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FEBRUARY 2024


February is the month where winter starts to fall away. There will likely be cold stings in the tail, but the new leaves are starting to grow and the snowdrops are out in full force. One has to be careful not to be too optimistic, March and April can be colder than February, and by all accounts the UK is more likely to have a white Easter than a white Christmas! However this is the key preparation month for the coming year.


The first of the vegetable seeds and the hardier of the flower seeds are sown in the greenhouse ready for planting into the garden in March.



 



Hazel and Cornus stems are harvested from the garden and wider estate to use as supports for the larger herbaceous perennial plants.



 The garden generally becomes a lot tidier towards the end of the month. We leave the lawns longer through the winter to  withstand the wet, wear and tear. The first cut is taken in February - longer than the spring/ autumn cuts - it helps to retain the ‘freshness’ of the grass, preventing it getting too tufty, and makes the first shorter cuts of spring much easier. It also adds a useful layer of grass clippings to the compost to mix in with the woodier materials.






 We leave the old stems and spent growth of the herbaceous perennials on the plants until late February/ early March. This is done to create a slightly warmer microclimate around the growing crowns of the plants, protecting any new growth from the worst of the wind and cold of winter, and also helps to keep the soil covered. Once cut back these areas can be mulched to help enrich the soil environment around the plants and give more nourishment for the roots.


By the end of the month the garden should be ready to step into spring prepared for the oncoming year. 



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