February is the month we can almost smell Spring is on its way. We’ve survived the length and rigours of January and as daylight hours noticeably increase, we may even be tempted to wrap up and venture out to the winter garden. Here are a few things you can do now before growth begins in earnest.
If January was the month you got your garden plan drawn up, you can begin to prepare for the work to come. If the plan is still in the pipeline, time is of the essence but it’s not too late! At this time of year, the garden is still mainly dormant, and its bare-bones are easier to see. Make a note of things you like or dislike to include in that plan. Take a good look at the garden from all corners and let your imagination run riot!
While most plants are still enjoying their winter slumber, it’s a good time to dig up, transplant or plant new. If you have trees or shrubs that would be better in a different site, now is the time to move them. If you want a “strategically placed” tree for privacy or as a focal point, choose carefully and get it planted. As the soil warms and growth begins it will get a head start if planted now.
Garden machinery which has been stored since Autumn may need a service or maintenance before fresh use in the new season. If this is left until Spring, when needed, you will be faced with a lengthy queue as everyone else finds their mower doesn’t work at the same time. Get in there ahead of the rush!
It may seem too early for Spring cleaning and cutting back last year’s foliage too soon may leave many hibernating critters homeless, but some judicious pruning may begin now. Hedging should be cut now before the bird nesting season kicks in around March. Keep feeding the birds with high energy seeds and fat balls as they struggle to survive the cold weather and prepare for the breeding season.
If your plan includes a pond, and weather and ground conditions allow, this is a good time to install that water feature. Frogs coming out of hibernation will be looking for somewhere to breed and other wildlife will be glad of this new habitat. Your reward will be the fun of finding out how quickly even a small area of water will colonise with tiny creatures.
A garden is not just for summer, so get the wellies on, get out there and enjoy your vision of the garden to come. Find out what little green shoots are showing already and breathe deeply of the fresh air!
For garden planning help and advice, for any size, style or budget, call Hilary on 07772 161748, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check out my Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/GardenPlansNI
(North Down and Belfast areas)