Tom’s Sleepy Gardening Diary

Hello. Welcome to Tom’s Sleepy Gardening Diary. The garden is sleepy in January. Like it’s eaten too much pudding and cheese (yum) at Christmas, and wants to digest it with a big sleep. Even the gardening pixies stay hidden away and don’t come out to sprinkle their magic pixie dust to make things grow.

We have all weathers in January – sunshine, snow, frost, rain, wind. It’s mainly cold and I don’t like wind and rain. It’s goblin weather. I retreat to the comfort and warmth of my bed in the kitchen and hope that we might bake cookies. I love cookies.

Tom gardening in the snow.

Snow and frost is fun, especially when there is a bit of sunshine. I wrap up in my coat and go out to play – frost is perfect for zoomies. Catch the snowflake is a brilliant game and pounce on my green ball is great fun in the snow. Tillie’s not so keen on snow and frost. She says it’s cold on her nanny when she has a pee pee. Silly Tillie.

Mr Mole has been busy building little hills on the lawn. I haven’t seen Mr Mole and he hasn’t seen me, but maybe that’s because he can’t see. I think Mr Mole would be my friend. We don’t mind the mole hills – Monty says they are a sign of good soil. We like Monty, and Nigel, and Nell. They are our gardening, writing and television heroes.

The birds have been hungry and just like in Mary Poppins, we feed the birds. We have found a food that doesn’t leave a mess under the bird feeders. It’s called no mess bird feed. Wow! Sounds like one of Tillie’s marketing jobs. The blue tits still do ‘not that one. not that one. not that one.’ and throw food on the ground but I think they are just being nice and looking after the ground feeder birds.

Mr Pheasant has been visiting the garden to clean up after the messy blue tits. Mr Pheasant is great fun. He’s my friend. Tillie likes to play chase with him but I’m not sure if Mr Pheasant likes playing chase with Tillie because he flies away into the fields and comes back later to carry on feeding, usually when Tillie is inside.

The garden is sleepy in January. Like it’s eaten too much pudding and cheese (yum) at Christmas, and wants to digest it with a big sleep. Read on for Tom's January garden jobs.

Tom’s January gardening jobbies*…

*Not to be confused with jobies.

Fencing repairs

The goblin winds caused a little bit of damage to some of the fencing. Naughty goblins. We have hazel hurdles and bark screening attached to stock fencing. These provide some shelter from the winds, and screening from the neighbouring field and the little road that runs beside the woodland garden. The goblin winds had blown some of the hurdles and screening off the stock fence so we fixed this with more cable ties.

Plant bare root hedging

Early last year we planted native bare root hedging around the perimeter of the garden.

We had some spaces to fill so planting more bare root hedging has been a highlight of the January gardening calendar for us. The mix of hawthorn, blackthorn, geulder rose, beech, hazel and hornbeam will add shelter, colour and interest to the garden and the birds will love it. So will we.

The hedge was our first big planting project in our garden and we are excited to nurture it and see it grow. We talk to the hedge on our daily garden tour and one day I hope to see pixies, fairies and elves making little houses in the hedge.

Prune the crab apple tree

Oh my! Poor crab apple tree. What has mummy done!

It had been a bit neglected over the years and nearby old panelling and overgrown climbers had hampered its growth. After watching our TV hero Monty prune an apple tree on Big Dreams Small Spaces we set to work pruning the tree so that a pigeon would be able to navigate through it! Well … our pheasant friend can navigate through it! And he’s big! Let’s hope nature is kind to the crab apple tree.

Garden Planning

January is a good time for planning the garden. We sit at work in the warmth, read a few books, eat cookies, and plan what we want to achieve in the garden for the coming year. Last summer we dug a new border and didn’t plant anything in it, so we are deciding what to grow there. The choice is food or flowers. Or maybe both. I love food. And flowers are pretty.

We don’t have a big budget for the garden. I have £5 and Tillie has saved £15 over the years but she doesn’t want to spend her money on the garden. She is hoping to buy a big woodland with a meadow, and build a log cabin with a veranda, and maybe even buy a small town with the change. I think Tillie might need to do lots more marketing work to buy all of those. Silly Tillie.

Tom’s Gardening Diary will continue next month when we will find out what happens in Tom’s garden in February.

Happy gardening!



Dreaming of owning a bakery shop where everybody buys cookies. For me.

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