February in the Garden 2012

According to past statistics February is often colder than January. This winter so far has been very mild, especially when compared with 2010/11, so a cold snap this month would actually go some way to evening things up a bit. The fantastic flowering and fruiting last year demonstrated that plants perform best with a hard winter and warm spring. I’m worried that if we do not have a spell of sub-zero temperatures then pests and diseases will get the upper hand in 2012 and plants won’t have had a decent period of winter rest to gear up for brilliant blooming.

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December in the Garden 2010

It seems like a pretty standard descent into winter so far. It’s easy to forget that the newly bare stems will remain that way for almost six months because it is well into May before the leaf canopy is fully reinstated. A lot of weather can happen between now and then – remember the ‘big freeze’ last winter – so invest in some horticultural fleece and keep it on standby.

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October in the Garden 2010

I finished working for the BBC early this year because I made programmes featuring the ‘RHS’ flower shows and did not work, as I have in previous years, on Gardeners’ World. This has meant that, apart from a month’s return to Birmingham covering for a friend on sick leave, I’ve actually become ‘self-unemployed’ earlier than ever. In theory I should therefore have an immaculate garden and be well ahead on all maintenance issues – err, ‘No’!

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October in the Garden 2009

Time to take stock; what have you got planned for your garden this month? Yew hedges should have had their annual cut by now; summer borders tidied but not necessarily cut back to nothing (this can wait until spring); too early for blanket mulching; too late for taking cuttings from tender perennials; too late for applying herbicides – what can you do?

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