Your February Garden Checklist by Anne Mckeon

I hope that you are ready to go outdoors because we’re fast approaching the busiest time of the year, garden-wise anyway and I want you at your best.

Have you preferences when it comes to colour? I have a particular love of white, yellows and pinks. I intend dealing with pink today as there are so many ‘classy’ plants of this shade around, just waiting for you to notice them.

If you are a ‘pink person’ consider planting Magnolia ‘Leonard Messel’. Many magnolias prefer an acid soil but Leonard Messel will grow quite happily in alkaline/limey soils. As you know, present day gardens can be quite small and confined so with space in mind it is worth noting that this large shrub/small tree- like plant is suitable for small gardens.

Digitalis purpurea (Foxgloves) are bright and cheery and come in pink and white shades. They also grow in the shade which is a major bonus in any garden. If you grow them alongside hostas, ferns, astilbes and silver birch trees you can create a woodland effect.

‘Pinks’ in both name and in colour, are carnations that should have a place in every garden. A particularly nice carnation, especially if scent is important to you, is Dianthus Doris. This can be grown as a border to soften path edges, in a rockery or even in pots.

Being ‘Valentines month’ I really should mention some pink coloured roses. A particular favourite of mine, both for its delicate beauty and repeat flowering (value for money) is Rosa New Dawn. A good pink climbing rose, especially for shaded walls, is Rosa Compassion. This rose is also heavily perfumed so I hope that you can find a place for it at your address.

If summer bedding plants are your passion, consider planting Petunias or the newer Surfinias. Their trumpet shaped flowers add character to window boxes and baskets. Be sure to dead – head the flowers as they fade, in order to extend their season and encourage new flowers.

I hope that I have been of some help to you this month. Try planting something new, possibly one or more of the plants outlined above and never be afraid to ask questions relating to your garden. Believe me, no question is foolish and no problem too small. There is no better way to improve your knowledge than to ask plenty of questions.

All the best until next month. I hope this leaves you ‘in the pink’.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Checklist

  • Continue pruning fruit trees and bushes.
  • Plant hedging plants such as Eleagnus x ebbingeii, Escallonia macrantha etc.
  • Prune late summer and autumn flowering shrubs.
  • Complete digging the garden, adding organic manure.
  • Transplant bare – rooted trees and shrubs
  • Divide perennial plants.
  • Continue pruning roses.
  • Sprout seed potatoes in preparation for planting next month.
  • Buy onion sets and shallots for planting when the soil warms up.