Gardening by Month - February
Spring is just around the corner, so venture out on dry days and prepare for the new gardening year. Start by removing dead leaves and any fallen branches. Cut back dead and broken branches that didn’t survive the winter. Fork in a layer of fertiliser to bare patches of soil. Fruit trees will benefit from a generous layer of manure.
If you’ve planted bulbs, they should be springing up to give your winter garden a lovely lift. Their colour is so welcome this time of year. You can always add to your bulb display with ready-made planters from Garsons.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day this month, let’s focus on a shrub that brings romance to the garden. The camellia has lovely blooms and shiny evergreen leaves. It is one of the few plants providing a big splash of cold weather colour in the garden, with shades ranging from white through to pink and deep red.
Early flowering varieties of camellia are coming to life around now. You can plant them this month so long as the ground isn’t frozen. Camellias are woodland plants, which means they prefer shade or partial shade. They are ericaceous so need an acid or lime-free soil in order to thrive. You can use a simple soil test kit available from Garsons to check your soil’s acidity/alkalinity (often called its pH). Add ericaceous compost to the planting hole if your soil isn’t acid enough.
Camellias come in different sizes, so choose one to fit your available space. They prefer a sheltered position with room to grow. Some will stay compact, which is ideal for a small space. The compact varieties grow well in large pots filled with ericaceous compost, available at Garsons. If you plant one in a container, add smaller varieties of bulbs and seasonal bedding for extra interest.
They prefer rainwater to tap water and like to be watered well. Give them ericaceous feed in spring and early summer. Grown in the right soil, camellias can flower reliably and rarely need pruning, which makes them a garden favourite.
Until next month, happy gardening!