1st February 2019
Freezing February is here and it has started with a kick, a blanket of snow, freezing yet beautiful. The grasses are falling over due to the heavy snow and the box balls all have a stunning white hats on. But in amongst all this is a fabulous splash of green as the snow drops emerge, along with piercing purple cyclamens under the magnolia tree, Spring has sprung, well sort off!
The garden may lack its summer charm but now the true bones of the garden are revealed. So if structure is lacking a garden tip is to look and decide where a dull corner could be improved. It could be the addition of a bean pole, a pot or a neatly clipped hedge these things can be added along with textural interest from foliage – like the silver leaves of the Cotten lavender ‘Santolina champ. ‘nana’ or add a tree with stunning white bark, great architectural shape and uniformity like the Betula Utilis. Jacquemontii (Silver Birch as commonly known).
JOBS TO DO
Cut back any deciduous grasses, taking care not to damage the new green growth and herbaceous perennials left for winter, however as freezing as it is this will be done near the end of the month.
Continue pruning back the Wisteria to 2/3 buds
Prune back the grape vine to 2-3 healthy buds before the sap starts to rise again.
Finish pruning back climbing and rambling roses, bush roses can be pruned towards the end of the month.
For those hands that are now dry and cold which require a little rehydration, we are running a wonderful‘Winter Home Made Lotions & Scubs’ Workshop this coming March so come make that special gift for Mothers Day or keep for your self.
Continue planting any bare-root trees/shrubs, we have until end of March to get them in the ground, but not if the ground is frozen.
If trees or shrubs are in need of pruning now is also a good time to do this, along with top tips next month on how to get the best colour from your Cornus (dogwood) and Salix (willow) plants and what wonderful things we can make with these canes.
THE VEG PATCH
Start warming the soil and keep the weeds down by covering the soil with polythene or cloches, and a few bricks!
Prune back the autumn fruiting Raspberry canes to ground level. See January Jobs for a money making idea.
Sow Vegetables such as broad beans, leeks, onions and salad under cover for early outdoor planting.
FAVOURITE FEBRUARY PLANTS
The dazzling shades of spring flowering Crocus on mass under a tree is hard to beat so try C. Ruby Giant.
Helleborus Foetidus is also know as ‘stinking hellebore’, unfairly, but I think its beautiful elegant lime green bell shaped flowers make up for this ….. Height 60cm, and likes dryish soil in sun/shade.
A good tree for a difficult space is Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’. Flowers from autumn to spring and is a a joy to see. A small tree which can grow to 8 meters on sun/shade.