february in the garden
I love this time of year, purely for the fact that each morning as I get out of bed it is a little lighter and the birds have started singing with renewed vigor. It seems such a long time since we have enjoyed light evenings and barbeques, each little step towards spring seems like a giant leap.
As warmer weather approaches it is time to look at your garden and prepare it for the coming year. Spring is just around the corner, and before all your plants beging to grow again it's the ideal time to take a fresh look at your beds, tidy up the winter debris and move around or plant new specimens according to your planting plan.
| Begin tidying old leaves left on herbaceous plants by cutting with shears, and rake out rubbish and leaves that have collected under shrubs.|
This helps prevent pests and disease harbouring in piles of rotting vegetation. Do bear in mind that weeds will still grow this time of year, especially if this month stays frost free and damp. Remove these ensuring deep roots of perennial weeds are dug out completely.
| Its an ideal time to plant any new bare-rooted specimens, such as deciduous trees and shrubs along with roses. These will benefit from the addition of slow-release fertiliser to the surrounding soil, which in turn should be applied to all your beds.|
It is also time to prune late-flowering clematis. These flower on the current years growth, so cutting the stems hard now will prevent plants becoming tangled and untidy. Cut back to the hard woody stems, removing any green growth from last year.
SInce we have many frosty days this month, it's a great time to find a comfy seat, a steaming cup of coffee and cake - and look through the seed, plant and landscaping catalogues to let you imagination run wild and decide how you can improve your garden this coming year...
Roll on Spring!
Happy February gardeners,
Linette Applegate - Head Gardener at Toddington Manor.