If it has not already been done, have all the necessary pruning of fruit trees (including apples, pears, apricots, peaches, plums, etc.) attended to at once; also prune roses and other deciduous trees, climbers and shrubs, removing all decayed or weak growth. If any show signs of ill health, take up the plants and examine their roots: root-prune all unhealthy stock and replant in fresh, well-cultivated, deep, rich soil. After pruning, clear away all the clippings and any weeds which may be found either in shrub-groups, flower-beds or walks. Weeds should never be allowed to get foothold in any well-kept garden.
When the hedges have all been clipped and the place has been given a general clean-up, a clear dry day should be selected when the soil is in good condition, neither too dry nor yet so wet that it will stick to the spade; after giving the soil a good coat of at least three inches of old, well-rotted manure, spade the surface of all shrubbery-groups and flower-beds to the depth of at least one foot (except where the operation would interfere too much with the roots of the plants), leaving the soil in as rough and lumpy a condition as possible so as to allow the atmosphere to penetrate the soil.
Plant out all kinds of fruit trees and also all kinds of deciduous trees and shrubs, selecting a day when the air is soft and the soil in good condition, avoiding days when the wind blows cold and dry, or the soil is wet and soggy.
In laying out new rose-beds, first trench the soil to the depth of two feet and mix the soil freely with, at least, six inches of half-decomposed horse-manure. The soil should be of a good strong nature, not too sandy but not a heavy clay; a good mellow loam of any color, if well-enriched, suits the rose, a fairly well-sheltered situation being selected.
January is a good month for laying out new ground, making walks, etc.
In the Greenhouse or glasshouse the principal work is keeping everything as bright and fresh as possible, allowing no dead or dying leaves or dirt of any kind to accumulate on any bench or pot or even under the plant-benches or stages. It is advisable to syringe very little during this month, and only on bright, warm days and in the early morning. It will suffice to dampen the floors and plant-stages (or tables) once or twice a day; especially be careful not to syringe plants which are in bloom, else the display of flowers will be short.
This being the coldest month of the year, and flowers scarce in the open, a good display of color should be aimed at, Roman Hyacinths, Begonias, Cinerarias, Euphorbias, Rondeletias, Primulas, Poinsettias, etc., being utilized. We should keep the greenhouse gay and cheerful during the entire month.
Keep the temperature between fifty-five and sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit at night, allowing a rise of ten degrees in the daytime.
Give larger pots to pot-bound palms or other evergreen, ornamental-leaved plants which have healthy roots. Examine each individual plant, and, if the roots are not in a healthy condition, cut back the diseased roots to healthy tissue and repot the plant in a pot of the same size or even in a smaller one, using good, fresh soil composed of two thirds turfy-loam and one-third leaf-mold with enough sand to keep the whole open and free, together with a sprinkling of bone-meal or crushed bones.