The Garden in February

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I’m really enjoying the season edging ever closer towards spring at the moment – as I wander around our garden the signs of it’s promise are everywhere; allium and tulip bulbs pushing through the cold earth, muscari and hyacinths popping up to add some colour, and the buds on the camellia just about ready to pop.

I thought I would start doing a monthly post on my plans for the garden, sharing what’s looking good each month, and including a list of to-do’s for that month. Last year was the first year that I really managed to get out in the garden since we moved in over two years ago (the first summer being far too preoccupied with a newborn!) and although I managed to plant up some of the beds and take out some of the shrubs I wasn’t keen on, I still have lots of plans for the garden this year. You’ll see from most of my ‘before’ shots here that there is lots to do! The plot is long but narrow and north facing, both of which present some challenges in terms of the amount of sunlight, and the previous occupants were big fans of not very interesting shrubs, which isn’t really my style, so I’m trying to bring more colour and more texture into the garden.

Raised Beds

My main focus is the back section of the garden, which was fairly neglected when we moved in. I’m planning on clearing a bed that contained two bushes (which I’ve now chopped down to the ground) and creating a raised bed to try my hand at growing some veggies. We have about 2m of space so should be able to grow a few things – I’m thinking courgettes as I’ve heard they’re fairly easy!

Area for raised beds

The grim Before picture

Perennial weeds

We have two big offenders when it comes to weeds in our garden – the first being field horsetail, or Mare’s Tail (evil stuff) which I’ve come to a kind of reluctant truce with, and the second being bluebells. “Oh, they’re lovely” I hear you all exclaiming! Well, I love a nice bluebell as much as the next person, but in a residential garden they are brutish bulbs and rapidly take over. I spent many hours last year clearing beds of bluebells and have now started to tackle the few beds that I didn’t quite get around to. Our back section of garden still needs the second half of a bed cleared and I’m planning to extend and repeat the quite traditional planting of lupins, salvia, roses and allium that fill the first half of that bed (cleared and replanted last spring) to create what I’m going to christen ‘The Long Border’.

Mediterranean Planting

I’m really looking forward to seeing how my Mediterranean bed does this year. We had our patio installed in June and I planted up the bed next to it towards the end of last summer, inspired by this planting that I found on Pinterest.

I wanted to make good use of grasses as I find the texture and the way they move in the breeze so relaxing which is perfect for a spot next to a patio. I used grasses Miscanthus kleine silberspinne, stipa tenuissima, festuca glauca, as well as verbena bonariensis, artemsia powis castle, and perovskia blue spire. I’ve dotted both allium purple sensation and allium sphaerocephalon in amongst these, which should flower at different times giving an extra pop of colour. Unfortunately as you can see in the picture below, our rather soggy summer last year wasn’t the best of starts for my drought tolerant planting, so I’m hoping that they all start to pick up and fill out the space a bit more now we’re hitting spring.

miscanthus kleine silberspinne, verbena, festuca glauca, stipa tenuissima

The bed on the other side of the patio also needs a lot of work – both planting wise and with the fence! Alongside an existing peony and stachys ‘silver carpet’, I planted some sea holly (Eryngium Bourgatii Picos Amethyst) and globe thistles (Echinops Vietchs Blue) there late last summer, so it will be interesting to see if they re-emerge, as it’s our local fox’s favourite place to do his business and they weren’t looking too good as they retreated into the ground! I also took up a rather sad looking hydrangea that wasn’t a fan of the sunny spot and I’m planning on adding some more grasses and oriental poppies to fill out this space. For now though, as you can see, it looks like a pretty blank canvas.

