Gardener’s Blog – February 2020

The milder winter we’ve had so far means we’ve been able to get cracking with quite a few jobs – if you’ve managed to do the same, well done – there’s nothing like that sense of achievement of a completing a task early!

We’ve pruned plants in the Tropical House so that they don’t block out the light and take over the space – it also keeps the glasshouse looking tidy and encourages more flowers in the spring and summer.

We also spent some time, tidying the herb garden and cottage garden, cutting back herbaceous perennials, removing dead or invasive plants and forking over the beds. It has made such a difference and it looks great already.

The team has also improved the Aviary winter bed, by thinning out some of the Christmas Box, which was smothering some of the other plants, and moving some of the Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ (twisted hazel) from the middle of the border to the front, so its wonderful twisted stem silhouettes can appreciated more.

Once again, we’re indebted to the fantastic BMET students, who have provided invaluable support to the Gardens team by helping to mulch the Pinetum steps and shrub borders with bark chips, to keep the area tidy and to suppress weeds.

We’ve also finished putting out more than 500 new labels on our plants so that everyone knows what they are! It’s a big job, but absolutely essential that visitors know what they are looking at.

With February now here, we’ll continue to plant in the new Alan King Alpine Garden, ready for the spring opening. We’ll also be busy, preparing for planting in the Mediterranean House: first, we’ll take the spring bulbs in the nursery, ready to move in a few weeks, then we’ll replace the

Pelargoniums with new plants we grew last summer.

Towards the end of the month, weather permitting, we’ll cut back some of the ornamental grasses in the Grass Garden, before the new shoots appear at the base.