Gardening Times. -By Rick Heyse-

People love to see Snowdrops at this time of year as it reminds them spring is not far away. But I love Camelias which are also bursting into life adding splashes of colour to the winter scenery. As I have mentioned before, I like the variations of the seasons and enjoyed a walk around Cockington recently and its more open late winter views and Daffodils, Crocus and Snowdrops in bloom making a bold statement spring is just around the corner. And before anyone asks, no I didn’t take a shovel and bucket to gather any horse droppings for the Roses or the allotment. Its far too early in the season for the horse and carriages to be operating!  

Some Timely Gardening Tasks

Flower Beds & Borders

  • With some high winds and heavy downpours, check stakes and ties are secure on your shrubs and small trees and ensure other smaller shrubs are not rocking around.
  • Give established shrubs a treat a treat with a feed such as fish, blood and bone which will release nutrients slowly over the season.
  • Clematis can give a wonderful display over the summer, but they do need some maintenance, so pick up your secateurs and lightly prune your summer flowering varieties whilst cutting back hard those that flower later.
  • As we move into March, many varieties of hardy annuals such as Nigella (Love-in-a Mist), Cornflowers and even Poppies can be sown. Direct sowing such as this can fill gaps in the border and costs just pennies. 
  • If you are considering a new hedge, now is a good time to plant pot grown hedging plants. A light sprinkling of fish, blood and bone will help give any new hedging a good start.


Containers and Baskets

  • Nobody can deny the scent of Lilies is spectacular. If you have a greenhouse or conservatory, you can now plant Lily bulbs in pots, placing them on the patio in the summer to enjoy their wonderful scent. 
  • Remain vigilant, and keep an eye out for slugs and snails as you deadhead spring bedding in containers.

Kitchen Gardens & Allotments

  • Warm the soil by applying a black plastic membrane or placing glass panels on the soil. This will warm the soil sufficiently to allow you to directly sow seeds slightly earlier and helping faster germination. 


  • Once emerging Sweet Pea plants have two true pairs of leaves, pinch them out. This will encourage the emergence of stronger sideshoots. There is also still time to make a sowing of Sweet Peas in the greenhouse.
  • February is sowing time of a number of half hardy annuals in the greenhouse. 


  • Lawns will be putting on some growth as temperatures gradually rise, so if conditions allow put the mower on a high cut on a high cut and give them a trim. 


  • With strong winds, there may be more debris than normal in your pond which will need removing, however make sure you do not disturb early frog spawn.


  • Hedgehogs are still active and will appreciate some food as well as our feathered friends.

Until next time, Good Gardening and Bye for now

Rick Heyse