Beware of frosts which are starting to make themselves felt. It is time to bring any particularly precious vulnerable plants under cover until spring.
It is the optimum time for planting and for redeveloping areas in the garden. Review tatty areas and plan on starting work on them as soon as possible. When winter really hits, it is easy to lose the motivation to grub around in very cold and wet ground whereas at this stage it is still quite pleasant. Garden centres will have a good range of new season’s trees and shrubs in stock by now.
Queens Birthday weekend is regarded as rose weekend for gardeners and their garden centres so there is probably the largest range you will see in store right now. Roses are best planted in full sun and in areas with good air movement to reduce diseases.
Bare rooted plants are those that have been field grown and then dug up very recently to be sold. They are a great deal less common than they used to be (far more plants are container grown in pots or planter bags), but if you are buying any bare rooted plants, chose the ones with big root systems rather than impressive tops. If the tops look far too large for the small root system, then prune the top back as you plant it. If you can see any severely damaged woody roots, prune them back with sharp secateurs.
Give some attention to the herb garden. You can take cuttings of woody herbs now and divide up the clumping types.
There is a lull in planting in the vegetable garden at this time but you can still plant broad beans and winter spinach.
Keep on top of the weeds as usual. At this time of the year, hoeing is not as effective in the vegetable garden so use your shovel to turn the dirt and weeds over, trapping the weeds below the sods where they will hopefully rot off. Push hoeing for weed control is best when there is a hot sun to fry the weeds.
We have found the first English snowdrops (galanthus) in flower already. Harbingers of spring? Maybe we will skip winter this year.