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GARDENING

Purple patch


It’s another gardening year and another delightful spring, so now’s the time to start making plans and getting your hands dirty

by June Cynthia, 2nd March 2022

It’s another gardening year and another delightful spring, so now’s the time to start making plans and getting your hands dirty, says June Cynthia

You might find it strange but one of my first jobs is to plan well ahead. February, March is when I start to think about spring of ‘NEXT YEAR’. 

My work begins in earnest starting with the thinning out and the replanting of some of my snowdrops and eranthis ‘In the green’. This method practically guarantees the successful spread of these much welcomed harbingers of spring when they become overcrowded. They will repay you tenfold. There is still just about time to order snowdrops and eranthis plants ‘in the green’ from catalogues and online nurseries to add to your collection, but don’t delay as they won’t be available for very much longer. It is important for the very best results to re-plant immediately they are delivered or dug up from your own garden. Then you can look forward with confidence to them blooming in Jan/Feb of next year.

Scatter the plants loosely on the ground before re-planting in a damp but well drained area. They look particularly lovey when planted en-masse on banks, in wooded areas and under or around trees. This uncontrived spacing method of scattering the plants loosely on the ground before re-planting gives a very pleasing and natural look to the eye.

This method also works well with some types of crocus, which again can be ordered at this time of year. My favourite is the little ‘crocus tommasinianus. Once you have planted them they will spread very quickly and naturally by releasing their seed via the wind and by the automatic division of their corms. I started off with as little as 25 corms and now I have a beautiful mauve carpet growing in my lawn. They have now spread to my wild garden. Just delightful! 

You will need to mow around them for a short while especially when they die back and whilst seed germination takes place. They bloom around end of Feb/March and require moist but well drained soil. These little crocuses are real eye candy for the few early bees that are about. They love them so this makes them an essential plant for my garden as far as I am concerned. Again planting in the green gives them a head start as the corms are plump and turgid and will reward you with their beauty next spring.

The above jobs done, then now is the season to be inspecting your 'early' and by now chitted potatoes, and your onions, and garlic etc. If the weather permits and your veggie beds are duly prepared and ready then get those vegetables in.

In the greenhouse having cleaned it, along with your pots and trays, slowly start watering the plants you have overwintered in the greenhouse, then you can start sowing the more tender vegetable seeds like lettuce, tomatoes, chilies and the like along with the annuals you have chosen for your flower beds.

Enjoy your spring gardening!

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