Happy New Year!
Now that the holidays are over, it's time to start thinking about ordering plants and seeds for our spring gardens. Order your seeds now for the best selection, especially if you want to try rare or new varieties. It's also a good time to start a garden journal, writing down bloom times and plants that complemented each other. This will help when adding new plants or changing out plants.
If you want to add some fragrance to your garden, plant winter daphne, winter honeysuckle and wintersweet. They add wonderful perfume on warmer winter days. Cut branches from these shrubs and bring them in for indoor enjoyment.
Cut back dead perennials and rake up the remaining leaves. Mulch the empty flower beds. Keeping the garden tidy in the winter allows you to enjoy the structure of the garden and any features which are not as colorful this time of year.
Last but not least, winter is an excellent time to feed the birds. If possible, have more than one feeding station since some birds, especially cardinals, don't like sharing the feeder they have staked out as their own. A variety of seeds will bring a wide assortment of birds. These include safflower, black oil sunflower and nyjer. Providing fresh water is especially important in the winter when many sources are depleted or frozen. Doing these things will provide you with hours of enjoyment.