Patio bed back

Jobs to do in February

  • Get out there and do a good weeding session to prevent weeds from establishing themselves
  • Pick up any remaining leaves
  • Cut back ornamental grasses if you left them over winter – just grab the grasses and shear through at the bottom, leaving about 3cm. If you do this in February you should get to it before any new growth, but if there are signs, try to avoid damaging it but don’t worry too much – it’s grass, so it’ll recover fine
  • Even evergreen grasses need a bit of a comb through to remove any straggly bits
  • Prune wisteria and winter flowering jasmine
  • Prune evergreen hedges
  • Plant bare root roses in a sunny spot to allow time for the roots to establish (if your garden lacks a lot of sun, try Gertrude Jekyll – I’ve had good results from this rose in a spot that only gets about 4 hours of sun a day)

Are you planning any big jobs for the garden this year? Have I missed any jobs from my monthly list? Do let me know!

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34 Comments
  • Island Living 365
    February 3, 2016

    Looks like you are collecting some great ideas. Your garden is soon going to be looking amazing! #bloggesclubuk

    • Katy
      February 3, 2016

      Thanks Emma, I really hope I can transform some of my ideas into reality! At the moment there are still far too many untackled areas, but by the end of this year I’m determined to have it more in order.

  • Hannah Malanga
    February 3, 2016

    I love a spot of gardening. it is still too wet where i am now but i cant wait to get back out there! your garden is looking good already

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      We’ve been lucky with the weather the last couple of weekends and it’s been so lovely to be outside. Hope the weather picks up for you soon!

  • Anosa
    February 3, 2016

    You have some really lovely and interesting ideas for your garden and hope you’re able to make them come true. I do not have a garden so I will live through yours

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      Thanks so much Miranda – it’s my first garden so I’m loving creating it – with plenty of mistakes along the way I’m sure! All part of the fun!

  • Ana De Jesus
    February 3, 2016

    I love gardening there is something so therapeutic about weeding and planting new life.

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      There really is isn’t it? I love the slow pace to everything – can’t be impatient when it comes to gardening!

  • Ickle Pickle
    February 3, 2016

    Ooooh I love your raised beds! I have a large garden but I am a useless gardener. My dad helps me a lot, thank goodness. Kaz x

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      Thanks Kaz – sadly those gorgeous raised beds are not mine – just what I look at to inspire me to get on with the job! You’re lucky to have a willing helper! I often wish I had one – I don’t think I realised how much work a large garden involves!

  • Cliona Kelliher
    February 3, 2016

    I love garden posts so much and really enjoyed reading this 🙂 I’ve been looking out at my garden lately and seeing lots of little bulbs popping up and things starting to come to life again. I’m planning a major tidy up and assessment this weekend coming if the rain holds off!

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      Thanks so much. It’s such a lovely time of year when all the bulbs start popping up and you can start getting out there again, isn’t it? Fingers crossed for the weekend weather!

  • Any Way To Stay At Home
    February 3, 2016

    I am so jealous of your garden! I love mine but those raised beds are fab and make mine look like a muddy hole he he. Some great planting ideas though, really inspiring #BloggerClubUK

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      Thanks so much – sadly those raised beds aren’t mine – mine may well end up more on the muddy hole side too, haha! Watch this space!

  • Angela Milnes
    February 3, 2016

    oh wow. This is very inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing. I want to grow some veg this year.

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      Best of luck Angela – I’m really keen on the veg front but I’ve heard it can be very hit and miss. If you have any tips I’d love to hear them!

  • Ami Elizabeth
    February 4, 2016

    My goodness I have serious gardening ability envy here! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

    • Katy
      February 4, 2016

      Thanks so much – I hope it all works out well! Feeling the pressure now I’ve shared the Before pics!

  • Becky, Cuddle Fairy
    February 8, 2016

    Ooo you have done a fabulous job! I love your inspiration photo too. It’s lovely to see the spring bulbs popping up. I can’t wait for these storms to end! Thanks so much for linking up with #bloggerclubuk xx

    • Katy
      February 9, 2016

      Thanks Becky – I’m loving how early so many of the bulbs have been this year! It’s made January just about bearable 🙂

  • The Years Are Short
    February 10, 2016

    Lovely! Looking forward to seeing more of these monthly posts and seeing how your garden comes along. We moved into a new house in August (winter time in NZ) and had no idea if there was even any plants in it, but come spring time all kinds of beautiful unfamiliar shoots started popping up. Spring is definitely my favourite season, I love the sense of possibility you’ve captured 🙂

    • Katy
      February 10, 2016

      Oh, what a lovely surprise for you! Our surprise that sprung up after we’d moved in was Horsetail – a horrible horrible weed that you just can’t get rid of (I moan about it ALL the time!)

