- On February 7, 2013
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Shortest month of the year, possible coldest month of the year with the easterly, beasterly wind – hits us hard in Islandmagee – nothing between us and Scotland to soften its blow.
Yet I love this month, you can really see the nights stretching…we’ll be sick of hearing this I suppose until summer solstice, same old, same old but still we say it. Here’s hoping for a dry spell so that we can work the beds….I haven’t even started to clear them except for the orchard & shady garden (being wildlife friendly is a great excuse for leaving everything til the last minute but I think it helps the plants too – all the dead top growth acts like an insulator.
In the “ornamental” garden, once the beds are cleared, this is a great time to look around and see where you could underplant with early bulbs – half of our Tete a Tete & February Gold daffs are already flowering and the dwarf iris are a lovely burst of blue / purple, I especially like Harmony and the plummy George – quite cheap too. With crocus, tommasinus are the best, especially Whitewell Purple which is a stronger colour and great for naturalising in grass – they don’t mind our heavy wet clay at all and come back year after year. Of course the snowdrops are great and aren’t fussy about our soil but they are best planted in the “green” after flowering. But all other bulbs can be bought in the autumn and, if you’re not sure where to put them, why not plant them in old plastic pots, in clumps of say..5 or 7 and then plant them carefully now, while they’re in bud – this has worked fine for me and gives instant impact.
At last, we have finished weaving in the willow arch but it has sort of gone from us, the wet summers have led to 12/14ft of growth each year!
Iris histroides George, a lovely plummy colour.