Spring time in the garden
Spring is just around the corner, the nights are drawing out and the days are becoming warmer. For me this is the best time of the year in the garden, the spring bulbs that you carefully planted in the autumn are beginning to show and the song of the birds is cheerful. Now is a good time to set seed potatoes, they are widely available now and can be started to chit in an egg box, in a dry and frost free place and away from mice. A good early crop is Arran, a middle crop is Charlotte and a good late crop for nice roast potatoes is King Edward.
Early spring pruning of summer flowering shrubs, Buddliea, remove all wood down to 60cm (2ft). Laveria, remove all shoots to leave at least two buds below, both of these shrubs put a lot of growth on in a year and they flower on new wood.
Abusy time on the vegetable plot, finish off any cultivating, before setting any early crops, warm the soil up by placing an old piece of carpet on the surface of the soil. A wide range of vegetable seeds are available from nurseries, but if you are not that successful with seeds, or do not have the right conditions then plug plants are also available, that are ready for you to plant straight away.
To give an instant cheer in the garden is to plant up a pot with some fresh pansies, polyanthus, or primulets, that the nurseries have been looking after in sheltered conditions and place close to the door or walkway you most regularly use. Later in the year these plants can be set in the garden and let to flower later next year.
Plants of the month:
Vibernum bodnantense; pink flowers on bear stems reaching a height of 3m Pulmonaria Mrs Kittle; Mottled foliage, with pale blue delicate flowers, height 30cm Iris reticulata; A range of coloured flowers from pale blues, dark blues, to bright yellow, ideal bulbs for under trees.