January thus far would certainly not have inspired you to start to do any work in the garden! Apart from flicking through the 2015 seed catalogues, I must admit that I haven’t thought about my back garden or allotment since December. Saturday, however, changed all that. There was a definite improvement in the weather and I did some tidying of pots and tools, but not the garden. I am following a wildlife friendly policy this year which involves letting fallen leaves remain under trees and shrubs, and not cutting back dead leaves on herbaceous perennials (keeping the old leaves on helps protect the plant from frosts). I spent Sunday morning counting my garden visitors for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and noted that the sparrows spent as much time turning over dead leaves and feasting, as they did in eating the nuts and seeds from the feeders. I must also say that the foliage of my Monbretia (Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’) is looking exceptionally beautiful at the moment (as are the Gladiolus).