Snowdrops and Aconites will be bringing cheer to the barren garden during February. Enjoy the flowers but remember that now is the best time to divide and replant clumps for a larger display next year. After the flowers are past their best, simply lift the clump or individual bulbs, and replant in a small gap made with a trowel or spade. Within a day or two they will look like they have never been moved.
We might have seen the worst of winter, but we're not in spring just yet. Weather conditions are still a concern, and snowfall is a regular menace in the garden. Avoid walking on lawns whilst there is snow on the ground as it will damage the grass underneath. If snow is standing for a few days after a heavy shower make sure that the weight of snow on any branches or twigs is not going to snap them, lightly tap the branches with a broom handle to remove the snow.We haven't seen the last of the frost yet, so keep an eye on any ponds you have and make sure they never completely freeze over. Floating a ball on the surface will leave a breathing hole which will be vital for your fish. You should also keep up feeding the birds and leaving fresh water out for them, as they will still struggle this month.
February is a great time for pruning. Winter shrubs can be pruned as soon as they have finished flowering. Clematis and Wisteria can also be pruned back now. The late summer flowering clematis can be pruned back to knee height to within a few buds of the old wood. This will encourage plenty of early bushy growth.
This year's new growth can then be trained across the trellis or support however you want. You can add ties to the trellis now ready to train climbers as it may be difficult once they start to grow. Wisteria can also be cut back to within a few buds of the main stem.
Roses can be left until next month as frost can damage fresh cuts. Now is a great time for planting though. Avoid planting where roses have previously grown as this is known to cause certain disease to the plant. Roses are a beautiful way to add character and traditional charm to your garden.
Late summer flowering shrubs such as Buddleia can also be pruned now. You can also dig in some manure or compost to the soil around your shrubs now to give them a good start to their growing season. Take care not to disturb any emerging bulbs whilst doing this and make sure the area is weed free beforehand as the weeds will also feed off the manure/compost.
Between the weather and the falling leaves, the last months may have caused your garden to become untidy. Rake up any leaves or litter on your lawn and tidy up the flower beds. Now is a great time to survey your garden for any irreparable damage from the winter and deadhead damaged flowers.
If you have a pond, clean out leaves and fallen twigs when it isn't iced over. Leaving debris to rot in your pond can lead to optimum algae growth which in turn leads to dangerous conditions for your fish. Netting to catch leaves or regular clearing will prevent this from becoming a problem and keep your pond life happy!
Now would be a great time for a clean out of your greenhouse. Tidy and clean the inside, washing down frames and glazing. Ensure there is sufficient insulation and spot check for diseases. You can also start to plant summer bedding in here and should ensure it will be a frost free haven for these plants.