Spring is on its way!
With a noticeable difference in the length of daylight there is a sense that a new season is just around the corner. Buds are beginning to swell and early spring-flowering bulbs will be in show towards the end of the month. Plenty of encouragement for us to get outside and start to think about what we need to do in the garden this year.
Here is a list of important jobs to do this month.
• Make sure birds have food and water.
• Cut back ivy on walls and overgrown shrubs and hedges before the birds start nesting.
• Prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering, including winter-heathers.
• Prune summer-flowering shrubs that flower on new wood.
• Prune hardy evergreen trees and shrubs.
• Cut back late flowering clematis and jasmines at the end of the month.
• Prune off old stems of herbaceous perennials.
• Cut back old foliage on deciduous grasses such as Miscanthus.
• Cut back Wisteria, to one or two buds from the main stem, removing whippy growth except where you need to train new leaders.
• Finish planting deciduous hedges and bare rooted trees and shrubs.
• Divide and plant snowdrops.
• Repot or top-dress shrubs in containers.
• Protect emerging herbaceous plants from attack by slugs.
• Start sowing sweet peas and half-hardy annuals inside.
• At the end of the month sow tomatoes, peppers and chillies in a heated propagator or on a sunny windowsill.
• Sow onions, early leeks, cabbage, peas and lettuce under cover.
• Chit seed potatoes.
• Keep a notebook handy as this is a good time to record details of any planned changes to the garden. If you want a nice looking garden for the summer, now is the time to think about the layout of your garden and maybe call in the services of a garden designer.
There are many lovely gardens to visit this month, a few are listed below. Look out for snowdrops this month!
Blenheim Palace, Park and Gardens, Woodstock, Oxfordshire. www.blenheimpalace.com
Batsford Arboretum, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire. www.batsarb.co.uk
Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt
Painswick Rococo Garden, Painswick, Gloucestershire. www.rococogarden.org.uk