February in the Garden

How are we the middle of February already! I can’t believe the year is flying through already, probably an age thing but also a busy thing too. I took a walk around he garden and the nursery this morning and the warmer weather so far this year has meant that there are so much growth already this year. My snowdrops have all flowered already and the early daffodils are starting to flower. My Camellias on the nursery are in flower and the buds not he Magnolias are looking promising. Our Rhododendrons and Azaleas are all just ready from our production team. There is also some growth in some of our earlier herbaceous plants and I am just so excited about the Spring ahead, Its my favourite time of year, the awakening of everything in nature, the promise of the year to come. Although don’t be under any illusion that the winter is finished, there could be lots of frost still to come, so if you have plants protected, leave them where they are for now and our rootballed stock is still being lifted from our fields and this week has been much easier with the wetter weather, it means the rootball stays together better.

Still plenty of rootballed hedging and trees available and again just a reminder that the beauty of the plants coming out of the fields is that they are stronger, generally from being grown in the open ground rather than being slightly more confined in a container. We do have the luxury of being able to, at this stage int he life of the nursery having the right stock to lift enough of those to move a percentage straight into pots, giving the best of both worlds, the size and maturity of a field grown tree or plant but the practicality of having them available all year round as a containerised option but this time of year is better to plant if you have this opportunity, so don’t miss out on this time, preferably before the middle of April.

What else is happening in the garden at this time of year? Well February is a busy month int he garden, plenty of things to be done.

It’s time to prune some of the most popular climbers ; Clematis, Wisteria and Evergreen Jasmine. It also time to prune some of the shrubs in the garden Hydrangeas, Buddleia, all your Cornus, Mahonia, lots of evergreen shrubs and your climbing and bush roses.  Each one is different so do have a quick look up on the pruning of your individual plant. Even some of the different clematis varieties need pruning slightly differently and Hydrangeas are another one that can be tricky as depending not he variety depends on how you. Prune them, some flower on the previous years wood and some don’t so do look it up, I do have a page on my website on these.

Plant any summer flowering bulbs, to be honest I don’t usually plant summer flowering bulbs. I do plant a few tubers of gladioli but that usually it as there is so much flowering int he garden at that time that comes back each year that I don’t but there is some fabulous options if you have the time and space. I do however love sweet peas and always have here somewhere, I usually sow these around now int he glasshouse, they do need to be protected but if you sow them now then you will get a good crop and I love the fact that you can cut all the flowers and the more you cut the more they come again and it is such a beautiful delicate flower to have in a small vase int he house. They remind me so much of my late mum and that scent too. Hellebores are in loads of flowers at this stage, its such a hard working plant and now is the time to cut back all those scrappier looking older leaves, letting the light and air into the plant to let it grown at its best.

If you are a vegetable grower then now is the time to chit you potatoes, I don’t tend to grown many vegetables anymore, I love to do so but these last two years the nursery has kept me so busy that some of the crops were being a little neglected and any vegetable grower knows that neglect is not something that makes for great veg. I do grow a couple of easy grow things in my glasshouse, I grow a couple of tomato crops, there is nothing better than really fresh off the vine tomatoes and alongside I grow basil and garlic. Last year I also grew a couple if young salad leaves in a handy crop box by my back window. I didn’t have the time to keep root vegetables and things like potatoes right so I just didn’t sow them. What we do grow though is peas, we sow them in any fallow fields to keep them not only clean but adding crops that put goodness back in the soil and between these crops we add peas, it means that when we cut the crops for animal feed it has the high protein peas in it, think pea proteins that we all know are so good for us, its good for the animal feeds too. We also head down to these fields with my kids and we have enough peas in pods for us for plenty for the coming weeks and months.

That should keep you busy this coming week and next week we will be looking at all those Spring flowering shrubs and trees to add for plenty of Spring colour, until then Happy Gardening



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