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Mid-January 2024: Snowdrops, Pruning and Propagator Excitement

The beauty of the winter garden can be enjoyed this time of year.  With structure, colour variation, grasses and styled hedges, the crisp frost or the winter sun can highlight the garden in a different light.  We love the photo above taken in the private garden of Head Gardener Ben Pope. 

With it being a little early to start sowing seeds in earnest, why not take the time to look through seed catalogues, write lists of what you'd like to grow, sort through seed packets and plan your growing plots for the year. 

Many of the National Garden Scheme's private gardens will be opening their garden gates soon for wonderful displays of snowdrops and spring bulbs. Raising money every year for many charities, the NGS has a wide range of gardens to visit. Go to or look in the NGS yellow book to find gardens near you.

NGS Trustee Mark Porter joins Claire in the mid-January Growing Together podcast to explain more about the charity, the gardens and exciting plans for 2024 and Head Gardener Ben Pope is back with the January edition of The Working Garden Diary.

The Petersfield Community Garden hosts their annual Wassailing event on Sunday January 21st - scroll down for more details - and if, like us, you are already making lists of seeds to sow for 2024, don't forget the Petersfield Seed Swap will take place on Saturday March 9th.  Workshops will be announced soon.

The Growing Together gardening magazine podcast 

It was a chilly morning recording the first Growing Together podcast of the year. Meeting as usual at the Adhurst Estate Allotment, Claire and Steve were bundled up in layers, armed with hot drinks and even a hot water bottle! 

With plans to ease slowly into the growing year, they share advice for sowing sweet peas, germinating onion seeds and how to chit potatoes, along with propagator excitement.

If you're desperate to see spring colour, Mark Porter, trustee of the National Garden Scheme, reassures that gardens are opening very soon for viewing snowdrops and spring bulbs.  Plus there's the enticing promise of cake and it may surprise you to find out what variety of cake is a NGS favourite. 

Head Gardener Ben Pope returns with The Working Garden Diary for January with advice to 'garden by the seasons'.  In this episode, Ben has plans for trying something new this year, greenhouse inspiration, pruning know-how and why you should be eating sprouts now.  

Featured in the latest Growing Together podcast:

Mark Porter from the National Garden Scheme by Chawton House, Hampshire

Spring flowers in Mark Porter's National Garden Scheme garden 

Ben Pope in the heated greenhouse at the private garden with Wilhelmina, the tortoise 

Narcissus, herbs and lettuce growing in the unheated greenhouse 

Take part in the traditional blessing of the orchard at the Petersfield Community Garden's Wassailing event

Seed sowing possibilities at the Petersfield Seed Swap, along with workshops and growing advice. Save the date! 

Brrrr, we were cold! 

We'll be back in early February with more gardening tips, advice and expert interviews.Growing Together with Claire and Steve is a gardening magazine podcast, produced by Shine Radio. Follow and say 'hi' to us on instagram at Growing Together - gardening podcast (@growingtogether_podcast) • Instagram photos and videos If you have a gardening question, please contact us on

Happy gardening!

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