      There’s something about spring that gets your sense of anticipation going, isn’t there? It’s a great time for making plans! I hope I can bring some of them to fruition!

  • Jess Powell
    February 10, 2016

    I love the idea of raised beds! I know nothing about gardening at all but I really want to try this year as we have a lovely big garden now – which has nothing but overgrown grass in it! x #HomeEtc

    • Katy
      February 10, 2016

      I think that’s what I love about gardening – you can start off knowing absolutely nothing and you can just read up on things as you go. I kind of wish I had that kind of blank canvas – I feel so guilty every time I take up a plant that I don’t like! Good luck with your gardening journey!

  • [email protected]
    February 10, 2016

    Oh I’m about to enter my second year in my garden too, I started from scratch last summer, I love it. Good luck with it, I can’t wait to see how your veggies come along xx

    • Katy
      February 11, 2016

      It’s so exciting to see things start coming together, isn’t it? I’m so looking forward to spring and then summer to see how everything’s doing. Thanks for the luck – I think I might need it with the veggies – I’ve heard they can be difficult!

  • Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper
    February 11, 2016

    This is great, I really enjoy reading gardening posts! I especially love your ‘to do’ list for Feb, actually really useful for myself too. I ran a monthly series of gardening posts back in 2014, so I think I might start again come spring as I really enjoyed writing them. Annie from ‘Mamasaurus’ runs/ran a linky called How Does Your Garden Grow? If you haven’t heard of it already, which was great for seeing other gardening posts. We love growing our own veg, but I reckon we might try courgettes for the first time too 🙂 #homeetc

    • Katy
      February 11, 2016

      Thanks Becky – I’m glad you enjoyed it! I wondered whether it was a bit pointless at this time of year, but then when I was writing it I thought how nice it was to get my thoughts in order a bit more. Hopefully the photos will get a bit more exciting as the year goes on. I’d love to see a monthly gardening post from you too – I’m so nosey, I love to know what other people are up to! Thanks as well for the linky info – I’d not come across that one but just checked it out and it looks like a lovely one to link up with. I’ve bookmarked it and hope to see you there 🙂

  • Stephanie
    February 13, 2016

    Great tips, I am really annoyed as I had loads of bulbs to plant and I never got them in the ground before the winter. Can I plant them now still?

    • Katy
      February 14, 2016

      It is quite late, but since bulbs don’t tend to flower the following year I’d suggest getting them out and in the ground now and taking your chances! You might be surprised at what flowers. Later flowerers like tulips will stand a better chance than daffs, but you could also try forcing them for indoor bulbs by putting them in the fridge for a few days and then planting them indoors.

  • mummyofboygirltwins
    February 16, 2016

    Ours is bare!! We have a new build home and NO plants!!!! Hubby is putting them in now 🙂 Great tips and can’t wait to see what you do 🙂 Thanks for linking up 🙂 Jess xx

    #HomeEtc

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 17, 2016

      Oh, how exciting! Part of me would love to start from scratch (although I recognise what a lot of hard work and patience that requires!)

  • Caro Davies
    February 16, 2016

    Aaah I absolutely LOVE that purple planting scheme!! Just gorgeous. Cool colours, like blues and purples, are definitely my favourite colour scheme in the garden. I’ve got SO much to do in our garden — gather all the fallen leaves is at the top of the list!! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up with us! #HomeEtc

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      February 17, 2016

      It’s amazing, isn’t it? I hope mine ends up looking a smidgen as fabulous! Fallen leaves are my nemesis – I’m making leaf mould from them, but I swear next year I’m buying one of those leaf hoover things to save my back!

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