It’s only the first few days of January but I have been out in my garden for a good hour today and a very nice time I had, too.

Like many gardens, mine has taken the hits last year of the drought, the torrential rains and then the cold snap. This has meant that plants, especially hardy perennials, weakened by the drought then put on lush growth when the rains arrived only to be frozen into slimy masses once the frosts came. Given the terrible weather we had over the holidays, now is pretty much the first opportunity I’ve had to assess the weather damage and decide what to do.

Where the frost has caused damage, the only solution is to cut back the dead vegetation, pulling the whole plant out if it has died or cutting it back above a bud if you can see the green shoots of recovery. I am normally tempted to leave dead stems and seed heads so that insects can overwinter in them but this year I am starting to pull the dead matter out now, especially if the top growth is slimy and likely to rot further.

It was satisfying this afternoon to see the border looking neater for my attention and I feel as if I’m getting a head start before Spring arrives later in the year.

Instagram: @midsomerdiariesgarden