February can be one of the coldest months of the year so beware - weather can fluctuate from bright sunny days to ones of extreme cold and frost so think twice about planting too much just yet.
If your garden is in a mild location in the UK then snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils will begin to show their heads in February - all great for bringing ornamental colour to winter weary gardens. Making an ornamental or feature garden does not have to be complicated or expensive and by using border and bedding plants you can create stunning colours, textures and aesthetic displays with just one £50 National Garden Gift Voucher. You will need to add fertiliser to the soil to provide food for the plants and will also need to ensure that bulbs have well drained soils and that they are planted at the correct depth.
Check that the neck and base of the bulbs are firm and never buy ‘soft’ bulbs. Dead head when flowering has finished and allow the leaves to turn brown before you remove them as this allows the bulbs to develop and be able to flower the following year.
For the romantics among you February is the month of love and what better plant for you to give to your loved one for Valentine’s Day than the fragrant Camellia that represents desire, passion and perfection. Camellias are also one of the best garden plants to use for adding a real splash of colour in the dark winter months. They are a wonderful plant to grow in the garden or a container. Camellias are woodland plants and do best when planted in a sheltered or shady position. They can be grown in a more exposed position if watered carefully and thrive in a free draining spot with plenty of humus in the surrounding soil.
Depending on the variety, you can have flowering from November through to April and the range of colours is vast, from light pinks to dark reds and stunning whites with single, double and other flower forms.
In addition to sharing their love of plants, gardeners also enjoy sharing their knowledge with 36% saying they like swapping ideas of gardening with each other (PlantforLife Environment Report 2011). And, it doesn’t matter what their age, people want to spend more time in their gardens. Young families are concerned with creating a child-friendly space for socialising, whereas the older generation sees the garden space as a creative outlet where they can enjoy their love of gardening and planting.
What is clear is that everyone wants to make the most of what they have to suit their needs.
So for everyone that values their outdoor space here are some top tips for jobs in the garden for February….
n Get prepared for your busy period by cleaning and repairing anything you have been leaving on one side
n Oil and sharpen tools, service lawnmowers
n Sweep paths and treat with a moss killer if needed
n Depending on frosts prune roses, climbers and hardy evergreens
n Dead head winter flowers
n Clean up and clear away winter debris and cut back winter plants
n Plant, plant, plant