It's all too easy to forget the power of scent at this time of year, something we might more usually associate with high summer and the heady scent of roses. But mid-winter can offer up some of the most seductive and powerful scents we could wish for in the garden. Here are three of my favourite.
Terracotta rhubarb forcers will give you an early crop of tender stems.....but a simple bucket would work just as well.
For tender stems, exclude the light from the newly emerging stems of rhubarb. Mulching around the pot with straw will help increase the temperature inside the pot, helping to speed those shoots along.
Microgreens are the seedlings, usually consisting of the first pair of seed leaves, of various vegetables and herbs. Beloved by chefs for enhancing the visual appearance, texture and taste of dishes, they are also a great way to get an extra veg hit in the darkest days of winter. They're high in carotenoids, vitamins C, K and E according to US research published in 2014. So with a nod to good health, Veganuary and the purse strings, I've decided to try out Johnsons Microgreens growing kit.
I'll always have my National Trust 2018 calendar tea- towel to cheer me up. Designed by the late, great Pat Albeck, it's beautifully designed with Victorian-style greenhouses, masses of fruit and veg and, of course, a robin, garden cat and perky blackbird to keep order in the border. Too good for drying up with though, so on the office wall it'll stay pinned.