I DON’T know about you, but my garden is still very wet indeed, the garden might be above the local flood plain, so we don’t get pools of water forming anywhere but it still seems saturated. The rain in the run-up to Christmas was probably some of the worst we have seen, as the fields opposite very quickly resembled a lake. Needless to say, this sort of weather does not do much to inspire gardening. I mentioned last week I have seven planned openings for the summer but for those that like an extra special visit and to have the garden to themselves, I will also be open by arrangement from June 1 through until July 31.

This year I have two large groups booked so far. If you represent a gardening club or horticultural society and have still not planned any group visits this summer, then do get in touch through the web site. Likewise, if you are looking for a speaker at your monthly meetings I can accommodate a couple more before April and am already taking bookings for Autumn and Winter 2020/21, so please get in touch.

These dark and currently wet winter days provide the perfect opportunity for me to plan how the season will pan out. For those of you who grow from seed, start planning what you want to do with your garden in the months to come. Now is the time to order seeds and plants from the comfort of your armchair.

If you are a lover of snowdrops, then consider booking a visit to Shirley Carman-Martin’s small National Garden Scheme garden, 5 Whitemans Close in Cuckfield. It will open by arrangement for three days next month, February 15, 16 and 17. If you would like to go along and see the garden then pre-booking is essential, visit www.ngs.org.uk and check for all the details and contact numbers.

January is the beginning of the gardening year and perhaps a time for fresh starts, some renewed energy and maybe grand plans for the year ahead. I find the jobs in the garden this month are mostly about keeping things trim and tidy, and getting ready for the year to come. That said, I’ve got a wonderful hellebore in the beach garden, this month is a good time to remove some of the leaves, making new stunning blooms much more visible as they emerge this spring.

One very important activity now is to feed the birds by hanging fat balls around your plot or balcony and keep bird feeders topped up to attract birds, which will in turn eat your garden pests too.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk