Believe it or not, before www.flushthefashion.com was born I was a gardener for 10 years, getting my hands dirty and breathing a lot more fresh air than I do now stuck behind a computer all the time. It was so nice to work all day in the garden and then come home and forget about it till the next day. When you run a website you never really get a chance to switch off. I’m not complaining though, and when I can I really love to get out into the garden.
Feb In the Garden
It’s cold, it is wet. It might even be snowing. February can often seem like a bit of a non-event in the garden, but while it might not be the most dramatic period in terms of display, there are always plenty of things you can be doing. Spring is just around the corner and once things start waking up you won’t get a moment’s rest.
Protect from the Frost
If you haven’t already, consider protecting Spring blooming shrubs like cherry trees and rhododendrons with old carpet covered around the base, strong, thick cardboard can also work well as long as it is properly secured. If plants are particularly vulnerable and a manageable size, you could even consider digging them up and moving to a greenhouse or a less harsh climate. Keep them well fed and watered throughout. Lemon trees and tropical plants may need extra protection too. I found a good website with lots of info and ideas on Protecting from Spring Frosts.
Weed & Feed the Lawn
Unless you’re a turf maniac, it’s unlikely your lawn is going to be something to shout about at this time of year. Don’t panic, now is a great time to invest in a good quality lawn weed and feed to prepare for the year ahead. Rake off the dead moss and give your grass a generous coating, this will strengthen the roots and when the temperatures start to rise in a few weeks give your grass a real boost.
Prune the Hedges
The garden at our last house was completely dominated by Leylandii and it was a real pain to get rid of it. As a hedge it never really works, it’s impossible to cut back and trim and it will just keep growing and growing upwards. Do yourself a favour and use this time of year to really cut back Leylandii and if you can replace it completely. Dwarf Boxwood Shrubs are by far a better option, their foliage is much denser, and they can be sculpted and trained to fit any kind of space. One thing to consider with Boxwood shrubs are the roots which tended to be very shallow. Keep a 3-inch layer of mulch around each plant to keep them protected from the cold (and the warm in Winter). Another good way to protect your hedges and prevent Winter bronzing is to give them a good spray of anti-desiccant and keep them well watered.
While the garden is in a slightly dormant state, now is also a great time to start thinking about all those parties you want to have. I found a great website with a huge range of gazebos and Party Tents for everything from Wedding Receptions to Garden Camping. In addition to Garden furniture, developments in smart lighting and solar technology have enabled even more creativity when it comes to creating a dramatic statement in your garden.
Just remember once the frost has gone it will be action stations in the garden for any dedicated gardener, so keep on top of it and enjoy the relative peace while you can.