Perennials: Begin planning for next spring. Using garden notes, photographs, and sketches assess areas which need renovation or new plants. Read up on current design trends which may use grasses, native plants and hardscaping to produce pleasing effects. Landscape designers create new designs in the same way as interior designers and clothing designers. The fashions may not appeal but sometimes new ideas emerge which are just right for your garden.
Flowers: Gather incoming seed catalogs and order new ones, or browse on-line in all the many catalogs offered. Begin planning and ordering. Keep in mind the size of your space and resist the urge to order too many seeds. Plan seeding schedule. Check dahlia, canna and gladiola bulbs for rotting and/or drying out.
Vegetables and Fruits. Begin planning orders for new fruit trees, shrubs or plants. Consider a strawberry bed or a few raspberry canes, if there is a place for them in full sun. Blueberry bushes require highly acid soil.
Trees and Shrubs: If there is a heavy snow, carefully remove snow from evergreen shrubs if they are weighted down. Prune away storm damaged branches promptly.
Lawns: If the lawn is still bare avoid walking on it and keep the pets off, too. If there is snow, avoid using salt near lawn areas. Use sawdust or cat litter or even granulated fertilizer.
Houseplants: Keep the holiday plants cool, and they will last longer.
General: Leave the discarded Christmas tree near a bird feeder and the birds will use it as protection from the wind and predators.
Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester