Right plant, right place
Welcome to a new year in your garden. Make a new year’s resolution to look at what you would like to add to or change in your garden. Perhaps this is the year you opt for a complete re-vamp? Maybe you would just like to sort out that bit of the garden that you’ve never liked? Either way, planning is key. Have a wander round your garden and take photos of the areas you’d like to enhance. You can then look at the photos even when it’s pouring with rain outside. Think about the look you want to achieve. Do you want more background structure from evergreen shrubs? Does the border need more colour at certain times of the year? Are your plants tired and do they need replacing?
Measure the area you’d like to change then you’ll have an idea of the size of plants you’ll need. Note if the area is sunny or shady and the soil type – is it clay or sandy? is it acidic or alkaline? You can buy a small soil testing kits from local garden centres (they are not expensive) to enable you to do this. It is well worth it if you’re planning on spending money on plants as money can be wasted if you don’t get the right plants for the best place. The following websites have good information: The Royal Horticultural Society (www.rhs.org.uk); Crocus (www.crocus.co.uk) or Shoot Gardening (www.shootgardening.co.uk). There are many books available too. Start planning now and you’ll have a wonderful garden to look at by summertime.
Plants of the month
Sarcococca hookeriana (winter box). It’s an evergreen shrub that loves slightly acidic, clay soil. It has scented white flowers throughout the winter.
Lonicera x purpuseii (A Honeysuckle shrub). It has small white, lemon scented flowers before the leaves come out.
You may also start to see snowdrops popping through at the end of the month.
Things to do in the garden in February
- Continue to clear leaves from borders
- Ensure tender plants are wrapped or covered in fleece
- Clean out greenhouses and sheds with a disinfectant such as Jeyes fluid – this rids them of pests and diseases
- Clean your tools with a disinfectant
- Sharpen tools – secateurs, shears and lawn edging shears
- Request seed catalogues to help you decide what annual flowers and vegetables you would like to grow
- Prune apple and pear trees
- Prune blackcurrant, gooseberry and redcurrant bushes
- Plant bare-rooted hedges and trees.
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Gardens Designed by RHS Gold Medal and Best in Category winner, RHS Tatton Park show July 2016
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