First it was the snowdrops, softening the edges of February, then came the shoots and unfurlings. The wisps of pale mauve tommasinianus, before the full palette of purple crocus came bursting forth, with magnolia, hammamilis and the first flush of daffodils.
An energy gathering pace, that has focused the mind and sharpened the tools in readiness. Jobs on the list in the garden over the following weeks include:
Planting snowdrops ‘in the green;’ lifting, splitting and replanting them, focusing on dividing the bigger clumps to give them increased vigour for next year.
Making hazel supports for peonies, geraniums, thalictrums and sunflowers. Preparation, as always is key, so Josh and the team will have prepared lengths of coppiced hazel for twiggy pokery purposes, dividing and bundling them into various lengths for creative weaving in situ. Pushing then into the ground, snapping and gently twists the tops over and threading them back into themselves. The idea being for them to blend in and disappear over the Summer months.
Cutting down and tidying up the borders in readiness for Spring bulbs.
Given the warm weather, in all likeliness, mowing the lawn (lightly scarifying and re-seeding it will come later in mid March).
Starting to sow tomatoes, chilli peppers and, if you haven’t done so before, the last chance to sow sweet peas. Either in pots or long root trainers to get them established and planted out in May or until the last of the Spring frosts. A few annuals too will be sown including, papaver somniferum and ammi majus.
The kitchen garden beds have been prepped in anticipation for our ‘no dig’ trials, the wisteria pruned, bare root roses bedded in with a handful of bio char, and existing climbers bent and coaxed into shape for Summer floriferousness, sculptural shapes in the meanwhile with structured poise. Josh is a fan of the Jenny Barnes (on instagram: @niff_barnes ) school of thought and making rose pruning an art form in its own right.
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