January 2014
The Herb Farm

January Doesn’t Move Me

What am I? Look in your own yard and then email me with your answer.


January just doesn’t move me like other months in the year. That is why you didn’t get an article from me January of last year. Well, that and the fact I was waiting on the world to end in Mayan Prophecy style (tongue in cheek).

December is slow and crowded with holidays. My new year begins on the Winter Solstice. So, from that time until Groundhog Day is just a waiting game for me. That first five weeks of winter is trying when you get most of your motivation from sunshine.

I’m an old codger (well, not that old) who doesn’t care for the nightlife and I don’t watch TV.

The fact is that January holds the least excitement for me in the garden. I chose most of my seed purchases last month. Not much left to do but get out the leaf blower every few days, take a stick and draw lines in the dirt where crops will be planted, or look at the pictures in the seed catalog to see what the plants will look like when they grow up.

This is the time of year I usually spend a lot of time tinkering in the glass greenhouse, hovering around the heater and getting seed trays ready for planting next month. Soaking up the sunshine and smelling the soils, fertilizers and the blooms on the petunias I overwintered is what I usually do. Nothing seems to get me going this month.

  I am fascinated with nature, her colors and her patterns.

Okay folks. I could say I just had an epiphany, but since that isn’t celebrated until January 6, we can just call it a good idea.

While I was struggling to pour words out of my bored brain, I decided to take a break for a couple of days and do something I have wanted to do for a long time.

I just spent two days researching digital cameras online and with photographer friends who know the equipment better than I do. I must have watched YouTube videos for eight straight hours.

Thanks to speedy free delivery, I now have a decent camera to take pictures of the plants that I write about in this column.

Left to right, hardy ferns have been hit by the cold weather and are dropping spores. Camellia sasanqua bud is the last one of the season on this bush. It is usually finished blooming in December.  Hydrangea macrophylla showing us some hope for spring.

You probably could tell I like to take my own pictures for this column. Now, as soon as I learn how to use this thing, I hope to give you the best herb and vegetable pictures ever possible. The key is to try to understand all those dials, switches and buttons. The owners’ manual is as thick as a phone directory - and that’s just the English version!

Buds beginning to show on the bay (Lauralis mobalis). Unfortunately, the biters have begun munching on the leaves. Baby onions peeping through the mulch. The hellebores are popping up from seed and blooming on last year’s plants as well.
Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum) buds are set in July for a brilliant splash of bright orange color in early March.  

It’s time to learn and practice.

I have decided to start keeping a better garden journal and coordinating the plant pictures with the dates and cross-referencing them with the names of the plants in alphabetical order.

Thanks to you, my January just got busy and interesting.

What are you doing this month? Planning your gardening tactics for 2014? Drop me a line. I would really like to know.

I’ll be back next month with some healthy herb tips and lots of pictures!

Until then, remember to watch your salt and sugar, drink plenty of pure water, and breathe in and out!

For more information, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Be sure to find me on Facebook at Herb Farmer-The Herb Farm.

As always, check with an expert, like your doctor, before using any herbal remedy.