In January, the squirrels hop across the lawn digging up their buried treasure. It’s a good idea to keep the squirrel house full of monkey nuts unless you want spring bulbs unearthed and bird feeders raided. The magpies like the nuts too, and squabble with the squirrels.
Shoots of snowdrops and crocuses begin to poke above the ground. It has been so cold this winter that few brave bumblebees have been seen.
There is not much to do in the garden while the ground is hard, and little point in tidying up fallen leaves where insects and other creatures may still be sheltering till spring.
If you are tempted to do some gardening and accidentally disturb a queen bumblebee nesting underground, put the earth or leaves gently back to avoid disturbing her further.
The fish pond and frog ponds were checked regularly this month to make sure they didn’t freeze. As usual, the goldfish took advantage of each inspection to beg for food.
Soon it will be time to hang out the solitary bee nests that have been hibernating in the sheds and to prepare this year’s nesting tubes.
Coming soon: February in the bee garden.