February Hints and Tips 2019

In January, my garden is in a muddle.  At least 17 different plant types are flowering: leftovers from last year, like Fuchsia, Abutilon and Hederantha, genuine winter flowerers like Helleborus, Rhododendron ‘Christmas Cheer’, Iris unguiculata, winter jasmine and witchhazel, and Pulmonaria and primroses that think it is spring!

It is difficult to predict how things will develop from now.  It may depend on whether we get another ‘Beast from the East’.  With any luck, we should be enjoying daffodils and crocuses and noticeably longer days.

Some plants that flower on new season’s growth, like late-flowering clematis and Buddleja, need to be stimulated by pruning back to a framework now.

Buddleja before pruning

Buddleja after pruning










So… Jobs you could do in February

Ornamental garden

Prune late-flowering clematis to just above a low pair of healthy buds 6-12” (15- 30cm) above soil level.

Prune winter jasmine after flowering has finished; cut back vigorous stems and old and crossing stems

Finish pruning rambling and climbing roses and start pruning bush roses at the end of the month.

Fruit and vegetable garden

Prune autumn fruiting raspberriy canes to ground level.

Prune hazel, once catkins have shed their pollen – use the prunings as pea sticks or make them into woven plant supports.

Sow (under glass) vegetable seeds like cabbages, leeks, broad beans and lettuce.  Aubergines, peppers, chillies and tomatoes can be sown, but need heat to germinate.

Chit potatoes in a light cool place.  Place the seed potatoes, eye end up, in trays or egg boxes to plant out in April.


What’s on in February

13th and 14th RHS London Early Spring Plant Fair – see RHS.org.uk for details

Sir Harold Hillier Garde, Ampfield, Romsey for winter shrubs

10th             Brandy Mount House, Alresford and the Down House, Itchen Abbas for Snowdrops

24th             Chawton House Library, near Alton

The last three are open on those days for the National Gardens Scheme for charity but are open at other times as well.

9th February is when the Church Crookham Garden Society trading shed opened again for members.  Details on the website.  The January advice can be found on the website as well.

16th February 10am – 3.00pm Potato day at St Philip’s and St James’ church, Kings Road, Fleet.  Admission £1.  There will be 50+ varieties of seed potato and others to buy and eat now, free advice, coffee and refreshment

22nd February Church Crookham Garden Society AGM, supper and quiz at 7.30pm, Willis Hall.  Guests welcome £3, members free.