Hints & Tips
With the stormy weather looking set to continue, you could be forgiven for wanting to spend as much time indoors as possible.
If you can't resist spending time in your garden, though, Alan Titchmarsh recommends taking stock of your plots and planning whichever plants, shrubs and bulbs you'd like to add during the year.
Writing in the Express, Titchmarsh recommends ambling round your garden looking for obvious gaps – places where you can put in another tree, shrub, bulb or border plant. As garden centres tend to offer bargains at this time of year, now is the ideal time to do so.
Coloured-stemmed dogwoods can liven up your garden and Cyclamen coum's jewel-like cover can add a flash of brilliance.
Lenten hellebores can be planted at any time in dappled shade. They bloom between January and April in a range of colours from purple to primrose yellow. Potfuls of snowdrops, which are the first flowers to bloom in the New Year, can also be added now.
If you want to add a touch of fragrance to your garden, Mr Titchmarsh recommends winter-flowering Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn', which begins flowering in November and carries on until February.
An excellent choice for gardeners in search of a bargain are bare-root roses and hedging plants. They're much less expensive than their container-grown counterparts and should be planted between now and March.
If you need a hand planting your new acquisitions, why not have a look at MowDIRECT's garden tools? Designed for comfort and durability, they are an excellent investment as we look forward to another year of gardening.
Bare-root trees can also be planted now but you should resist the temptation to plant something too large. Titchmarsh recommends ensuring the tree is no taller than you to give it the chance to settle in well.
Mr Titchmarsh recently announced he would leave the BBC's Chelsea Flower Show after 30 years as its host. Sophie Raworth and gardening expert Monty Don are to present the show in 2014.