Use winter to read up on gardening and greenhouse techniques

A garden and greenhouse expert has suggested that horticulture fans use winter to read up on their passion to help equip them with new knowledge for the year ahead.

Garden and greenhouse lovers have been encouraged to make use of their downtime during the winter to relax and read up on their horticulture.

This, according to the Herald Mail, will help plan next years gardening activities and allow you to recuperate over the colder months.

Horticulture expert Annette Ipsan explained that now is the ideal time to have a flick through any gardening books that were given as Christmas presents.

Those who are tempted to treat themselves to a good publication could opt for Sharon Lovejoys "A Blessing of Toads", which Ms Ipsan explained is one of her favourites.

The book is full of "charming stories" and "sprightly drawings", with observations of nature, recipes and gardening tips.

She also recommended "The Essential Earthman" by the late Washington Post columnist Henry Mitchell.

This, she explained, is full of "acerbic wit and considerable knowledge [which] shine on every page".

Meanwhile, the Mansfield News Journal has suggested that now might be a good time to reflect on 2009 and see what lessons can be learned from the various successes and failures in the garden and greenhouse.