which they consume in vast quantities,
all to the gardeners aid.

So nurture these helpful predators-to-be.

Take this link: British Arachnological Society.

January Houseplant Care

Houseplants generally appreciate a sunny windowsill,
but don't leave behind the curtains at night.

Water sparingly, soils should be barely moist in winter.

To encourage new growth cut back leggy
Hypoestes (polka dot plant), Pilea (aluminium plant) and
Tradescantia (quicksilver).

Pot up that boxed Christmas gift of Hippeastrum (amaryllis) bulbs.
Regular water and feed to bring into flower.

RHS link: Houseplant care.

Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera truncata)

If your Christmas cactus failed to set flower buds,
don’t over water and try moving into cooler conditions
or away from night lighting.

To encourage bushy growth following flowering,
twist off outer segments from the most vigorous shoots.
Don't discard but keep dry and warm for a week
and then pot up as cuttings.

RHS link: care and cultivation.