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February in the Garden at Glendoick
Ken Cox suggests Plants for early colour and jobs to do in the garden this month
Helleborus Orientalis (Lenten Rose),
Garrya elliptica 'James Roof' (Silktassel Bush),
Bergenia (Elephant's Ears),
Forsythia (in early seasons)
Early bulbs: snowdrops, Tete a Tete, Crocus
1. Hellebores in flower now: Wonderful tough winter flowering in many colours. Happy under trees. They should flower from January to April.
2. Winter scent: Lots of winter shrubs have colour and scent now: Viburnum tinus, Sarcococca, Daphne bholua and lots more.
3. Skimmias will produce flowers and berries all winter. Ideal for containers.
4. Bareroot hedging best planted now, available in bundles of 5 or 10.
5. This is the best time to plant trees, fruit trees and fruit bushes.
6. Plant early potatoes. Chit them indoors to start them off.
7. Start sowing seeds indoors, in a cold frame or propagator.
8. Feed the Birds. The berries and seeds in gardens are starting to run out, so the birds depend on a helping hand at this time of year.
9. Bedding Plants: Primroses for borders, containers, mass of colour in every shade. Pansies and Violas for early colour.
10. Winter and early spring heathers are in full flower now.
Jobs to Do:
Cut back messy or overgrown late summer flowering shrubs, perennials & climbers now.
early potatoes should be planted this month. If you are in a cold, inland garden you can start off the potatoes indoors (chitting). Make sure they don’t get frosted in the ground: protect the sprouting potatoes by mounding up soil to cover any emerging shoots.
Sow seeds: Sow chillies & peppers in a warm place/propagator.
Use a deep layer of organic matter such as coarse bark to help to condition the soil, suppress weed growth, insulate plant roots from temperature fluctuations, and conserve soil moisture during the summer.
Use home made compost on vegetable patches and mulch with bark chips on established shrubs and trees.
Late summer-flowering deciduous shrubs can be hard pruned between February and March:
Buddleja davidii, Hydrangea paniculata, Lavatera (mallow), Leycesteria, Perovskia, hardy fuchsias. Prune Wisteria.
Clumps of herbaceous perennials that you want to propagate, those that have become too large for their allotted space, and those that are flowering poorly or have lost their shape. Dig them up and pull them apart, using 2 forks if neccessary. Keep all the bits with white healty roots. You can re plant larger pieces or pot up small pieces.
Primroses and early Pansies are in and coming into flower now.
Lots of potted bulbs are in, excellent for jazzing up containers for early colour.