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Monday 4 February 2019

This Month in Your Garden - February

‘The flowers of late winter and early spring occupy places in our hearts well out of proportion to their size.’ Gertrude Smith Wister (1905–1999)

The Anglo Saxons had several names for February, one of which was ‘Sprout-kale’ relating to kale and cabbages being ready to eat, and another, ‘Fill-dike’, because the ditches would fill with the rain and melting snow. The month may find us nipping in and out of the garden when the weather permits, enjoying splashes of colour from snowdrops, winter aconites, irises, crocus and evergreens such as Viburnums, Mahonias and hellebores.

It’s a good time to exercise the pruners on deciduous shrubs that flower in late winter, spring and early summer, along with wisteria, buddleia, summer flowering clematis and hardy evergreen hedges. Roses too, if you missed them in earlier months. If you have to nip back in why not sow annual seeds such as pansies, antirrhinums and impatiens on a windowsill? Even better in a heated greenhouse, the one you cleaned out at the end of last year!

Have you started chitting those potatoes? Ah, a break in the weather so outside again you can get on with the area you have started preparing for sowing a lawn or laying turf. Hoe out any cheeky weeds and level the soil ready for the off! Don’t attempt any major work though until the ground is relatively dry.

  • Prune Hydrangea paniculata and Spiraea Japonica in early February
  • Start sowing vegetables towards the end of the month
  • Plant or transplant lilies in well-drained soil and a sunny spot
  • Plant anemones de Caen and St. Brigid
  • Hoe beds when it’s warmer and clear weeds
  • Cut back deciduous grasses
  • Mulch and feed around shrubs after pruning
  • Prune bush and standard roses
  • Finish planting trees and shrubs

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