We've been fairly lazy in the garden during February with not much activity taking place at all ...... and it's not that there's nothing to do. There's definitely plenty of tidying we could be getting on with. We can't really blame it all on the weather but that really hasn't helped.
We did have a bit of a splurge on one job right back at the beginning of the month and we sorted out the strawberry bed. Last year we had two random strawberry plants that had survived from previous years and we planted them up properly and, at the end of the season, Martin potted up the runners.
When we went to do our tidy up early this month we found we've now got 30 healthy looking plants. Wow!! 15 from each plant. So if the same thing happens this year with our 30 plants we could end up with 450!! If that's the case I'll definitely be setting up the paste table in the front garden next spring and trading as Dunhill's Nurseries.
In spite of the weather we are starting to see the garden slowly coming back to life with lots of green shoots starting to appear in all the old familiar places.
In flower we have Hellebores, Snowdrops and some miniature Daffodils. We also have a pot of Spring bulbs, which was a birthday present from our close friends Jo and Steve about 3 years ago. This looks like it's going to make another great show this year.
HelleboresThe Hellebores are about the first thing to flower in my garden. My Hellebores hold a special meaning for me, as do so many of the plants in my garden. My Hellebores came from my oldest friend's mum's garden, who is sadly no longer with us, so every time I look at them I think of Beryl. Lesley, my friend, and I were at school together and, apart from a shaky year, when we were at college, we have remained firm friends ever since.
When Lesley lost her mum and her dad, a couple of years ago, we thought it would be good to take some memories from Beryl's garden, which she loved and spent many hours looking after. Beryl was the mum that let you do things your own mum wouldn't and I used to spend lots of time at No 10.
Anyway, I've kind of gone off track a bit here but hey!! My Hellebores are a purple colour (my favourite) and as there are 3 of them, all planted individually in a border, with not much else showing at the moment, it is quite hard to see the flowers. I don't know what I was thinking of planting them all separately. After all, anyone with any gardening sense whatsoever knows you should always plant in 3s or 5s! As such I have decided that after mine have finished flowering (I might not even wait) I am going to dig them up and put them all together in a big pot.
Perennials in pots are great - very low maintenance. For years I messed about with annual bedding plants such as Bizzy Lizzies or Petunias, which gave a fabulous show for the summer, but were mucho effort.
Once the flowers on the Hellebores have gone, the leaves will stay nice and green, right through till the end of the year, so the pot will still look interesting, especially if arranged with others with more colour.
My own mum has just bought some white Hellebores - I'm sure these will show up lovely in the border!
SnowdropsI've lived in my house for over 20 years. I know 20 years here, 30 years at work, you can't say I'm not stable!!
My front garden is tiny, it spreads the width of the house, which is a Edwardian semi-detached, but is only about 7 feet deep, as the house is quite close to the road, walled off by a red & blue brick wall. As well as being tiny, the planting area is even more restricted, just two narrow strips of border in a concrete slab base - sounds horrible, I know! Anyway, one of the only remaining bits of planting from before I moved in is the Snowdrops.
They are prolific, having spread like crazy since I moved in. Last Autumn we had a really good tidy up out the front and we collected up all of the Snowdrop bulbs to try and plant them in a bit more of an orderly fashion - though not too orderly.
We actually had so many that we scattered handfuls in the top of the Bay pots, which sit either side of our front door. They are all now in full flower and look great.
We also planted some clumps of miniature Daffodils and Tulips, so hopefully we will have colour out the front all through the Spring.
- When planting out, plant in groups of 3 or 5
- For low maintenance pots, plant with perennials or bulbs
- The best time to split Snowdrops is when they are 'in the green' - that is when they have finished flowering, not when we split them