Landscaping in January

January can be a bit of a letdown after the holiday season. Combine that with cold, rainy weather, it’s the perfect excuse to wait out the winter months in the comfort of our warm homes. But when the weather permits, getting some gardening basics done in January can put you ahead of the game in spring.

Overall Review

A good place to start any landscape plan is with a general review. When the yard is winter bare, it will help you see your garden in a new light. Are there dead shrubs and plants in the front yard? Are trees growing too large and pushing up against the siding? The annuals don’t seem to be working; maybe they should be switched out for perennials. More critters enjoyed the herb garden than humans – perhaps some type of enclosure is required. If you haven’t done so already, consider how to make your garden more eco-friendly.

Adding Hardscape Elements

Hardscape elements such as a fountain, a flagstone path, or a deck add both functionality and visual appeal. Placing a fire pit on a patio warms up the space, allowing you to sit outside on cooler nights. Making hardscaping decisions in January allows you to budget for any changes you want to make; to take advantage of any sales for items and materials you’ll need; and to get estimates and hire a contractor before companies head into busy season (spring).

Update Landscape Lighting

Especially now when you wake up and then when you return home, it’s dark outside, adding or updating landscape lighting will help illuminate pathways, gates, entryways, and stairs leading to the front door. Landscape lighting is a cost-effective way to make your home more accessible and safer.

Flower Bed Upgrades

January is the perfect time to add borders or edging. A flower bed border increases visual interest and defines the area, putting the spotlight on what’s growing there. Get creative – you can design flower bed borders or lawn edging from bricks, stones, terracotta, or metal.

Tidy up the flower beds and surrounding lawn. Get rid of decaying leaves, twigs, etc. Replace old mulch with new mulch. Ensure that you allow the plants and shrubs some breathing room – avoid covering over stems and stalks.

Repair or replace any flower bed elements such as trellises and stakes that display signs of wear or are broken beyond being repair.

Since we live in planting/hardiness zone 7, those of us in the lower mainland can plant roses in January.